A car pulled up to Steelton-Highspire’s Wednesday practice, and as Alex Erby watched a man step out of the car, his eyes were drawn to the Pitt logo on the man’s right chest.
Pitt offensive coordinator (and quarterbacks coach) Frank Cignetti Jr. stepped out of the car, and Erby felt his nerves spike. As Cignetti walked over to the practice field, a smile stretched across his face, Erby felt a resolve spreading within himself.
“I was like, ‘This is it.’ I mean, Pitt’s one of my dream offers, so, I’m like, ‘You either gotta show up or show out.’ So I just had to show what I got,” Erby told PSN.
With Pitt coming off an ACC championship, Erby felt like he had to be hard on himself for Cignetti. Make no mistake Erby performed well Wednesday, but with an audition at the level he faced, he felt like perfection was the only path forward. Erby’s performance (admittedly, a day in which he awarded himself an A+) was exactly what Cignetti wanted to see.
“I was pretty shocked when (Cignetti) said he was offering me a full scholarship,” Erby admitted.
Erby, a 2024 three-star quarterback from Steelton-Highspire High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who measures in at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, holds offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Connecticut, Duke, Kent State, Louisville, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska and Temple.
After Cignetti’s offer Wednesday, offering on the spot after a live evaluation, Erby’s added Pitt to that list.
Beyond Blessed to receive a Full Scholarship from The UniversityOf PITT!🔵🟡#H2P@FrankCignetti @AndrewErby @damehova9 @RyanSnyderOn3 @CoachDuzzPittFB @EdOBrienCFB @CoachJayUConn pic.twitter.com/3px0UWDPQp
— 3⭐️ Alex Erby (@ErbyAlex) May 18, 2022
It hasn’t always been the closest relationship with Pitt, with Pitt’s offensive coordinator search originally hindering an offer, but with new offensive coordinator Cignetti extending the offer, it’s come full circle. It’s only been up and up between Pitt and Erby recently.
Pat Narduzzi and Dave Borbely originally came out to see Erby, with Jonathan DiBiaso continuing the relationship recently, but with Cignetti himself coming out, evaluating and offering, it’s a humbling experience.
With six Power Five offers now, spanning the ACC and Big Ten, Erby said it’s been a crazy process. He’s still trying to take in exactly what’s going on, but he wants to enjoy it. After all, aside from someone like Mehki Flowers (a Steelton native), it’s a small town that doesn’t produce major college talent.
Erby is looking to follow in Flowers’ footsteps, working out five days a week at this point, in addition to three or four workouts for college coaches at the beck and call, but he sees it as the blessing it is.
“In the mornings I’m just thinking, ‘My parents don’t have to pay for college,’” Erby said.
Pitt has emerged as the in-state option that not only excites Erby but offers a way to fulfill the childhood dream of being a Panther. And it all starts with Cignetti.
“(Cignetti is) the best coach I’ve met so far,” Erby said. “He made me feel like I was talking to a regular person because sometimes talking to a college coach can make me feel uptight or strict about what I’m saying, and he was just open with everything I was saying. He was just talking about his family and where he’s been the last couple of years. We were even talking about the type of offense he ran, the type of plays and play calls. I just think he’s a nice guy all around.”
If Erby is to make a visit to a Pitt camp, he said he’s already earned that privilege of added benefits. It’s the privilege of being taken to the back, offered a throwing circuit and showing off any continued growth. Along with, of course, being shown around Pitt’s campus. According to Erby, Pitt has shown top-notch interest so far.
With Erby still deciding upon which camps he hopes to attend this summer, having offers to dozens and dozens, it’s been hard to find the time to narrow down an unofficial Pitt visit. However, he’s still hoping to find some time in June or July to make it out to Pittsburgh.
Erby has a Northwestern visit planned for late June, along with potential Penn State, Rutgers and possibly Nebraska visits, but Pitt has stood out among his very favorite schools so far.
“I would definitely say Top 3 because being not too far away from home, it’s in between driving distance for (my family), and probably as soon as I hit campus, it’s either I fall in love with it and commit on spot or it’s one of the top schools I’m gonna hold in mind because that’s like a no-brainer, one of my top three schools right now,” Erby said.
247Sports rates Erby as the 37th-ranked quarterback and the 17th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania while On3 rates him as the 28th-ranked quarterback and the 11th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania.
As a sophomore at Steelton-Highspire, a Mid-Penn – Capital team, Erby threw for 3,265 yards and 42 touchdowns on 160-of-192 passing attempts. He also added 206 rushing yards on just 12 rushing attempts.