The Pitt Panthers have stockpiled talent for their future defensive line with the addition of players such as Elliot Donald, Dayon Hayes, Nahki Johnson and more.
While they still hope to add another defensive lineman for this year’s recruiting class, the coaching staff is also looking ahead to the Class of 2022.
One player that’s high on their list is an elite defensive end from across the state.
Ken Talley is a four-star defensive end from Northeast High School in Philadelphia and is rated as one of the top 10 sophomore defensive ends and one of the Top 200 players in the country. Currently, Talley holds over 20 offers including ones from Pitt, Arizona State, Baylor, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Pittsburgh Sports Now was able to catch up this morning with Talley to get an update on his recruitment and thoughts he has on Pitt.
“I’m excited about where things are but I know that bigger things are ahead so while things are good, I know that bigger things are head in my future,” said Talley. “(COVID-19) hasn’t really impacted me or my recruitment. If anything, it’s given me more time to work out and get better.”
Right before the interview, Talley was on the phone with a major Power Five program, which is the norm as he’s contacted daily by coaches and programs. Talley told PSN that the teams he’s hearing from the most currently are Michigan, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Tennessee and West Virginia.
“I’ve really been hearing from Pitt since my freshman year,” said Talley. “They were actually my second offer and actually after they offered, six more came right after that. The coach that’s my lead recruiter is Coach [Corey] Sanders, I hear from him a lot. I like the Pitt facilities. I’ve been down there twice already and I really liked it. I like how Pitt emphasizes more than just football, they talk about the education you get there.”
Talley told PSN that he knows Pitt’s most recent commitment, four-star defensive tackle Elliot Donald. In fact, following his commitment, Talley sent out a tweet for Donald.
— KEN “𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗝𝗢𝗞𝗘𝗥“ TALLEY (@KenTalley12) July 24, 2020
Being from Philadelphia, Talley has one more connection to Pitt. He knows and plays against current Pitt 2021 three-star safety commit Javon McIntyre.
Talley is only 16 years old, which means his body is still developing. Right now, he’s 6-foot-2, 225 pounds and admits that because he’s not done growing, he’s not sure of where his future position will be. Defensive end is where he’s playing now but regardless of where he plays, whichever program lands him is going to get a smart, talented, play-maker that could make an impact early at a bunch of positions.
“The school that gets me is getting a lot if versatility,” said Talley. “For instance, when I work out now, I just don’t workout with the defensive line, I work out with the linebackers too, also with the defensive backs so I know all the coverages. With me, I could possibly play anywhere. I could be a defensive lineman, I could play inside or outside linebacker or a safety or a corner.”