Virginia running back Malik Newton has made a verbal commitment to Pitt, choosing the Panthers over a number of Power Five options to become the 13th member of Pitt’s Class of 2021 on Tuesday.
Newton, a 5-foot-11, 223-pound running back from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia, is a three-star prospect, but had an impressive list of major offers.
Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Mike Vukovcan caught up with Newton to discuss his commitment.
Newton picked Pitt from a top list of 12 schools that included Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, Old Dominion, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He also held offers from Charlotte, East Carolina, North Carolina, Texas A&M and Virginia.
Newton is ranked No. 566 in the Class of 2021 by 247 Sports Composite rankings and will become the fourth-highest rated of Pitt’s class, behind defensive end Nahki Johnson, fellow running back Rodney Hammond and offensive lineman Terrence Enos.
Newton is the No. 38 running back in the class, and combined with Hammond, will give Pitt a 1-2 punch at the position, likely completing their recruitment in that area for 2021. The only Pitt running back scheduled to graduate after the 2020 season is A.J. Davis.
Hammond and Newton are also part of a burgeoning group of Virginia natives in Pitt’s recruiting class that also includes wide receiver Myles Alston and defensive end Trevion Stevenson. All four players are from the Tidewater region of southeast Virginia and were recruited to Pitt by receivers coach Chris Beatty.