Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff landed their fifth commitment of the 2022 recruiting cycle on Saturday, as Jordaan Bailey, a running back out of Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, announced he would join the program during an official visit to the school.
“It’s been a very long journey, and my hard work has paid off,” Bailey wrote on Twitter. “I’m very blessed to be in the position that I’m in. I thank and appreciate all my teammates for being with me throughout my high school career. But going into my senior year, I will be committing to the University of Pittsburgh.”
The 6’1”, 180-pound running back holds a three-star rating from Rivals, but 247Sports and ESPN have yet to assign him a rating. He also drew 15 offers, with the most notable coming from Cincinnati, Colorado State, West Virginia and South Florida in Bailey’s hometown.
With that said, Bailey was overlooked by the major programs in his state, but Pitt has benefited from the lack of vision from Florida, Florida State, Miami and UCF in the past. Most notably, Pitt picked up Rashad Weaver out of Cooper City, Florida, as a two-star recruit in 2016. At the time, his only in-state offers were from Florida International and South Florida. But in Pittsburgh, he flourished, becoming an All-American and a 2021 NFL draft pick.
Whether Bailey travels down a similar path remains to be seen, but plenty have followed in Weaver’s footsteps, creating a Sunshine State pipeline for Pitt that has paid off well. Some of the Floridians who have come to Pitt since 2016 include Deslin Alexandre, Habakkuk Baldonado, Brandon Hill, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Calijah Kancey, Damarri Mathis, Phillip O’Brien and Marquis Williams. Those players have yet to reach the heights that Weaver has, but they certainly have the potential to. And it seems Bailey does as well.
In 2020, Bailey ran for 599 yards and seven touchdowns. He also added 427 yards and three scores on receptions, bringing his all-purpose yardage up to 1,026 yards and his touchdown total up to 10 for the season. And thanks in part to Bailey’s contributions, Hillsborough went 8-2. The year before, he fared even better, amassing 914 yards and 12 touchdowns on foot and 116 yards and one score on foot for 1,030 yards from scrimmage. That season, Hillsborough went 8-3 overall and was a perfect 6-0 in conference.
At Pitt, Bailey will compete with the likes of Daniel Carter, Vincent Davis and Israel Abanikanda for reps at running back. And given Bailey’s ability to find the end zone, he could be the impact player Pitt has been missing at the position since the departures of Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison after the 2018 season.