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2024 3-Star DB Nigel Maynard Holds Pitt in ‘Top 3’ Following Spring Visit



Nigel Maynard. Pitt Football

As Nigel Maynard has made more and more trips to Pittsburgh, he’s grown more and more acquainted with the program. And it’s only built a stronger relationship.

Maynard — a 6-foot, 180-pound three-star defensive back from Stewarts Creek High in Smyrna, Tennessee — made it back up to Pittsburgh for Saturday’s scrimmage at Acrisure Stadium, his third time visiting Pittsburgh.

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He made it out for a camp appearance last summer, Pitt’s game against Georgia Tech last season and again for practice over the weekend. It was an atmosphere that confirmed to Maynard why he’s so high on the program.

“It was live, man,” Maynard told PSN. “They’re high intensity, they compete every play, and no one can walk on that field. A recruit, coach, no one. You not walking on that field. Coach Narduzzi really gets on you.”

It’s exactly that kind of attention to detail that Maynard likes from his coaching staff.

“Yeah, because in a real football game, if you’re walking on the field, what? Come on. Can’t walk on the field.”

Maynard has been able to bond with Narduzzi, along with secondary coach Archie Collins and safeties coach Cory Sanders, ever since he received an official offer last June. And he’s received quite a few offers since.

He’s been offered by Central Michigan, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Liberty, Louisville, Marshall, Memphis, Michigan, Ole Miss, UNLV, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

As Maynard has built his relationship with Pitt, he’s connected with both Archie Collins and Cory Sanders. He watched film with Sanders and the safeties while on his visit, and even though Pitt’s staff values his versatility, he’s being recruited as a safety.

Maynard was able to watch Sanders teach in person during his visit, which when coupled with the bond that the pair have built, gave him a new appreciation for Sanders’ style.

“He’s a real cool guy,” Maynard said. “He’s funny, he’s real funny, but when it’s time to lock in and focus, do what you’re supposed to do, we locked in. In the film room, he was on ’em. He’s not gonna lie to you, he’s not gonna tell you you’re doing a good job if you’re not. He walked me through some of the defense. It was cool.”

The film session allowed Maynard to get an even more in-depth look at how Pitt’s defensive backs work in the system, with Maynard already seeing how integral the corners and safeties are in the system — noticing the NFL pipeline, too. And a coaching staff that’s able to develop its players is important for Maynard.

“Whoever they send to the league, the coach must be good,” Maynard said. “I’d rather be coached by somebody who’s a good coach. You don’t want to be coached by a coach you don’t think is the best.”

Maynard, to his credit, believes he’d fit in real well under Collins and Sanders in Pitt’s defensive scheme. He’s doing what Pitt’s defensive backs do already at his school, taught to play that kind of style growing up in Tennessee, and Sanders sees a lot of translatable traits.

Sanders has pointed to Maynard’s ability to hit, the ease of his movement (very fluid hips) and a level of intelligence that is tough to find — able to pick things up quickly.

It’s easy to see all three when you throw on Maynard’s Hudl tape, too. He helped lead Stewarts Creek’s secondary in 2022, earning All-Area and All-Region honors.

247Sports rates Maynard as the 919th-ranked recruit in the class (75th-ranked cornerback and 35th-ranked recruit from Tennessee) while On3 rates him as the 948th-ranked recruit in the class (98th-ranked cornerback and 28th-ranked recruit from Tennessee).

Rivals rates him as the 32nd-ranked recruit from Tennessee — holding a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

He doesn’t have a date in mind for an eventual commitment yet, just sometime before his senior season at Stewarts Creek. And when it comes to potential official visits, while he hasn’t scheduled any yet, he wants to make it out to Pitt and West Virginia — and possibly Michigan.

Pitt, with its traditional culture and a familiarity established over a handful of unofficial visits, definitely stands in a good place heading into the summer.

“They’re definitely a top three school in my head,” Maynard said. “I like the culture there, I like the facilities, I like the coaches because I’ve known the coaches for a while now. They keep in contact, send me mail, hand-written letters all the time.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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