Tuesday was a big day for Laurel Highlands two-sport star Rodney Gallagher as he started out his busy month of recruiting trips by checking out his hometown programs.
Gallagher started out the day by making an unofficial visit to Jeff Capel’s program and finished things up by taking part in the ‘Hometown Throwdown‘ on the South Side hosted by Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt football program.
On the surface, visiting Pitt doesn’t seem like such a big deal because Gallagher is from Western Pennsylvania but that certainly wasn’t the case as we found out last evening. Pat Narduzzi, Brennan Marion and the Pitt staff accomplished their goal of making this evening a special one for Gallagher.
“It was such a great experience because I got to see everything. I had a lot of fun and am really that was my first unofficial visit ever. It was a big day for me,” Gallagher tells Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I got to see every little thing about Pitt. I met the entire coaching staff, saw their facilities, I saw where the Steelers are and actually got to see Najee Harris in the back. I saw the weight room, where the players meet and where the coaches offices are. I was able to have a great talk with Coach Narduzzi, Coach Marion and Coach Karlo also. It was just really a great experience.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallagher wasn’t able to visit Pitt in 2020 so Tuesday was his first time and he admitted that he left the evening pleasantly surprised at how nice the Panthers facilities are.
“Yeah, everything surprised me facilities wise. I honestly didn’t know that they had all that stuff there, all the space and room and everything that they have there to help and offer to their players. It was exciting to see and learn that about Pitt.”
This ‘Hometown Throwdown’ was a collection of the top local talent so you’d imagine that it would be difficult for the Pitt coaches to spend a ton of time with just one player but that wasn’t the case. Gallagher tells PSN that he appreciated the time and effort the Pitt staff took to make Gallagher feel comfortable and for a long conversation the two sides were able to have.
“I actually was with Coach Marion the whole time,” said Gallagher. “At one point, myself, Coach Marion and Coach Narduzzi stepped outside with my dad and my sister and talked for I’d say 30-45 minutes. It was one of the longest talks I’ve had with anyone. With talked about everything. I definitely felt a connection there and realize how much they care about me and how bad they really want me to come there. After the evening, we could tell how high of priority I am for Pitt and how interested they are in me. That makes me really feel good.”
I closed things up by asking Gallagher about recapping the entire day, which included his unofficial visit with the Panthers basketball program. Was he glad the two visits happened on the same day or was it a little too much?
“No, it was fine and was excited for both. I’ve been waiting for this and especially being my first unofficial visit anywhere. It’s something that I have been thinking about for a very long time and am glad that I got to do it. I was ready and didn’t get tired at all and if I could’ve stayed longer I would have. I had a lot of fun and hopefully I’m able to do it again real soon.”