Under Pat Narduzzi, the Pitt football program has made it a priority to actively recruit the state of Michigan. Unfortunately for them, they’ve done so without any success.
Over the last few years, Pitt has been a finalist for a handful of talented athletes from Michigan but haven’t been able to close the deal and land a commitment. In fact, the last commitment that Pitt has received from that state was in 2014 by cornerback Avonte Maddox.
The lack of success hasn’t discouraged Pitt from recruiting that talent rich state and over the weekend they hosted a junior athlete.
Over the weekend, 2019 athlete Kobi Russell from Bloomfield, Michigan made the trip to Pittsburgh to check out the university and the Panthers football program. Russell is still looking for his first Power Five offer but it sounds like Pitt has plenty of interest in him.
Winters (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) tells me that Pitt is recruiting him as an athlete but likely are looking at him as a defensive back.
This afternoon, PSN caught up with Russell to get his thoughts on what was his first trip to the city of Pittsburgh.
“Coach Winters contacted me at the beginning of my season (end of the summer) and said that they’re very interested in me and we like your film. Since then, we’ve talked a lot during the season, talking almost everyday, he’s been in contact with my parents,” said Russell.
“I came up because he said I should get up there and check out the campus and meet with my recruiter. He said they’re super interested right now and they would like to be one of the first schools to offer.”
As mentioned earlier, this weekend was Russell’s first trip to Pittsburgh and talked to us about what the visited consisted of.
“The first day, we met with a few of the coaches and saw all the athletic facilities. They took me downtown which was super nice. Second day, we focused on academics and life skills to see what they had to offer. We took another visit to the athletic facilities again and were able to see some of the coaches,” said Russell.
“Honestly, my first impression was that I loved it. I loved the atmosphere, loved the people, loved the coaches and I met some of the players who seemed like cool guys.”
“The thing that stood out to me was the fact that they share training facilities with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That facility was one of the nicest that I’ve every seen and I’ve visited quite a few so far,” said Russell.
Aside from Pitt, Russell tells me that he’s also talking with Northwestern (believes they’re close to offering), Michigan State and 4 or 5 MAC schools. However, he’s hoping that his first offer comes from the Pitt Panthers.
“It would mean the world. I love the campus, love the coaches, it would mean a lot.”
Russell says that defensive backs coach Renaldo Hill plans on coming to his game on Pitt’s bye week in order to watch him in person. PSN will keep in contact with Russell and see how things develop with Pitt.