There’s a history of strong tight end play at Pitt, one needs to look no further than Lucas Krull (who is competing for an NFL roster spot) and Gavin Bartholomew in 2021, and a rising 2023 tight end recruit could be the next to join Pitt.
Zach Ortwerth, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound three-star tight end from St. Louis University High School in Saint Louis, Missouri, announced his four official visits Monday night, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Pitt.
— Zach Ortwerth (@ZOrtwerth) May 24, 2022
Ortwerth has made unofficial visits to Iowa (twice since late January), Minnesota and Pitt this spring, and while he hasn’t been to Wisconsin yet, his official schedule could be the big difference-maker in deciding where he’ll spend his next four years.
An official visit over the weekend of June 16 provides Pitt with a strong opportunity to sway one of the top tight ends on its 2023 recruiting board.
With a visit to a Pitt spring practice earlier this spring, making it out for a March 15 practice, he was able to get a first-hand look at the program and continue to build those bonds with the Pitt coaching staff. And after being offered just a month prior, his relationship with Pitt has come a long way since.
“I wanted to get to Pitt because I had been talking with their coaches and they were saying how once I visit, I would get to see everything and be blown away,” Ortwerth told PSN in March. “So, the timing was right, I was on spring break and I could get here and it was worth it. Pitt won the ACC last year and will continue to be able to play for another conference championship.
“The day was great. I was able to watch practice and see the energy the players had at practice. It was important to see how the practice was in order to see if it would be a good fit for me. I was able to talk with coach (Tim) Salem and coach (Pat) Narduzzi, and we talked about how I would be used and how you would have a chance to compete for an ACC championship.”
As a junior at St. Louis U in 2021, Ortwerth caught 20 balls for 299 yards (averaging 15 yards per reception) and five touchdowns — with 2022 Wisconsin commit Chris Brooks and 2024 five-star recruit Ryan Wingo receiving a majority of targets.
— Zach Ortwerth (@ZOrtwerth) November 22, 2021
247Sports rates Ortwerth as the 663rd-ranked recruit in the class of 2023 (the 34th-ranked tight end and the 15th-ranked recruit from Missouri) while Rivals rates him as the 17th-ranked recruit in Missouri — giving him a 5.6 Rivals Rating.
Along with Ortwerth, three-star athlete Rasheem Biles (Pickerington, Ohio), three-star athlete Kahlil Ali (Pennsauken, New Jersey), three-star offensive lineman Zachary Aamland (Princeton, New Jersey), running back Montravius Lloyd (St. Petersburg, Florida), four-star defensive back Braeden Marshall (Lake Mary, Florida) and four-star defensive end Desmond Umeozulu (Springdale, Maryland) will be making June 16-18 visits to Pitt.