Heading into the summer, the Pitt Panthers have added a quarterback to their depth chart for the 2021 season.
Jake Frantl has accepted Pitt’s offer and will be joining the Panthers as a preferred walk-on. The native of Hartford, Wisconsin received the offer from Pat Narduzzi and Mark Whipple on April 26th and let the coaches know this week that he was accepting it and joining the program.
Frantl and his family arrived in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to tour the city and the University of Pittsburgh and will be staying here for a couple of more days. This morning before taking a more in-depth tour of the campus, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Frantl about his decision and to learn more about the Panthers newest quarterback.
Like many people across the country, Frantl was impacted indirectly by COVID-19. After graduating from high school, Frantl decided to attend a prep school (Georgia Knights Prep Academy) in order to work on his skills and also improve his visibility with potential colleges. That appeared to have worked and Frantl was in discussion with many programs but after the NCAA granted all players an extra year of eligibility, many of the teams that he was talking to reversed course and choose not to add another quarterback with players already on their roster deciding to stick around for another season.
That was definitely a setback for Frantl but it didn’t stop him from his goal of playing major college football.
“After things didn’t work out with teams I was previously talking with, I sent out emails to every head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback coach and player personnel director in the country looking for an opportunity,” said Frantl. “Then one day, Coach Graham Wilbert texted me back and started to develop a relationship with him and things started to get rolling and things went from there.”
“Today and this past couple of weeks has been a reflection and an opportunity to thank all the people that have helped me over the years to get here. I had to go through some struggles to get here but thankfully I had a lot of support growing up and throughout high school. Then this past year, I’ve had a lot of support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches and I appreciate and thank them.”
Frantl has accomplished his goal of playing major college football but knows this is just the beginning of his journey and his hard work has just started.
— Jake Frantl (@jake_frantl) September 22, 2020
“My dad and I talked with Coach Whipple on the phone for a while and I just felt very comfortable,” said Frantl. “He told us that his two sons had been in similar positions and worked out great for them. I’m very appreciative that Coach Whipple was very transparent with me and very clear on his message of what the plan was going to be with me and that I’d have the same opportunity as anyone else and that’s all I’ve ever asked for. I just need an opportunity and I’ll do the rest. After my talk with Coach Whipple, my heart was set on going to Pitt.”
Frantl describes himself as a versatile quarterback with mobility and the biggest part and strength of his game is his preparation. He takes pride in trying to prepare by watching a ton of film and then working harder than anyone else.
“I’m just super excited. We arrived here yesterday and drove around the city. Coach Whipple gave us recommendations of some good restaurants, so we had some good food. The city of Pittsburgh is awesome and reminds me a lot of home. It looks tough and gritty so I’m super pumped to learn more about it as we talk around today.”