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Pitt FB Recruiting

Tre Poteat’s Journey Comes Full Circle with Offer from Pitt



Tre Poteat

Even as James Conner and Tyler Boyd racked up over 5,000 offensive yards and 50 touchdowns during the 2013-14 seasons, there was one man who caused them fits.

Well, it wasn’t exactly a man. It was graduate assistant (and former Pitt star) Hank Poteat’s son Tre Poteat. He was just a first grader. But he would beat Conner and Boyd in ping pong every time. Yeah. Ping pong was Tre’s first calling.

Tre got to spend two seasons around Pitt, hanging out around the South Side facilities, going to the Armed Forces Bowl and Little Caesars Bowl and getting to spend time with then-Pitt stars as his father served as a coaching assistant.

It’s been nearly a decade since Tre was hanging out at the South Side facility, but the next time he heads back, it will be for an entirely new reason. You know, since Archie Collins and Pitt extended an offer to the 6-foot, 170-pound four-star athlete from Verona Area (Wis.) High in the class of 2025.

“It’s a good feeling (to pick up an offer) knowing my dad went there,” Tre told PSN. “He’s big around there. I used to live around there, and I’ve been through the facilities and everything when I was younger, so it’s a great environment overall.

“I just remember hanging out with the guys and the overall atmosphere of the facility, how it’s with the Steelers, too, so it also adds the whole factor of seeing different guys that are in the pros.”

Pitt joined an offer sheet that already features the likes of Connecticut, Eastern Kentucky, Howard, Iowa State, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Toledo and Wisconsin.

And when it comes to Pitt, it’s not just that his father was once a first-team All-Big East honoree at Pitt. He was once just a kid watching Conner and Boyd rack up yards and score touchdowns at Heinz Field, imagining himself filling their large shoes.

“It’s crazy,” Tre said. “You grow up thinking you wanna do these things and you wanna be around these guys, and it’s just crazy to think all this stuff is happening and it can potentially happen in the future.”

Tre’s father Hank was certainly a star at Pitt, however, make no mistake there. When he left Pitt for the NFL, he was the all-time leader in return yards in both a single season and in a career. Hank racked up 2,416 return yards, adding 10 interceptions during his time in Pittsburgh, earning All-Big East honors in 1998 and 1999.

Hank was a true athlete, and Tre sees himself in the same light. If there’s one thing Tre remembers about his father’s days as a player, in college and in the NFL, it’s that he was a stud return man. “He’s taught me a few things, too,” Tre said. “I’ve seen a lot of the tape … He was that guy.” And there’s been a passing of the torch. 

“I feel like we just use our quick feet to help us in overall circumstances,” Tre said. “My dad was a really good return man, he had nice vision, and I feel like I inherited that from him.”

Hank is just really happy that his son picked up an offer from his alma mater, it’s a different level of happiness Tre said, and Pitt has really picked up its interest since the season ended. Pitt’s coaches love Tre’s film.

As a star sophomore defensive back at Verona Area last season, he racked up 62 tackles, three interceptions, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns, earning All-Area, All-Region and All-Conference honors, but he also thrived as a wide receiver and a return man.

Tre said he doesn’t care where he winds up at the next level, when it comes to playing offense or defense, as long as he finds himself on the football field.

247Sports hasn’t rated Tre yet, but Rivals currently rates him as a Top-100 recruit in the class — checking in at 95th in the class. In the weeks and months to come, it’s safe to say that he will rise very, very high on recruiting boards.

When it comes to Tre’s spring plans, a visit to Pittsburgh — either in the spring or summer — will be coming soon. He’s planning visits to Northwestern and Penn State, too, along with plenty of camp appearances.

As a recruit in the class of 2025, with his commitment date likely still a long, long way away, he’s keeping his options open. There will be further offers, plenty of camp appearances and a ton of unofficial and official visits, but Pitt has a place in his process going forward.

“I love (Pitt’s vibe),” Tre said. “I love coach (Pat) Narduzzi, I love what he values and just the overall feeling of home.

“Pitt just has a lot of family ties back to it. I know a lot of people that went there, so it just feels right in the heart.”

And for reference, Hank — who had spent the last couple of seasons as the Wisconsin defensive backs coach — was hired for the same position at Iowa State this year. It will be very important to get Tre on his father’s former campus as many times as possible in the weeks and months to come.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 month ago

Hank could play. Here is a scenario….Tre to the Panthers and Joey Jr. to the Steelers.

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