Pitt FB Recruiting
Pitt Has Cemented Itself As One of the Top Schools for 2024 3-Star ATH Javier Etheridge
Pitt was the first Power Five program to offer Javier Etheridge back in the middle of January, and while his recruiting process has blown up since, he hasn’t forgotten Pitt.
Etheridge — a 5-foot-11, 165-pound athlete from Mt. Healthy High in Cincinnati, Ohio — first made it out for Pitt’s Junior Day on Jan. 28, and he made it back out for a spring practice over the weekend to check out a practice and reconnect with the coaches.
It was his second time in the last couple of months, so he had that added level of familiarity this time around.
“The visit was great,” Etheridge said. “It was great being with the coaches again, great hospitality.”
I will be at The University of Pittsburgh on March 24th! 💙 💛 #H2P @Pitt_FB @BatesBacker @AllenTrieu @EdOBrienCFB @TiUnderwood @ARCHIECOLLINS_ @MohrRecruiting @PghSportsNow @CoachJMStevens pic.twitter.com/XYPuK5ZeYx
— Javier “JayJay” Etheridge ⭐️ (@Javieretheridge) March 1, 2023
Pitt joined Central Michigan and Toledo in offering Etheridge on Jan. 17, with Randy Bates serving as that main point of contact.
He’s picked up offers from Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, JMU, Massachusetts, Penn State, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Virginia Tech and West Virginia since.
In the last couple of months, he’s visited Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, West Virginia and Virginia Tech — with visits scheduled for Notre Dame, Indiana, Louisville and Wisconsin this week.
So, yeah, he’s in high demand right now, but Pitt’s been able to secure a handful of visits already. And he’s been able to build bonds with Tiquan Underwood, Archie Collins, Cory Sanders and Randy Bates — and he met Pat Narduzzi for the first time.
“This time it was really much more of a get-to-know-you, really trying to build a relationship,” Etheridge said. “(Underwood) is a real cool guy, someone that’s real cool and honest with his players. We didn’t really discuss that much (about football).
“It’s great. I even met coach Narduzzi, too. He was a great guy; said he loves Cincy. He’s a real great guy. The whole coaching staff is full of real great guys, real stand-up guys.”
The experience with Pitt’s coaching staff was key, but the best part of the most recent visit was the chance to get up close and personal with Pitt’s players.
“I was with the receivers,” Etheridge said. “It was great, (Underwood) really came with a lot of energy with his guys. But I was there with the receivers, and I was over there a little bit with the corners with coach Collins and coach Bates. It was just great.”
As an athlete who plays both wide receiver and defensive back at Mt. Healthy, he’s found himself asked quite a bit where coaching staffs most value him. Pitt can see both ways, but it’s likely going to be wide receiver heading forward.
And It’s certainly true that Etheridge excelled on both sides of the football as a junior, racking up 705 yards and nine touchdowns on 45 receptions offensively and 55 tackles (48 solo), two tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a forced fumble defensively.
247Sports rates Etheridge as the 827th-ranked recruit in the class (90th-ranked athlete and 35th-ranked recruit from Ohio). On3 rates him as the 75th-ranked athlete and the 38th-ranked recruit from Ohio.
Rivals hasn’t rated Etheridge yet, but that will most definitely change in the days and weeks ahead.
And with Etheridge narrowing down his options in the coming weeks and months, Pitt has stood out in many ways aside from being his first Power offer.
“I got family that’s already from down there, so I know a little bit of the culture, but just being with those guys, being with the coaches and everything, the vibe is just amazing,” Etheridge said. “It makes you feel like it’s home.
“It’s really just the coaches, they give a mentor vibe, and the hospitality is big there. One of my favorite places I can say.”
He’s still working out where he’s going to be taking his official visits, but as of right now, he can see himself making it out to both Pitt and Penn State, along with a few others yet to be determined.
The plan right now is to commit in late June or early July — August at the latest — after he makes his official visits. And Pitt is firmly in the mix even ahead of a potential official visit.
“(Pitt is) one of my top schools just because of the culture and the coaches, real cool guys, really take care of their players,” Etheridge said. “Every player that I’ve got a review from said it was a great place for them. The city vibes and sports teams are big and being there with the Steelers, so it’s one of the top schools for me.”