Willy Love is listed as a wide receiver, a safety and an athlete on recruiting sites, but during a visit to Pittsburgh Thursday, the 2024 four-star was offered as a linebacker.
“The offer stood out to me because they offered me for linebacker and it came from the (linebackers coach Ryan Manalac) and that meant to me that he runs the linebackers, and since it came from him and not an assistant position coach, it means that he really likes my size and athleticism,” Love told PSN.
Love, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound two-way star at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey, has risen quickly up recruiting boards, and in an area that Pitt’s coaching staff recruits heavily, it was only a matter of time before Love was drawn in for a visit.
Beyond blessed to receive a scholarship offer from the university of PITT #H2P @coachcsanders @KoorWoodson @mccarthy_report @Beastupacademy @nadjacydney @RivalsFriedman @ShawnB_247 @SchrieksWillem pic.twitter.com/mZ3SGYqlfx
— willy love (@iiiamwilly_) April 14, 2022
With a Thursday visit, along with a few Imhotep Charter recruits, including Jahsear Whittington, Love was able to sit down with the Pitt coaching staff and watch film. Along with linebackers coach Ryan Manalac, he was able to meet with safeties coach Cory Sanders, and he said it’s already an outstanding bond after the day together at the facility.
“The highlights of my day at the University of Pitt was when we toured the (practice) building and looked at the wall of players that got drafted to each team in the league, and it was about 10-15 names for each team, but when you got the Steelers, you saw about 30 names from them,” Love said. “And that speaks a lot because they are directly next door from the Pitt football team.”
While Love was in disbelief that Pitt offered him, because of the strong relationship with the Steelers and an outstanding defense that sees his potential, he’s no stranger to offers.
Boston College, Connecticut, Georgia, Ole Miss, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Western Michigan have already extended offers, and he’s made visits to BC, Syracuse, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State and now Pitt.
247Sports rates him as the 147th-ranked recruit in the class of 2024, slotting him as the 14th-ranked safety and the top-ranked recruit from New Jersey. Rivals rates him as the 237th-ranked recruit in the class, the 33th-ranked athlete and the fifth-ranked recruit from New Jersey.
With a vast offer sheet already, featuring ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 schools, Love is going to be in high demand throughout his recruiting process. Pitt was able to bring him in for an early visit, but there’s a lot of work to do this summer and next to build that relationship.