Official visits for high school players often times are family events.
These visits are not only for the recruits to check out their potential college, but it’s also an opportunity for the family to properly examine the coaches and the environment where their child could spend the next 4-5 years of their lives.
Bridget and Brandon Pollock made the long trip from Snellville, Georgia with their son, Brice, for their first visit to Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh.
Going through the recruiting process is something that Brandon Pollock is familiar with having played defensive back with the Duke Blue Devils from 1993-1996. This weekend brought back some memories for Mr. Pollock as his family was excited when Brice made the decision to verbally commit to Pitt.
“It’s definitely a blessing and it was nice to see all the hard work that he put in paid off with his dedication to the classroom as well as to the football field,” said Mr. Brandon Pollock. “As a parent, we want the best for our child so this was a proud moment for my wife and I, along with our whole family.”
“I actually coached Brice in little league up until the eighth grade and then in the ninth grade he played on the varsity team. The head coach told me then that he had some real potential, so I just watched and see where this took him. He started to get bigger, stronger and faster. I then had some friends in college football and the NFL that started to tell me some things that I should start doing with him, like track, in order to work on his speed and feet. From there, he continued to check all the boxes, so then, I started to think that he had a shot to play major college football.”
The entire Pollock family entered this official visit with the expectations that Brice would go on the other two official visits that he had scheduled to North Carolina and Michigan State. No one expected Brice to make the decision to commit this weekend. Before Brice told the Pitt coaches, his father wanted to make sure he was 100 percent sure.
“I’ve been through this process, so when he told me that he wanted to commit, my initial reaction was I think you should have a moment of clarity and take the emotions out of it,” said Mr. Pollock. “I wanted him to make a clear decision and not a decision out of just emotions. I wanted him to let all the smoke clear with all the excitement going around on the visit and let things settle down and be sure that it’s what he wanted to do. There were a couple of guys that were committing that night and he wanted to join them. I asked him about the two other visits that he was supposed to make and he then said I won’t make the decision tonight and I’ll think about it. The following morning, we talked about it some more and he was going to to do it. He said ‘Dad, this feels like home to me. Although this was farther away from home that I was expecting to go, this feels like home to me.’ I told him then I support his decision 110 percent.”
“I give high praise to not only Coach Narduzzi but also his position coach, Coach Collins for the way that they’ve been able to develop guys at Pitt. Brice was able to speak with some of the players in the program which he enjoyed. Of course it’s every kids dream to get to the NFL but that dream really appears to be within grasp by going to Pitt as opposed to going to some of these other schools.”
So before leaving Pittsburgh to head back to Georgia, the Pollock family informed Narduzzi and Collins that Pitt would be it and they were more than comfortable with leaving Brice in the hands of the Pitt Panther football family and the city of Pittsburgh.
“I think he’s going to be well taken care of,” said Mr. Pollock. “We were blown away by the city, especially coming through the Fort Pitt tunnel and immediately seeing the city. That was amazing, I had never seen anything like that. I think he’s going to be in great hands with everyone at Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh. I think he’s going to do really well moving forward and we’ve got his back 110%. Although I was a Blue Devil when I played, I’m going to be a Pitt Panther moving forward.”