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Pat Narduzzi has developed a strong preferred walk-on program at Pitt. The program has developed several quality starters including Jimmy Morrissey, George Aston and Sean Idowu. Bruising running back Angelo Priore (5-foot-11 inches, 210 pounds) from Baldwin High School (Pittsburgh, PA) was the latest player to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity.
Pittsburgh Sports Now with Baldwin High School head football coach Loran Colley and Angelo Priore about the recent commitment.
“My first contact with Pitt goes back to my sophomore year. I had a pretty good sophomore year and they ended up contacting me right after the season,” said Priore. “I went to one of their camps that year. We talked quite a bit when I was a camp.”
Priore rushed for 759 yards and seven touchdowns his sophomore season. He anticipated having an eye-opening junior season until a pair of significant injuries nearly ended his athletic career. “My junior year I ended up tearing both of my quads,” he said. “I tore one right before camp. I ended up letting it heal and a week four we were playing Woodland Hills High School and I tore the other one during a Wednesday practice that week. The doctor said I had a better shot of hitting the Power Ball.”
Despite having a multitude of reasons to quit the game of football, Priore chose to pursue months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. He returned from his senior season and rushed for 720 yards and eight touchdowns on 81 carries. Priore was asked about his current health status. He replied, “I’m 100%. Right now, I feel great. I’ve been in the gym hitting it hard.”
When he was asked about his decision to join the Pitt football program, he confidently stated, “I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I was weighing out my options. I thought about D2 football but I’m a stay forward, go get them type of guy. I figured I’ll just walk-on at Pitt. I had a lot of people getting in my ear about it as well.”
Priore was asked to describe his running style and he wasted little time stating, “I just like to run downhill. I like to run people over.” The Baldwin product is a physical running back capable of running a 4.5 forty-yard dash.
“I can’t wait to get to Pitt. It’s a great opportunity and I’m really excited.”
“Angelo is a big, strong, physical runner. What people fail to realize is he’s one of the top 100-meter runners in the WPIAL. He visited Pitt and ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash which peaked their interest,” stated Baldwin high school head football coach Loran Cooley. “Running that speed at his size, it fits some of what Pitt does when they run power. He can do well for them when they put him in the backfield.”
“Pitt has always had their eye on Angelo. His sophomore year he was projected as a P5 football player. Due the injuries he’s experienced throughout the past couple of years, it kept him under the radar,” he said. “Even with the injuries, Pitt has always had him on their radar. You can’t ignore his size, strength and ability to run a 4.5 forty.”
“Angelo’s strong senior season is a testament to how much of a warrior he is. He had some strained quad muscles his junior year. That lingered on throughout the season, which he fought through it and tried to do the best he could for our football team,” he said. “He did it because he’s such a huge part of what we did offensively. He kind of tweaked it his senior year, just a minor tweak. He fought through it again and we allowed him to rest it. Now he’s having a great off season and he’s getting ready for track. That’s why he’s down to 200 pounds now. He’s healthy and excited and looking forward to joining the team at Pitt.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru