Isaiah Neal had official visits planned for North Carolina State and Rutgers later this month, but the three-star defensive tackle will not need to make those trips anymore.
Neal, a defensive tackle from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, committed to Pitt during his official visit to Pittsburgh Friday night. He wanted to see if he’d mesh with Pitt during the visit, and it’s safe to see he found what he was looking for.
“I really chose Pitt because it feels like home,” Neal told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Everybody treats me like one of their own, and that’s exactly what I was looking for. A home away from home.”
Neal (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) is a big, strong defensive lineman from a powerhouse program in St. Frances, and after a couple of unofficial visits this spring, along with his official visit this weekend, his commitment gives defensive line coach Charlie Partridge another piece to work with — and it wouldn’t have been possible without Partridge himself.
“Coach P played a huge role in my decision. One, look at his résumé,” Neal said. “It’s outstanding. Two, he harped on the fact that he look for longevity in his contract, not zeros. Also, he’s open to the new wave of pass rush and doesn’t mind a little constructive criticism.”
Spring 2022 film!
Check out this video! https://t.co/vtZ1qfQtcb
— Ghost (@IsaiahNeal99) May 23, 2022
Despite offers from North Carolina State, Rutgers, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, Neal chose Pitt.
Neal, who was able to meet with former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier on the first day of his official visit, was able to take in Steelers’ OTAs but also feel like he truly belonged on the field with Pitt.
“The official changed my perspective because it allowed me to see the bond that the guys already on the team had, and I fit right into that bond,” Neal said. “It felt like I was already on the team.”
After his official visit, being able to watch Partridge’s approach and meshing with Pitt’s current players, his extended experience made all the difference in officially committing to Pitt.
247Sports rates Neal as the 524th-ranked recruit in the class (64th-ranked defensive lineman and the 10th-ranked recruit from D.C.) while On3 rates him as the 510th-ranked recruit in the class (60th-ranked defensive lineman and the ninth-ranked recruit from Maryland). Rivals rates him as the 32nd-ranked defensive tackle and the ninth-ranked recruit from Maryland.
Pitt’s 2023 recruiting class includes four-star quarterback Kenny Minchey (Hendersonville, Tennessee) and four-star wide receiver Zion Fowler (Jersey City, New Jersey), and the class has added three-star defensive back Shadarian Harrison (Lakeland, Florida), three-star wide receiver Kenny Johnson (York, Pennsylvania) and Neal, with three more yet to be announced.
And with Neal “locked into Pitt,” he’s ready to embrace his task of being Pitt’s newest recruiter.