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Pitt FB Recruiting

2024 QB Carter Smith’s First Power Five Offer From Pitt Brings Things Full Circle

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Carter Smith thought he threw it well Wednesday. Even though it was a thoroughly nerve-wracking experience throwing for Pitt offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr.

Cignetti made the trip down to Hardin County High in Savannah, Tennessee to check out a new-ish quarterback on the board. Yes, assistant quarterbacks coach Jon DiBiaso had been talking with Smith throughout the season, but Tuesday was important.

It was certainly a day — and performance — that Smith won’t soon forget.

A familiar organization helped facilitate the meeting in the end. QB Country, the Nashville chapter, was paramount in setting up a date. It’s the same organization that former Pitt quarterback commit Kenny Minchey worked with.

DiBiaso is very familiar with the group, and Smith — a 2024 quarterback from Hardin County — is just the latest in a long line of quarterback recruits to start receiving interest. So, Cignetti and DiBiaso decided to check out Smith in person.

“I thought I threw it well,” Smith told PSN. “Thanks to my receivers. I thought we spun it well. I thought I spun it well. I’ve been working on drops and stuff throughout the offseason and in the spring, and I look forward to keep working and getting better.”

However, Cignetti didn’t extend an offer immediately after the session. Smith felt like he performed well. After all, Cignetti was already talking about making a trip back down to Tennessee and bringing Smith up to Pittsburgh for a visit right after. An offer wasn’t immediate, but it came nonetheless.

“It’s kind of a cool story,” Smith said. “My dad coached a small college up there around the Pittsburgh area, so I was born in Pittsburgh. I guess you could kinda say it’s coming full circle. We left and moved down here when I was two or three, so I don’t remember much from the area, but I’ve always been a big-time Steelers fan, and it’s kinda cool that they play and practice on the same field.”

For reference, Smith’s father coached at California University (Pa.) back in the day.

Smith’s father informed him of Cignetti’s past, a history of both college football and NFL work, throughout the day. It’s the sort of background that Smith admires. It’s pretty cool. But the most important thing Smith learned Tuesday was what he picked up from Cignetti himself.

“I thought (Cignetti) was a very intelligent person,” Smith said. “I spoke to a few coaches, and you could tell he’s been around the game for a long time and definitely knows his stuff. It was very cool and neat to be around a guy like that that knows the game so well.”

In throwing for Cignetti, Smith was able to receive feedback the whole way. He picked up tips and tidbits the entire way. So, when Cignetti called back after the workout to offer him, Smith felt blessed.

Smith was born in Pittsburgh, and even if he’s not actually from Pittsburgh, he’s a Steelers fan. But even before former Pitt star Kenny Pickett was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Smith had been watching.

“I saw (Pickett) at Pitt with the fake slide and watched him play quarterback and watched him the past year after they got in contact with me, then watched him become a Steeler, so that was definitely cool,” Smith said.

Smith admits that Pickett is a bit more mobile than he is, but he sees a player with a similar profile. An athlete who makes plays for his team.

It sort of mirrors Smith’s career at Hardin County. As a junior, leading the Tigers to a playoff berth, he completed 148-of-237 pass attempts for 2,784 yards with 30 touchdowns and five interceptions. He added another touchdown on the ground.

It was a stellar performance, following up a sophomore campaign of completing 117-of-199 pass attempts for 2,364 yards with 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Despite a period of success as a two-year starter at Hardin County, only North Alabama had offered Smith before Tuesday. Cignetti ensured Pitt joined the list soon after. He intends to check out North Alabama and Vanderbilt this summer, but Pitt is also securely in the plans.

Smith is looking forward to making it up to Pittsburgh for a spring practice, getting the opportunity to check out the facilities and a live practice, but there aren’t any plans in the works just yet. He’s waiting to receive a practice schedule to iron out his schedule now.

There’s a long road ahead for both Smith and Pitt, but after a successful day of throwing for Cignetti, Smith holds a Pitt offer. And that will likely continue to grow in the coming weeks and months ahead.

