After months of silence in the recruiting world for Pitt, Jeff Capel and his staff have finally landed their first commit in the 2021 class in Nate Santos, a 6-foot-7 forward from Geneva, Illinois.
“I think with Coach Capel and his staff that I have the best opportunity to grow as a player and as a person at Pitt,” Santos told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “It is a great school in a great conference, and it is a great opportunity to grow as a player and compete and hopefully take the program to the next level.”
Santos is rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 227 player in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite. At his 6-foot-7, 210-pound frame, Santos’ ability to elevate over smaller defenders to get his shots off uncontested is what stands out most about his offensive skill set. Santos’ jump shot extends out past the three-point line and he has built up loads of confidence in his stroke throughout his development.
“I am looking forward to being a great teammate,” Santos added. “I want to see what we can build with the program and hopefully get it back to the status that it deserves and continue to get better.”
After a Zoom call with the entire staff, Santos was offered by Pitt assistant coach Tim O’Toole on March 29, and has now chosen the Panthers just over a week later.
“I’ve got a pretty good relationship with the staff,” he said. “They’re really cool, they’re really good people. Me and Coach [Capel] were just talking about the National Championship game yesterday, so we are pretty cool.”
Coming into a shorthanded locker room, Santos will be looked upon to provide solid minutes in his freshman season with the Panthers. And after watching the recent NCAA tournament play out, he has some lofty goals for his new squad next year in Pittsburgh.
“That’s the goal,” he said about Pitt’s potential to make March Madness. “That’s every kid’s dream, so definitely that is where I hope we can get soon. I am going to work as hard as I can to be a good teammate so hopefully we can build towards that.”
Santos played the last couple of years of his high school ball in Connecticut at The Loomis Chaffee school, but as stated earlier in the article, he is a native of Illinois. As Santos now becomes the first Pitt commit in his class, Capel and his staff are going to keep looking for talent to join him in Pittsburgh.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys and we’ve got a lot of potential,” Santos said. “I am really excited to get to work.”