With their Class of 2020 mostly filled, the Pitt football staff is slowly turning their attention and starting to develop relationships with high school juniors.
Last weekend, a number of the recruits on unofficial visits at Heinz Field were members of the Class of 2021, including a number of players from the WPIAL.
Antonio Epps (5’11”, 170) is a junior defensive back from South Allegheny and he was excited to get the invite and start having meaningful conversations with the Pitt staff.
“I’ve been to a couple Pitt games as a fan but this was first time being there as a recruit,” Epps told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “When I got that text message during the week their was no way I was going to pass on the invitation. As soon as I got it, I texted my parents and told them we definitely have to go and experience it.”
A big moment for Epps was when he walked out of the Pitt tunnel and onto the field. That’s when things started to get real for him.
”That was just a great feeling. Me, my dad and my brother walked through together. There were a whole bunch of people saw us coming out and were asking us for high-fives and stuff. Just getting to go out on the field with other recruits, watching warmups, seeing Pitt alumni, it was such a great thing to experience.”
”When we first arrived at the Pitt facility, we went to the players lounge and their was a lot of other recruits in there. I saw Dorien Ford, Dayon Hayes and a bunch of other local recruits. It was cool to see and have a chance to meet them also.”
Epps tells PSN that he’s just started to have communication with Pitt and it’s been with their recruiting staff. While the subject of a scholarship hasn’t come up yet, an experience like Saturday is a source of motivation for him.
”Being from a small area like South Allegheny, not too many expect too many kids to make it out of here and play for a major program like that [Pitt]. Being at the game with all those recruits gave me a sense of motivation and I told myself that I can do this, I have what it takes, I just need to keep working.”
“If I were to receive an offer from Pitt one day, it would mean everything to me. Since I was a young kid, I grew up watching Pitt and they’ve been my dream school.”