Orlando Evans cornerback James Julius, known more commonly as J.J., may not have been the most heralded of the Trojans' 2013 class of college football prospects, but it hasn't made the 5-foot-11, 178-pound defensive back any less marketable.
On Saturday Julius decided to put the marketing campaign on hold a bit by pledging his allegiance to the
University of Pittsburgh, the third official FBS-school commitment among Evans seniors.
"I'm 100 percent committed. I like Pitt a lot," Julius said. "The coaches are great and they seem like a real family-oriented coaching staff."
He said his main Pitt contacts have been defensive backs coach Matt House and player personnel director Dann Kabala. He said he was also being recruited by former Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable, who left for the same position at NC State last week. Huxatable is a former defensive coordinator at UCF (2008-10).
Julius, the No. 43 ranked player in the Sentinel's 2013 Central Florida Super60, emerged on the scene under the tutelage of Evans head coach Chip Gierke and his assistant and son Brad Gierke the past two seasons. He also had several other scholarship offers, with Iowa State,
Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Memphis, Boston College, FAU and FIU being some of the more serious suitors. He had one interception and averaged about five tackles a game this past season.
He had planned to take an official visit to Cincy but then head coach
Butch Jones left the Bearcats to take the same position at Tennessee and Cincinnati has not been in contact. Julius said he will take his official vist to Pitt on Jan. 11 with teammate wide receiver Dominic Walker, a former Vanderbilt pledge who appears to be a heavy lean toward Nebraska.
Julius said he will likely make a few other visits, but has nothing scheduled at this time.
Walker and teammate Tony Stevens, an Evans receiver who is committed to Florida State, have gotten most of the attention the past few seasons, and another teammate running back Brandon English recently committed to Bowling Green, but Julius said he's not concerned about his lack of attention.
"No, not really, at all. I'm not like a big attention person," he said. "As long as I get the job done that’s all I really care about."
He's been pleased with what he has accomplished over the past few seasons since the Gierkes took over the Evans program.
"It's been great," Julius said of the Trojans' 19-5 run over the past two seasons, which included two straight district titles. "Coach Chip he helped me get in school and stuff and we reached the playoffs. We never did that before."
Julius said it's a relief to have a scholarship attached to his name.
"It was just time to make my decisioin and I've been concentrating on this for like a month now," he said. "I'm pretty comfortable and really happy. I have a sense of direction of where I'm going now. I just can't wait for my brother coming up now. It's time for him to do his thing."
Brother Jalen Julius (6-0, 170) is a sophomore wide receiver for the Trojans and just another of several prospects Evans will have coming up in the near future.