Pitt appeared to miss out on coveted recruit Naquan Brown back on July 1, as he committed to defending national champion LSU. But on Thursday afternoon, he backed off that commitment, and on Friday, he announced that he had committed to Pitt.
Enough said.. #hail2pitt #H2p #757topitt pic.twitter.com/SdN7xzrAUn— Naquan Brown™ (@quanbrown_4) December 4, 2020
The 6’3”, 200-pound recruit holds a four-star rating from Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 13 outside linebacker in the 2021 class as well as the No. 185 recruit overall. ESPN also considers Brown a four-star, top-200 prospect, placing him at No. 21 at his position and No. 192 in the ESPN 300. The only dissenting opinion comes from 247Sports, which gives Brown three stars and believes him to be the No. 27 weak-side defensive end in his class.
Although 247Sports assigned Brown a relatively low rating, its analysts still see Brown as a “multi-year starter at a top-20 program” and a “second-day NFL draft pick.” 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn also noted in the recruit’s profile that he “plays fast and is fearless” and is “willing to sacrifice [his] body to make play.” He added that Brown has plus athleticism that allows him to be effective in coverage but must work on defending the run and adding weight.
Brown was a priority target for teams all around the nation, and he drew a total of 30 scholarship offers. However, Pitt managed to land a spot in his top six back in June, and through the continued efforts of Pitt receivers coach Chris Beatty, who oversees recruiting in Virginia, Pitt pried him away from LSU during a down year for the SEC team.
Virginia canceled its 2020 high school football season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2019, Brown had about 70 tackles, including 11 tackles for losses and 12 sacks, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. He also played alongside fellow Pitt commit Myles Alston there, and the two helped the Dolphins to a 21-5 record over the last two seasons.
Brown is Pitt’s fourth 2021 recruit out of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Aside from Brown and Alston, Pitt has also landed commitments from Rodney Hammond, a running back out of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, and Malik Newton, a running back out of Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk. The program also briefly held a commitment from Trevion Stevenson, a linebacker out of Phoebus High School in Hampton. However, Stevenson flipped to North Carolina.
Pitt has more than made up for the loss of Stevenson, as it has flipped five recruits from other programs this year. That includes three this week, as in-state tight end Gavin Bartholomew flipped from Buffalo on Sunday and Detroit-area offensive lineman Kyle Fugedi flipped from Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday in addition to Brown flipping from LSU on Friday. And prior to them, tight ends Trey Andersen and Jake Renda flipped from BYU and Michigan State to Pitt, respectively.