As a way of strengthening their bond with local high school football teams, the Pitt Panthers hosted a program from the Pittsburgh City League.
Pat Narduzzi and his staff hosted the Perry Commodores football program on Thursday morning at their football complex on the South Side. Teams from the City League annually produce Division I football players, and that has been the case the last few years with Dayon Hayes (Westinghouse to Pitt), Keith Norman (University Prep to Toledo) and Michael Snowden (University Prep).
It’s a tradition that will continue over the next few years with players like Ta’Mere Robinson (Brashear), Kameron Cheatom (Brashear), Rashan Murray (Akron), George Benjamin (Savannah State), Kevin Smith (Brashear), Amare Gee (University Prep), Tamir O’Neal (Westinghouse), Cornell Weems (Allderdice), Corade Weems (Allderdice) and Tyreese Fearbry (Perry).
Fearbry and his Perry teammates had the opportunity yesterday to get a tour of the Pitt facilities and speak and ask questions to the Pitt coaching staff. Perry 2024 wide receiver/defensive back Taymir Smalls was one of the players from Perry that spent the morning at the South Side and afterwards, talked to Pittsburgh Sports Now about his experience.
“Our coach has real close relations with the Pitt staff and because of that, we got the chance to tour the facility, talked to some of the players on the team, talked to head coach Pat Narduzzi and coach Partridge,” said Smalls. “When we first got there, we went and toured the practice field and they went over the basics like their basic daily routine. Then we to their weight room, the Iron Works and then got to talk to their nutritionists and they talked to use about their program and the importance of a healthy diet.”
To some this morning might not seem like that big of a deal but that wasn’t the case with the players on Perry. Smalls tells PSN that it’s his dream to play D-I football and to get the opportunity to spend the morning around Pitt was not only impressive but also served as a source of motivation for him and his teammates.
“That was very important to me. Going there and seeing everything was one of my lifelong dreams and so exciting. Since I started playing, it’s always been my goal to be able to go D-I and to be about to tour a D-I facility and also talk to their coaches was a lot to take in, very motivating and very nice. It was my first time talking with Coach Narduzzi, he seemed like a great guy and you can tell that he’s a really genuine coach and really cares about his players.”
“I’ve noticed over the last couple of years the amount of kids from the City League that have gone on to play D-I. Knowing that these players have come from the same schools as us, makes everything seem more achievable for us. I know that my goal is within my grasp, all I have to do is keep working very hard to try and achieve it.”
Smalls says that he’s working hard to have a breakout season in order to get more exposure and to start to get his name out there for potential D-I programs.