Pitt lands commitment from Wisconsin wide receiver

Jerry DiPaola
| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 1:56 p.m.

Pitt is close to finalizing a 29-man recruiting class after landing a verbal commitment Friday from receiver Jester Weah of Madison (Wis.) Memorial High School.

Among Pitt's final targets are DeLand (Fla.) running back Jojo Kemp, who also is considering Kentucky, and Walled Lake Western (Mich.) defensive back Josh Jones, who is considering Colorado and North Carolina State. Both are rated three-star recruits by Rivals.com.

If Pitt can get two more verbals and everyone signs on letter of intent day Feb. 6, 29 players would represent the largest, one-year roster addition since 1998.

If Pitt signs no other players, the 27-man class will be the largest since the 2006 class under former coach Dave Wannstedt. Four years later, the Panthers won 10 games.

Pitt was able to surpass the NCAA scholarship limit of 25 this year because former Allderdice defensive tackle Tyrique Jarrett and three others enrolled this month and can be counted against the 2012 class.

Weah, a three-star recruit, could give Pitt depth at wide receiver, a position that is losing seniors Mike Shanahan and Cam Saddler. Weah will be a project, though, because he didn't start playing football until his sophomore year.

He caught a total of 71 passes for 1,436 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2011 and '12. Colorado State, Wyoming and five other schools also made offers, but Weah committed to Pitt shortly after coach Paul Chryst visited this week.

Madison coach Mike Galindo has been impressed by Weah's athleticism and ability to learn.

“He figured (football) out real fast,” Galindo said. “He is a natural learner.”

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Weah also plays basketball at Madison, one of the premier programs in the state. He started as a sophomore for a championship team in Wisconsin's largest classification, and this season he is averaging 20 points. He also had six dunks in one game.

Weah will become the fourth pure receiver in Pitt's class and the first from outside the WPIAL, joining Clairton's Tyler Boyd, who canceled a scheduled trip to Tennessee this weekend; South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth; and Boyd's teammate, Terrish Webb. Reginald Green of Cranford, N.J., is being recruited as an athlete, but Pitt coaches initially may place him with the wide receivers.

Weah is the third recruit from Chryst's home state of Wisconsin to choose Pitt in the past two years, joining offensive lineman Gabe Roberts (2012) and linebacker Zach Poker, who committed this week.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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