Pitt FB Recruiting
Fast-Rising 2025 QB Jamison Kitna, Son of NFL QB Jon Kitna, Learns A Lot During Pitt Visit
It’s pretty common for a recruit’s father to chop it up with his son’s potential position coach on a recruiting visit. In a way, it’s a proverbial passing of the baton.
But it is uncommon when it comes to Jamison Kitna and his father. How many fathers of college recruits can trade NFL stories with their son’s potential position coach?
Kitna spent Saturday in Pittsburgh, checking out a practice at Acrisure Stadium and spending about two hours talking ball with offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., but maybe what stood out most was just listening to Cignetti and his father.
His father, of course, is former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna — who played in 141 games at the professional level.
“(Cignetti) and my dad being able to go back and forth about their time in the pros and how they teach things (was the best part) because my dad is my head coach in high school, so seeing how they teach things and how similar it is,” Kitna told PSN.
“Literally, we had some plays where he taught it the exact same wording as my dad — it was eerie. It was really funny to see.”
Kitna — a 6-foot-2, 215-pound 2025 quarterback who spent his sophomore season at Burleson High in Texas and will spend his junior season at Lakota East High in Ohio — picked up an offer from Pitt in early March, adding to a list that includes Baylor, Duke, Houston, North Texas, Texas Tech, UAB and UTSA.
Pitt just jumped into the fray last month, offering him on March 6, and Saturday’s visit was the first chance to really lay the foundation of a strong relationship.
Great time around @Pitt_FB today #H2P @FrankCignetti @Coach_JDiBiaso @CoachDuzzPittFB @donovanmcmillo3 pic.twitter.com/kEyfwjEPGc
— Jamison Kitna (@JamisonKitna) April 1, 2023
“It was great getting to meet coach DiBiaso and coach Cignetti and coach Narduzzi,” Kitna said. “It was great meeting all of them and starting to build that relationship. It was just good to see them in their element and the culture that they’ve built.”
The trip out to Pittsburgh was the perfect opportunity to continue learning about the program. He knew about Pitt’s pro-style offense and how Narduzzi has really leaned into the culture he’s built in Pittsburgh, but he got to see the team in action for a scrimmage, sit in on quarterback meetings and just get a feel for Pitt’s culture.
“You can see how competitive they get, and how tough they are and the grit that they have,” Kitna said. “And it’s great to see that they’ll compete but they’ll also love on their brothers, too. So, it was a good dynamic they had going.”
Kitna already has a relationship with new Pitt safety Donovan McMillon, able to get another inside look into the dynamic around Pitt’s culture.
But he’s building those bonds with Cignetti and DiBiaso first and foremost. As he sat in on film sessions and broke it down with Cignetti himself, he learned about Pitt’s offense.
As he talked more and more with Cignetti, with Cignetti offering tips and techniques, connecting film sessions with prior experiences in the NFL, Kitna was impressed. There aren’t many college coaches who are able to relate lessons learned from coaching stars like Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.
Kitna has been tutored by his father Jon all his life, with his dad now coaching Lakota East, which was the reason for the move from Texas, so he’s not unfamiliar with high-level experience. Where some quarterback recruits may have ‘guru’ coaches, he has his father. It helped set the base for building a quarterback from the ground up.
However, it’s his own hard work and dedication, not his NFL father, that’s fueled the rapid rise in his recruitment. He’s determined to carve his own path.
“I always try and make a name for myself, I guess you can say, and work for everything I have,” Kitna said. “Everything that I have from football is from working hard and putting in every single day. I try and make it all about that and not about the nameplate on the back of my jersey.”
When it comes to Kitna’s game, unlike his father, he considers himself more of a dual-threat option. He has a strong arm and excellent poise in the pocket, able to thread passes through an opposing secondary, but that added threat has Cignetti planning for the future.
Pitt, obviously, is a pro-style offense, but Cignetti told Kitna that the offense will cater to what any individual quarterback is able to do well. If it were him in as quarterback, it would feature more designed runs, cater more to his ability to move.
As the sophomore starter at Burleson last season, Kitna flashed a dual-threat ability (which is further highlighted by his track & field background), racking up 2,800 total yards and 24 touchdowns.
He’s very mobile, able to rip off long touchdown runs by racing past linebackers and defensive backs alike, but he has that excellent touch in the pocket.
The major recruiting sites — 247Sports, Rivals and On3 — haven’t rated Kitna yet, but it’s only a matter of time after a very strong sophomore season and a spring (and summer) full of visits.
Kitna is a track athlete, running a 23 flat in the 400-meter, so he’ll be busy this spring. But he has a visit to Ohio State this week and will spend the rest of the spring building relationships with his new teammates at Lakota East and getting ready for spring ball.
As a recruit in the class of 2025, still well over a year until his commitment date, he is still very early in the process. But Pitt has managed to make an early impact.
“All the places that have offered, I haven’t really eliminated any, and so Pitt, I’m holding them high,” Kitna said. “They got what we’re looking for in an offense and the football part of things. … They’re definitely gonna be high up there.”
It will be key now for Pitt’s coaching staff to foster those bonds and land Kitna on more visits to Pittsburgh over the next two years.