Philadelphia hasn’t been a major hub for Pitt recruiting in recent seasons, but that could be changing.
Cory Sanders, Pitt’s safeties coach, has been making the cross-state trek to Philly, Pitt has landed a commitment from 2024 four-star Imhotep Charter defensive tackle Jahsear Whittington and his best friend now considers Pitt among his top contenders.
Kenny Woseley, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback from Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, cut his extensive offer sheet to just 12 schools Wednesday night: Texas A&M, Pitt, Penn State, Maryland, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Oregon, Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Georgia.
“Pitt made my Top-12 because I just love the atmosphere and the way I was treated when I came up there,” Woseley told PSN. “And the amount of visits I took. So, I thought it was just right to put them in my Top 12. With them being my first offer overall and the relationship I have with coach Cory, my head recruiting coach.”
— kenny woseley II ✪ (@kwoseley35) August 18, 2022
Pitt — Sanders, to be specific — offered Woseley way back on April 1, 2021, and it was the very first Division I offer. That isn’t something that’s easily forgotten.
“I think it matters to a lot of guys because our first offer is one, you’re going to remember,” Woseley said. “I don’t think people really remember their middle offers, I think it’s first and the big schools, and also because that school that offered you first were the first guys to see your potential. So, I highly recommend that people don’t forget about the ones that offered them first.”
The relationship between Woseley and Sanders, while not being an exact match as a cornerback and safeties coach, has been strong nonetheless. The pair can just talk ball, they’ve gone over film together and can talk coverages in Woseley’s schemes at Imhotep. And it helps immensely that Sanders makes the effort to head out to Philly — sees the talent in Philly — on a consistent basis and familiarizes himself with the city.
With Pitt’s training camp in full swing, just under two weeks to the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia on Sept. 1 and Woseley locked in at camp with Imhotep, Woseley recognizes that there won’t be too much contact. But he also recognizes that if needs anything, even if just to catch up with Sanders, he can call at any time.
Sanders has made it out to Philly a handful of times, but Woseley has returned the favor. He visited Pittsburgh for the first time in April, alongside Whittington and Willy Love and, and it was a great visit. He made it back out for a camp appearance in July, and that may have been even better.
“The camp was one of the greatest experiences I had up there because it wasn’t just the coaches coaching us, it was the players,” Woseley said. “And the players were actually like the coaches, they were coaching us like the coaches would teach them, and they knew everything like the back of their hand. So, I think it’s very good to learn from different people, not just coaches all the time.”
With the opportunity to be coached by players who are where Woseley wants to be, who have been in his shoes and navigated the recruiting process to get to the Power Five level of college football, it just hits differently. And it doesn’t hurt that Javon McIntyre — an Imhotep alumnus and defensive back contributor — has been in his ear.
Woseley played with McIntyre his freshman at Imhotep, and he said that McIntyre took him under his wing and made an effort to instill those teaching points on a younger player in the system. Now that McIntyre is at Pitt, serving as a pseudo-recruiter, he’s told Woseley that Pitt has that comfortable, family-like vibe, but it’s also a place where you have to work to crack the roster. And he’s not even Woseley’s top recruiter.
Whittington, Pitt’s first recruit in the class of 2024, is Woseley’s best friend. Whittington has also taken it upon himself to serve as a recruiter for Pitt, and Woseley has remained a top target since the pair visited together in April and once again in July.
“If you’re watching (Whittington’s) Twitter, you know every time I post something, he’s right under the comments say, ‘Hey, Pitt fans, go show him some love. Let’s get him to Pittsburgh.’ So, he’s kinda like one of my assistant recruiters when it comes to me making a decision, especially for Pitt,” Woseley said.
Whittington has introduced Woseley to some of Pitt’s current defense, and there are a few players that stand out, but it isn’t defensive backs. John Morgan, resident defensive end, is one of those names.
“So, because Jahsear is a commit, he knows the whole d-line, and he introduced me to them,” Woseley said. “Also, Calijah Kancey, I’m very familiar with him. But I don’t talk to them a lot because it’s a different position, but on Instagram, we definitely react to each other’s stories.”
While Woseley doesn’t have any current plans to make it out to Pittsburgh, although he’s most definitely looking into a trip out for the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia on Sept. 1, he doesn’t really have any visits at all scheduled to this point. As a rising junior at Imhotep, he’s very focused on Imhotep. A Week 0 game against fellow state runner-up Bishop McDevitt will take place this month.
But while winning a state championship, along with every possible win and trophy along the way, is important at Imhotep, it’s just as important at the college level. Wins, a culture of winning is important. Woseley said that a recruit can’t go to a school that he doesn’t know will produce. Consistently being ranked in the AP polls is important.
247Sports rates Woseley as the 270th-ranked recruit in the class (31st-ranked cornerback and the eighth-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania) while Rivals rates him as the 183rd-ranked recruit in the class (18th-ranked cornerback and the 13th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania). On3 also rates him as a four-star, Top-300 recruit in the class.
With Woseley’s recruiting process in full swing, he’ll be in very high demand coming into his junior season at Imhotep, but Pitt has a strong foundation and Whittington as an ace recruiter.