The ‘Pat Signal’ has been busy lately as the Pitt football program has received five commitments over the last three days, starting with the linebacker Marquan Pope.
The native of Denton, Texas made his decision on Saturday, during his official visit to Pitt and tells Pittsburgh Sports Now that his mind was made early on his trip and had been leaning towards the Panthers ever since receiving the offer.
“Honestly, my family and I have been talking about Pitt for a while, every since they offered me really,” Pope told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “We’ve been having long conversations about them and how we both really like them. The biggest thing for us heading into the official visit was seeing if I truly did like it and to make sure everything feels right.”
“When I took the official visit, I was in awe. I had high expectations going in but it’s different when you get to see Pitt in person. It’s just an amazing place and an amazing city. After meeting the coaches for the first time in person and meeting and talking to some of the players, it felt like home. When I told my mom my decision, she was super proud of me and very emotional because I worked my butt off since I was six years old and started playing football in order to one day play division-one football. For it to happen after all of the hard work from both me and my parents, with all the money and time they’ve put in, she was just super emotional and super excited and ready for the next chapter.”
Pope described himself as being in “awe” of the visit, I asked him what in particular led to him feeling that way?
“What I really loved was how close everything was,” said Pope. “It wasn’t like you had to hike all the way across town for something, everything was nearby and close. Plus, it really had like a home like feel to it and it felt like a family. What else I was blown away by was really how close we are to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Based on conversations I’ve had with Coach Bates and Coach Manalac, I knew that they were close but I didn’t know the extent of it until I got there. We are really right next to them and we really do get a first hand look to what an NFL team looks like and works out like. That really blew me away. Then when I got to Pittsburgh, just seeing everyone in the streets, walking around, having a good time, socializing, that was great because that’s the kind of city that I want to be in, where people are comfortable with each other and family like. I just loved Pittsburgh. Everyone says good things about Pittsburgh but it’s really different when you’re able to go there and visit.”
Along with being one of four official visits to commit this weekend, he also one of two players from Texas to do so. With the work of Randy Bates, Brennan Marion and Narduzzi, Pitt has put a major effort into recruiting that talent rich state. Pope took notice of that and plans on doing everything he can to make sure that continues.
“No doubt, 100%. I know that my and Che will do everything we can because we’ve already had a conversation about it. We’re definitely going to try and get these Texas kids to go to Pitt. We have a lot of talent in Texas and a lot of kids are really underrecruited. Che and I are going to talk to the coaches about it. We want to make Texas to Pitt the move. I know a lot of kids around here would like to play at Pitt but don’t know much about it. I’m going to do my part to recruit players and Che is going to recruit the Austin area and hopefully in the near future, Pitt becomes the new Texas.”