Pitt continues to add high level talent via the transfer portal as former four-star and Top 100 recruit Derrick Davis from announced his commitment to the Panthers.
The former Gateway High School star and LSU safety became the third former four-star WPIAL recruit that has signed with Pitt this offseason, joining former Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec and Peters Township safety Donovan McMillon. Pitt has also brought in former Penn State quarterback Christian Veilleux, who’s a highly skilled player with a tremendous future.
Davis returns home to Western Pennsylvania after playing for two seasons with the LSU Tigers and after deciding to leave Baton Rouge, he knew from the start that he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity again to play for his hometown team.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Davis on Tuesday, immediately after he made his decision public and talked about his decision, along with what Pat Narduzzi’s plan is for him in terms of position.
“Today is a big day for myself and my announcement that I’m committing to Pitt,” Davis said. “I actually committed a couple of days ago under the radar but today was the day that I wanted to announce it. It’s just a blessing. I’m really glad that Coach Narduzzi was able to bring me in and I’m glad that I’m a part of Pitt football now.”
— Derrick Davis (@D_Davizzz) January 10, 2023
“After I decided to transfer, I’ve always had Pitt in the back of my mind honestly. I thought that it would be a really cool idea if I were to come back home to play. Really, it was the best decision that I could make not only for me but for my family, so that I could have that support system with me. I reached out to Coach Narduzzi first and the rest of the staff members and from the start, they welcomed me in with open arms. I’m blessed.”
The trio of Davis, McMillon and Jurkovec will join a big group of WPIAL players that are already on the Pitt roster. The fact that all of these former local stars now on the same roster here at Pitt excites Davis and he can’t wait for his first game at Acrisure Stadium in September.
“It means a lot honestly,” said Davis. “All these guys from the WPIAL will continue to make Pitt strong. A lot of these kids like myself decided to leave Pittsburgh and for all of us to have the chance to return home and play for Pitt is pretty special and I can’t wait to see how this year turns out. I really feel like it’s going to be a great year.”
During his time at LSU, Davis was used on both sides of the ball, which was also the case back in high school. Coming out of high school, programs were split on his future position and whether it was at safety, linebacker or running back. Davis has already had that conversation with Narduzzi and the coaching staff at Pitt.
“They envision me on the offensive side of the ball and taking the place of Izzy. We’re going to do really well on the offensive side and although I could place defense, Coach Narduzzi is really serious about me on offense.”
A Happy New Year Indeed pic.twitter.com/xhsA7UHyn2
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 2, 2023
Pitt will be looking to replace All-American running back Izzy Abanikanda but having talent such as Davis and Rodney Hammond is a pretty good start, as they could become one of the top running back duos in the country.
“I believe so and believe we’re (Rodney Hammond) going to click really well. I’m really excited. Get ready.”