Panthers offer and lead for CA receiver

Pittsburgh head coach Walt Harris has always taken pride in calling his program "Wide Receiver U." and he has history on his side when making that claim. Harris has already tutored graduated Biletnikoff Award winners Antonio Bryant and Larry Fitzgerald, while also having the leading receiver almost every year of the Big East's history. The Panthers are now reaching across the country in an attempt to possibly land the next great Pitt wide receiver.

Jesse Canada from Monrovia (CA) HS has the size, speed, strength, and pass catching skills to be just that. At 6'3"190 pounds, Canada runs a 4.42, benches 265, and squats 415. He also was named the Offensive MVP of the Rio Hondo League.

So how did Pittsburgh find Canada in California?

"They saw a tape of mine," said Canada. "Then the coach who is recruiting me talked to me and said they will offer. Then the head coach had me call him and offered me a scholarship. It felt great to know somebody out there thinks you are good. It's very exciting."

Pittsburgh is the first to offer the star receiver, but he is also hearing a lot from Michigan, USC, Boston College, and Oregon. UCLA is also starting to show interest as Canada lives less than 10 miles from Pasadena. With top programs after Canada, including some in his own backyard, does Pitt have much of a chance?

"Right now Pittsburgh is definitely my favorite. The history they have there in the passing game is great. They have had two sophomore receivers that were stars there," said Canada, referring to Bryant and Fitzgerald.

And if the vaunted USC Trojans came calling will a commitment be far behind?

"No, not at all. I have already thought there was a chance that I would go away to college," said Canada, who also says the Pittsburgh weather wouldn't be a factor. "I have experienced snow before. I can adapt to anything. It would be worth it to play somewhere where football is so important like it is there."

Canada, who currently has a 3.3 GPA, says he will try to take all five visits before making his decision. One of the visits will be Pittsburgh, while USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Michigan may also get visits. "I'd definitely like to check out Michigan to see if they are really interested," said Canada, who says they have sent him a lot of letters.

Canada's plans for the summer are a visit to the Nike Camp at Stanford, and summer camp visits to Oregon State and Pittsburgh.

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