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Pitt FB Recruiting

Live Coverage: Pitt Class of 2022 National Letter of Intent Signing Day

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It’s not technically Christmas morning, but Pitt football fans have ten presents waiting under the tree and possibly a few more surprises hidden along the way today.

National Letter of Intent Signing Day 2022 is here, and with 10 commits in a smaller class than usual as of Wednesday morning, all 10 are expected to officially sign on the dotted line and join Pitt football today.

Defensive back Marquan Pope from Guyer HS in Denton, Texas will be one of the first to sign his National Letter of Intent (NLI) publically, holding his ceremony at 8 a.m.

Defensive back Jimmy Scott, athlete Che Nwabuko, defensive tackle Sean FitzSimmons, offensive lineman Isaiah Montgomery and defensive back Ryland Gandy are all holding ceremonies Wednesday afternoon at their respective high schools.

Pittsburgh Sports Now will track and update Pitt’s 2022 recruiting class Wednesday and beyond. As a commit officially signs his NLI, PSN will update the list.

Update (10 a.m.)

Texas linebacker/safety Marquan Pope has become the first of Pitt’s 2022 signees to hold his signing ceremony. Pope signed with a couple of his Guyer High School teammates at the school’s gym while decked out in Panthers’ apparel.

Update (9 a.m.)

It’s just now hitting 9 a.m., just about two hours since signing day opened across college football, and Pitt has already secured signatures from all 10 of its hard commits and re-upped with another.

Pitt’s 2022 class of 11 features a running back, two wide receivers, two offensive linemen, an athlete, a linebacker, two defensive linemen, a cornerback and a punter. With commits from New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the class comes from across the eastern United States.

The signees will have their signing ceremonies throughout the day, so stay tuned with PSN.

Update (8:18 a.m.)

Photo from Che Nwabuko’s Twitter account.

Che Nwabuko — ATH

High School: Manor HS

Hometown: Manor, TX

Date of Commitment: 6/27/21

Nwabuko is a consensus three-star athlete by 247Sports and Rivals. A 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete from Manor High School in Manor, Texas, Nwabuko has picked up offers from Marshall, Air Force, Kansas, Liberty, Louisiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Old Dominion, Purdue, Texas State, UAB and UTSA.

247Sports rates Nwakubo as the 850th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 68th-ranked running back and the 117th-ranked recruit from Texas. Rivals hasn’t ranked Nwakubo, but he has been rated with a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

Nwakubo has been a multi-dimensional threat for Manor this season, racking up 215 yards on the ground, 739 yards through the air (and nine touchdowns) and he even threw for 16 yards on a single completion. He forced and recovered a fumble on defense, too.

As a versatile offensive threat who appears to lean toward running back or wide receiver in the future, Nwakubo is a multi-purpose threat in Pitt’s class.

Update (8:15 a.m.)

Photo from Addison Copeland’s Twitter account.

Addison Copeland — WR

High School: Western New York Maritime Charter

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Date of Commitment: 6/15/21

Copeland is a consensus three-star from 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver from Western New York Maritime Charter School in Buffalo, New York, Copeland has received offers from Rutgers, Boston College, Buffalo, BYU, Indiana, Massachusetts, Notre Dame, Penn State and South Carolina.

247Sports rates Copeland as the 995th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 139th-ranked wide receiver and the sixth-ranked recruit from New York. Rivals rates him as the 95th-ranked wide receiver and the fifth-ranked recruit from New York. He’s also been given a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

Another wide receiver to add to Pitt’s young, talented corps already in Pittsburgh, Pitt can’t go wrong with a wideout named Addison either. With blazing, track star speed, he’s a ready-made deep threat.

Update (8:10 a.m.)

Photo from Marquan Pope’s Twitter account.

Marquan Pope — LB/S

High School: Guyer HS

Hometown: Denton, TX

Date of Commitment: 6/26/21

Pope is a consensus three-star from 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker from Guyer High School in Denton, Texas, he’s picked up offers from Pitt, Air Force, Army, Kansas, Liberty, Navy, Northern Arizona and Tulsa.

