With the success Pitt is experiencing with both developing defensive ends and the way in which their defensive scheme allows them to get after the quarterback, the Panthers might be known in the near future as ‘Defensive End U.”
Both Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones are graduating and are expected to be high picks in the 2021 NFL Draft so Pat Narduzzi and Charlie Partridge are looking to reload the depth at the position for the future.
With that in mind, Pitt extended an offer to a player on Thursday that certainly fills the description of a pass-rushing defensive end.
2022 defensive end Anto Saka received a call from Andre Powell who let him know that he’d earned a scholarship from Pitt. Saka (6-foot-4 225 pounds), from Towson, Maryland, also holds Power Five offers from Virginia Tech, Boston College and told Pittsburgh Sports Now he was excited to add Pitt to that list.
“This is definitely a big step in my recruitment. I’m a big fan of Pitt because my father went there and I like to follow them on television because they have a lot of dynamic players and have produced a lot of dynamic players in the past like Aaron Donald,” said Saka. “He’s not the same position as me but is on the defensive line so that with others players they’ve produced tells me that they know what they’re doing when it comes to coaching the defensive line.
Check out my Junior Season Tape!https://t.co/T5odvSH0LS
— Anto Saka (@ASaka2022) November 22, 2020
“Coach Powell was the coach that told me about the offer. He said that usually they’re very particular when it comes to their recruiting process but when he sent me film over to be watched, he told me that their was one word on my scouting report after they watched it and it was ‘Wow’. On our phone call, he didn’t get into specifics about what made them say ‘Wow’ about me but I guessed they liked it.”
Saka didn’t want to pat himself on the back too much but I asked him what he does on the field that separates him from other players and gets coaches to say ‘Wow’.
“I think one thing that stands out to me is my ferociousness, my aggressiveness and my speed off the edge,” said Saka. “When I have to go get the quarterback, I usually get back there. If I’m needed to get the quarterback, I come off the snap fast, can get physical and use my stunts, which I’m told are exceptional.”
Saka said that he’s looking forward to really getting the recruiting process started and hopefully getting the chance in the near future to get out and visiting some schools. This will be important to him because in the end, his decision won’t be all about football.
“Here’s the thing, no matter what school I decided to attend, I know they all can play football,” said Saka. “For me, it’s going to be more about the life after football, the education I will get, the opportunities I can get because of being at that particular school, what they do for their alumni in terms of job opportunities and stuff like that. Although it sucks to say, at a certain point football ends, hopefully my football career doesn’t end anytime soon but eventually it will and I need to know their are opportunities after it does.”
Although he’s not totally certain, Saka says that he’s interested in getting into the field of bio engineering.