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It was Virginia Day on Saturday at Pitt as the football staff hosted a number of underclassman from The Old Dominion.
Pat Narduzzi and his staff hosted juniors and sophomores such as offensive tackle Paul Hutson, wide receiver Myles Alston, defensive end Naquan Brown, defensive tackle Desaun Williams, wide receiver Ahmarian Granger, wide receiver Jaden Bradley, defensive end George Wilson, wide receive Kaden Prather, athlete Naquari Rogers and Class of 2021 Pitt commit, running back Rodney Hammond.
Since the hiring of wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, Pitt has made a concerted effort to focus on recruiting the state of Virginia more and making it more of a priority. That effort got some positive results back in December when they landed Hammond.
Life Christian Academy (Chester Virginia) head coach Charles Scott made the trip to Pittsburgh yesterday with a couple of his players and PSN spoke to him Sunday morning about the day and impressions he got took in from the visit.
“Two things that stood out to me were Pitt’s Life Skills Program and the life after football that Pitt spoke about,” said Scott. “That was huge to me. Pitt really prepares you for life after football whether your last game is in the pros or your last game is as a senior at Pitt. Also, how they prepare you for the work force from the day you get there till you leave. The support they show is outstanding.
“The other thing that impressed me was Coach Narduzzi, their head coach. He’s a good dude. He was with us the whole time. I say that because on some visits you see the head coach at the beginning or the end and the assistants or the recruiting staff do a lot but Pitt’s head coach is very hands on, which was very good for us. That tells us that he really cares about his program and also he cares about the young men that he’s bringing in and wanted to have those good conversations with them to know more about them. He just seems like a very fun but a very hard working, loving guy and that really stood out to us.”
Aside from hearing from and spending time with Narduzzi, the group of players and coaches spent a lot of time with Beatty, who is the chief recruiter for most if not all of them. During that time, he made sure they knew that the state of Virginia is a big priority for the Panthers program.
“Coach Beatty told us that he wants to make an impact with the Virginia guys,” said Scott. “Obviously, these guys from Virginia can play at many different places so I think it’s important for any college that wants to be successful recruiting these kids prioritizes them. Pitt is really trying to build a pipeline to Virginia.
“I believe that Coach Beatty is someone that can definitely connect that dot in terms of getting players from Virginia to Pittsburgh. With Coach Beatty, there’s no fluff and he’s very genuine. Players respect coaches that are genuine and honest and that’s the best thing about him.”
— Paul Hutson III (@P_Hutson2022) January 25, 2020
Most of the players that visited yesterday held offers from Pitt and they all left with a common thought about the Pitt football program.
“What I believe the players picked up is that Pitt is a family atmosphere and I think they felt the love and support from the Pitt staff. By staff I mean, the coaching staff, the academic staff, the kitchen staff, everybody. It just felt like all the dots were connected as far as feeling embraced and feeling that family atmosphere. Pitt felt like it was like an extension of your home and you’d continue to get that support.”