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One Last Look at Pitt’s Class of 2021 Before First National Signing Day

One Last Look at Pitt’s Class of 2021 Before First National Signing Day

One week from today, high school players around the country will have the opportunity to make their verbal commitments to college programs binding by signing their National Letters of Intent.

College football will once again have two signing periods, this is for the players that haven’t made final decisions yet. The first period is from Dec. 16-18 and then the second signing day which is on Feb. 3.

Following the de-commitment/breakup with Florida linebacker Derrveron Maxwell-Black, the Panthers have 22 commitments, with most of those players set to sign next Wednesday. Despite the up and down season, Pitt is on pace to have their highest ranked recruiting class of the Narduzzi era, as they’re currently ranked #19 by Rivals and #22 by 247 Sports.

Here is a look at Pitt’s current class along with the order in which they committed Pitt and some other recruiting details. Prospect ratings represent the player’s highest rating.

Nahki Johnson (6-foot-3, 210 pounds), four-star defensive end (West Mifflin High School)

The first player member of this recruiting class, as he committed back on June 25, 2019. Johnson is rated as a Rivals Top 175 player and one of the Top 10 weak-side defensive ends in the country. This core member of this recruiting class also held offers from LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Johnson will be signing next Wednesday and enrolling early.

Rodney Hammond (5-foot-10, 185 pounds), four-star running back (Norfolk, Virginia):

Hammond was the first major get by Chris Beatty from the state of Virginia. He’s currently ranked as one of the Top 15 recruits in the state and has possibly been Pitt’s most under-the-radar recruit since committing back on Nov. 2, 2019. Prior to pledging to Pitt, Hammond also had offers from Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina, TCU, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He is one of two running backs in Pitt’s recruiting class.

Javon McIntyre (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), three-star safety (Philadelphia)

McIntyre was an important recruit for Cory Sanders and Pitt because he’s from Imhotep Charter School in Philadelphia, a talent-rich program that Pitt hasn’t had success mining recruits from in the past. Like with Hammond, we haven’t heard much from McIntyre, but he’s a talented player that could have an early impact. Along with Pitt, he held offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. High marks for Sanders for creating a good relationship and landing this talented defensive back. McIntyre will be signing next Wednesday.

Terrence Rankl (6-foot-5, 275), three-star offensive tackle (Massillon, Ohio)

After a break in commitments for three months, Rankl started a run of five commitments in a week for Pitt when he gave a verbal on April 23. Like with McIntyre, Pitt was able to get another player from a high school that produces Power Five talent on a yearly basis. Credit Archie Collins and Dave Borbely for the recruitment of Rankl, who’s ranked as one of the Top 20 prospects in Ohio. Rankl also received offers from programs like Arizona State, Cincinnati, Duke, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue and Vanderbilt. This commitment started the run of talented offensive lineman that Pitt was able to secure this year. Rankl will be signing next Wednesday and enrolling early.

Courtesy of Terrence Rankl

Jaden Bradley (6-foot-4, 195 pounds), three-star wide receiver (Hyattsville, Maryland)

Bradley is no doubt one of Pitt’s most intriguing prospects considering this is just his second year playing wide receiver after converting from quarterback. With his size and speed, he looks to be a future deep threat in Pitt’s passing attack. Bradley also held two Power Five offers (Virginia and Wake Forest) before committing to Pitt on April 23.

Myles Alston (6-foot-1, 175 pounds), three-star wide receiver (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

The Panthers next commitment was also a wide receiver and another big get by Beatty from Virginia Beach. Alston is a skilled receiver that, like Jordan Addison did this year, has a chance to make an immediate impact in Pitt’s offense in 2021. Alston, who’s ranked as one of the Top 20 prospects in Virginia, had other offers from Maryland, Ole Miss, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Alston will be signing next Wednesday and enrolling early.

