The weather in Ocoee, Florida is a bit more agreeable than the weather in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but Asaad Waseem doesn’t mind the cold weather. He actually prefers it.
“I can see them Florida boys are comfortable with going up to Pitt,” Waseem told PSN. “They told me it’s really not that cold until the winter hits, but I’m cool with the cold. I don’t know why, I just like cold more than hot. All the coaches treat you like family, and that’s what I look for in a school.”
Waseem, a 2023 three-star wide receiver from Ocoee High School in Florida, visited Pittsburgh in March, and he was able to see for himself just how tight the bonds are between the coaches and players in the program. With a chance to watch practice, he was able to watch the trash talk exchanged between the offense and defense — and as a Florida kid, that competitive atmosphere was exactly what he wanted to see.
“It was great,” Waseem said. “It wasn’t as cold as I thought it was. The facilities are great, knowing that they share with the Pittsburgh Steelers, you know, I have a great chance of going to the big leagues from that. And it should be great. Practices ran real smoothly, I like how they ran their practices, very professional compared to other schools, and the receivers really got off in practice. I like to see the receivers do good.”
Waseem (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) watched the receivers very closely during practice, getting a chance to see how Tiquan Underwood coaches the unit up close and personal, and that bond with Underwood already runs deep. Underwood and Waseem are tight, with Waseem seeing for himself that Underwood is one of those cool coaches you can talk to about anything.
In making a potential transition from Florida to Pennsylvania, Waseem would have some local Florida kids to relate to, but he truly sees Underwood as a sort of father figure — a second father, Waseem said, away from home.
“You can see (Underwood’s) real,” Waseem said. “You go to a lot of these schools, they blow smoke up you, you can tell he was real. That’s what I look for in schools.”
Underwood is Waseem’s main recruiter to this point, talking a lot lately, but Tim Salem is another coach who has emerged as a mentor. Salem was down in Florida over the weekend, and he stopped by Ocoee High School to spend some time together.
“If (Salem) sees I’m doing something wrong, he’s gonna correct me,” Waseem said. “And if I’m doing something right he’s going to acknowledge it, so I really appreciate how he talks to me.”
Underwood personally likes how Waseem plays with the ball in his hands, using his speed and shiftiness as an explosive yards after catch artist, and he feels like he’d fit well in Pitt’s offensive system.
“They just got a new offensive coordinator,” Waseem said. “I’ve seen the way (Frank Cignetti Jr.) runs their receivers, he runs three receivers, so I think I could go into the slot and do some damage. They run a lot of crossing routes, and that’s my bread and butter, so I think I could come in and make a great impact.”
247Sports rates Waseem as the 821st-ranked recruit in the class (88th-ranked wide receiver and the 93rd-ranked recruit from Florida) while Rivals hasn’t officially ranked him yet.
Neither 247Sports nor Rivals have projected Waseem yet, but he holds offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Charlotte, Cincinnati, FIU, FAU, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Marshall, Maryland, Miami, Ole Miss, Pitt, Temple, Tennessee, UCF and West Virginia.
Waseem said he’s going to make an official visit to Pitt, he just isn’t sure on the date yet, and he’s looking into officials to Cincinnati and Miami. His planned commitment date is June 28.
“I ain’t gonna lie,” Waseem said, “(Pitt is) No. 1.”