Pitt had a productive day on the recruiting trail on Monday, as Pat Narduzzi and his staff picked up a commitment from Javon McIntyre out of Philadelphia and kept the ball rolling by making the top two of LaMareon James, a Chesapeake, Virginia, athlete in the 2020 class who was once committed to North Carolina.
It’s Up... pic.twitter.com/N2rRrnUfsq— . ⁴✨ (@lamareon_james) January 20, 2020
James named Pitt and Old Dominion as the two finalists for his services, with Old Dominion being his hometown school and Pitt serving as an extension of the previous interest he showed in playing for a Power Five program.
The 5’10”, 170-pound athlete out of Indian River High School is a consensus three-star recruit and drew scholarship offers from Auburn, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Rutgers and Virginia Tech in addition to North Carolina and the two finalists named Monday afternoon. He was committed to North Carolina from March 10, 2019, until Sept. 22, 2019.
James played running back early in his high school career, amassing 992 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns as a sophomore at Norfolk Christian High School before transferring to Indian River and playing wide receiver as an upperclassman. Because of his diverse skill set, there has been debate about what position he might play at the next level. North Carolina coach Mack Brown targeted him as a defensive back, but James’ coach sees him as more offensively oriented.
“He has a huge ceiling on both sides of the ball,” Indian River coach Glenwood Ferebee told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports last March. “I would put him on the offensive side of the ball because he’s such a playmaker, but I think he’ll be able to make plays on special teams and the defensive side of the ball because of his speed and instincts.”
Of note from Pitt’s standpoint is the fact that James recently visited Old Dominion and was not in attendance for the mass recruiting event the Panthers staff held over the weekend. He would also be the final member of Pitt’s 2020 class rather than one of the initial members of its 2021 class, and with James expected to play defensive back or wide receiver in college, it's unlikely he would fit well in a Pitt class with three players at each of those positions.