Nate Yarnell (6-foot-6, 200 pounds), three-star quarterback (Austin, Texas)

After not taking a quarterback in their Class of 2020, Pitt got one from Lake Travis High School, the quarterback factory in Austin, Texas. This was an interesting get for Pitt because while having obvious physical talent, Yarnell is very inexperienced having only started a handful of games. In all likelihood, if Yarnell had been a multiple-year starter, he would’ve had a page full of Power Five offers and it would’ve been difficult for Pitt to land him. Yarnell will sign next Wednesday and plans to enroll early. Yarnell committed to Pitt on April 30.

Marco Fugar (6-foot-3, 275 pounds), three-star offensive lineman (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Fugar was the second player to commit to Pitt on April 30. Charlie Partridge led the recruitment of Fugar, as he comes from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His future with Pitt is in the interior line, either at guard or center. Fugar’s other Power Five offer came from Maryland.

Terrence Enos (6-foot-5, 315 pounds), three-star offensive tackle (Detroit)

Enos was the first of three commitments that Pitt received on Mothers Day (May 10) and was a huge get for Pitt. The Panthers staff recruited Enos for over two years and had to beat out programs like Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Missouri, Purdue, Vanderbilt and West Virginia. Aside from getting a player with a huge upside, this was big for Pitt because Enos is from Cass Tech in Detroit, a factory for high level recruits. Despite recruiting the state for years, Enos also became Pitt’s recruit from Michigan since Avonte Maddox. Credit Collins and Borbely for landing Enos, who will sign in December and enroll early.

Brandon Honorable (6-foot-7, 315 pounds), three-star offensive tackle (Detroit)

The duo of Collins and Borbely were also instrumental in getting Honorable, another big, talented offensive tackle from Detroit (Martin Luther High School). Honorable is rated as one of the Top 20 prospects in Michigan and plans on signing next Wednesday. This big, physical lineman also received offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Tennessee and Syracuse.

Preston Lavant (6-foot-2, 200 pounds), three-star linebacker (Cordele, Georgia)

Pitt added a fast, physical, play-making linebacker with the commitment of Lavant. I’d list Lavant as another under-the-radar get because I believe he can and will make a big impact on defense. Along with Pitt, Lavant held offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Minnesota, Nebraska and West Virginia. Collins led the way in getting Lavant along with assistance from Rob Harley.

Malik Newton (5-foot-11, 215 pounds), three-star running back (Norfolk, Virginia)

Newton became Pitt’s second running back in this class when he committed back on May 26. The Pitt offense is in need of a physical back that can get the tough yards and Newton could be that guy. One of the things that stands out about Newton is his impressive offer list that includes Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He is rated as one of the Top 10 seniors in Virginia and plans on signing with Pitt next Wednesday and enrolling early. Credit Chris Beatty for this important commitment.

Noah Biglow (6-foot, 170 pounds), three-star cornerback (Seffner, Florida)

After originally committing to Iowa State, Biglow changed his mind and gave a verbal to Pitt on May 28. Biglow is a ball hawk that can makes impact plays in the secondary. Credit Rob Harley for his persistence in the recruitment of Biglow, who will sign next Wednesday but won’t be enrolling early.

Khalil Anderson (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), four-star cornerback (Atlanta)

When looking for guys that have the chance to make an immediate impact with Pitt, Anderson has to be a guy that leads that conversation. The entire Pitt staff was pretty excited when this Georgia native committed to them on June 5. Since deciding on Pitt, Anderson has continued to get recruited by other programs, as he holds offers from Arkansas, Kansas State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Syracuse and Wake Forest. A big factor in getting this talented player is the relationship he developed with Collins and the fact that he was able to make a visit to the Pitt campus. The last time Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke to Anderson a few weeks ago, he said he didn’t plan on signing until February.

