UPDATE, 4:51 p.m.
Watch as four-star Atlanta cornerback Khalil Anderson put pen to paper at Riverwood International Charter School on Wednesday morning to officially become a Pitt Panther.
UPDATE, 4:39 p.m.
I met up with Elliot Donald, Dorien Ford and Nahki Johnson this afternoon. They talked about playing at Pitt together and what it means.
UPDATE, 4:36 p.m.
Here’s some photos of Pitt tackle Terrence Enos Jr. signing at his high school in Detroit this morning.
Update (1:53 PM)-
Update (12:05 PM)-
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) December 16, 2020
Update (11:54 AM)-
UPDATE, 10:09 a.m.
We’re waiting on just two more players at this point, as Ft. Lauderdale offensive lineman Marco Fugar is the lone commit that has not signed that we haven’t heard from. Offensive line commit Brandon Honorable will be signing in February, maybe with Pitt. There is also a new commit that has yet to sign.
UPDATE, 9:39 a.m:
Watch as Pitt quarterback commit Nate Yarnell officially signed with the Panthers along with his teammates at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas.
UPDATE, 9:11 a.m:
Just minutes after the singing period opened for players residing in the Mountain Time Zone, Utah tackle Trey Andersen has signed with the Panthers.
Andersen is an interesting prospect. Originally a member of the Class of 2019 and committed to BYU as a tight end, he took a two-year mission as member of the LDS Church.
Coming back to football, the now 6-foot-6, 270-pound Andersen will play tackle for the Panthers and is the fourth offensive line commit to sign with the Panthers in the class.
UPDATE, 9:05 a.m:
Pitt’s fifth four-star prospect in the Class of 2021 has signed, as Virginia linebacker Naquan Brown has submitted his paperwork to the Panthers.
Brown’s addition to the class was a finishing touch with a flourish from Narduzzi, Virginia recruiter Chris Beatty and company.
A consensus four-star prospect, Brown was originally committed to LSU before flipping to the Panthers on Dec. 4. Brown is 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and while 247 Sports lists him as the No. 16 weak-side defensive end in the country, it seems just as likely that Brown will play Money outside linebacker for Pitt. Brown told PSN he is comfortable with doing either.
When combined with fellow four-star recruits Khalil Anderson, Elliot Donald and Nahki Johnson, Pitt’s Class of 2021 has a chance to be dangerous on the defensive side of the ball.
Brown and the rest of Pitt’s Virginia recruits did not play high school football this season. Beatty was the lead recruiter for Brown.
UPDATE, 8:52 a.m:
If Rodney Hammond is the lightning of Pitt’s Class of 2021 running back duo, fellow Virginian and consensus three-star prospect Malik Newton is the thunder.
Newton, a 5-foot-11, 223-pound back from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia, is another find for area recruiter Chris Beatty, as Pitt landed the No. 16 player in Virginia to go along with No. 7 Naquan Brown.
UPDATE, 8:34 a.m:
DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland near Washington, D.C. has been good to the Panthers over the years, with current Pitt defensive players John Morgan and Judson Tallandier both Stags alumni.
This year, Pitt has a big-time prospect from the other side of the ball from DeMatha, as three-star wide receiver Jaden Bradley has signed with the Panthers. A former quarterback, Bradley is 6-foot-4 and the No. 32 player to come out of the state of Maryland in this class.
UPDATE, 8:24 a.m:
Pitt’s top recruit is in, as four-star defensive lineman Elliot Donald from Central Catholic has signed with the Panthers.
Pitt’s top recruit in the class and most significant legacy prospect in a long time, Donald seemed destined to land at Pitt long before he committed on July 24. The nephew of NFL star and Pitt defensive line great Aaron Donald, Elliot took off his senior season at Central Catholic to stay safe from COVID-19 and prepare to enroll this January with the Panthers.
Donald is 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, an increase of 25 pounds over his junior season, which will better suit him following his uncle’s footsteps and playing defensive tackle at the next level.
Donald is the No. 6 player in Pennsylvania and the the No. 118 prospect in the nation, according to 247 Sports composite. He is the second-highest rated player in Western Pennsylvania, behind only Gateway’s Derrick Davis, who committed to LSU.
UPDATE, 8:17 a.m:
After not taking a freshman quarterback in the Class of 2020, Mark Whipple and company have landed talented but inexperienced passer Nate Yarnell from Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas.
Yarnell did not start until his senior season, and that was cut short due to injury, so the talented passer has not had much game film. But at 6-foot-6, with a strong arm, he’s full of upside.
Yarnell is No. 149 player from the state of Texas and the No. 36 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2021.
