David Green, Rashad Wheeler, Bricen Garner and Damar Hamlin are current players that have extended the recruiting pipeline from Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School to the Pitt football program.
For their game against Syracuse yesterday, Pitt hosted a number of recruits including a junior from Central Catholic that would like to add to this Pitt/Central Catholic pipeline.
AJ Beatty (6′-5″, 235) is a defensive end/tight end who’s having an outstanding 2018 season. Beatty is in first season at Central after transferring from Bethel Park. At this point, he’s looking for his first offer but is currently talking with a number of programs including the Panthers.
“One of their recruiting coaches, Karlo Zovko, invited me down to the game,” said Beatty. “Central Catholic has been a path for so many kids to go to Pitt. I grew up watching Pitt, I love Pitt and it’s such a good school. Since they invited me, I was like sure I’ll come.”
“Seeing so many guys on the field from Central Catholic is great. Hamlin, Green, Wheeler and others are there and doing great. I’ve talked to a few of them and they say how much they love it. They always come back to the school and talk to us. I’ve only ever heard positive things about Pitt.”
This was Beatty’s first gameday visit to Heinz Field as a recruit and all things considered, left with a positive impression.
“I was really impressed with the atmosphere and the fans were crazy and really into the game,” said Beatty. “Being on the field, the stadium was really loud. I liked seeing how hyped up the entire Pitt team was. The whole day was just awesome.”
Beatty tells me that right now, he’s talking with schools such as Pitt, Iowa, Toledo, Kent State, Albany, Harvard, Yale and all are recruiting him as either a tight end or defensive end.
— Aj Beatty (@ajbeatty88) September 23, 2018
“Honestly, a lot of the schools are telling me they believe I can play either position in college. Some schools believe I’m a defensive end but Pitt believes I can play both,” said Beatty. “I feel my best position is probably defensive end. Last season, I started at outside linebacker for Bethel Park and then transferred here to Central.”
“This season, I switched down to d-end and put on some weight and strength but have been able to keep my speed. I still have the outside linebackers speed down at defensive end. I believe I’m capitalizing on my preparation, my hand movements on the line and stuff like that.”
While he’s looking for any offer, one from the hometown school would be extra special for Beatty.
“That would mean the world to me. My mom went to Pitt and being from Central Catholic an offer from Pitt would be awesome and would really mean the world to me. A hometown kid getting an offer from the hometown school would be awesome.”