Frank Cignetti Jr. is getting settled in as he starts his second stint as offensive coordinator for the Pitt football team.
Not only is Cignetti getting familiar with the current Pitt roster, but he’s also starting to scout and recruit players to possibly join him in the future. This past Saturday, Cignetti opened some eyes by extending scholarship offers to six quarterbacks in the Class of 2023. A few of the quarterbacks were four-star recruits so obviously, it wasn’t their first offer, but for Hank Brown it was.
Brown is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound pro-style quarterback from Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Brown and his family moved last year to Nashville from Chicago so that he’d be able to be play for and learn from former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who’s the head coach at Lipscomb Academy.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Brown on Monday about his first Division-I offer, his game and the impact that Dilfer has already had on him in a short period of time.
“I was with Coach Diler at the time and Coach Cignetti Facetimed Coach Dilfer and he started off by telling me a little about the Pitt program and what they’re about,” said Brown. “He then told me about where he’s been throughout the years and he then offered me a scholarship. It was such a cool experience; it was my first offer, and it was cool to see how it all played out. I was unaware of the situation. Coach Dilfer knew ahead of time that Pitt was going to offer me but he didn’t let me know and wanted it to be a surprise. When he called us, I didn’t even know what was going on. I just thought, cool, I’m getting a chance to meet a college offensive coordinator and would have a chance to introduce myself to him. When he offered me, it was just so awesome. I had no clue that was going to happen.”
Check out my Junior Season – https://t.co/BAJKlw43FM
— Hank Brown (@Hankb_15) November 11, 2021
“Coach Cignetti said that he watched my film, the day before and liked what he saw. He liked my size, my release and also told me that he also offered a few more guys from my class. This first offer means a lot, it shows that they trust and believe in me as a player. I have a lot of respect for them for that.”
Brown told PSN that he believes the strengths of his game are his pocket awareness and his ability to read the field.
Not many high school athletes have the opportunity to be coached by a former NFL first-round pick and a Super Bowl winning quarterback, but Brown does and the faith and respect he has for Dilfer was apparent during our phone conversation.
“My family had a connection to him, so we heard about him, came down to visit (Lipscomb Academy) and loved it,” said Brown. “I just love him. He’s a great coach and to have the chance to learn from him, I’m learning from the best of the best. He’s helped my game a ton and he’s taught the coaches around him to be able to teach us the players. It’s really been a true blessing to be a part of his team and learn from him every day.”
— Hank Brown (@Hankb_15) April 18, 2020
“On the field, he’s transformed me into a way better player but the biggest thing I think is what he’s done for me off the field. By watching him, he really learn to lead and how to live your life. He’s such a great person. I’ve learned more about how to live your life off the field along with him helping me to get better on the field as well. He’s been a blessing for me.”
Brown is currently making plans with Pitt and Cignetti to travel to Pittsburgh to make a visit and attend one of Pitt’s spring practices.