247Sports rates Pope as the 1,097th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 109th-ranked linebacker and the 156th-ranked recruit from Texas. Rivals hasn’t ranked Pope, but he does hold a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

Pope features as a modern college hybrid linebacker/safety with box-to-box capabilities and a strong, wiry frame. He was a top-level contributor for Guyer’s run through the Texas state playoffs.

Update (8 a.m.)

Photo from Kyle Louis’s Twitter account.

Kyle Louis — ATH

High School: East Orange Campus HS

Hometown: East Orange, NJ

Date of Commitment: 10/25/21

Louis is a consensus three-star from 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-0, 200-pound athlete from East Orange Campus High School in East Orange, New Jersey. With offers from Pitt, Temple, Buffalo, Kent State, Marshall, Maryland, Massachusetts and Penn State. Louis had been committed to Temple for a few months, but he flipped his decision to Pitt in October.

247Sports rates Louis as the 960th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, the 69th-ranked athlete and the 17th-ranked recruit from New Jersey. Rivals rates him as the 37th-ranked athlete and the 10th-ranked recruit from New Jersey — and he holds a 5.7 Rivals Rating.

Louis played across the field for East Orange, racking up 276 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries and 99 yards and two touchdowns on just three receptions. He also racked up 436 total return yards and two punt return touchdowns. But he somehow made an even bigger on defense, accumulating 118 tackles (87 solo), 32 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and two forced fumbles.

An electric playmaker with the ball in his hands and a sure-handed tackler without, his collegiate possibilities are endless. 

Update (7:55 p.m.)

Photo from Isaiah Montgomery’s Twitter account.

Isaiah Montgomery — OG

High School: Landstown HS

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Date of Commitment: 6/29/21

Montgomery is a consensus three-star offensive guard by 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-5, 280-pound guard from Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Montgomery received offers from Illinois, Arizona State, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

247Sports rates Montgomery as the 867th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 76th-ranked offensive tackle and the 23rd-ranked recruit from Virginia. Rivals hasn’t ranked him nationally, but he does hold a 30th-ranked offensive guard and 18th-ranked recruit from Virginia status.

Montgomery is a big, strong offensive lineman that is capable of playing either guard spot at the college level, and with some seasoning, he could become a key contributor.

Update (7:40 a.m.)

Three-star running back Jordaan Bailey (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) provided Pitt with a surprise running back commit Wednesday morning, after previously decommiting earlier this month.

Tampa RB Jordaan Bailey Signs with Pitt, despite Decommitting Earlier This Month

Update (7:30 a.m.)

Photo from Ryan Baer’s Twitter account.

Ryan Baer — OT

High School: Eastlake North HS

Hometown: Eastlake, OH

Date of Commitment: 8/5/21

Baer is Pitt’s only consensus four-star recruit, ranked as a four-star by 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive tackle from Eastlake North High School in Eastlake, Ohio, Baer spurned interest from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan State, Virginia, Akron, Arizona State, Ball State, Baylor, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, Marshall, Miami (Oh.), Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia to commit to Pitt.

247Sports rates Baer as the 354th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, slotting him as the 33rd-ranked offensive tackle and 13th-ranked recruit from Ohio. Rivals rates him as a four-star recruit, checking in as the 31st-ranked offensive tackle and 11th-ranked recruit from Ohio.

“Big, strong, physical prospect. Road grader who finishes his blocks. Strong punch helps him in pass pro and sheer size combined with that makes it tough for defenders to get around him. Has experience at both tackle and guard and could play either in college also. Can still continue to get quicker and more agile, but a high floor prospect.” – 247Sports’ Allen Trieu.

Baer is the highest-rated recruit in Pitt’s 2022 class, providing a huge, strong tackle that could slot into either side of Pitt’s offensive line with some seasoning in the program.

