Connect with us

Pitt FB Recruiting

Cignetti, Underwood Hires Should Help Pitt with Top 2023 Recruiting Offers



With the additions of Frank Cignetti Jr., as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and Tiquan Underwood, as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, Pitt has officially completed its 2022 coaching staff.

With Mark Whipple and Brennan Marion heading out, Cignetti and Underwood heading in, it’s not unfair to say it’s a solid trade. Of course, the results both on the field and in the recruiting chase over the next year — and beyond — will determine that, but it’s been a strong start for Cignetti and Underwood so far.

Pitt football recruiting coverage sponsored by
RM LAW, P.C. is a boutique litigation law firm with a national practice dedicated to protecting shareholders’ interests and promoting improved corporate governance practices.

With Pitt returning a strong group of players in 2022, a ton of scholarships that would have been afforded to 2022 recruits were eaten up. While the 2022 class wasn’t rated very highly, it’s a group with excellent potential and three superior transfers, and Pitt’s 2023 class is expected to be one of the biggest, strongest classes under Narduzzi yet.

Rueben Bain

It would be tough to find a better individual season than Bain’s junior season at Miami Central in Miami, Florida.

In just nine games recorded by MaxPreps, Bain recorded 53 tackles (51 solo), 31 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defended. A season of utter dominance for a state champion.

A four-star defensive end from Miami Central, Bain has received offers from Miami, Arizona State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas and UCF.

Bain is a top priority in Pitt’s 2023 class, serving as one of defensive line coach Charlie Partridge’s top recruits.

Bain is rated as the 196th-ranked recruit in the class of 2023, checking in as the 27th-ranked defensive lineman and the 36th-ranked recruit from Florida, according to 247Sports.

Rivals rates him as the 233rd-ranked recruit in the class, slotting in as the 22nd-ranked strongside defensive end and the 38th-ranked recruit from Florida.

After a visit to Pittsburgh, Bain said he enjoyed his Junior Day visit.

Zachary Aamland

Aamland, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle from the Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey, is a recruit in a hotbed for Pitt.

And after a recent visit to Pittsburgh, he’s seriously considering Pitt as his final college destination. With a visit to Pittsburgh during the season and an unofficial visit last month, Aamland has gotten to experience the entire process.

With offers from Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Marshall, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, Aamland has already garnered serious Power Five interest.

While 247Sports hasn’t rated Aamland yet, Rivals has rated him as the 14th-ranked recruit out of New Jersey and given him a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

Dillan Fontus

Fontus, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end out of Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York, could be the continuation of Pitt sneaking into New York and nabbing influential talent.

Pitt nabbed Israel Abanikanda and AJ Roberts in 2020 and Jimmy Scott and Addison Copeland in 2022 out of New York. Fontus, who isn’t far from where Abanikanda played high school ball, would be the next in a long line of top defensive line talent.

After a visit to Pitt, Fontus felt like he was a priority at Pitt and considers Pitt a serious destination in his future collegiate decision.

While 247Sports hasn’t yet rated Fontus, Rivals has given him a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

With offers from Arizona, Boston College, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ole Miss, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and West Virginia, Fontus has received legitimate Division I interest.

Trakwon Harris

Harris, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back from the Benjamin School in West Palm Beach, Florida, hasn’t been rated yet on 247Sports or Rivals, but has earned a visit to Pitt.

“The day was amazing, and I had a great time,” Harris told PSN. “I felt like I built a short relationship with every coach that I encountered, especially Coach Partridge. The other coaches also were amazing because they made me feel like home even if I was hours away. The best part was when we got to meet Head Coach Pat Narduzzi because he has a great personality and he completely caught me off guard. I thought he was a very strict, mean coach but he was very welcoming to everyone. I learned how Pitt operates their secondary through Coach Saunders and Coach Collins.”

With 15 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown on offense and 34 tackles (22 solo), two forced fumbles, two recoveries and an interception, Harris flashed his potential across the field as a junior.

