Pittsburgh is a football town, plain and simple.
The University of Pittsburgh as a football program has a history and tradition that is matched by a very few universities. With eight Pitt alumni in the NFL Hall of Fame and nine national championships to its resume, it is clear that Pitt should get back to its traditional power ways.
Residing in the talent rich state of Pennsylvania, Pitt has the luxury of being able to recruit its backyard. The state of Pennsylvania has more inductees into the NFL Hall of Fame than any other state. In the past, Pitt has done a good job keeping elite talent home.
Since Pat Narduzzi arrived at Pitt, his staff has landed some of Western PA’s most talented players such as Jordan Whitehead, Tre Tipton, Kaezon Pugh, Damar Hamlin, Therran Coleman, Aaron Mathews, Rashad Wheeler and most recently Paris Ford to name a few. Although recruiting PA has been and will continue to be a priority for Pitt, another pipeline is starting to come to fruition. That state? Florida.
In Narduzzi’s first three years he has landed eleven players from Florida. It is clear the Pitt coaching staff is making their presence known in Florida.
On this year’s young team, two of the team’s most talented Floridian players, weren’t expecting to be at Pitt at all. Keyshon Camp and Rashad Weaver, who are roommates, close friends and members of the young defensive line, were both committed elsewhere before signing to play at Pitt.
Camp originally committed USC after receiving offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Miami of Fla, Texas, UCLA and just about every school in the country. Camp decided to take an official visit to Pitt. After the visit, he decommitted from USC and later committed to Pitt on National Signing Day.
Weaver was a 3-star recruit out of Cooper City, Florida who committed to Michigan after receiving offers from schools such as Penn State, Kentucky, South Florida, Central Florida and Virginia. In January of his senior year, Weaver decommitted from Michigan and joined Pitt on Signing Day.
Fast forward to training camp 2017, and those two flips Narduzzi was able to pull off are turning out to be bigger a little earlier than some may have expected. Camp is listed as a starter on the preseason depth chart at defensive tackle and has not disappointed. Camp has really good size and will most likely play at 285 pounds. With a great motor, Camp is a physical who does a really good job of getting after the quarterback, which is something that will be more of a focus from a unit a year ago that did not generate as much pressure as DC Josh Conklin would have liked when using a four man rush.
Weaver is a guy that wasn’t talked about as much before camp, but that isn’t due to a lack of talent. Due to numbers and underclassman at defensive end and defensive tackle, he may have been overlooked. Weaver is proving he belongs on the field after earning the “Dog Soldier” of the day award for his performance during Saturday’s scrimmage. Weaver is a tall, athletic playmaker who has a unique skill set. He isn’t a guy that will only think about powering around someone with a speed rush. Weaver has good feet and active hands allowing him to use different moves in order to get into the backfield. His emergence is a pleasant addition that the coaches and fans will be excited about.
Continue to watch for the profession of Camp and Weaver as both can be huge factors in the success of the defensive line.