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Pitt FB Recruiting

Pitt Extends Offer to 2023 3-Star Steel Valley DB/ATH Cruce Brookins

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Cruce Brookins is currently committed to Kent State, but he pledged himself back in August. Back before he led Steel Valley High to a WPIAL championship this season.

With the Steel Valley supporters parked at Acrisure Stadium in the cold on Friday, Brookins racked up 183 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to lead the Ironmen to a 34-14 WPIAL 2A title.

It was a performance reminiscent of former Steel Valley and Pitt star Paris Ford during his days at the scholastic level, and Pitt must’ve thought so too.

Brookins picked up an official offer from Cory Sanders and Pitt Tuesday evening.

Brookins committed to Kent State on Aug. 5, when his offers included Akron, West Virginia, Fordham and North Carolina A&T, but he picked up an offer from Cincinnati earlier this month.

And with the Pitt offer, it’s expected that the 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete’s recruiting process is about ready to blow up with just under a month until National Singing Day.

However, as unbeaten Steel Valley prepares for a state playoff run, starting this week against local Westinghouse, Brookins’ opportunities for visits will be limited.

Brookins has completed 35-of-69 passing attempts for 711 yards with seven touchdowns, but a majority of his damage has come on the ground, where he’s added 1,625 yards and 33 touchdowns on just 123 carries.

And he’s added 30 tackles (16 solo), six interceptions and six pass breakups on defense — and added a punt return touchdown for good measure.

And despite the obvious lure of Brookins’ stats this season, a local talent evaluator sees the comparisons between Brookins and some of the elite defensive back talent to come out of Pittsburgh in recent years.

“He, physically, is bigger than Damar Hamlin, Kenny Robinson, Paris Ford. At this stage, his approach to football is like a professional. He understands coverages, he can bait the quarterback — he knows when a bubble screen is coming. He’s a Power Five guy.”

Pitt’s need for a defensive back is also as high as it’s ever been. With Brice Pollock’s decommitment Tuesday, a player like Brookins will likely be a high priority for Pitt’s staff over the next month.

Pitt’s 2023 class currently holds commitments from three-star defensive backs Shadarian Harrison (Lakeland, Florida) and Jesse Anderson (Fort Lauderdale, Florida).

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
2 months ago

Wow, trying to flip Kent State commits. Getting bad

Tower B
Tower B
2 months ago

I’m just as frustrated with the lack of apparent recruiting prowess on this staff as the next guy, trust me. But I’ll never fault them for making efforts to recruit the WPIAL, especially a 3+ star from a championship team.
Side note, I saw Brookins play live this season – he’d run circles around the MAC and is 100% P5-worthy. Tune into a Steel Valley state playoff game if you can

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
2 months ago
Reply to  Tower B

I’ve seen him play as well, not sure why Pitt wasn’t harder on him from beginning. I’m not sure what this staff does for recruiting. Seems like they just offer low 3* knowing the 4 and 5 won’t come. How did this happen after the year they had last year?

Tower B
Tower B
2 months ago

The only conclusion I can come to is that offensive recruits (Kenny, Hykeem, Z. Fowler, etc.) are just put off by the antiquated Cignetti offense. Perhaps there’s something to be said about the shoes Marion left behind as a recruiter to be filled by Underwood as well, though I certainly like him as a coach.
The month of November has been an unmitigated disaster for our ’23 recruiting class. You wonder what it will take to convince any decent skill position recruits that they want to play in this offense.

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Tower B

It is not the offense. Izzy is having a Heisman like year. Wayne had 200 yards receiving last week. The QB play was sub par until the last few weeks. They scored 80 points versus Miami and Va. Recruits are short sighted. They will commit at some SEC school. Sit for 2 years then transfer to Tulane or App. St.

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago

Not bad at all. The program will be fine and is in capable hands. You can pick up kids to fill the gaps through the transfer portal. Kansas went from 2 wins to 6 wins this year by utilizing the portal. Getting Simon, Kanata, Wiltz and Flemister were great pick ups this past year. Most of the kids decommitting are not that great anyway (which you have said here no matter who they sign).Pitt should have been recruiting Brookins the whole time. I seen him play 3 times and he is a power 5 recruit.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
2 months ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Do you count Cig as those “capable hands”?
I guess it depends on your definition of “fine”? If you are happy with 8 wins a year and every 6-8 years you win 10 then keep relying on the transfer portal. If you want to be a program that is considered top tier/elite you need to build it with recruiting and more recruiting.

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago

I agree with you about recruiting. 100% correct. However, college football is set up that elite teams now will always be the elite teams. You will have the occasional TCU or Cincinnati, etc. I am fine with Pitt being an 8 win team. I realize playing at a City school and having an off campus Pro football stadium is not going to be conducive to 5 star kids unless you are pulling an SMU from 1981-1982.

SouthSide412
2 months ago

I just dont know what took so long! Smh @Pitt

And because of how physical he is, the effortless stride and his ball skills, he’s a safety for sure!

Been watching this guy since 2020! He been playing like this defensively but the offensive numbers and state run “helps” I guess!

Craig
Craig
2 months ago

Good move by Pitt. They should have offered him last year. Better late than never

Giovanni
Giovanni
2 months ago

I love this kid’s tape. He is all over the field dominant and just loves to hit and does so with authority. Glad that Pitt coaches finally figured it out.

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