Pitt FB Recruiting
2024 3-Star WR Triston Ward ‘Excited’ to Learn More About Pitt After Picking Up Offer
Frank Cignetti Jr. made a trip up to Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts last week in order to check out a few of the Big Green’s 2024 recruits. But Triston Ward left the workout thinking Cignetti didn’t even notice him.
CJ Williams, a 6-foot-8, 330-pound three-star offensive lineman from Deerfield Academy, didn’t have to wait long for an offer. Ward — a 6-foot-1, 190-pound three-star wide receiver — waited a bit longer, but Cignetti clearly took notice of him, too.
Jon DiBiaso gave him a call Tuesday night, and he hung up with a new offer from Pitt.
“It feels really good,” Ward told PSN. “Coach Cignetti came up to campus last week and we were running some routes, but he was mostly looking at the lineman that we also have that Pitt offered last week, and it didn’t really feel like they were paying attention to us. But I talked to coach DiBiaso, and he just said he was gonna call me, and he called me and we talked for a little bit and he offered me. I was pretty surprised.”
Pitt joined the likes of Boston College and Virginia to offer Ward over the last couple of days, with all three joining a previous list of Duke, Colorado State and Massachusetts.
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Pittsburgh!@DABigGreenFB @BrianDohn247 @MohrRecruiting @RivalsFriedman @duvaljr @Coach_JDiBiaso pic.twitter.com/7nL4De3Eb6
— Triston Ward (@triston_ward1) May 2, 2023
Ward hadn’t talked to Pitt’s coaching staff much before the offer was extended Tuesday, but DiBiaso — who has a relationship with Deerfield’s head coach — has been his lead recruiter so far. He actually invited Ward out earlier this spring, about three weeks ago, but with Deerfield’s strict attendance policy, Ward wasn’t able to make it.
That hasn’t stopped a relationship from forming between Ward and DiBiaso — a relationship that isn’t just empty words and purely football focused as it is with some coaches in college football.
“I think it’s been well,” Ward said. “I mean, we were on the phone for a long time. We talked for probably 20 minutes before he offered me and then 20 minutes again after, just about my family and personal stuff and it kinda made me feel like he cared, and that meant a lot.”
If Ward has noticed one thing about Pitt’s coaching staff, about Cignetti and DiBiaso, it’s their love of football. But also Pitt’s ability to develop its players, “which I think is one of the most important parts,” is vital. In his search for a school, he wants to find a coaching staff that can develop him.
He feels like Pitt’s coaching staff really focuses on developing its players, and that’s a very important factor in his recruitment.
And while he hasn’t met Tiquan Underwood yet, who would be his position coach at Pitt, that could change soon. Underwood will be making a trip to Deerfield for a showcase that Ward will be participating in. It will be his second time competing in front of Pitt’s coaching staff, and the first time was good enough to earn an offer.
“I think I showed off best my ability to make the hard catches, a few of the balls thrown at me were high or a little bit behind me, but I didn’t drop any passes,” Ward said. “And I think my speed as well — that’s one of my best traits. You can really tell when it’s live rather than on video.”
DiBiaso has pointed to Ward’s speed and his big catch ability — as well as his route running — as areas of strength. And his Hudl tape certainly showcases his ability.
Ward had a huge season at Deerfield as a junior, showcasing his track-star speed and big-play ability to the tune of 1,167 yards (22.9 yards per reception) and 16 touchdowns on just 51 receptions. And on the track, he put in a personal-best 10.53 100-yard dash, further showcasing his blazing speed.
247Sports rates Ward as the 163rd-ranked wide receiver and eighth-ranked recruit from Massachusetts in the class while neither On3 nor Rivals have rated him yet.
He’s made visits to Virginia, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Wake Forest and Northwestern already this spring, and while he couldn’t make it out for Pitt’s spring session, there have been talks about setting up an unofficial soon — and maybe an official over the summer.
Boston College, Duke and Virginia have been recruiting Ward hard of late, and while Pitt is new to his chase, there’s a spark there. Even if he’s just learning about Pitt now.
“Honestly before the past four, five years, not too much besides some old-school Larry Fitzgerald,” Ward said. “And I had seen Pitt on Twitter a lot, and there are the guys in the league like Aaron Donald, but I didn’t really know much about Pitt football. But I’m excited to learn more.
“There’s not a huge disparity right now between schools because I haven’t been everywhere, but just knowing — especially in the recent few years — how good Pitt football has been and hearing more from coach DiBiaso, I would probably put them pretty high on my list.