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Pitt FB Recruiting

Brooklyn Native Aaris Bethea Impressed by Abanikanda, Pitt

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Aaris Bethea spent the weekend in Pittsburgh on an unofficial visit to Pitt.

This was Bethea’s first time in Pittsburgh and with the Panthers being a program he’s seriously considering, the junior defensive tackle was taking this trip seriously. The native of Brooklyn, New York wanted to get the feel of the city and see if it had a similar vibe of his hometown. One thing that he definitely enjoyed was watching the record breaking performance of fellow Brooklyn native running back Israel Abanikanda.

“It was crazy watching him,” Bethea tells PSN. “My brother played against him in high school. It was great watching him and he looked just like he did against my brothers team. It’s so cool to see him doing this now at a national level where it’s obviously a lot harder to do.”

”Izzy was just making things look too easy. He was really unstoppable.”

Aside from watching Abanikanda, Bethea tells PSN that his visit was very beneficial as he was able to learn more about the Panthers program, watch the defensive scheme firsthand and spend some time with his chief recruiter, Tim Salem.

“As I was watching the game, the energy from the Pitt fans was some of the craziest that I’ve ever seen. I like the tradition, the fans get loud and sometimes they booed but that shows that they care about the team. I also liked that Pittsburgh had that big city feel so that felt like home to me.”

”Another takeaway that I had that made Pitt really standout to me that they practice, they eat with, they do everything with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Bethea. “They share the same workout facility, they have the same chefs so an NFL team. If I would go to Pitt, I’d be developing under an NFL environment pretty much everyday. I’d have the chance to talk with and ask questions to NFL players which makes Pitt very unique.”

Pitt’s had a nice run of landing top talent from New York, having signed defensive end Jimmy Scott and wide Addison Copeland in 2022 and Salem is hoping to add Bethea to that list.

”Coach Salem tells me they have had a number of recruits come from NY and they have all been solid contributors to the program and they hope to continue bringing in kids like me to keep it going.”

Along with Pitt, Bethea holds offers from Maryland, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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