Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Canadian Receiver Commits to Pitt Versatile Senior Will Play 2018 in Fla

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Canadian Receiver Commits to Pitt Versatile Senior Will Play 2018 in Fla

Article excerpt

Pat Narduzzi went south to grab a prospect from north of the border.

Jared Wayne, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver from Peterborough, Ontario, became Pitt's first wideout in the 2019 recruiting class when he announced his verbal commitment Thursday night. Wayne played a variety of positions at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, but will focus on wide receiver as he plays his final high school season at Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Fla.

"He's a big-time vertical threat. He's faster than people think he is," said his new prep coach, Jesse Chinchar. "People think he's fast, but I'd say he's so smooth that he's even faster. Sometimes guys that are shorter might look faster, but he's got a long stride and he's deceptively fast. You don't realize it, and he's already 10 yards behind you.

"He's a big-time player. I've never seen somebody play the ball in the air at this level as well as he does."

The idea behind Chinchar's program is finding players from countries where there isn't as much exposure to football, and he thinks that's why Wayne has been lightly recruited to this point. Pitt extended a scholarship in early June and South Florida followed suit a few weeks later, but Wayne's only other offers are Bowling Green and Old Dominion.

Narduzzi and the Panthers were able to get an early line on his recruitment thanks to their familiarity with Clearwater Academy International, the same school that produced incoming freshman defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado. Wayne, who played quarterback in high school until now, worked out at receiver this summer in a camp at Pitt.

Wayne is the 17th pledge for Pitt in 2019 and third in the past week, joining cornerback A.J. Woods and offensive linemen Matt Goncalves.

"Even if he was here last year, I think he would've been noticed more," Chinchar said. "It's just tough being recruited out of Canada. …

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