Stephon Hall (6-foot-2, 165 pounds), three-star safety (Central Valley High School)

Pitt was the first program to offer Hall and that paid off when he game them a verbal commitment on June 5. Hall is a physically gifted player that will likely need a year or so of development before he’s ready to make a big impact in the secondary. Hall, who’s one of a handful of WPIAL players that Pitt recruited, also received offers from Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest and West Virginia. Sanders for this get. Hall will sign next Wednesday but isn’t sure yet when he will enroll.

Trey Andersen (6-foot-6, 250 pounds), three-star tight end/offensive tackle (Eagle Mountain, Utah)

Andersen’s long journey of recruiting finally ended when he committed to Pitt on June 30. Out of high school, Andersen committed to BYU before de-committing and attending a two-year religious mission in California. Tim Salem formed a relationship with Trey’s father, Jason, which helped this process along. It’s unclear at this point which position Andersen will start off at Pitt, as it’s possible he plays offensive tackle, a position his father played in the NFL.
Andersen will sign with Pitt next Wednesday and will enroll early.

Elliot Donald (6-foot-3, 265 pounds), four-star defensive tackle (Central Catholic High School)

Possibly Pitt’s most anticipated commitment was that from four-star defensive tackle Elliot Donald from Central Catholic. Donald is rated as one of the Top 100 players in the country and Top 10 players as his position. Pat Narduzzi, Partridge and Sanders all played a big role in this major get as Donald also held offers from LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Donald will sign next Wednesday and enroll early at Pitt. Donald is another player with an opportunity to get early playing time on Partridge’s defensive line rotation.

Courtesy of Elliot Donald

Jake Renda (6-foot-5, 220 pounds), three-star tight end (Bradenton, Florida)

The headline with this commitment was two-fold: First, Pitt got a player from IMG Academy, one of the top programs in the country. Second, Pitt finally landed a high school tight end. Renda was originally committed to Michigan State but changed his mind and flipped to Pitt on Aug. 10. He also held offers from Arizona, Boston College and NC State. Tim Salem played a big role in the recruitment of Renda, who will sign next Wednesday and enroll early.

Dorien Ford (6-foot-4, 290 pounds), three-star defensive tackle (Baldwin High School)

This was another big recruiting win for Pitt as Ford became the third highly ranked defensive lineman from the WPIAL to commit to Pitt. Ford will join his friends Donald, Dayon Hayes and Johnson to form the nucleus of an impressive future defensive line. Ford also held offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Gavin Bartholomew (6-foot-5, 250 pounds), three-star tight end (Schuylhill Haven, Pennsylvania)

Bartholomew became Pitt’s sixth commitment from Pennsylvania when he made his decision last week. He’s also another player that flipped from his original commitment (Buffalo). Salem and Pitt have been recruiting him since the beginning of the year but finally decided to offer him in November, which led to him deciding on Pitt. Bartholomew will sign next week and will enroll in December.

Kyle Fugedi (6-foot-6, 290 pounds), three-star offensive tackle (Livonia, Michigan)

Fugedi committed to Pitt on Dec. 1 after de-committing from Miami, Ohio. Fugedi is a very athletic and talented lineman that has the versatility of playing multiple positions at Pitt, although he’s likely to start out at offensive tackle. This becomes Pitt’s third commitment from Michigan and all happen to be offensive lineman. Credit Borbely for this get. Fugedi will sign next Wednesday but will not be enrolling early.

Naquan Brown (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), four-star linebacker/defensive end (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Pitt’s most recent commitment was a big one when this talented four-star defensive star flipped from LSU to Pitt. Brown, who’s a high school teammate of Alston, had Pitt in his group of finalists in July when he originally committed to LSU. Pitt is getting another major addition to their defense, has he’s rated as one of the Top 200 players in the country and Top 15 outside linebackers. Brown held over 30 offers including ones from LSU, Boston College, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Brown plans on officially signing next Wednesday.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Terrence Otoole
Terrence Otoole
4 months ago

Very nice read mike ,i guess Anderson is the one im most nervous about losing at this pt ,id like to hear your thoughts on that mike

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