When attempting to recruit top targets, the goal of any program is to get those players on campus for an unofficial visit.
This allows the recruit to have a much better perspective of the environment and experience things such as visiting the campus, seeing the facilities with their own eyes and hanging out and talking with players and coaches. Without a visit, it’s very difficult for any team to have a realistic chance of getting a committing from that player.
A perfect example of this is what happened over the last two days with Braydon Lee.
Lee is an elite sophomore from Upper Marlboro, Maryland and has an impressive list of offers from programs like Alabama, Boson College, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound cornerback traveled to Pittsburgh on Monday for a two-day unofficial visit to the Pitt program. Despite being recruited by Andre Powell for over a year, Pitt was just another team recruiting him and nothing really stood out about them to him. However, at the end of his visit, Lee no longer had that opinion about Pitt.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Lee as he traveled back to Maryland and got the highlights of his stay in Pittsburgh and at the top of that list was the interaction he was able to have with Powell, Archie Collins and Cory Sanders.
“Coach Powell and I have been building a relationship for over a year now,” said Lee. “We actually have been talking before I even played my first high school game as a sophomore. Our relationship has been building and grew even more when he offered me like three or four months ago. I’m glad that we were both able to get time in our schedules for me to come up for a visit and get an understanding of how things are done down at Pitt.
“I absolutely loved my two days at Pitt,” Lee said. “I got to talk with a lot of the coaching staff, coach Collins, coach Sanders and coach Narduzzi. I got to speak to those guys, and they really loved me. I really like coach Collins, I got to sit down in his office and talked about football and life. We broke down some plays and different types of coverages and he even watched some of my film. He told me some things that he loved about me and some things that I can work on, which is something that was very unique. I absolutely love coach Collins and feel like I can definitely see myself playing for him and can see myself playing for Pitt. I got to meet a lot of the players; they were so chill. They were treating me like I was already signed and committed there. It just felt like home.”
Most player’s ultimate goal is to make it to the NFL one day, and Lee found out that by playing at Pitt as a defensive back, that’s a realistic option.
“Coach Collins talked to me about how they produce NFL-type defensive backs every single year,” said Lee. “That’s not just something he said to make me feel good about the school, that’s something that he showed me the players, the awards and the analytics. Coach Collins definitely knows how to properly develop NFL-type players and gets them ready for the next level. That’s big.”
When asking Lee about something that surprised or impressed him most about his two days, he gave an interesting answer and something that will no doubt make the Pitt coaches feel good.
— Braydon Lee (@_brayofficial) March 30, 2022
“Going into my visit, I really didn’t think that I was going to enjoy myself that much,” Lee said. “But I really felt comfortable with the players and the coaching staff. Pitt felt like home to me. Coach Collins treated me so good and treated me like one of his guys, one of his players. Because of this, I really could see myself going there. With coach Collins, the tradition that Pitt has, how the people in Pittsburgh love their football, I just absolutely loved everything.”
That’s certainly encouraging for Pitt, but Lee’s recruitment isn’t over. He tells PSN that he has upcoming visits planned to Alabama, Penn State, South Carolina. Lee also mentions that he’s currently receiving heavy interest from Clemson and Georgia.