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How Pitt Was Able to Make the Cut for 2024 3-Star QB Target Trever Jackson’s Top Five



Trever Jackson has been in communication — consistent communication — with Pitt’s coaching staff for just about a year now, and that relationship is paying off for Pitt as his recruiting process winds down.

Jackson — a 6-foot-3, 185-pound three-star quarterback from West Orange High in Winter Garden, Florida — narrowed his list of offers to just five finalists Tuesday: Pitt, Tulane, Indiana, FAU and Appalachian State. And Pitt is very firmly in the mix.

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“Just the coaching with (Pat) Narduzzi and (Frank) Cignetti, they always keep in touch with me,” Jackson told PSN. “Coach (Jon) DiBiaso always keeps in touch, and they just showed me how they’re developing quarterbacks and how they did it with Kenny Pickett — he went straight to the Steelers. And how their facilities are just that close together shows that I can be developed just like him.”

Pitt was the first Power Five school to extend Jackson an offer, with that offer officially arriving on June 19 last year, but his ties to Pittsburgh as a whole run much deeper.

Rod Rutherford, who attended Perry Traditional Academy in Pittsburgh before going on to star at Pitt as a two-time All-Big East quarterback, is Jackson’s quarterback coach down in Florida. So, of course, he’s schooled him up a bit on Pitt.

“He grew up in Pittsburgh, so he’s just told me about the culture around there and just the atmosphere and the energy it brings,” Jackson said. “And just the brotherhood, the family aspect.”

But there is only so much Rutherford is able to tell Jackson about Pittsburgh without seeing it for himself, so he made a trip out for a camp appearance last summer. He left with a new appreciation for both the coaching staff and the city as a whole.

“It was good, it was bigger than I thought it was gonna be,” Jackson said. “I thought it was gonna be a small city, town type of college but really when I went out there, it’s huge. The facilities are crazy, I didn’t really know how much is going on up there.”

As a Florida kid, he hadn’t really been up north too much. Pitt was a pleasant surprise.

It hasn’t been a surprise how well he’s connected with the Pitt coaching staff though. The bond between Jackson and Cignetti (and DiBiaso) was quick to form, and it’s only gotten stronger through consistent contact over the last year. It’s complimentary on both sides.

“You can tell how detailed they are, how well they can do it,” Jackson said. “You can tell that they’ve worked with bigger quarterbacks before because they just put in that kind of information and detail into what you’re doing.”

Cignetti is a fan of Jackson’s mental ability, the ability to process a defense and use his head when faced with pressure, but he also loves the dual-threat ability that Jackson offers. Jackson said that Cignetti sees him as a true field general, a leader of men.

As a junior at West Orange, leading his squad to a district title (in 10 games), he completed 96-of-162 pass attempts (59%) for 1,559 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions and added 306 yards (5.9 per) and six touchdowns on 52 carries.

247Sports rates Jackson as the 749th-ranked recruit in the class (40th-ranked quarterback and the 83rd-ranked recruit from Florida) while On3 rates him as the 39th-ranked quarterback and the 99th-ranked recruit from Florida.

Rivals hasn’t yet rated Jackson, but he holds a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

So, Jackson is going to go through the rest of his spring football season, while keeping his commitment open, and then he’ll drop a list of his three finalists. There isn’t a timeline for when he plans to commit, before his senior season at least, but it’s closing in.

He has some official visits to think about, and while he doesn’t have any officials locked in yet, he knows that Pitt or Indiana will be one of his first official visits when it comes time.

Pitt cracked his top five because he’s been able to build such a strong bond with the coaching staff, helped, of course, by Rutherford, and with his commitment now within sight, it’s up to Pitt to land him back on campus before then.

Jackson would be Pitt’s first quarterback commit in the class of 2024, a class that has already gained series momentum.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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