In a bit of a surprise but no doubt a huge recruiting win, Butler defensive lineman Jake Kradel gave a verbal commitment to the hometown Pitt Panthers.
Kradel gave the good news to the Panther coaches while visiting them today.
“This feels great especially to commit to the hometown team. It’s where I just felt most comfortable with the coaches and everything. It’s nice to get this off my shoulders and to be able to focus on my upcoming season,” said Kradel.
I asked Kradel if he went to Pitt today with the thought in his head that he might be giving the Panthers a commitment?
“I’ve been thinking about it for the last week and last night it just really got to me. I thought it will all depend on the visit today and if I got that vibe.”
“Then today, I got to visit with the coaches and watched the Steelers OTA’s and then went on campus. I loved the campus. I never really got to see the campus in depth but I loved it. I could really just see myself there. I then talked in depth with Coach Narduzzi and that just sealed the deal,” said Kradel.
“I then talked with my mom, she liked it and I said to myself this is where I want to be.”
This was a big win for Pat Narduzzi and his staff because they had to fight and recruit against some major competition to land Kradel.
“He jumped up and gave me a big hug, he was fired up. I don’t think he really expected it today.”
While Kradel had over 26 offers including ones from UCLA, Virgina Tech, West Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue, Kradel ended up picking Pitt over Ohio State and Wisconsin.
I asked Kradel about Pitt’s approach to recruiting him and the fact that although they really wanted him, the coaches never pressured him into a decision.
“That was big. I felt that the coaches were being real with me about everything. Pitt doesn’t just offer everyone, they offer players they really want. They never pressured me and were always true to their word. I really enjoyed that.”
Kradel tells me that it hasn’t been determined yet which position he’ll play in college, defensive tackle or offensive guard and he’d be happy at either position.
Kradel is Pitt’s fourth commitment for the Class of 2018 and second from the WPIAL.