Kenny Pickett provided stability to Pitt’s quarterback room for four seasons, allowing an added level of security to an offense that sorely needed it for most of that time.
Pitt’s offense is in better shape now, even without Jordan Addison lining up in the slot, and Kedon Slovis and Nick Patti provide that level of stability as the pair compete to fill Pickett’s shoes in 2022. While both could leave in 2023, or return, who knows, the addition of 2023 four-star Kenny Minchey gives Pitt a very, very solid option moving forward.
But Pitt is always looking ahead, and Pat Narduzzi, Frank Cignetti Jr. and Jon DiBiaso handed out some offers to the next crop of quarterbacks over the last few days, offering the classes of 2024 and 2025.
Colin Hurley — 2025 quarterback from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida
Colin Hurley is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound quarterback from Jacksonville, Florida, who broke out as one of the best players in Florida as a freshman — earning Class 2A Player of the Year, according to FloridaHSFootball.
In leading Trinity Christian to an FHSAA Class-2A state championship, he threw for 2,146 yards and 24 touchdowns (to just 12 interceptions) on 144-of-257 passing attempts.
Hurley has already received offers from Arkansas, Florida, Florida A&M, FAU, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Jackson State, Louisville, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, Pitt, UCF and USF. Jon DiBiaso, Pitt’s assistant quarterbacks coach, was the key piece in offering Hurley.
“I was able to speak with Coach DiBiaso and told me how they loved how I play the game,” Hurley told PSN about his Pitt offer. “He was especially impressed at how I combined intensity, velocity, intent, anticipation and accuracy in all of my throws. He said ‘You play smart and fearless and you’re years ahead of your game, Colin. I can see and hear leadership in you.’ We spoke about family, academics and life. He said he knows Trinity Christian plays a monster schedule, with tough opponents and that he was impressed with my play, leadership and ability to lead my team. I told him I was honored, humbled and grateful to him and the staff at Pitt to receive an offer and I said, ‘I play the game different. I play with passion and a love for the game. I lead, I win, I rip it, I have fun, I play smart, with no fear and no regrets.’ I think he liked that [laughing].”
Hurley has made trips out to Miami, and he’s competed heavily in the camp scene this spring.
Austin Simmons — 2025 quarterback from Pahokee High School in Pahokee, Florida
Austin Simmons is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback from Pahokee, Florida, and he’s already built quite a resume through just one season at Pahokee.
In just six games, Simmons threw for 1,684 yards and 15 touchdowns (to just four interceptions) on 96-of-145 passing attempts to lead Pahokee to the FHSAA Class-1A quarterfinals.
With offers from FAU, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Jackson State, Louisville, Marshall, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Toledo and Vanderbilt, Simmons is already in very high demand across the country.
Simmons has made a visit to Florida State already, and he’s an active baseball player at Pahokee.
Max Gerlich — 2025 quarterback from Del Valle High School in Del Valle, Texas
Max Gerlich is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback from just outside of Austin, Texas, who didn’t start on varsity as a freshman, but his head coach believes he’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in Texas when recruits his age are ranked.
Pitt was Gerlich’s first Power Five offer, joining Texas-San Antonio, and that’s something that Del Valle head coach Bobby Acosta said could work in Pitt’s favor.
“So, I think they came in and started to have text messages with me about him,” Acosta told PSN. “I said to Max, ‘That’s your first Power Five offer.’ Usually, that means a lot and there’s some loyalty there. So, Max says, ‘Coach, if they stick with me for the next couple of years, that could be the spot.'”
Gerlich has made visits to Texas, Texas A&M and Sam Houston State already.
Jakhari Williams — 2024 quarterback from First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, Georgia
Jakhari Williams is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback from central Georgia, who led First Presbyterian Day to a 10-3 record in 2021 — throwing for 1,814 yards and 15 touchdowns (to just five interceptions) on 142-of-216 passing attempts, and running for 231 yards and five more touchdowns on 91 attempts.
Williams already holds offers from Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Troy and Pitt provided his first Power Five offer.
While 247Sports and Rivals haven’t ranked Williams, On3 has given him four stars and rates him as the 97th-ranked recruit in the class (10th-ranked quarterback and the 19th-ranked recruit from Georgia).
Williams has made trips out to Georgia, Coastal Carolina, and Tennessee.
Tramell Jones Jr. — 2025 quarterback from Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Florida
Tramell Jones Jr. is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback from Jacksonville, Florida, he made strides during his freshman season as a varsity starter, catching the eye of college teams.
In just eight games, he threw for 1,253 yards and 14 touchdowns (to just five interceptions) on 88-of-160 passing attempts. And he added 117 more yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Jones holds offers from Florida A&M, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Pitt, and he’s made visits out to Maryland, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Sean Ashenfelder — 2025 quarterback from Creekside High School Saint Augustine, Florida
Sean Ashenfelder is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound quarterback from just south of Jacksonville, Florida, who’s excelled more on the diamond than the football field thus far.
Ashenfelder is rated as an 8.5 level prospect on PerfectGame, which is between a potential MLB Draft pick and/or excellent college prospect and a potential Top 10 round pick and/or highest level college pick.
The versatile baseball player, playing catcher, outfield, shortstop and playing as a right-handed pitcher, picked up his first college offer from Pitt, and if he’s able to see increased playing time through his next three high school seasons, he could develop into a top-rated prospect.
Riley Trujillo — 2024 three-star quarterback from Bartram Trail High School in Jacksonville, Florida
Riley Trujillo is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound quarterback from Jacksonville, Florida, who’s already picked a strong list of offers despite just finishing his sophomore season.
Despite sharing time at quarterback in 2021, Trujillo led Bartram Trail with 978 yards and nine touchdowns (to just one interception) on 85-of-136 passing attempts. He also added 323 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground.
With offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Pitt, Toledo, UAB and Virginia Tech, Trujillo has already received major college interest.
247Sports hasn’t rated him yet, but Rivals rates Trujillo as the 59th-ranked recruit from Florida in the class of 2024 — holding a 5.7 Rivals Rating.
Julian Dugger — 2024 quarterback from Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Julian Dugger is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound quarterback from right in Pitt’s backyard, playing at Aaron Donald’s alma mater of Penn Hills High School.
Dugger completed 73-of-131 passing attempts for 1,030 yards and 16 touchdowns in leading Penn Hills to the WPIAL Class-5A playoffs. He’s a threat with both his arm and legs from the backfield.
Pitt was the first school to offer Dugger, a fast-rising local recruit who will likely have a busy summer as he visits schools for camps. His recruiting process will only take off with a strong summer and junior campaign at Penn Hills.