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‘Pitt is Big-Time Football’: Pitt is a Top School for 2024 3-Star OL Jack Small



Pitt is a little late to the party when it comes to Jack Small’s recruiting chase, but he’s been talking to Tim Salem since last summer.

Small — a 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive tackle from Old Tappan in Westwood, New Jersey — picked up an offer from Salem and Dave Borbely last week, a week after Salem made it out to one of his track meets, and it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication.

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“It feels great, you know?” Small told PSN. “Having coach Salem and coach Borbely believe in me before I was — I got ranked a three-star today, but I was unranked with two Power Five offers before that, and they believed in me, and they offered me.”

Pitt joined the likes of Columbia, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Duke, Fordham, Harvard, Kent State, Lafayette, Lehigh, Massachusetts, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Syracuse, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Yale with an offer.

While Small has been in communication with Salem since last summer, talks dried up a bit until recently, when his recruitment began to heat back up, there’s still a solid connection between the two sides.

Small even met Pat Narduzzi in January when he made a visit out to Old Tappan.

“It went pretty well,” Small said. “I think (Narduzzi’s) a good coach, and I talked to him a decent amount, I could tell he knows a lot about football from the little bit I’ve talked to him.

“I think it’s pretty cool because obviously, Pitt is big-time football, they’re always ranked in the top 25, it’s not something to mess around with, so I think it’s pretty cool getting to know everybody there.”

Borbely likes that that Small is a tall, athletic lineman with long arms, and that’s a perfect fit in Pitt’s offensive scheme. “He’s explained to me at my size, I basically shouldn’t be moving as well as I am moving,” Small said. “I think that’s a big part of why he thinks I’ll fit in there.” He plays left tackle at Old Tappan, and that’s where Pitt sees him eventually.

Small was a second-team All-State left tackle as a junior at Old Tappan, and as he’s a state champion in track & field, competing in shot put, his athleticism and strength jump off the screen.

247Sports just recently ranked Small, rating him as the 49th-ranked offensive tackle and the 13th-ranked recruit from New Jersey. Neither Rivals nor On3 have ranked him yet, but that will change in the months ahead.

Small plans to be active this spring and throughout the summer, with official visits already scheduled to Duke and Syracuse and likely one to Vanderbilt.

He would like to take an official visit Pitt, if time permits, but since his track & field state championships take place over the first two weekends of June, it will be tough to schedule additional official visits. As he pursues his third state championship, it’s a very important milestone in his athletic career.

Regardless, he still plans to get out to Pitt at least for an unofficial visit this summer.

And when it comes to his prerequisites in a school, the school that secures his commitment, he just wants to play good football and attend a good business school. If a school can provide both of those, it’ll be in the mix.

“I think (Pitt is) at the top,” Small said. “I don’t know for sure where, but it’s definitely towards the top of my list.

“It’s for sure a winning culture, a lot of NFL guys come through there, and you get to see Steelers players every day, so that’s something I can look forward to if end up going there.”

He doesn’t plan to play a single snap of his senior season at Old Tappan without knowing where he will be attending college, so his timeline for making a decision is sometime in July.

Pitt has landed commitments from a couple of offensive linemen, three-star Jiavani Cooley and three-star Adham Abouraya, and Small would be a nice addition.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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