Pitt’s progress in the recruiting Class of 2021 while quarantined has been nothing short of astounding, as the Panthers have landed a full dozen players in the class, months before they’ve done so in previous years, and have the current No. 23 class in the county, according to 247 Sports.
That ranking would make the 2021 class the best Pitt has had under Pat Narduzzi, and it might be getting better from here.
Since Narduzzi arrived at Pitt, Florida has been an exceedingly important recruiting territory for the Panthers. Pitt’s 27 commits from the Sunshine State since 2015 are second only to the 32 from Pennsylvania.
And while different Pitt coaches have recruiting territories in Florida, the one that is synonymous with the state is defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. Partridge, who recruits the southeastern part of the state for Pitt, was named Pitt’s best recruiter in an ad-hoc Pittsburgh Sports Now poll of Pitt fans on Twitter.
Again, please vote only once.
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) May 14, 2020
The runner-up in that poll, wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, has been busy in this class, with three of the 12 commits coming from Beatty’s eastern Virginia recruiting territory.
Beatty, along with Archie Collins and Cory Sanders, have been significant additions to Pitt’s staff from a recruiting standpoint and are doubtlessly one of the big factors in the rise in national rankings associated with this class.
But this Pitt class has yet to even feel much of Partridge’s influence. Since Narduzzi’s first class, in which Pitt took just 15 players over two months following his hire, Pitt has never had fewer than four players from Florida in a recruiting class.
Some of the players that Partridge has added include projected starting defensive linemen Keyshon Camp and Rashad Weaver, running back A.J. Davis and cornerback Damarri Mathis.
In the Class of 2021, Pitt has just one player from the South Florida footprint: offensive lineman Marco Fugar. Assuming that Partridge will eventually produce to his accustomed level of results, and those players of the same quality as usual, Pitt could be in for an even greater jump in the recruiting rankings than what they’ve already seen.