Pitt Picks Up Commitment From JUCO WR

Reedley WR Rafael Araujo-Lopes (5-11, 190) took an official visit to Pittburgh this weekend and he committed to the Panthers while he was on campus...



JCFootball.com confirmed the commitment late Sunday afternoon.

As a freshman last season, Araujo-Lopes led Reedley with 74 receptions for 1,229 yards and 17 touchdowns and that productivity has drawn the attention of at least one school which is looking to bring him in this fall.

"Pittsburgh offered me," Araujo-Lopes told JCFootball.com a couple of weeks ago. "They had been showing me interest and they said they were looking for a third receiver, a guy they could put in the slot, and that's why they were offering me.

Araujo-Lopes chose Pitt over heavy interest from Tennessee who hadn't offered at this point.

"I'm not saying I will make my decision on my visit (to Pitt), but it could happen," Araujo-Lopes said. "If a school wants me this fall, then they need to come and offer soon because I need to make my decision pretty quickly."

This offseason, Araujo-Lopes has been hard at work honing his overall game.

"I've really focused on using my hands better," Araujo-Lopes said. "I always try to focus on using them to get the DB off of me, getting off press coverage, blocking, stuff like that.

"I am always thought of as a slot receiver, partly because of my size, but because I'm stronger than most guys my size, I actually can play all four receiver spots on the field.

"At Reedley, we were a full-on spread team. They pretty much played me out of the slot, but they put me on the single-receiver side a few times, they put me outside a couple of times and they moved me around."

Araujo-Lopes, a good student, was a standout at Winter Park (Fl.) High School, but he wasn't really notice on the recruiting front, so he took the advice of his prep coach and headed west to continue his football career.

"My head coach played at Reedley and he told me that if I wanted to keep playing, that this was a place that I could go and I would be okay here," Araujo-Lopes said. "He felt that if I came in here and played well, then I'd get noticed and that's exactly what has happened, so it was a good decision for me."

Araujo-Lopes was a full-qualifier out of high school, so wherever he winds up, he will have four years to play three starting this fall.


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