Pitt’s Rising Stars I camp drew more than 500 prospective high schoolers from around the country to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Sunday, but for Kameron Cheatom, it wasn’t his first time making it out to the facility.
Cheatom, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound three-star linebacker from Brashear High School in Pittsburgh, has had hometown Pitt on his radar for his entire recruiting process, and while he doesn’t hold that official offer yet, his past week could go a long way in finally securing that scholarship offer.
“(The camp) went amazing,” Cheatom told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I just felt the love when I first walked in, and throughout the whole day, the whole staff — I communicated with them all. There’s no other place like home.”
Cheatom’s Sunday performance stood out. He was such a standout that Pitt’s coaching staff invited him back for a closer look on Wednesday. And the follow-up visit, yet another visit to his hometown facilities, went very well. He was able to watch Pitt practice and Pittsburgh Steelers practice but most importantly, he was able to learn.
— Coach Moore (@_Drew_55) June 6, 2022
“I chopped it up with Pat Narduzzi and also coach (Ryan) Manalac,” Cheatom said. “We went into (Manalac’s) office and watched some film. We went over some of the things they do, how they run the defense, things like that, blitzes and things like that, just the whole playbook. We went over my film from the camp. We just sat down and reviewed some things, some errors, some good things. He was just coaching me up.”
After such a strong showing at Pitt Rising Stars camp, that invite back for a more personal experience felt good. It showed that Pitt is thinking of him, and while he doesn’t have that offer, he feels like it’s going to be there sooner or later.
A big part of why Cheatom feels like he hasn’t received that offer yet is because of how he’s bounced around throughout his high school career. He’s played both offense and defense, bouncing around as an athlete, a defensive lineman and finally as a linebacker, and he feels like Pitt just needs to see more as a linebacker.
“Because now I play ‘backer, so see a little more out of me at backer, eventually I feel like I’ll get that offer,” Cheatom said. “They told me I camped well, they liked what they saw, they just want to see some more ‘backer out of me.”
As a junior linebacker at Brashear in 2021, helping to lead the Bulls through a Pittsburgh City League schedule, he racked up 19 tackles (13 solo), seven tackles for loss and seven sacks in just four games. While he was learning the position and growing into his role as a linebacker, he thrived in the Bulls’ system.
Pitt hasn’t extended that offer, but Cheatom wouldn’t think twice about the opportunity to continue his growth at home.
“When I think about Pitt, it’s just like, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to play for my hometown?’ Represent my hometown,” Cheatom said. “I’ve gotta good bond with the coaches, it’s a thought to just represent my city. It’s an idea I’ve got in mind, for sure.”
And while he feels like it would be good to stay home, it isn’t just because of that hometown connection. At the end of the day, it’s about the bond that’s been forged between a coaching staff and a commit, and if a commit is able to feel like he’s at home, that’s the most important thing. It’s about communication, trust and family, and Cheatom feels like he’s slowly getting there with Pitt.
However, he’s already set a commitment date of July 19, holding a Top-3 of Akron, Miami (Oh.) and Bowling Green, but if Pitt were to extend an offer before then? That would definitely change a lot.
247Sports rates Cheatom as the 1,163rd-ranked recruit in the class of 2023 (90th-ranked linebacker and the 27th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania) while Rivals has given him a 5.5 Rivals Rating.
With offers from Akron, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Kent State, Maine, Miami (Oh.), Temple and Toldeo, Cheatom has flown under the radar, but with a Pitt offer, that could all change.