UPDATE, 8:13 a.m:
Running back Rodney Hammond is the second of Pitt’s Virginia recruits to sign today. Hammond was the second player in the class to commit to Pitt and area recruiter Chris Beatty back in 2019 out of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia.
Listed as an athlete by several recruiting services, Pitt sees Hammond as a running back in the Vincent Davis mold, with his 5-foot-11, 185-pound stature and pass-catching abilities making him an attractive option for Pitt’s pro-style offense.
Hammond is another player that missed his fall senior season.
UPDATE, 8:07 a.m.
It’s back-to-back former MAC recruits, as Kyle Fugedi, who flipped from Miami University to Pitt on Dec. 1 is officially a Panther.
Fugedi is an athletic tackle from Livonia, Michigan, one of three offensive line commits from the state in the class for Pitt. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Fugedi is a multi-sport star, also playing ice hockey.
In football, he’s the No. 32 player to come out of Michigan in the class and the No. 98 tackle in the country.
UPDATE, 8 a.m.
Gavin Bartholomew was a player Pitt was watching for a long time at Blue Mountain High School near Pottsville, Pa. Bartholomew was originally committed to Buffalo, but a late offer from Tim Salem was all he needed to change his mind and commit to the Panthers on Nov. 29.
A three-star prospect, Bartholomew has good size at 6-foot-5, 248 pounds and was used in a number of roles on offense for his high school. He is the No. 40 player in the state and No. 95 tight end in the country.
Bartholomew joins Jake Renda as a pair of tight ends in the class, with Utah’s Trey Andersen able to play tackle or tight end.
UPDATE, 7:56 a.m:
Pitt’s success in Georgia continues with the second player from the state to sign today, Crisp County linebacker Preston Lavant.
Lavant (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) is a three-star prospect and the No. 142 player in the state. He’s joined in the class by four-star cornerback Khalil Anderson and on Pitt’s roster by cornerback Rashad Battle, wide receiver Jaylon Barden, cornerback Hunter Sellers and running back Paris Brown, all of which are sophomores or younger.
UPDATE, 7:54 a.m:
Pitt’s first commit in the class is the 10th to submit his signature. Johnson gave his pledge way back on June 25, 2019.
The consensus four-star defensive end prospect is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds. A Homestead native, Johnson spent his final two season of high school football at West Mifflin High School, where PSN caught up with him earlier this season.
Johnson is the No. 4 player in the WPIAL, No. 10 in Pennsylvania and No. 256 in the country, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.
UPDATE, 7:48 a.m:
Area recruiter Chris Beatty has obviously had the biggest impact on four Virginia players coming to Pitt in the Class of 2021. Pitt’s second-best recruiter in the area might be Myles Alston, a three-star wide receiver and the No. 22 player in the state that became a Pitt evangelist after committing to the Panthers way back in April.
Alston was instrumental in Pitt eventually getting a commitment from his Ocean Lakes High School teammate, four-star linebacker Naquan Brown, and is a solid prospect at wide receiver in his own right.
Alston and the rest of the Virginians are coming to Pitt without having played their senior season, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE, 7:42 a.m:
The defensive backs are done, and Pitt’s second WPIAL player in the class has submitted his paperwork, as Central Valley safety Stephon Hall is officially a Panther.
Hall (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) chose to stick with his hometown team after winning back-to-back WPIAL titles at Central Valley.
He’s a three-star prospect, the No. 21 player in Pennsylvania and the No. 9 to come out of the WPIAL in this class, according to 247 Sports composite.
UPDATE, 7:38 a.m:
It feels like Pitt has been looking for the answer at tight end forever, with about four consecutive years of the position being mostly manned by transfers.
That could change in 2021 as Trenton, New Jersey native Jake Renda has signed with the Panthers by way of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
A three-star recruit, Renda has the size at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and the savvy as a former high school quarterback to make an impact at the position.
UPDATE, 7:30 a.m:
Florida cornerback Noah Biglow was already committed to Iowa State when he got an offer from Pitt in May, and it only took him a couple weeks to decide that the Panthers were a better fit. Biglow flipped his commitment from ISU to Pitt on May 28, giving he the Panthers’ secondary a speed injection.
A native of Seffner, Florida in the Tampa area, Biglow is a consensus three-star prospect and the No. 91 cornerback in the nation. The 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back is the third of an expected four-man DB signing class.
UPDATE, 7:24 a.m:
The news is coming in quickly now. Michigan offensive lineman Terrence Enos Jr. is the fifth player to sign and the second of Pitt’s five linemen expected on Wednesday.
Enos, from Detroit’s Cass Tech high school, is one of three Michigan commits in the class for Pitt and area recruiter Archie Collins.
At 6-foot-5, 317 pounds, Enos probably projects as a tackle at Pitt, and he’s a consensus three-star prospect and the No. 20 player from Michigan in the class, one behind fellow Pitt offensive line commit Brandon Honorable, who is No. 19. Honorable is not expected to sign today.
