While in Florida Wednesday night, Head Coach Pat Narduzzi visited 2017 defensive end recruit Deslin Alexandre. Alexandre, who is currently committed to North Carolina State, revealed to Pittsburgh Sports Now what was discussed with the Panthers’ second year head coach.
“We discussed how they really like me and they would like me to come to Pitt,” Deslin said. “They spoke to my parents about it also.”
As a player that Pat Narduzzi has offered and would obviously like to see wear the Blue and Gold, what kind of pitch did he use to sell Deslin on the University of Pittsburgh?
“Great city. Great atmosphere. Amazing fans, you know. The whole nine yards. Great program, great coaches.”
Not all recruits receive an in-home visit from a university’s head coach. Alexandre did, and he came away impressed with Pitt’s second year skipper.
“He’s a pretty cool dude, you know. Great coach. Has a great plan, you know. Obviously they have a good program so you can tell that they’re anchored by a good leader.
Narduzzi did not travel alone Wednesday night. Tight ends coach Tim Salem joined him at Deslin’s home in Deerfield Beach. Coach Salem is another member of the program that has impressed the 6’3” 229-pound defensive end.
“Coach Salem is a great, great dude, you know. He’s been recruiting me for a while. I have a pretty good relationship with him. Think highly of him.”
Alexandre, a 3-star recruit from the fertile recruiting grounds of Florida, followed the Panthers’ on-field performance this season. With one game remaining, he is impressed with what he has seen.
“They’ve had a pretty good season,” he said. “They’ve played some good teams; they’ve played some tough teams that they came out on. They’re a good fighting team.”
One area where the Panthers have struggled in 2016 is in pass defense; they allow an average of 343.1 passing yards-per-game, ranking second-to-last in the nation. Recruiting pass rushing defensive ends like Deslin Alexandre presents one way to ameliorate this problem. What kind of player would Pitt’s defense receive if they could manage to flip his commitment?
“I’m a player that’s going to get after you. Play 100% every time—give it my all, you know. Do it for my teammates. Do it for my family. You know, I’m going to give it everything I got. I know I play hard and go get it every play.”
Official visits can help a player determine where he will spend his collegiate career. As a player that has yet to visit the University of Pittsburgh, will Deslin have an opportunity to do so in the near future?
“Possibly. But due to time constraints that I’ll be an early enrollee, I may get to them, I may not.”
According to Alexandre, Cincinnati and Rutgers continue to pursue his commitment as well. Does Pitt, or either of these other universities, hold a chance at changing Deslin’s mind prior to the early enrollment period?
“Right now, I’m staying with my commitment. I’m staying strong with my commitment to NC State. But I’m not sure…”
So is Deslin 100% firm in his commitment to the Wolfpack?
“Well, not really. Pittsburgh’s not a bad school, so I’m looking into it. But I am committed [to NC State].”
Deslin Alexandre remains committed to North Carolina State, and earning his commitment prior to the early enrollment signing date may be difficult for Pat Narduzzi. However, the head coach has demonstrated passion and tenacity on the recruiting trail during his short tenure at Pitt. Alexandre sounds like a player Narduzzi wants on defense, so expect the two to remain in contact up until the very last day.