For the third time in three days, Pitt has been named a finalist for a coveted recruit, as Keon Wylie, a linebacker out of Imhotep Institute Charter High School in Philadelphia, placed the program in his top six on Saturday. Pitt previously made the top 11 of fellow Philly recruit Samuel Brown on New Year’s Eve and the top six of Andre Roye on New Year’s Day.
Wylie’s top six consists of Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt and Texas A&M. That list was created by paring down an offer sheet with 27 programs represented. Some of Wylie’s most notable cuts include Arizona State, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland, NC State, Nebraska, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
While the rationale behind the construction of these lists is not always laid out by recruits, Wylie discussed what he was looking for in a school with Brian Dohn of 247Sports.
“When it comes to picking a college, first I will look at who else is committed there,” Wylie said. “If they are over-recruiting at my position. I don’t duck from competition, but I don’t want to go somewhere where they over-recruit. I want to go to a place where they want me to be their guy and they have a good coaching staff and you can get a good education.”
At Pitt, Wylie would have a chance to play alongside blue chips Nahki Johnson and Naquan Brown as well as SirVocea Dennis, who emerged as a playmaker for the Panthers in 2020. But the position has not been heavily recruited over the last two cycles, with the Pitt staff prioritizing quality over quantity.
In addition, Pitt would also offer Wylie an opportunity to be part of an elite defense that led the nation in sacks and tackles for losses in 2020, with 46 and 111, and sent defensive specialists like Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver to the NFL draft, where they are expected to go in the early rounds.
During the 2019 season, which was the last season played in its entirety by Imhotep, the 6’2”, 207-pound linebacker recorded 52 total tackles, including 13 tackles for losses and 10 sacks. Wylie also came up with two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a 96-yard touchdown. And all told, the linebacker helped Imhotep achieve an 8-5 record as well as a 4-1 record in conference.
Despite Wylie’s prolific production as a sophomore, Rivals and 247Sports both currently rate him as a three-star recruit. However, given his proven ability as a playmaker, another impressive season could see him boosted to four-star status.
Wylie has yet to set a decision date, so a commitment is unlikely to come soon. But given Pitt's status as the first major program to offer Wylie, Pitt's proximity to Philadelphia relative to most of the other finalists, Penn State's recent decline and Pitt's recruitment of Javon McIntyre from Imhotep last year, the program has a lot to offer Wylie and should continue to be competitive in his recruitment.