When Shocky Jacques-Louis committed to Pitt Dec. 20, 2017, the football team finally landed its highest-rated recruit. Jacques-Louis joined the Panthers after a tumultuous recruiting process saw him decommit from two other schools.
Jacques-Louis is listed by 247sports.com as a three-star, 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete. 247sports.com’s evaluation of Jacques-Louis paints him as an explosive option for Pitt’s offense.
“Jacques-Louis, who is being recruited to play receiver, is a field stretcher who is also equipped with intriguing size for the position,” 247sports.com said. “He needs to work on expanding his route tree, but is a well-rounded receiver who shows good vision and acceleration when operating in the open field.”
The Panthers beat out some notable names in the chase for Jacques-Louis. The Fort Myers, Florida, native had offers from some of the nations top football programs, including Michigan, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Central Florida.
“All of the places I went to visit, different colleges and stuff, they talked about national championships, but there was nothing different about them,” Jacques-Louis said. “Coming to Pitt, everything’s just different and diverse, and I love the people here. Everybody’s nice.”
Jacques-Louis’ recruiting path included many changes. He committed to the University of Kentucky, led by head coach Mark Stoops, in April 2017. But, he decommitted from the Wildcats in June, before committing to the University of Tennessee in August. The Volunteers head coach Butch Jones was fired Nov. 12, and Jacques-Louis decommitted again.
“Decommitting is hard, period,” Jacques-Louis said. “You’re committing to someone, and it’s like you’re playing with their feelings, and I’m not like that. That was real hard, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to make the choice that’s right for you, because you’re spending the next four years of your life there. I feel like Pittsburgh was the right place for me.”
One of Pitt’s five midyear enrollees in the new recruiting class, Jacques-Louis has gotten a head start on and off the field. He has found an interest in criminology and plans on majoring in it.
“I enrolled early so I could get ahead in my education, start on workouts and dive into the playbook,” Jacques-Louis said. “I wanted to get used to college life, so I wouldn’t have to come in at a regular time and be scattered everywhere trying to go to classes. Now that I’m getting used to it, right now I feel like I’ll be comfortable when it’s time to start the season.”
Jacques-Louis has high expectations for himself and the team during his time at Pitt.
“I’m looking forward to breaking the receiving records and I’m looking forward to an ACC championship,” he said.
Jacques-Louis’ early start may also help him get used to the drastic change in weather. Fort Myers’ average low temperature in January was 52 degrees, while it was 18 degrees in Pittsburgh according to wunderground.com.
“It’s been real cold,” Jacques-Louis said. “They said it’s the coldest it’s been in a long time. You know, I wouldn’t know, but it’s the coldest I’ve ever been in my life, but It’s easy to get used to once you start putting on layers, you know, I haven’t really been worried about it.”
Jacques-Louis tweeted in January that he wants to accomplish just as much off the field as on the field at Pitt. He has wasted no time making his impact felt in the community — along with 10 other Panthers, he participated in the Dollar Energy Fund’s Cool Down for Warmth Campaign, where they raised awareness and donations for Pittsburgh residents who struggle to pay for heat during the harsh winter.
“It went great,” Jacques-Louis said. “It was a nice opportunity to get out and help people, also to encourage people to be a part of something.”
Jacques-Louis will be joining a young Pitt wide receiving core that lost two key contributors last year: Jester Weah to graduation and Quadree Henderson to the NFL draft. He and Alabama native and fellow recruit Cameron O’Neil will join a receiving depth chart with four rising sophomores and only two seniors.