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Pitt FB Recruiting

Family Ties Help 2025 Texas CB During Junior Day Visit




Jamal Olford made it out to Pittsburgh for his very first visit over the weekend, checking out the Pitt Junior Day, and it was certainly an experience he won’t soon forget.

Olford — a 5-foot-10, 165-pound cornerback from Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas — doesn’t currently hold an offer from Pitt, but he felt the love during his visit.

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“So, we went to the individual meeting room, the positional meeting room, and they taught us how to really study film the way you’re supposed to and how studying film does for you in the game — how important it is,” Olford told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “And they made us get on the board and draw our favorite coverage that our high school runs. I drew Cover 2. Other people drew Cover 3 or Cover 1.”

Olford, who is still working to pick up his first offer, made his first-ever unofficial visit to Pittsburgh, and it was an entirely new experience. A good one though.

It helped to have his dad Jason around. Jason and Randy Bates go way back, to the days when Bates was his position coach at Louisiana Tech in the early 2000s. In two seasons at L-Tech, he racked up seven interceptions.

So, of course, Jason and Bates have kept up over the years — and he received a warm welcome from his former coach upon arrival.

“(Bates) coached my dad, so I was very glad to see how he was now — reminds me of my dad a little bit,” Olford said. 

“He came and sat with us while we were eating in the gym, during the basketball game, talked and chatted with us. And as soon as we got there, he chatted with us, too.”

Olford spent a lot of time with Bates and also Archie Collins, and as such, he’s viewed as a cornerback by the Pitt coaching staff.

He recorded 22 tackles (18 solo), a tackle for loss, two interceptions, 11 pass break-ups and a fumble recovery as a junior at Wylie East, and he’s a proflific track star, t00 — with a personal best 10.7 in the 100-meter dash. It’s that speed that has attracted the Pitt coaches.

The major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals and On3) haven’t rated Olford yet. But as he begins to get more active in the recruiting process, that will change.

At this point in his process, he’s hearing from Rice, Tulsa and UNLV, and he’s gonna see how his track schedule lines up with potential visits throughout the spring. Olford feels like if he keeps putting up fast times on the track and building his relationship with coaches, the offers — including Pitt — will arrive.

He would like to get back out to Pitt again for a spring practice and continue to build his relationship with Bates, Collins and the rest of the staff.

“I feel like they’re definitely a competitive type of team. They want to win, they really want to win, and it’s kinda like me. I feel like I belong there, I’m a competitive dude, my mentality is just to compete and be the best I can and I feel like they’ll push me to be that way every single day.”

Pitt landed its first commitment in the class of 2025 Monday night in the form of Trevor Sommers, a defensive lineman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and there could very well be more on the way in the coming days and weeks.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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