Andrew Marshall

Marshall, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker from Bloom Carroll High School in Carroll, Ohio, isn’t a huge recruit, but he’s been targeted by Pitt. Enough to earn a visit to Pitt for Junior Day.

“It was a great experience to get see the great facilities and to spend time with the coaches,” Marshall told PSN. “I was blown away by how top notch the facilities are. I think the best part of my day was getting to spend time with my position coach and to get to learn the schemes and formations they run as a defense. I learned about the Cathedral of Learning. All of the classrooms were based off of different countries around the world.”

Marshall helped to lead Bloom Carroll to a 14-1 season in 2021, and while the Bulldogs came up short, he’ll be back again in 2022 as a senior to push for an unbeaten season.

Donovan Walker

Walker, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound wide receiver/safety from Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, helped lead the Quips to a record-setting state title in 2021.

Walker visited Pitt with a couple of teammates on Pitt’s Junior Day, including 2025 running back Tiqwai Hayes and 2024 athlete Cameron Lindsay, and he provided Pitt with the opportunity to see a local star defensive back.

“My overall thoughts on the day was great,” Walker told PSN. “It was a great day to really see what Pitt football was all about and learn more about the team and staff. The best part for me that happened today was probably going over everything in the defensive backs meetings and learning about their defense. As a defensive player, you have to pay attention to detail and learn everyday and they were preaching that today. What I learned about Pitt is they been graduating about 100% of their football athletes every year, they put people in the NFL, and hold life long relationships after football.”

Walker recorded 80 tackles, eight interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, two forced fumbles and 13 passes defended as a junior in 2021, and he’ll return as a key senior in 2022.

Zyian Moultrie-Goddard

Moultrie-Goddard, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker from Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York, is perhaps Pitt’s top target from New York in 2023.

The 66th-ranked linebacker and first-ranked recruit from New York in the class of 2023 helped lead the Gaels to an 11-1 record and state title, recording 323 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground and a team-leading 131 tackles (39 solo), 23 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

After making the trip down to Pittsburgh for Pitt’s Junior Day, Moultrie-Goddard spoke with PSN, highlighting how he felt about his visit.

“I had a great day today, Moultrie-Goddard told PSN. “I really liked the coaching staff. They are all down-to-earth and great people. I really loved Coach Narduzzi’s way of coaching. The best part of the day was breaking down the defense with Coach Manalac and watching film. The thing that surprised me was that I didn’t know how much history was around the school.”

With offers from Arizona State, Syracuse, Tennessee, West Virginia, Buffalo, Rutgers, UConn and interest from Notre Dame, a strong senior season will only drive up his competition.

Riley Robell

Robell, a 6-foot,3, 275-pound defensive lineman from Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pa., helped lead the Crusaders to a state title appearance in 2021.

With 84 tackles (49 solo), 29 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries, Robell fueled one of the best teams in Pennsylvania in 2021.

While Robell hasn’t yet built a platform on 247Sports or Rivals, his work at Bishop McDevitt as a junior makes it only a matter of time before his contributions are recognized at a national level.

With visits to Pitt and Kent State and interest from Coastal Carolina, Robell’s levels will only increase through his senior season.

Mason Robinson

Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive lineman from the McDonough School in Owings Mill, Md., is one of Pitt’s top targets in the entire 2023 class.

A four-star recruit, rated as the 250th-ranked recruit in the class, according to Rivals, checking in as the 18th-ranked weakside defensive end and the third-ranked recruit from Maryland, Robinson made his impact during his high school season.

In just three games recorded by MaxPreps, Robinson racked up 18 tackles (nine solo) and four tackles for loss, helping to fuel a star-studded defensive effort.

Much like Bain, Robinson is another top recruit for Partridge. With offers from Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Marshall, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Morgan State, Robinson has a broad base of offers already.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend