It’s a very important time for the Pitt coaches as they evaluate players and try to determine whether or not to offer a prospect a scholarship. The coaches will watch last year’s game tape but they’ll also invite prospects to camps in order to watch them in person.
A player that might be in this category is Braden Atkinson from Baltimore, Maryland. Last season for Boys Latin School, he caught 58 passes for 702 yards and 5 TD’s.
Atkinson is 6-4, 215 tight end that is getting looked at by a ton of schools including Pitt. Right now, Atkinson has offers from Old Dominion, Cornell and Fordham and is talking with Wake Forest, Rutgers, Penn State, Temple, Navy and Pitt.
Atkinson has been talking for Pitt for awhile especially tight end coach Tim Salem.
“Coach Salem is a great guy as well as the entire coaching staff at Pitt. Coach Salem stays in contact with me on a weekly basis and seems like a really easy going guy but takes his coaching very serious”, said Atkinson. Building a relationship with his players is very important to him.”
“We talk about a lot of stuff ranging from now school is going, to how my workouts are going, to what what I’m doing this weekend, etc. I like the fact that he’s taken the time to know me as a person and not just a player.”
Atkinson is staying busy and using this time to check out colleges. Since the fall, he’s visited Old Dominion, Maryland, Rutgers, Temple and Pitt. This coming weekend, he’ll travel to Wake Forest (April1) and Duke (April 2). He plans on keep visiting schools and working hard and if that offer from Pitt comes.
“It would be great. I like the coaching staff, the facilities, the intensity of the program and the history of Pitt football”, says Atkinson. “Coach Salem as well as the entire staff has told me how much they love my film and my hands and how I’d be a great fit for their offense. They put as many as 3 tight ends on the field at once and are a throwing offense which I love because I want to catch as many passes as I can in college.”
Atkinson’s strength is catching the football and athleticism on the field. He appears to be a modern day tight end, someone that type can lineup anywhere on the field.
He just might be one of those players that once he gets that first big offer, then the other offers will start rolling in.
“This period for me as a recruit has been a learning process. I have learned that every school is so different in how they recruit and what they’re looking for. I also learned that each school’s coaching staff has a different feel and mindset. This process can be stressful and requires patience. You can’t get too excited about anything you’re told until coaches begin to show true interest in you and even then it can still be confusing. My coaches tell me not to worry about the offers I get, and that it only takes one offer from the right school to complete the process.”