Canadian receiver Jared Wayne shines for Pittsburgh in his first game of 2020 NCAA season

Photo courtesy: Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

Canadian receiver Jared Wayne made his presence felt in his first game of the 2020 NCAA football season.

Wayne led the University of Pittsburgh with 59 receiving yards on five catches, one of which covered 17 yards for a touchdown in a 21-10 victory over Syracuse University. The six-foot-three, 195-pound target didn’t play in the Panthers’ season-opening 55-0 thumping of Austin Peay State University.

Wayne is building on a true freshman season in 2019 during which he caught 18 passes for 261 yards and one touchdown. His first career NCAA score was a 19-yard reception in the Quick Lane Bowl that helped seal a win over Eastern Michigan University. He played in eight games last season — starting four — and became the first Pitt freshman to record a 100-yard receiving effort since 2013. The last player to do so was Tyler Boyd, who is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Peterborough native finished his high school football career at Florida’s Clearwater Academy International. As a senior, Wayne made 61 receptions for 1,157 yards and 14 touchdowns while helping the Knights to an 11-0 mark, the first undefeated season in school history. He previously played at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ont., where he was a quarterback, receiver and safety.

Wayne was the fourth-ranked Canadian prospect by ESPN in his recruiting year. His father, Patrick Wayne, played eight seasons in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders, B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts.

Pittsburgh was ranked No. 25 entering the weekend and could rise after improving to 2-0.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.