It is often said that a big element in recruiting is relationships and on Monday, another example of that surfaced, when the Pitt staff extended an offer to Class of 2021 tight end Lake McRee from Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas.
That should sound familiar to Panthers fans because it’s the same school as recent Pitt quarterback commit Nate Yarnell. It’s no coincidence that Pitt is now targeting one of the top targets of Yarnell.
”I hadn’t really heard much from Pitt but [Sunday] night, I received a text from Nate,” McRee told Pittsburgh Sports Now on Monday. “He asked if it was OK if he gave my number to Pitt’s tight ends coach because he was asking for it and I said sure.”
”After texting with [Tim Salem], we scheduled a call for [Monday] morning. We talked and he told me that he found out about me through Nate. He previously saw that Nate retweeted one of my tweets and started researching me. After talking about that for a bit, he said that I was a for-sure offer guy and offered me, which I was really happy about.”
McRee (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) is a talented athlete with an impressive list of offers so potentially, this could be a big development for Pitt. McRee also holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Michigan State, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC and Washington.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about McRee is that tight end is a position that he’s just started to play.
“I was actually a quarterback at Lake Travis behind Nate,” said McRee. “We had [2020 Texas commit] Hudson Card and Nate and with Lake Travis being like a quarterback factory, the coaches saw that I was athletic and with Nate being a bit more experienced that me, they asked if I wanted to switch positions in order to see the field quicker. If I could get on the field quicker, I 100% wanted to do it. I tried it and I guess it’s worked out pretty well.”
— Lake McRee (@lake_mcree) January 28, 2020
Because of COVID-19, McRee has been able to take a few unofficial visits that were previously scheduled, so Pitt isn’t trying to play catch-up.
”COVID-19 has definitely put a hit on my recruitment because I was forced to cancel a bunch of crucial visits that I planned to go on,” he said. “In my case, I don’t believe a team is ever getting in too late because if they’re serious about me, then I’m going to be serious about them. I’m looking for a place that I’m going to be utilized well. Like I said, if they’re going to take the time to recruit me seriously, then I’m going to listen and take them serious.”
The final question for McRee was about the relationship he has with Yarnell and could that be a factor in his decision?
”Nate was actually one of the first people that I told after I got off the phone with Pitt,” said McRee. “He and I are very good friends and have been good friends since my freshman year. We’ve built a tight relationship since then and have a tight bond on and off the field. He knows that I’m going to do what’s best for me but I’m sure he’s going to put a few words in my ear because at the end of the day, I’m sure he’d like for us to play together again at the next level.”
McRee told PSN that the schools he’s hearing from the most are Auburn, LSU, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Washington.