Busy day over on the South Side as Pitt wrapped up there second weekend of football camps. While there were a few big-time 2017 prospects, most of the bigger names are in the Class of 2018.
I’ll be providing updates all evening, including interviews with the players.
**One of the biggest names to show up on the South Side was 2018 defensive tackle Taron Vincent from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Vincent is a 4-star prospect with offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA and Wisconsin.
Following his weekend, I spoke to Vincent about his experience at Pitt.
“The camp was good. I had a lot of fun and good some good work. The coaches said I did really well and can’t wait till I get back on campus”, said Vincent.
“I talked to Coach Narduzzi before and after the camp. We just talked about the overall visit and just talked about the tradition at Pitt and the culture of the team.”
Despite being a younger player, this wasn’t Vincent’s first time in Pittsburgh.
“I’ve been on campus a few times when my brother was being recruited by Pitt. I liked the city a lot, it was nice and I really like the academic buildings. Also, the football facilities were really nice and I liked how they shared them with the Steelers. I’d rate them a 8/10 and I think Pitt will be high on my list. I’m probably going to be back for the Penn State game”, said Vincent.
**Probably the biggest surprise of the weekend was the visit by 2017 4-star safety Deon Jones from Oxon Hill, Maryland. Hill, who visited with teammates, has offers from Pitt, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.
I’m hoping to talk with Jones a bit later to get his reaction.
UPDATE (5:49 PM)-
**North Allegheny 2017 tight end and Temple commit Griffin Sestili was in attendance this afternoon. I asked Sestili his reason for attending the camp today.
“Both my parents are Pitt alums and my dad played there. I wanted to check out the camp to compete with great competition and put in a good days work and become a better player”, said Sestili.
UPDATE (6:05 PM)-
**For the second time in the last week, 2018 linebacker Javar Garrett (Carneys Point, New Jersey) visited Pittsburgh. When I talked to Garrett earlier this week, he told me that the Pitt coaches wanted to work him out before offering him a scholarship.
Just a few minutes ago, I talked with Garrett and asked him how things went today.
“My experience at camp was good and the feedback I got from the coaches was good, they felt I did really well”, said Garrett. “I spoke with Coach Conklin and he told me that he was gonna watch the film from the camp and tell me where we stand but he said from what he saw I did really good.”
Since he returned to Pittsburgh so soon, I asked Garrett if anything stood out to him today and he told me it was a conversation with one of the Pitt coaches.
“Something simple as stance stood out to me. Coach Harley just told us to lean forward until we feel like we are about to fall forward and if we do it’s fine. It helps you play faster and react to the game, it helped me out a lot, I could tell the difference”, said Garrett.
“If I were to get an offer, it would mean a lot to me, just because they feel as though I’m a good enough player to play in their program for free. After my visit, Pitt ranks pretty high and I would consider going there if they offered me”, said Garrett.
UPDATE (6:30 PM)-
**A prospect from Scranton made his way across the state looking to get noticed by the Pitt coaches. Jacob Watts (6-2, 225) from Scranton High School worked out today for Pat Narduzzi and his assistants.
“Camp was great, super organized, everything ran smoothly, and best of all, each player was able to display their talents with the abundant amount of reps given to each camper”, said Watts.
“Throughout the whole camp there was positive constructive criticism which was nice and definitely helped. I personally spoke with Coach Salem being he’s the recruiter for my area. He and I spoke about where I would be going and when between TE and LB. He wanted to evaluate me at both positions to see where i would excel more at”, said Watts.
“After camp he said I was definitely an offensive player, that I need the ball in my hands. I also spoke with Coach Kabala briefly before and after camp about how i was doing and good luck wishes. Him and I gained a friendship/relationship, if you will, after Pitt’s second Junior Day. ”
I asked Watts what impressed him most about his visit?
“Honestly, the practice fields. I know it may seem unimportant to most but its impressive to see how well kept they were. For having two high caliber teams practicing on it so often it looks like its never been touched. Also the brand new turf field is super nice. Also, the camaraderie between all of the attending Pitt football players was a sight to see. When we had our 15 minute break before 7v7 they all came together and joked around as if they were all best friends since childhood, and again the level of organization was insane.”
So, did Pitt talk to Watts about an offer?
“A while back, Junior Day actually, Coach Salem and I talked about offers. He told me I’m a great athlete, they just don’t know where to put me yet. I still have a ton of proving to do, but when the season comes, I think and hope I will get an offer,” said Watts. “Pitt has always been Top 3 on my list of interests, the campus and facilities match my standards exceedingly!”
UPDATE (7:31 PM)-
**Pitt offered a scholarship to 2017 3-star running back Malik Davis from Tampa, Florida. Davis (5-11, 187) holds offers from Arizona, Boston College, Indiana, Maryland. Miami (FL), Missouri, North Carolina, Purdue, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
UPDATE (8:07 PM)-
**Just talked to Malik Davis about his offer from Pitt.
“I was pretty excited. It was a process though, I’ve been talking back and forth with Pitt for sometime and now they’ve just decided to pull the trigger. I think that the Pitt offense fits me pretty well and I wanna get up there on a visit pretty soon, not sure the date yet”, said Davis.