UPDATE, 7:19 a.m:
The first surprise of the day. Pat Narduzzi has announced a new commitment to Pitt in the Class of 2021, which will be Pitt’s 22nd commitment at the moment.
There are a few defensive backs we’ve had on our radar, including Ohio three-star cornerback Tamarion Crumpley and three-star Vanderbilt cornerback commit Marien Sewell. We’ll start working on the identity of the late-in-class commit.
UPDATE, 7:13 a.m:
Philadelphia safety Javon McIntyre is the second of six Pennsylvanians expected to sign with Pitt today. McIntyre plays for Imhotep, a Philly charter school that has been a bonafide factory for Division I talent over the last few years.
The 6-foot-1, 187-pound safety will be the first player from the school to play at Pitt, and Philadelphia area recruiter Cory Sanders has worked hard to open a potential pipeline there.
McIntyre is a consensus three-star prospect and the No. 18 player in the state, according to 247 Sports.
UPDATE, 7:09 a.m:
Georgia cornerback Khalil Anderson has signed with the Pitt, the first of the Panthers’ four-star recruits in the class.
Anderson is rated as a four-star cornerback prospect and is one of two players expected to sign on Wednesday out of Pitt’s emerging recruiting hotbed of Georgia.
Anderson is from Riverwood High School in Atlanta and is the No. 41 player in the Peach State. The Panthers and area recruiter Archie Collins out-dueled Michigan State to land Anderson and was able to keep him despite late offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Miami and Penn State.
UPDATE, 7:06 a.m:
Ohio offensive lineman Terrence Rankl is the second Pitt player with his paperwork completed. Always seems like linemen come in early in the day.
Rankl is a big, athletic lineman from legendary Ohio football powerhouse Washington High School in Massillon. Among the school’s football alumni are Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals coach and owner Paul Brown, Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce and former Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills linebacker Chris Spielman.
Rankl (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) credited the nearby distance from Massillon, which is just west of Canton, Ohio and the Pitt’s relationship with the Pittsburgh Steelers as reasons he picked the Panthers over a handful of other Power Five offers.
Unlike some of Pitt’s Class of 2021, Rankl got to play his senior season, with the Tigers making it all the way to the Ohio state title game.
He’s part of a large group of linemen that have committed to Pitt, with a total of six players in the class and five expected to sign on Wednesday.
UPDATE, 7:02 a.m:
Three-star Baldwin defensive tackle Dorien Ford is the first player to submit his paperwork to Pat Narduzzi.
Patience was key for Pitt in landing the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Ford. The No. 5 player in the class from the WPIAL, Pitt extended an offer to Ford way back in April of 2019.
The Panthers were his second Power Five offer, coming three days after an offer from Penn State, and a year and a half later, he became one of 11 head-to-head recruiting wins for the Panthers over the Nittany Lions in this cycle.
Ford is the No. 12 player in Pennsylvania and the No. 458 player in the country according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings and was a productive lineman on both side of the ball for Baldwin.
Good morning, Pitt fans. The coffee is on, it’s not snowing yet and we’re just about set for National Signing Day in the early signing period for the Class of 2021 to commence.
Pittsburgh Sports Now will have live coverage as the signings roll in this morning, starting at 7 a.m.
Pitt currently has 21 players in its Class of 2021 recruiting class, and the vast majority of them are expected to sign today, including four-star Virginia linebacker Naquan Brown and Pitt’s trio of talented local defensive line prospects, Elliot Donald (Central Catholic), Dorien Ford (Baldwin) and Nahki Johnson (West Mifflin).
From what PSN has learned, Michigan offensive lineman Brandon Honorable, who committed to Pitt on May 10, will not sign today. He could still pick the Panthers down the road.
Of the other 20, Virginia wide receiver Myles Alston, Philadelphia safety Javon McIntyre, Schuylkill Haven, Pa. tight end Gavin Bartholomew and Ohio offensive lineman Terrence Rankl are all expected to sign early this morning.
Michigan offensive lineman Terrence Enos will be signing and talking with PSN via Zoom from Cass Tech High School in Detroit at 8:30 a.m.
At 9 a.m., quarterback Nate Yarnell will sign at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas and Florida defensive back Noah Biglow will be signing at Armwood High School.
George linebacker Preston Lavant is expected to be signing at Crisp County High School at 10 a.m.
At noon, Virginia running back Malik Newton will be signing live on Instagram.
At that same time, I’ll be in the South Side, where Donald, Elliot and Johnson will be signing together.
Then at 1 p.m., Pat Narduzzi will join us via Zoom from Pitt’s South Side facility.