As Cory Sanders watched the Lakeland High School spring game, he couldn’t help but notice Daidren Zipperer.
Zipperer, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound three-star wide receiver from Lakeland in Florida, was impressive during his high school’s spring game and despite not earning an on-the-spot offer from Sanders and Pitt, it wasn’t far off.
“I didn’t really hear from (Sanders) after the game, but I was hearing that he wanted to offer me on the spot, and he had to talk to the wide receivers coach (Tiquan Underwood) and clear it first — to get everything good,” Zipperer told Pittsburgh Sports Now.
So, of course, Sanders went back to Pitt and met back up with Underwood. And before long, Underwood and Zipperer were on the phone for the first time together.
“(Underwood and I) got on the phone and he offered me,” Zipperer said. “He was just telling me about how Pitt would be a good fit for me in the offense.”
Despite just recently beginning a relationship with Underwood, having spent a majority of his time and much of his communications with Sanders, Zipperer said that he’s liked what he’s seen from Underwood so far.
“(Underwood is) a real guy,” Zipperer said. “He was telling me some real stuff, and from my first time talking to him, I feel like he was real genuine. I felt like he’d be a good coach for me.”
With Underwood now serving as Pitt’s wide receivers coach, providing that new voice in the room, Zipperer said he isn’t exactly familiar with the system. But whether he’s lined up inside, outside or taking jet sweeps or misdirections, he feels like he can fit the system well — no matter the system in place.
And with a few Lakeland alumni like Damarri Mathis and A.J. Davis having graced Pitt in the last few seasons, having seen Mathis drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2022, Zipperer has noticed the leap.
With offers from Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Arkansas State, BYU, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Michigan, FAU, Grambling State, Incarnate Word, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Pitt Rhode Island, South Carolina, UCF, USF and Western Michigan, Zipperer has received interest across the board.
Coming off a season in which he caught a team-high 17 balls for 277 yards and two touchdowns (and completed his lone pass for a 75-yard touchdown), he excelled in a system that wasn’t made for throwing the ball downfield — in just seven games.
With visits planned for UCF (June 3), North Carolina (June 4-5) and BYU later in the month, along with a camp visit to Alabama on June 13, Zipperer has plenty of interest. But he’s looked at June 16-18 as a potential Pitt visit, something he hasn’t been able to iron out quite yet.
“Pitt is it right now,” Zipperer said. “Just from that one conversation, I feel like if I had to drop a top five right now, they’d be in it.”
Zipperer isn’t hoping to commit before his senior season rolls around, wanting to be able to experience all there is to do before making that pivotal decision, and he’s looking at a potential early fall decision date right now.