The Pitt Panthers have made a late addition to their 2021 football roster.
Long-snapper James Fineran, from Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Maryland, has accepted Pitt’s offer to join them as a preferred walk-on for the upcoming season. Fineran (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) is the top ranked long-snapper in the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia area and 27th-ranked nationally.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke to Fineran following his decision and found out this opportunity with Pitt came about in the last few weeks.
“I’ve probably been talking to Coach Powell for the last month,” said Fineran. “On February 15, they gave me the opportunity to join them so it’s been kind of quick. I came up to visit Pitt, I loved the city and loved everything about it. I told Coach Powell that and he was pretty quick about telling me that I want you to be our guy and I said I want to be your guy and made it work.
“I came up to check out Pitt a few days before they offered me. I came up over the weekend and walked around with my dad. Although COVID-19 made it kind of different, we kind of pictured where people would be. Other than that, we really loved the stadium, loved the area. The Cathedral of Learning was something that really stood out to me and that I loved about Pitt, I thought it was so awesome. The dorms at Pitt where athletes stay in are awesome and the facilities are NFL great because they share them with the Steelers. Everything about Pitt was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
— James Fineran (@JamesFineran) November 8, 2020
Fineran is fully aware that Cal Adomitis will be the Panthers long-snapper in 2021 and will prepare himself to compete for the job in 2022 but tells PSN that he’s glad he’ll have a season to work under and learn from a player like Adomitis.
“Coach Powell told me that he saw a lot of potential in me and that I snapped a really good ball,” said Fineran. “He thought they could put some muscles on me and make me Pitt’s next guy. Coach told me that Cal is a great snapper and he’s the guy next year but after that I feel as though I have a good shot at competing for the job.”
“I’m really excited to meet Cal because he seems like a great guy and one of those guys that I can learn a lot from. I think he can and will be very valuable in my experience at Pitt and forming me into a player that can start at that level. He’s someone’s wing that I definitely want to be under”
Although this decision comes later than most players in the Class of 2021 made theirs, today is a special day in the life of Fineran and feels blessed and excited to put on the Pitt uniform.
“Today means the world to me. Penn was one of my top options before this. They obviously have great academics and obviously play a little lower level football but it’s still a great school and my parents really wanted me to go there. We all thought that was the place I’d end up but I’m thrilled Pitt came into the mix. I absolutely love the school and is a really big moment in my life. It taught me that if I work hard and put my head down that good stuff is going to happen and good stuff is going to come my way.”