At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Pitt will be graduating two tight ends and desperately need to add players at that position.
Today, they were able to do that when Tom Nealis (6’5″, 225) from Miller Place, New York accepted Pitt’s offer to join the team as a preferred walk-on for the 2020 season. Nealis received the offer and Monday and today he announced that he was accepting it and wanted to become a Pitt Panther.
“I’ve been talking to them for about two months now,” Nealis told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I actually visited them on Monday and they were definitely my number one choice. They offered me this opportunity and I wanted it right away. I wasn’t expecting it completely but I’m glad it happened and I’m looking forward to playing for Pitt.”
“The coaches expressed to me that two seniors would be graduating and that they would only have two players at tight end left on the roster. They said that they would love to have me join them for the second semester and I’m ready to do that. After a tour of the facilities and the Pitt campus which were beautiful, I talked to Coach Salem for twenty-twenty five minutes and he gave me the rundown. I just need to get my weight up and I’ll be fine. At the end, I talked with Coach Narduzzi and he told me that if I wanted to play tight end at the highest level, that I had an opportunity at Pitt.”
Although he had opportunities at other non-Power Five programs, it didn’t take much time for Nealis to decide that Pitt was going to be it.
“We just felt that this was a great opportunity. The school is beautiful, I love the offense that they run and I pretty much knew what I was going to do. Although, I didn’t tell the coaches but I knew and I’m very excited about going to Pitt.”
Nealis describes the strength of his game as his ability to catch the ball and while he isn’t “bad at it”, he needs to work on his blocking and believes that by gaining some weight and with work in the weight room, he’ll be able to accomplish that.
“Today means a ton to me,” said Nealis. “I love the game of football and can’t wait to get out there. Getting the chance to play on a Power Five program is a huge deal to me because I’m going to get a chance to play at the highest level.”
Link to my hudl Jr Year highlight film: https://t.co/oQGFY0pjga
— Thomas Nealis (@tomnealis5) January 30, 2018