From the moment kids step onto the football field for the first time and then going through junior high and high school football, most dream of receiving a D-1 scholarship.
Some are good and fortunate enough for that dream to become a reality. One of those players is Belle Vernon offensive tackle Blake Zubovic. Not only did Zubovic receive his first D-1 offer, it also happened to come from his hometown school.
“I got a message from Mr. Diethorn from Pitt and he asked me to call him when I had a minute. I then called him and we talked, then he put me on with Coach Narduzzi,” said Zubovic.
“It was a pretty special moment when he asked me, “Are you a Pitt fan?” I said “Yes” and he said, “Is it your dream to play football at Pitt” and I said, “I guess you can say that.” He then offered me a full ride to play for them and for it to be my first offer it was real special. I just love playing football and it’s been my dream to play D-1 so this was pretty special for me,” said Zubovic.
Not only was that a big moment for Zubovic but also for his family.
“My mom was crying because it’s something my mom and dad sacrificed for. It’s something that we’ve all been in on and my parents have always been super supportive of me in all my sports. It was a special moment for my family.”
As I mentioned earlier, this was Zubovic’s first offer and interestingly, he was the first local 2018 offensive lineman that Pitt offered, so they must really like his skill set.
— Big Z (@blake_zubovic66) November 7, 2016
“I think Coach Narduzzi likes my size (6-foot-6, 295 pounds) and that I can move pretty well. I also think I have pretty good footwork. I think that he likes that I’m not just a big body out there, I can move just like Dorian.”
Zubovic was referring to Dorian Johnson, Pitt offensive lineman and former Belle Vernon graduate who will be selected in this year’s NFL Draft.
“It’s a very special thing because us Belle Vernon lineman really look up to him as a role model because of how hard he worked. Not too many people make it big in football from Belle Vernon, we just don’t have too many D-1 recruits. I really look up to him and have already been compared to him a few times over the last few day,” said Zubovic.
Pitt isn’t the only school showing interest in this big offensive tackle. In fact, 30 minutes after Pitt offered, Zubovic received his second offer from Maryland. Aside from these 2 offers, Syracuse, NC State, Wake Forest and Harvard are showing interest.
Zubovic says that his initial feeling is to let the recruiting process play out a bit, make a few visits, meet some coaches and “don’t jump the gun.”
However, he will be making a visit next Monday or Tuesday to Pitt to check things out and continue to build his relationship with the Pitt staff especially Coach Narduzzi.
“My first impression of Coach Narduzzi was that he’s very passionate. Like I said, I am a Pitt fan and I watch the games. I can tell he cares a lot about his players. He seems like a coach I can see myself playing under. I really liked him, the first impression was very positive.”