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Pitt lands in the top 12 of Ahmari Huggins-Bruce

The three-star receiver has posted back-to-back 900-yard seasons

Nov 9, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA;  A Pittsburgh Panthers helmet sits on the sidelines against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. North Carolina won 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff have been making an effort to recruit South Carolina, and it has begun to pay off. Last Thursday, the program landed in the top 15 of O’Mega Blake, an athlete out of South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, and on Monday, Pitt made the top 12 of Ahmari Huggins-Bruce, a wide receiver out of Dillon High School in Dillon.

The other 11 finalists for Huggins-Bruce include Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State, NC State, TCU, USC, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, and currently, most recruiting analysts at 247Sports and Rivals view Louisville as the frontrunner.

The 6’0”, 165-pound pass-catcher holds three-star ratings from 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN. However, Rivals has him as a high-three-star recruit on the cusp of a four-star rating, and the recruiting website ranks him as the No. 2 prospect in South Carolina and the No. 33 wide receiver in the 2021 class. ESPN and 247Sports differ with Rivals in their opinion of Huggins-Bruce, as the former places him just outside the top 75 at wide receiver, and the latter ranks him outside the top 100.

With that said, he has been a star at Dillon High School, which has gone 24-3 over the last two seasons, as he has topped 900 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Most recently, he fell just shy of a 1,000-yard campaign with the Wildcats, as he posted 997 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 50 receptions in the 2019 season. And the year before that, he had 930 yards and 11 touchdown catches on 52 receptions.

Huggins-Bruce is the kind of highly productive receiver that could be a key element of the offense that Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is attempting to build. The team hasn’t had a receiver top 900 yards since Tyler Boyd, who is now a starter with the Cincinnati Bengals, did so in 2015. In addition, if Huggins-Bruce did eventually commit to Pitt, he could end up working with fellow Palmetto State product Davis Beville, who will be vying for the starting quarterback job after Kenny Pickett turns in his final season in 2020.