Jalen Bridges, a 2020 small forward from Fairmont, West Virginia, took an unofficial visit to Pitt this weekend and left with an offer from Panthers head coach Jeff Capel. Pitt was one of several high-major schools to offer Bridges over the past few days, as Illinois, TCU and USF also threw their hats into the ring in hopes of securing his services.
Bridges holds a three-star rating from Rivals, but 247Sports considers him a four-star recruit and the No. 106 prospect in the 2020 cycle. Bridges’ recruitment has taken off in recent months, as he received his first Power Five offer on June 26, 2018, and others have trickled in since then. Prior to that, he had drawn 11 offers from lower-tier programs.
“College coaches love the way that I can space the floor with my jumper,” Bridges told Garrett Cullen of West Virginia Metro News in June 2018. “I’ve been working on getting to the hoop a little more, and they say that I can guard one through four – they like my versatility, that’s the main thing. They see me as a wing or a combo guard at the next level.”
During the 2018-19 season, Bridges averaged 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game at Fairmont Senior High School. His 22.2 points per game were up from 17.0 in the 2017-18 season, and his 2.0 blocks were roughly the same as the previous season.
There was speculation that Bridges might reclassify to 2019, but it now appears certain he will not, as he announced on Sunday that he will transfer to Scotland Campus in Scotland, Pennsylvania, for the 2019-20 season. Incoming Pitt recruit Karim Coulibaly also went to Scotland Campus, and Bridges is an AAU teammate of Pitt target Donovan Johnson, as both play for Wildcats Select.
The 6’7” wing player is likely to pick up many offers in the coming months, and he currently holds offers from the likes of Dayton, Duquesne, Illinois, Penn State, Temple, West Virginia and Xavier in addition to Pitt. Some consider him a West Virginia lean, and he told Evan Daniels of 247Sports that he visits West Virginia’s campus, which is 24 miles from Fairmont Senior High School, “all the time.”
However, he has pushed back against claims that his recruitment is in any way decided, as he wrote the following in a tweet on Sunday, shortly after his visit to Pittsburgh.
”My recruitment is 100 percent open. All this ‘silent commit’ stuff is all false. When I’m committed somewhere, it will be no secret.”
Bridges previously stated that he was likely to announce his college decision before the start of his final high school season, but with new options on the table and the intensity of his recruitment reaching a new level, it is unclear if that is still the case.