Three-star cornerback Jason Pinnock commits to Pitt


Pitt football head coach Pat Narduzzi convinced Jason Pinnock to commit to Pitt football after backing out of his agreement with Boston College. Meghan Sunners | Assistant Visual Editor

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

With only two weeks until National Signing Day, the Pitt football team added the 21st member to its 2017 recruiting class and continued to strengthen its defensive back depth in the process.

Jason Pinnock, a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from Windsor, Connecticut, gave his verbal commitment Tuesday to join the Panthers for the 2017 season, giving the team 20 high school recruits and one graduate transfer — former USC quarterback Max Browne — in the 2017 class.

Pinnock, a three-star prospect according to Rivals, previously committed to attend Boston College before withdrawing that commitment Jan. 5.

He chose Pitt just days after taking an official visit last weekend. He announced Tuesday he would be cancelling all future visits scheduled at other universities.

“I would like to thank all of the schools that have recruited me through this entire process, but I felt at HOME last weekend with my brothers,” Pinnock said via Twitter. “With that being said, I will be furthering my academic and athletic career for the next 4-5 years at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Pinnock is the fourth defensive back to verbally commit to the Panthers’ 2017 class, joining three-star prospects and Florida natives Damarri Mathis and Albert Tucker and four-star prospect Paris Ford — the first player to commit to Pitt’s 2017 class back in October 2015.

Ford, an Under Armour All-American who led Steel Valley High School to the PIAA AA championship in 2016, welcomed Pinnock on Twitter, tweeting “welcome to the FAM brother.”

Tucker committed to join the Panthers in June 2016, but for a while, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi only had two defensive backs in his second full recruiting class as head coach. Then Mathis announced his decision on Dec. 21 to attend Pitt, and Pinnock followed less than a month later.

The secondary was by far the Panthers’ biggest weakness in 2016, as the team finished next-to-last out of 128 FBS teams in passing yards allowed per game. Narduzzi and his staff appear to be focusing on that area in the final stages of the recruiting process, as Pitt’s two most recent commits — Pinnock and Mathis — are defensive backs.

Although prospects can make verbal commitments now — and Pinnock says he’s closing his recruitment for good — 16 of Pitt’s 21 commits in the 2017 class have yet to enroll and are still free to change their minds. Recruits in the 2017 class can officially sign their National Letters of Intent Feb. 1.

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