Winning has helped raise the national profile of Pitt’s program which in turn is helping them attract talented players to make visits.
Last month, Pitt became the first Power Five program to extend an offer to freshman quarterback Max Gerlich. Now, Gerlich (6’3″, 185-pounds) has decided to travel from Del Valle, Texas to Pittsburgh for an unofficial visit.
Gerlich is currently in Pittsburgh today for a tour of the city along with the Pitt campus and their football facilities. Tomorrow, Gerlich will take part in Pitt’s prospect camp on the South Side.
Gerlich received the offer from Pitt in May after a phone call with assistant quarterback coach Jonathan DiBiaso and head coach Pat Narduzzi. Along with Pitt, Gerlich holds offers from Texas Tech, SMU and UTSA.
After receiving the offer from Pitt, PSN spoke with Gerlich’s head coach Bobby Acosta, the former head coach at talent rich IMG Academy and he couldn’t speak highly enough of his young quarterback
“(Gerlich is) gonna be one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Texas, and I’m so happy, I love what Narduzzi is doing with the (Pitt) program there, I’m a big fan, and I think he’ll be a huge fit by the time he becomes a senior,” Acosta said.
Full 2021 season highlights❤️🤍 https://t.co/wIEoCvYSom @quarterbackmag @FBUcamp @AWilliamsUSA @CoachVega12 @CoachBA1010 @DVCardinalsFB @QBHitList @FBUAllAmerican @JXNTYLR @juice7v7 @KimGerlich @Shaun_Rut @txqb @DelValleISD @DLew87dabeast @FbuAustin @_coach_allen @qbimpacttexas
— Max Gerlich (@max_gerlich) November 7, 2021
Acosta has built that bond with Pitt, working with Pitt tight ends coach Tim Salem to secure Jake Renda out of IMG Academy in 2021, and with that trust in taking on a high school commit who had just made the switch to the position, he feels like he owes his best to Pitt in delivering a top quarterback.
“Just understanding how to evaluate high school talent, Narduzzi and Tim (Salem) and the entire staff putting that trust in me, I’m gonna deliver a top-notch quarterback to that program,” Acosta said. “But what I said to Narduzzi, I’m not just gonna deliver you a quarterback, I’m going to deliver you a young man with high character. That program there is just going to flourish from now until you get a quarterback like Max.”
Acosta, who recruited Kenny Pickett out of high school as Syracuse’s wide receivers coach, has seen how Pitt has benefited and Syracuse has suffered in the wake of Pitt’s acquisition. In looking at Gerlich, Acosta sees a lot of the same traits that he admired in Pickett when recruiting him.
“The moxie,” Acosta said. “And that’s where the leadership — I was showing Max the fake slide, and I’m like now there’s a rule because of that. Just the leadership and the confidence, but what I saw in Pickett when he was in high school is the same things I see in Max right now.
“(Gerlich) has the ‘It’ factor. One of my core values for a quarterback is competitive greatness. You have it or you don’t have it. Kenny had that in high school, he was so competitive, and looking at Max now, looking at JJ McCarthy, that’s a skill where you have it or don’t have it.”
Gerlich is a rising sophomore quarterback, who at 6-foot-3, is expected to grow a few more inches. With an uncle who is 6-foot-6, Gerlich could grow as tall himself. He’s played in an RPO system, having to make those instinctive decisions himself, and he’s — above all else — a remarkably smart kid.
“You know what his biggest trait is?” Acosta asked. “He can teach the teacher. He can teach me the offense right now as a freshman.” And with a 5.1 GPA at Del Valle, that intelligence carries over to the classroom.
If Gerlich reaches his potential and ascends to a top quarterback in Texas in the class of 2025, Pitt will be fortunate to have jumped in early and created a bond with him. It’s a long road for Gerlich, but Pitt is in a strong early position for one of the top quarterbacks of the future.