Pitt FB Recruiting
2024 Gateway LB Steven Jenkins Jr. Makes Unofficial Visit to Dream School, Pitt
Steven Jenkins Jr. has been watching Pitt play his entire life. He’s a local kid, a rising senior at Gateway High School in Monroeville, and he’s watched local kids like Aaron Donald and Derrick Davis find their way to Pitt.
Jenkins — a 6-foot-3, 185-pound linebacker/safety — made his way to Pitt Tuesday to check out the South Side facility for the first time. “It was extremely good,” Jenkins told PSN. “I liked how they really care about the student-athletes and stuff.” He’d been before, of course, but it had never been as in-depth.
“Everything (stood out),” Jenkins said. “Everything stood out to me.”
Thank you @Coach_Manalac for having me up on campus loved it can’t wait to get back down there !! @210ths pic.twitter.com/jeY8bIdnhV
— steven jenkins jr ✞ (@stevenjenkinsJ1) May 23, 2023
Jenkins got a tour of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, spent some time with Davis (who he used to run track with) and even watched some of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ OTAs from down on the field.
As Jenkins stood along the sideline, watching the Steelers cornerbacks work, he took mental notes — studied areas that he’d be able to apply to his own game back at Gateway as a senior. However, Pitt doesn’t see him as a defensive back right now.
It was Ryan Manalac who showed Jenkins around the facility Tuesday, and Manalac sees him as a hard-hitting Star linebacker in Pitt’s defense.
“They see me as a skill linebacker,” Jenkins said. “It’s gonna be a little difficult (to switch from defensive back to linebacker) but not really because I love to come down and hit. I love to hit. And I can cover well, so I should catch on real fast.”
Manalac has praised Jenkins’ physicality in the way he plays at Gateway (and he also trains with local Evolve 210ths at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex),
And as a junior at Gateway, Jenkins flashed his physical play and nose for the football all season. He recorded 30 tackles, three interceptions, five pass breakups and allowed just four receptions as the defender in coverage.
Jenkins isn’t currently rated by the major recruiting services, but a strong summer of camps and visits should help him make more of a name for himself. As it currently stands, he’s picked up offers from Bowling Green, Maine and UNLV, and he’s received interest from Akron and Kent State.
When it comes to Pitt, the relationship is still fresh. Manalac went down to Gateway just a couple of weeks ago, and the relationship between Jenkins and Manalac began there. “We’re actually connecting well, and I’m looking forward to furthering it,” Jenkins said.
Pitt hasn’t extended an offer yet, but he plans on just putting his head down, continuing to grind and working. If he does that, he’s confident in himself. And, of course, he’s heading back to Pitt for a camp this summer.
Regardless of whether or not Jenkins currently holds an offer from Pitt right now though, he holds his hometown school in a high place.
“They’re definitely standing at that No. 1 school,” Jenkins said. “I would love to go to Pitt, 100%, I would love to go to Pitt. That’s my dream school.
“I’ve been waiting to definitely get there. I love Pitt, that’s one of my dream schools.”
A Gateway guy who wants to go Pitt? Maybe the times are a-changin’….