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Pitt Offer ‘Dream Come True’ for 3-Star Defensive Lineman



When an offer rolled in from Pitt this week for Class of 2025 defensive lineman Jyon Simon, it was a “dream come true,” and for big reason thanks to the production of Pitt players going to the league that fit his mold.

“I was super excited,” Simon told Pittsburgh Sports Now after receiving his offer. “Pitt is an amazing school that produces lineman my size. The fact that they’re looking at me and seen my film and evaluated me is a great feeling to be rewarded with a committable offer.”

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When Simon thinks of Pitt, his mind immediately turns to players like future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald and former Unanimous All-American and first-round NFL Draft choice Calijah Kancey.

“I’ve been looking at their film. Their play style is very similar to mine and they both came out of Pittsburgh. The school is developing guys that look just like me,” Simon said.

Simon is a 6-foot-2, 260-pound 3-star, according to On3 and has garnered a nickname that encapsulates the type of player he is: “Big Catt.”

That nickname was given to him by his high school defensive coordinator Dwayne Butler at Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

The nickname stems from that of Dallas Cowboys’ three-time Super Bowl champion Leon Lett, who also boasted that nickname.

“My [defensive coordinator] said I related to him a lot, so that was my nickname,” Simon said.

Simon embodies that label when he’s on the field as a player that thrives on getting behind the line of scrimmage.

“I like to get after the run,” he said. “I like creating a new line of scrimmage on first and second down and on third down, getting paid and getting to the quarterback.”

This past fall, Simon registered 77 tackles, along with nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He is a versatile athlete that can play on both the outside and the interior of the defensive line.

“My whole high school career, I’ve been playing outside and inside, so I know both. I started out at d-end and gradually moved my way inside. I love it at both positions,” Simon said.

Pitt’s offer to Simon was extended by first-year defensive line coach Tim Daoust, who originally recruited Simon to play at East Carolina.

That original recruiting connection followed Daoust to Pitt and means a lot to Simon.

“The fact that he kept me with him in his recruiting is special. I can tell he really wants me and is interested in me,” he said.

Pitt is one of many Power Four programs attempting to land Simon as he holds offers from Texas, Auburn, Arkansas, Southern California, Iowa State, Maryland, Georgia Tech, NC State, Louisville, Rutgers, Colorado and others.

Even with all of those high-level schools recruiting Simon, Pitt is a primary candidate now in Simon’s process.

“They are big-time programs, but I’m considering where do I fit in the play style and my relationship,” Simon said. “Pitt is high on my recruiting, and I’m interested.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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