Recruiting within the WPIAL and the number of kids from the area that Pitt is able to secure on a yearly basis is always a hot button topic.
While the number of high-quality Power Five kids from the WPIAL has gone down over the years, Western Pennsylvania still produces its fair share of talented players that go on to play major college football and some that eventually make it to the NFL.
During his tenure at Pitt, Pat Narduzzi has done a good job of getting some of those players to go to Pitt. While the fan base expects Pitt to keep nearly all of the top players home, that’s not going to happen and frankly, it’s not realistic. Pitt has too many things to fight for that to happen and the current climate in today’s recruiting is also something that Pitt battles.
With all that being said, Pitt has done as well as can be expected getting area players out of high school and as we’ve seen over the last month, they’ve also been successful using their ‘mulligan’.
The craziness surrounding the transfer portal has worked in Pitt’s favor as WPIAL kids that initially passed on staying home, are now rethinking that decision. In the last month, quarterback Phil Jurkovec, Donovan McMillon and Derrick Davis have all entered the portal and then made the decision to transfer to Pitt.
That trio of players and WPIAL players that are already on the roster makes it a real possibility that Pitt’s 2023 two-deep depth chart will be loaded with former local players.
Quarterback: Phil Jurkovec (Pine-Richland)
Running Back: Derrick Davis (Gateway)
Wide Receiver: Gavin Thomson (Central Catholic)
Tight End: Trevor Faulkner (Avonworth)
Offensive Line: Jake Kradel (Butler)
Offensive Line: Blake Zubovic (Belle Vernon)
Defensive Tackle: Devin Danielson (Thomas Jefferson)
Defensive Tackle: Elliot Donald (Central Catholic)
Defensive Tackle: Sean Fitzsimmons (Central Valley)
Defensive Tackle: Dorien Ford (Baldwin)
Defensive Tackle: David Green (Central Catholic)
Defensive End: Dayon Hayes (Westinghouse)
Defensive End: Nahki Johnson (West Mifflin)
Linebacker: Braylan Lovelace (Leechburg)
Safety: Donovan McMillan (Peters Township)
Safety: Stephon Hall (Central Valley)
Safety: Cruce Brookins (Steel Valley)
Cornerback: M.J. Devonshire (Aliquippa)
Punter: Cam Guess (Belle Vernon)
As you can see, this is as large of a ‘hometown’ roster as Pitt has fielded in many years and it could still add a name or two. Tiquan Underwood and the staff are working hard to try and add talented Kent State transfer wide receiver Dante Cephas, who attended Penn Hills High School.
This WPIAL flavor is something that the coaching staff will likely mention as they try and add the three big names in the Class of 2024: Central Catholic 4-star linebacker Anthony Speca, Belle Vernon 5-star athlete Quinton Martin and Aliquippa 4-star linebacker Cameron Lindsey.