Pitt hosted 10 recruits over the weekend, and it seems Pat Narduzzi and his staff made quite an impression, as four Pat signals went out between Friday night and Monday morning. Jordaan Bailey and Jimmy Scott were the first to step forward as 2022 commits, and on Tuesday, Addison Copeland became the third.
"After a long talk with my family and coaching staff, I have made my decision," Copeland said via Twitter. "It was a long, hard process, and I put every ounce of my thought into a choice. I came from nothing. I'm a trench kid that beat the odds. I grinded hard for everything I got, and there's only one school that impressed me with the work ethic I'm seeking. I will be committing to the University of Pittsburgh."
The 6’3”, 190-pound wide receiver out of Western New York Maritime Charter School in Buffalo, New York, is the second Buffalo-area recruit to commit to Pitt in this class, as Jimmy Scott out of St. Francis High School in nearby Athol Springs became the first on Monday.
Copeland holds three-star ratings from ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. ESPN ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in New York, Rivals places him at No. 5 in the state, and 247Sports has him at No. 2. So with Copeland and Scott, Pitt has secured commitments from two consensus top-five recruits out of the Empire State.
Prior to his commitment to Pitt, Copeland was committed to Rutgers. However, he backed off that pledge in February. Around that time, his recruitment took off, as he got offers from Boston College, Notre Dame, Penn State and South Carolina. Pitt was among those late to the party, only offering Copeland on May 27. But just over two weeks later, the program beat out nine other teams for the prospect.
As a sophomore at Western New York Maritime Charter School, Copeland scored 10 times and helped the Falcons earn a 10-2 record and a section title en route to the state semifinals. And as a junior this spring, the receiver topped 500 all-purpose yards and scored seven touchdowns as his team went 6-1 and won a second consecutive section title.
At Pitt, Copeland will have ample opportunity to impact a Panthers offense that was briefly known for its elite rushers in 2018 but has since lacked an identity and a clear plan of attack. With Mark Whipple as the offensive coordinator and two former four-star signal-callers vying to succeed Kenny Pickett, it seems the passing game will be Pitt’s primary focus in the years to come. And with Copeland lining up opposite Jordan Addison, the team may soon have the weapons needed to bring Whipple’s vision for the Panthers to life.