The Pitt football staff is making a big push to make the state of Virginia a new recruiting ground for their program.
Despite being a member of the ACC, Pitt historically has had little presence in Virginia and a lot of that has to due with simply not spending anytime recruiting there. Going back to their Class of 2015, Pitt has only received commitments from three players from Virginia: linebackers Wendell Davis and Chase Pine and defensive end Patrick Jones.
It’s obvious that Pat Narduzzi is attempting to change and it all started with the hiring of Chris Beatty, who has strong recruiting ties in Virginia.
Take a look at the noticeable difference of offers made to players in Virginia for the 2020 and 2021 classes.
Over the past weekend, Pitt continued their newfound commitment by hosting some of the top underclassman from Virginia. Most of these players are four-star recruits and hold a list of offers from top Power Five programs.
Tony Grimes, Asaad Brown, Nate Evans, Antonio Webb, Nehki Meredith, Joseph Johnson, KaTron Evans, Omega Williams, Gerrien Christopher and Keontae Jenkins all spent the weekend visiting Pitt. Getting this amount of high level talent on campus at the same time was a big recruiting accomplishment for Narduzzi.
The question now is whether Pitt will be able to turn some of these visits into commitments?
Deon Glover is a veteran assistant high school coach in Virginia and the father of sophomore cornerback Tony Grimes. Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke to Glover about Pitt attempting to make a mark in Virginia and go this impressions of his weekend in Pittsburgh.
“I don’t look at it as being hard for them,” said Glover when asked if it will be difficult for Pitt to get top talent from Virginia. “People say it’s hard to get players away from Virginia Tech and Virginia but you know what, It takes the same amount of time to get from our area to Virginia Tech as it does to get (to Pittsburgh), really it’s almost the same amount of travel time.
“The key for Pitt is for them to show real interest in the area. I think that if a program comes in here and really recruits the area not just offering kids. Come to the area, come get them, go to area schools, show interest in the area, they’ll get kids. Pitt is a really strong program. I feel that they’re a couple really good recruiting classes away from making a real run. Pitt has a great head coach. Coach Narduzzi is a great guy. Coach Beatty was a big hire because wherever he goes, he gets recruits. He goes after the best players but also is able to get the diamonds in the rough.”
“Just look at what Coach Beatty did for Maryland recruiting,” Glover continued. “He came down to Virginia, put the time in, recruited top players and got them. He’s just that type of guy. He knows how to recruit and knows how to build relationships with people and schools. He just doesn’t throw an offer out there and says he we like you, we want to offer you, we think you fit our program well. No, he gets involved, he comes down to see them, he recruits them, gets to know them and them to come visit the school. I believe he’s the type of guy that can get players from the 757 (area code) to Pitt.”
As mentioned, Glover made the weekend trip to Pittsburgh and left impressed especially with Narduzzi.
“I liked the facilities, the campus, the city was impressive but Coach Duzzy is it, he’s just that type of coach,” said Glover. “It’s very obvious that he’s a players’ coach. He’s like a dad and will give it to you raw but he’ll still love you, I love that.
“He’s not arrogant, he’s not cocky. He reminds me a lot of Gary Patterson from TCU. He’s just that type of guy. Coaches like him are able to go after great players to build a program and if you give them time, before you know it, they’re a top program year in and year out in the conference they’re in. People might say, oh they’re not getting a lot of four- and five-star players but my response is, it’s about the head coach not the high star players.”
The Pitt staff apparently did a nice job hosting this weekend because a number of these highly rated players say that they’ll be making a return trip this summer from Virginia to Pittsburgh.