The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Jones-Smith announced he chose the Panthers over Virginia during a ceremony at his school moments ago.
"It was the coaching staff, the atmosphere, and it felt right for me," Jones-Smith said. "It's the best of both worlds. It was a family atmosphere, and it was the right place academically."
Jones-Smith actually let Pittsburgh's staff know Monday during an in-home visit with offensive line coach Jim Hueber.
"They were ecstatic," Jones-Smith said. "oach Hubert was in my house yesterday and I told him when he was on the visit, and when coach (Paul) Chryst called, and I let him know.
"I like coach Hueber. He's played in the NFL, he's coached at Wisconsin for a while, and I like what he's doing."
Jones-Smith is the second player from Philadelphia to commit in the last week. George Washington High defensive lineman Justin Moody committed to the Panthers last week.
"I think there's a good local connection of kids going there, and I think he likes the coaching staff," West Catholic coach Brian Flunk said. "Coach Hueber went to Northeast Catholic in Philadelphia so he knows the area here well, and he knows the type of kids we have here."
The plan is for Jones-Smith to red-shirt while gaining strength and continuing to work on his foot speed.
"He's anxious to get there, and maybe not play in the first year, but get himself together and get himself bigger and stronger and get his feet moving quicker and quicker," Flunk said. "And then, he'll have the opportunity to play three or four years after a red-shirt year.
"You always want to go in there and play right away, but sometimes it's a good benefit to not play right away."
Even with the decision out of the way, Jones-Smith wasn't ready to head out for an elaborate celebration.
"I'm going track practice, then I'm going to the West Catholic girl's basketball game," Jones-Smith said. "Then, I'm going to do my homework."