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Meeting With Calijah Kancey Set Foundation For Francis Brewu’s Pitt Commitment



If you watch the first few plays from Francis Brewu’s 13 minutes of junior season Hudl tape, you’ll see exactly what drew the Pitt coaching staff and the areas he prides himself on. The two-go hand-in-hand, of course.

He powers through a helpless interior lineman on the first play, he rips past a similarly helpless interior lineman on the second play and he even lines up out wide and shows his excellent pursuit on the third play. All three end in sacks.

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Brewu was a prominent fixture in opposing backfields as a junior at Thomas Worthington High in Columbus, Ohio, racking up 25 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. He won with his quickness off the line of scrimmage and the aggressively efficient usage of his hands when attacking opposing offensive linemen.

Both attributes not only attracted Pitt’s coaching staff — defensive line coach Charlie Partridge in particular — but allowed Brewu to showcase that he’s a defensive lineman working to follow in the footsteps of past Pitt greats.

He furthered that goal by committing to Pitt Wednesday, after spending time with both Partridge and Calijah Kancey during his practice visit on Tuesday.

“The main reason is just coach Partridge is one of the best ever, so the things they do with guys my size are just second to none,” Brewu told PSN. “For example, Calijah Kancey, I actually got a chance to meet him when I was down there, and he’s just a guy who’s around my exact size.

“He’s obviously going to be in the first round of the draft class this year, and the NFL is a big goal of mine, so I think if there’s a place that I want to go to get that done, Pitt’s the place to be.”

It wasn’t a particularly long meeting with Kancey, since he’s a busy guy, of course, but the two were able to chop it up for a bit, talk a bit about Pitt football. Kancey told Brewu that he really enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh, calling it the place to be. And Brewu took that to heart.

Pitt’s system has produced the likes of Donald, Kancey and Jaylen Twyman over the last decade, all three earning All-American honors while measuring well below the highly publicized 6-foot-3 line. And come May, all three will have been NFL Draft picks.

There’s a level of quickness off the line and a degree of hand-to-hand aggression that jumps off the page when watching Kancey and Donald, and it’s those two areas Brewu prides himself on. They’re explosive, powerful players (able to go through or around offensive linemen), and Brewu’s goal is to model himself off of both “undersized” linemen with a similar level of speed and power.

“I feel like I fit perfectly in the system,” Brewu said. “I’m fast, I’m quick, I’m strong, I’m just like what they’re used to seeing in that Pitt D-line.”

Any comparisons to Donald and Kancey, who have a strong possibility of being two of Pitt’s three first round NFL Draft picks over the last decade, are obviously lofty. Brewu hasn’t even played his senior season at Thomas Worthington yet, but he’s working to be the next great Pitt defensive lineman, nonetheless.

A commitment now, getting it out of the way before his recruitment would’ve picked up over the summer, is what he wanted in order to grind both in the classroom and on the football field. He wants to be great.

Brewu feels like he’s a great football player, but also a great person who loves to connect with people and bring them together. He has a 3.5 GPA, too. But he dreams of being the next great Pitt defensive lineman to star in the NFL. And to bring home a national championship.

“My message is let’s go win the natty,” Brewu said. “That’s my message, let’s get it rolling.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

Nice recruit. Very quick off of the line and plays with aggression. Love how he beats even double-teams. A perfect fit for the Pitt D-line system.

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