Update (7:25 a.m.)

Photo from Ryland Gandy’s Twitter account.

Ryland Gandy — CB

High School: Buford HS

Hometown: Buford, GA

Date of Commitment: 6/16/21

Gandy is a consensus three-star by 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-0, 170-pound cornerback from Buford High School in Buford, Georgia, Gandy also picked up offers from West Virginia, Auburn, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Penn State, UCF, USC, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

247Sports rates Gandy as the 781st-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 73rd-ranked cornerback and the 76th-ranked recruit from Georgia. Rivals hasn’t ranked him nationally, but he checks in as the 66th-ranked cornerback and the 72nd-ranked recruit from Georgia.

Gandy recorded 14 tackles (seven solo), defended three passes, forced a fumble and recovered two more (in the six game sample size given on MaxPreps) for Buford’s Georgia state championship this season. 

With an athletic frame, running a 23.21 200-meter dash and capable of a 5-foot-4-inch high jump, Gandy is an Uber-athletic cornerback who should be able to match up well with ACC wide receivers.

Update (7:20 a.m.)

Photo from Jimmy Scott’s Twitter account.

Jimmy Scott — DL

High School: St. Francis HS

Hometown: Hamburg, NY

Date of Commitment: 6/14/21

Scott is Pitt’s second-highest rated recruit, ranked as a three-star by 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive lineman from St. Francis High School in Hamburg, New York, Scott received offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Tennessee, Arizona State, Arkansas, Buffalo, Colorado, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Syracuse, Texas A&M and West Virginia.

247Sports rates Scott as the 592nd-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, slotting in as the 85th-ranked defensive lineman and the third-ranked recruit from New York. Rivals rates him as the 36th-ranked strong side defensive end and the third-ranked recruit from New York.

Scott racked up 98 rush yards and six touchdowns on the ground and 25 receiving yards and a touchdown through the air, but his true skill set came with 43 tackles (12 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble on defense.

Scott is an athletic, versatile defensive lineman who should be able to play across the defensive line as a tackle or end. And he should only profit from Pitt’s strong tradition of stud linemen.

Update (7:15 a.m.)

Photo from Sam Vander Haar’s Twitter account.

Sam Vander Haar — P

High School: Prokick Australia

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Date of Commitment: 5/13/21

Vander Haar is a consensus two-star from 247Sports and Rivals. Another Australian punter from the vaunted Prokick program, he picked up his only major college offer from Pitt.

247Sports rated Vander Haar as the 1,928th-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the sixth-ranked punter and the third-ranked recruit from Australia. Rivals hasn’t rated him, but he does hold a 5.2 Rivals Rating.

Update (7:05 a.m.)

Photo from Sean FitzSimmons’s Twitter

Sean FitzSimmons — DL

High School: Central Valley HS

Hometown: Monaca, PA

Date of Commitment: 4/9/21

FitzSimmons is a consensus three-star from 247Sports and Rivals. A 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive lineman from Central Valley High School in Monaca, Pennsylvania. With offers from Pitt, Air Force, Akron, Army, Ball State, Buffalo, Duke, Kent State, Liberty, Massachusetts, Penn, Princeton, Toledo, Wake Forest and Western Michigan, he decided to stay home with Pitt.

247Sports rates FitzSimmons as the 1,063rd-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, checking in as the 134th-ranked defensive lineman and the 22nd-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania. Rivals hasn’t rated him nationally, but he is the 21st-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania. Rivals also gave him a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

FitzSimmons helped lead Central Valley to back-to-back PIAA championships in Pennsylvania’s 3A classification, capped by a state title in his last high school game last Saturday. As a senior, he racked up 114 tackles (52 solo), 47 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, four forced fumbles and a recovery.

FitzSimmons is a big, productive defensive lineman with sneaky good speed for a player his size, who should factor into Pitt’s defensive lineman pipeline immediately.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Duquesne WBB

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