For the second straight recruiting class, Pitt’s been able to land a big offensive tackle from the state of Ohio.
Last year it was Branson Taylor (6’6″, 290) from Elyria, Ohio and on Thursday, Terrence Rankl announced that he’d be playing college football for the Pitt Panthers.
Rankl (6’6″, 280) is from Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio and selected Pat Narduzzi’s program over other opportunities from Arizona State, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Rankl is rated as a 3-star recruit by both Rivals and 247 Sports and was recruited to Pitt by both Dave Borbely and Archie Collins.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Rankl on Thursday evening to find out more about him and why he decided on Pitt.
“After talking with my family and friends, I just felt that today was the right time to make that decision,” said Rankl. “I appreciated that the Pitt staff kept letting me know that I was a top priority for them.”
“I really have a great connection with the Pitt coaches that’s for sure. I was recently able to take a individual virtual tour with Mickey Jacobs. It was funny, he was wearing my jersey around town or the ‘lay of the land’ as he likes to call it. I also saw the new dorms that they’re building which are very nice. So after countless weeks of talks with Coach Duzz, Coach Collins and Coach Borbs, who I’ve talked to probably three times a week for the past week, I felt it was time.”
In these current times of uncertainty, the relationship that Rankl was able to form with the Pitt staff plus the fact he’s visited Pitt numerous times made this decision easy. The previous visits to Pitt were key because Rankl was forced to cancel other unofficial visits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve actually been to Pitt like five or six times in my life,” said Rankl. “Honestly, everytime I’ve been there, I’ve left with good vibes and that it’s just a great place to be. The time that I spent there earlier this year at Junior Day was really fun, going to the basketball game and the time I spent with the support staff was important.”
The Pitt coaches received 4 verbal commitments over the past two days, and in case you’re wondering, Rankl was the most recent ‘Pat Signal’ from late Thursday afternoon. Rankl tells PSN that before he informed the Pitt coaches of his decision, he personally called all the coaches from the other programs that were recruiting him to inform them of his decision to select Pitt.
“I thanked them all for them showing interest in me, for recruiting me and the opportunity to attend their particular school. I appreciated that they showed belief in me and saw the athletic potential in me.,” said Rankl. “I then called Pitt around 1 p.m. was able to get Coach Duzz, Coach Collins and Coach Borbely on FaceTime and told them it was time.”
Rankl becomes Pitt’s sixth verbal commitment for the Class of 2021 and the first offensive lineman to give a pledge. Pitt has gotten three offensive players (Rankl, RB Rodney Hammond, WR Jaden Bradley) and three defensive players (LB Trevion Stevenson, DE Nahki Johnson and S Javon McIntyre).