Fairfax (VA) Paul VI guard Aaron Thompson was the first recruit to receive an offer from Kevin Stallings after he arrived at Pitt. He was actually offered a scholarship hours after Stallings accepted the Panthers’ head coaching position. There was little doubt he was a priority recruit for the new regime. Thompson reciprocated with a verbal commitment after a visit in early May.
The 6-foot-2 inch, 175 pounds guard returned to Pitt last week with his father. Pittsburgh Sports Now reached out to Thompson to gain some details on his recent visit.
“I got to Pitt last Thursday and I stayed from Thursday to Saturday,” said Thompson. “The visit was great. Everybody was happy I was there. I just felt so welcomed again. I loved being back on campus, and it was great to spend some time with Jared [Wilson-Frame]. It was good to spend some time with him as well, get to know him. I think we started making a good relationship and being future teammates.”
When asked if part of his weekend activities included a campus tour, he stated, “I didn’t do a campus tour because I’ve done that twice. I spent some time with the team with some of the coaches and went out to dinner. I just talked a lot with the coaches. We discussed how they felt I would fit in, the dynamic of the team in the upcoming years and what they are trying to do with the program. Just kind of like our future going into the next year.”
Stallings and staff have been lauded by recruits for their honesty and straight forward approach when communicating with recruits. The coaches openly discussed with Thompson what they expected from him his freshman season. “They expect me to come in and just try to make my mark and try to be a leader, “he said. “They want me to come in and just impact the game in any way I can. It’s not that I can’t expand on my role, but kind of just be who they recruited me to be.”
Thompson is a mature, tough-nosed floor general. He’s a throw-back point guard that excels at distributing the ball and has been lauded for his court vision and crisp passing.
On Friday of his visit, Thompson unexpectedly was able to meet a new member of his 2017 recruiting class when the Panthers received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-5 inch, 225 pound wing Jared Wilson-Frame from Northwest Florida State College.
“Thursday and Friday I got to hang out with Jared. We saw each other throughout the day. Then we hung out with the players and with each other a little bit. We to talk a little more,” he said. “We were at practice on Friday coach Stallings came over and told me he’s a part of the family. I just congratulated him, because he was sitting a row behind me in the bleachers. His phone was blowing up because he had just committed. I really wasn’t paying attention so Coach Stallings hinted it to me. Then Jarrett came up and told me. I was happy for him. He seemed pretty excited to be a part of it too.”
Thompson was asked if he has communicated with fellow class of 2017 commitments Marcus Carr and Terrell Brown. He replied, “So far I have reached out to Marcus the day he committed, as well. I just congratulated him and asked him what games he was going to try to attend to see if we can match up times to go to the games, and stuff like that. Terrell, I just congratulated him. He committed as well. I think it’s going to be a good group of guys that we bring in next year.”
The Panthers currently have a four member 2017 recruiting class. Stallings, at the moment, has one additional scholarship to fill and he is seeking front court help. There’s a possibility of the coaching staff tapping into the transfer market later in the year if their search expands beyond five scholarships.
“I had the chance to watch Pitt practice. They look good right now. They have a lot of size at the wing position. They have a lot of versatility. They look pretty good man. The team all positively responded to my personality and Jarred so we both had a great dynamic with the team.”
Thompson clearly has grown very confident and comfortable with his decision to commit to Pitt. His father was with him on the visit and he was equally impressed. “My dad was very excited with the campus. He’s just excited for the situation, “he said. “He’s happy I made the decision to go to Pitt. It’s kind of all about the pieces that fall into place. Were kind of getting the players and the equipment and stuff. Everything is falling into place.”
Thompson’s first practice as a senior will occur on November 8th. With his college decision out of the way, he was asked about his goals for the upcoming season. He stated, “I want to win a conference and state championship. I want to leave the area knowing that people know I’m a winner. That’s one of my biggest goals right now. Just letting the team know that’s what I’m about. I’m just trying to win games.”
Harry G. Psaros can be found on twitter at @PittGuru