Nigel Maynard had official visits scheduled for Pitt and Michigan this June, but after his official visit, he’s seen all he needs to see.
Maynard — a 6-foot, 180-pound three-star defensive back from Stewarts Creek High in Smyrna, Tennessee — committed to Pitt Saturday afternoon over offers from Appalachian State, Central Michigan, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Liberty, Louisville, Marshall, Memphis, Michigan, Ole Miss, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
“First and foremost I would like to thank God I wouldn’t be where I am without him and blessing me with the ability to do what I love. Secondly, I would like to thank all the colleges and coaches that have took the time to recruit me,” Maynard wrote on Twitter.
“Next I would like to thank my family, my mom, dad, brother, sister, cousins, and aunts for just being real and holding it down. Next I want to thank all my coaches that have gone hard on me and not letting me settle for average. With that being said I have decided to commit to the University of Pittsburgh.”
— Nigel Maynard (@NigelMaynard10) June 10, 2023
Pitt first offered Maynard back last June, and he had most recently made it out for a spring practice in April, getting to spend more time with Pat Narduzzi, Cory Sanders and Archie Collins.
“It was live, man,” Maynard told PSN in April. “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.”
As Maynard built his relationship with Pitt, he connected with both Collins and 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.”
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 1,089th-ranked recruit in the class (116th-ranked athlete and 37th-ranked recruit from Tennessee) while On3 rates him as the 1,081st-ranked recruit in the class (99th-ranked cornerback and 30th-ranked recruit from Tennessee).
Rivals rates him as the 32nd-ranked recruit from Tennessee — holding a 5.6 Rivals Rating.
Maynard is the first of five Pat Signals to be announced from Pitt’s second weekend of official visits, and he now joins a cornerbacks class that features three-star Tayshawn Banks, three-star Allen Bryant and three-star Davion Pritchard.
Pitt has 15 announced commitments in the class of 2024, but there are still six unannounced commitments that will be revealed in the near future.