Kyle Fugedi had every intention of playing college football for Miami University of Ohio but in the back of his mind, he was wondering an offer would eventually come from Pitt, since they’ve been recruiting him since the beginning of the calendar year.
Fugedi’s wondering ended at the beginning of November when he officially received that offer from Pat Narduzzi and Dave Borbely and from that moment, it was really just a matter of time before he changed his mind with Miami and joined the Panthers.
After giving the Pitt coaches his verbal pledge Monday night, Fugedi announced Tuesday morning that he’s joining Pitt’s Class of 2021, becoming their 22nd member.
“I know this sounds cliche, but this really is a dream come true for me and my family,” Fugedi told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Ever since I was a kindergartner playing NFL Flag Football, I wanted to play college football. To say that I’m a Pitt Panther seems pretty surreal right now and it’s still sinking in. Signing Day will really solidify it for me and I can’t wait to sign. My parents and my sister are really excited for me.
“I pretty much knew back in June, when I got my unofficial offer from Coach Borbely, that Pitt was the place for me. I just needed to let the process play out. What really sealed it for me and my parents was a Zoom call we had with Coach Narduzzi a couple of weeks ago. Coach really laid out the plan they had for me athletically and academically and that really impressed us. As a student, going to the University of Pittsburgh and getting a degree from such a storied and highly regarded university meant a lot to me. I love the urban setting of the campus. As an athlete, I love what Coach Narduzzi and his staff are doing at Pitt and can see us competing for an ACC title. Playing in the top football conference in the country and playing against the very best didn’t hurt either.”
Despite being 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Fugedi is very athletic and mobile for being that large. In fact, aside from playing football, he is a longtime member of his high school hockey team and his only visit to Pittsburgh, was to compete in a hockey tournament. I asked him what type of player and athlete did the Pitt football program just pick up?
“I’m a competitor and I hate to lose,” said Fugedi. “On the field, I’m mean, nasty and physical. Despite those attributes, I’m a very disciplined player. I’m pretty low-key off the field. I can get downfield to the second and third level and am very agile and athletic for my size. I attribute that to playing multiple sports growing up; I played soccer, swam competitively, played travel baseball and travel/high school hockey. But hockey is what helped me the most with my football and balance.”
Fugedi becomes Pitt’s fifth and possibly sixth offensive lineman, depending on the status of Utah tight end/tackle Trey Andersen, in this recruiting class and believes he’ll be seeing the field sooner rather than later.
“Coach Narduzzi and Coach Borbely see me as a starting left tackle for 3 to 4 years but didn’t rule out playing on the right side or even either of the guard positions, which I have played in the past. I’ll play wherever I’m needed to help the team,” said Fugedi.
“Coach Borbely is a great guy. I’ve talked to him pretty consistently since June and have built a really good relationship with him. He’s a straight shooter, says what he means, and I like that in a coach. I can’t wait to get on the field and learn from him and strap on the blue and gold.”