Pitt notebook: Four-star receiver commits to Panthers
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 11:36 p.m.
Pitt landed a commitment from its fourth four-star prospect for 2014 on Sunday night when wide receiver Adonis Jennings said he plans to play for the Panthers.
Jennings, who attends Timber Creek (N.J.) High School, made the announcement in Carson, Calif., during a telecast of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Fox Sports 1. He chose Pitt over finalists Arkansas and Iowa.
ESPN.com recruiting analyst Jared Shanker said getting Jennings, who had scheduled a visit to Arkansas for Jan. 24, soothes some of the disappointment felt by Pitt fans when WPIAL stars Dravon Henry, Montae Nicholson and Shai McKenzie committed elsewhere.
“He's a big, physical receiver (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) who can get the ball in the middle and do a lot of things,” Shanker said. “He brings a possession component to the offense. He provides a good complement to Tyler Boyd.”
It is not known if Jennings, who is set to visit Pitt on Jan. 17, will follow through with his Arkansas plans the following week. But he said he believes he fits well in the Pitt offense.
“I'm going to come in ready to compete,” he said. “That's all it comes down to.”
Jennings is rated the 141-best prospect — 17th-best wide receiver — on the ESPN 300 list. He also is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 9 senior in New Jersey, third wide receiver in the state and 38th in the nation.
Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson said Jennings, who also attracted offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech and Arizona, has attended and dominated many of the top camps in the nation. Jennings set a Timber Creek record for receiving yards this season (1,434) in New Jersey's second-largest classification.
Hinson believes Jennings can be successful in college.
“He is a very explosive wide receiver,” Hinson said. “He is physical, polished. He has a lot to learn, but on the high school level, he's pretty much unguardable. When he gets one-on-one matchups, he can dominate.”
Pitt has 22 commitments from the Class of 2014, including four-stars Jennings, offensive linemen Mike Grimm and Alex Bookser and running back Chris James. Also, three-star Wade Freebeck is the 30th-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
“At every level (of offense), Pitt's class looks pretty solid,” Shanker said.
Chryst on ESPN
Pitt coach Paul Chryst will be part of the team of analysts commenting on the national championship game Monday on ESPNEWS.
Chryst is replacing new Texas coach Charlie Strong.
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