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A Strong Bond With Dave Borbely Led to 2024 3-Star OT Jiavani Cooley’s Commitment

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The whole Cooley family made the two-hour trip down I-79 earlier this week, traveling from Erie to Pittsburgh in order for Jiavani Cooley to check out Pitt.

It was different this time though. It was his fourth time coming to Pitt. He knew he wanted to commit to Pitt this time, but he also wanted to run it by his family before he did so. They, of course, agreed with him.

So, as Cooley checked out Pitt’s first scrimmage this spring, forced to be held inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex because of the high winds in the area, he told the coaching staff that he was committing.

“They were all ecstatic, very excited,” Cooley told PSN.

Cooley — a 6-foot-6, 265-pound three-star offensive tackle from Erie Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania — committed to Pitt Saturday afternoon, and it came in large part because of his relationship with offensive line coach Dave Borbely.

“I would say the reason why I picked Pitt was coach Borbely,” Cooley said. “He won me over with his personality, he’s a funny dude and he just kept it real with me the whole time. He just kept in contact.”

While Cooley isn’t very active on social media, not posting which schools he’s talking to and where he’s visiting, he’s been in contact with Pitt for a while. And it’s been consistent since the communication began.

As he watched Pitt’s live scrimmage Saturday, pitting the offense against the defense in a very lively, energetic battle, he loved it. “Everything was great to me,” Cooley said. “The energy was there. I just liked the environment a lot.” He saw the aggressive nature of Pitt’s offensive line.

It was a style of play that mirrors Cooley’s game. He’s a quick, aggressive tackle at Erie Cathedral. If there was one word to describe his style of play, Cooley would say aggressive. And it jumps off the screen while watching his film.

He likes to really jump into a scrum, use his size and strength to push defensive linemen and linebackers out of the way.

247Sports rates Cooley as the 703rd-ranked recruit in the class (56th-ranked offensive tackle and 24th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania).

On3 rates him as the 61st-ranked offensive tackle and the 22nd-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania while Rivals rates him as the 29th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania.

Cooley is a talented tackle, who fielded offers from Akron, Boston College, Maryland, Massachusetts, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan, but Pitt was able to land him as the seventh member of the class of 2024.

He’s another Pennsylvania commit, the fourth before the beginning of April, joining four-star defensive lineman Jahsear Whittington, three-star running back Julez Goff and three-star defensive lineman Ty Yuhas.

The rest of the class features four-star wide receiver DayDay Farmer, three-star defensive tackle Francis Brewu and three-star tight end Eric Ingwerson.

It’s a big burden to finally have off of his back, to finally be a Pitt Panther. And while he doesn’t know exactly what it means to be a Panther yet, he’s excited for the chance to learn. “I don’t know yet,” Cooley said, “I hope they can teach me what it means to be a Pitt Panther.”

Of course, Cooley did have a message for Pitt fans:

“Hail to Pitt.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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