“Right now, just being the first, it’s kinda looking like my only thing right now, as far as right now,” Smith said. “Definitely will get up there for sure at some point and look forward to doing that with coach Cignetti. Throwing in front of him and training with him at a camp and watching practice.”

Pitt landed commitments from Boston College transfer Phil Jurkovec and Penn State transfer Christian Veilleux, along with another from the class of 2023 prospect Ty Dieffenbach, over the winter. So, the room has been transformed.

But Pitt’s coaching staff is always searching for the quarterback of the future.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago

Fingers crossed duzz can beat North Alabama for his commitment
h2p!

Jane
Jane
19 days ago

Good morning 🤡

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Good morning Jane, how are you this fine Thursday?

PittFanDeez
PittFanDeez
19 days ago

In all fairness, it is this young man’s 1st Power 5 offer. If it’s summertime and Pitt remains the only Power 5 offer, then we can discuss Duzz finding NIL money to sign this guy and/ or if Lyke is insistent on the team GPA improving.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago
Reply to  PittFanDeez

fair point, but that should also be a red flag. First P5 offer for a 2024 QB? If you are a 2024 player and have P5 talent, you should have more offers. That is especially true for the QB position

Jane
Jane
19 days ago

No it’s not unless his already a 5🌟 kids develop at different time frames..QB is the hardest.. just saying 🤡

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago
Reply to  Jane

you couldn’t be more wrong, but that’s par for your course.

PittFanDeez
PittFanDeez
19 days ago

Using Donovan McMillon as an example, he didn’t receive his first Power 5 offer until the end of his junior year. He ended up with over 30 P5 offers. Quite often, all it takes is one coach/ team to believe that a prospect can play and others will follow suit.

And since we’re ball-busting, what are your thoughts on the class of 2023 PSU QB from Iowa? Neither Iowa nor Iowa State offered him. No red flag? The only other P5 offer was from Cal, though he had one from Tulane.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago
Reply to  PittFanDeez

So Smolik is interesting. He broke his collarbone on the first drive of the first game of his junior year and needed surgery. Was commited to Tulane and then got a last minute invite to the elite 11 finals where he balled out. He will provide depth but Allar is the guy for two years then an in-state backup (Pribula). Not sure if he will ever see the field as PSU has high 4 and 5*’s high on their list for next year’s class as well. Could be a red flag on Smolik, I guess time will tell. If you… Read more »

PittFanDeez
PittFanDeez
19 days ago

Wasn’t aware of Smolik’s injury….Agree with your assessment- I can see Smolik as a scout team QB and make a decent account of himself if he played- just with little chance of passing Pribula on the depth chart. The tape I saw on Smolik was mostly WR screens and the BWI narrator stating that Smolik is good with the ball and makes few mistakes. Most fans would prefer a QB that has some combination of the following: strong arm, running ability, accuracy/ anticipation/ throwing guys open.

Jane
Jane
19 days ago

Right just like there last to starters average at best 🤡

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
18 days ago
Reply to  Jane

besides your consistent butchering of the English language you seem to have little to no football knowledge (but the emoji game is always on point). You think McSorley was an average NCAA QB?

Jane
Jane
19 days ago
Reply to  PittFanDeez

😯.. 🤡 you here that!!!!!

PittFanDeez
PittFanDeez
19 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, If you’re saying that McSorley and Clifford were just average, then I have to respectfully disagree.

McSorley was excellent in the RPO game, made clutch plays, and had the “it” factor (ala Kenny Pickett). Clifford completed over 61% of his passes, averaged 7.9 yards per pass attempt with 86 TDs and 31 interceptions. Christian Hackenberg was a NFL 2nd round draft pick and his stats weren’t nearly as good as Clifford’s.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
18 days ago
Reply to  PittFanDeez

As usual Deez can think independently and isn’t blinded by PSU hatred. You are correct in your analysis. I’d also say Michael Robinson, Darryl Clark, Matt McGloin, Zach Mills and Kerry Collins also fit the bill of really good NCAA Quarterbacks with Kerry Collins going on to have a really nice NFL career. Michael Robinson went on to make the pro bowl running back.

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