Jahsear Whittington’s first visit to Pittsburgh was eye-opening, with the 2024 four-star defensive tackle from Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia feeling right at home. And now it is home now after Whittington officially announced he’s committed to Pitt.
Whittington (6-foot-2, 280 pounds) is only a sophomore at Imhotep, coming off a breakthrough season in Philly, but his feelings of home away from home, his quick connection with Charlie Partridge and the love he’s felt already made his decision one that clearly felt like it was the best move for himself both athletically and academically.
“I went over it with my family, and they felt it was the same way,” Whittington told PSN. “(Pitt) produces great D-linemen every year, especially going way back to AD, and coach Partridge is one of the best in the books. So, I’m going to put my trust in them and the program, and I’m locked in.”
Whittington visited Pitt with a few of his Imhotep teammates last Thursday, making the trek across the state for a day in Pittsburgh. And after the visit, which included watching Calijah Kancey highlights on the car ride home, he made a list of everything on the visit that came to his attention. His conversation with Partridge, when combined with the overall feeling of love he felt during his day in Pittsburgh, stood out.
Pitt made it clear that Whittington was a top target and wanted him to commit, and at first glance, it felt kind of surreal for him.
“In my head, I’m thinking like, “Dang, I’m only a sophomore,’ but then my coach broke it down to me that me being in that 6-foot, 6-foot-1 range, a lot of coaches want to see me grow before I have a committable offer,” Whittington said. “It’s going toward that time that in a couple of months, we’ll be juniors, and a lot of people will start to commit, and a lot of coaches may like me, but they want to see me grow.
“Whereas coach Partridge, he loves me the way I am and that love, it took a toll, like, ‘This coach loves me when the other coaches like me. These other coaches want to see me grow to this size; he loves me how I am now.’ And that spoke to me,” Whittington said. “He kept comparing me to Calijah Kancey, that plays a big role.”
Whittington said he spoke with Partridge, Cory Sanders and Pat Narduzzi about his decision, with the excitement from all three pouring over through the phone.
247Sports rates him as the 202nd-ranked recruit in the class, checking in as the 17th-ranked defensive lineman and the eighth-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania. Rivals is even higher on him, rating him as the 146th-ranked recruit in the class, slotting him as the seventh-ranked defensive tackle and the sixth-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania.
While Whittington said he’ll continue to monitor his recruiting process in the future, he’s locked into Pitt because of the love he’s received and the early dedication when it comes to accepting a potentially “undersized” defensive tackle — which has never worked out for Pitt in the past. And he feels like his current game would be a boon in Pitt’s system, a la Kancey.
“I feel like me, my playing style, fits their defense,” Whittington told PSN after his visit. “Me talking to coach (Charlie) Partridge, it basically just narrowed down each check box. It just checked off each box. What their defense is, how they want their defense, whatever type of guys they need on their defense, what do they want out of the guys on the defense. And that fits me almost 100 percent.”
Whittington is the first official commit to Pitt’s Class of 2024, adding a strong, strong foundational piece in an area that Pitt hasn’t traditionally broken into, a commitment secured over in-state and local rivals (and national rivals), so this is a massive deal for Pitt football.