When Tiquan Underwood was playing for the New England Patriots during the 2011 season, the McCourty twins — Jason and Devin — dared him to grow his out hair. Underwood decided to accept the dare, proving to his college teammates that he could rock a High Top just fine.
It’s been 11 years since that bet, and Underwood has kept the haircut the entire time. He’s gone from the only NFL player to the only college coach to rock the High Top, and in addition to standing out, it’s also helped him on the recruiting trail for Rutgers — and already now at Pitt too.
“It helps with recruiting,” Underwood said at Pitt’s South Side facility Wednesday. “Anything that’s gonna help with recruiting, I’m for it. So, they’re like, ‘Oh, man, that’s the coach with the High Top.’ Once I meet a kid, they’re never gonna forget who I am.”
An active recruiter during his two seasons at Rutgers, serving as 2022 three-star Amarion Brown’s primary recruiter in drawing him to the Scarlet Knights, Underwood’s passion and energy helped land a handful of talent wide receiver recruits in just two seasons. While his recruiting areas at Pitt aren’t yet determined, he’s confident he’ll be able to make an instant impact anywhere he’s assigned.
“Like I told coach, I can recruit anywhere,” Underwood said. “I can recruit any person, no matter their background, who they are. I’m a people person, and recruiting is about relationships and being able to speak to people. So, wherever they put me, I’m just going to do my job and just try to get the players that fit Pitt.”
While at Rutgers, Underwood recruited New Jersey, Virginia and Florida heavily — all areas where Pitt has established a strong presence. Underwood hasn’t been at Pitt long, but he’s already making an impact with the current team and it won’t be long before his recruiting impact is felt either — if it already hasn’t been felt.