Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff landed commitments from six recruits on Saturday, and the fifth recruit to come forward and claim a Pat signal was Jahvante Royal, a safety out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
”I really want to give a big thanks to Coach [Roger] Harriott, [Aquinas athletic director George] Smith, my teammates and the rest of the Aquinas family for giving me [the] support, friendship and leadership I needed to get to where I’m at today,” Royal said in a message posted on Twitter. “I’m very grateful for every opportunity that’s come my way. With that being said, I would love to announce that I am committed to the University of Pittsburgh.”
Royal is a consensus four-star recruit and the first prospect with four-star ratings across the board to commit to Pitt since Damar Hamlin made his pledge to join the Panthers on Feb. 2, 2016. He is also considered one of the top 30 safeties in the nation, according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.
The 6’3”, 180-pound safety had a total of 25 offers and chose Pitt over the likes of Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and UCF. Pitt also fended off ACC rivals Boston College, Louisville, Syracuse and Virginia in order to secure Royal’s services.
Upon arriving at Pitt in 2020, Royal will join a defensive backfield that will be looking for replacements for key contributors like Damar Hamlin, Dane Jackson and Jazzee Stocker, all of whom will be seniors in 2019. However, the Pitt defensive back corps will not be entirely depleted, as Paris Ford, who was also a consensus four-star recruit, will be a junior in 2020, creating the potential for a pairing of four-star safeties in Royal and Ford.