Pitt has been pursuing Israel Abanikanda very hard for months now and it paid off.
Abanikanda made official visits over the last two weekends to Pitt and Syracuse and today he called Pat Narduzzi to tell him that “Pitt is it”.
— Israel Abanikanda (@IAbanikanda) June 24, 2019
The three-star running back from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York becomes Pitt’s 16th commitment for 2020 and their second running back commit after 3-star Florida Henry Parrish Jr.
“I picked Pitt because I love everything there. From the academics to the football to the environment to the players and the life after football when you graduate from Pitt,” said Abanikanda.
“The things that impressed me and my family about Pitt were the academic and football sides of the school. We loved the classes and how well the football players and student athletes are supported by their tutors and academic advisors. As far as the football side, everything is like playing in the NFL, especially when the Pittsburgh Steelers are literally next door.”
Abanikanda (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) selected Pitt over offers from Boston College, California, Duke, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Abanikanda will bring speed to the Panthers depth chart as he’s won the New York 100 meter championship in back-back years. He is ranked as the consensus No. 10 player in the state of New York.
— Israel Abanikanda (@IAbanikanda) November 27, 2018
Speaking of New York, Abanikanda becomes Pitt’s second recruit from that state and his main recruiter was Tim Salem.
“Coach Salem has been recruiting me since freshman year and contacted me everyday since then and was pushing really hard,” said Abanikanda.
The reputation that Pitt’s earned when it comes to developing running backs has been well publicized and Abanikanda is excited to hopefully add his name to that list.
”My emotions on joining the “Running Back U” are I feel incredible right now knowing I get to carry my name on the back of that jersey.”