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Strong Bond With Coaching Staff Has Pitt In Top 3 for 2024 3-Star OL Ryan Howerton



Ryan Howerton’s been out to Pittsburgh on a number of occasions. He’s been out to camp; he was in town for the Syracuse win last season and he got his most in-depth experience at Junior Day earlier this year.

And he made his most recent trip out over the weekend, getting the chance to check out a spring practice — Pitt’s first scrimmage of the spring, no less. And it’s safe to say the experience made yet another lasting impact.

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“The visit was real good,” Howerton told PSN. “We got to watch the scrimmage, so we got to see them going head-to-head in pads. They looked like they wanted to kill each other out there. The energy was crazy.”

Howerton — a 6-foot-5, 305-pound three-star offensive tackle from St. Vincent Pallotti in Laurel, Maryland — is a priority offensive line recruit in the cycle, and as he’s been out to Pitt four times now over the last year, he’s gotten a chance to really build a relationship with the coaching staff.

He’s seen Pitt play live, of course, but he got his first chance Saturday to see how Pitt runs a practice — a high-intensity, high-stakes scrimmage at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

The main focus, for Howerton at least, was watching the offensive scheme. The linemen in particular. The coaching staff told Howerton it was trying out new plays offensively, seeing how the offense operates with a mobile quarterback under center.

So, Howerton — and Pitt — were watching how Pitt’s offensive line operated in new run schemes.

“They definitely use the linemen as athletes,” Howerton said. “That’s what I like the most about it. They get their linemen to move, they get their linemen out in space, and I feel like I have the athleticism to come and join that real well.”

Howerton was also able to spend more time with the coaching staff outside of practice, getting another opportunity to talk with Pat Narduzzi, Andre Powell and Dave Borbely.

He was able to meet Narduzzi for the first time in person, as Narduzzi officially welcomed him to Pitt, and he was able to spend more time with Borbely. But this time around, it wasn’t so much football as it was relationship-building.

“It’s always been good energy,” Howerton said. “Every time I’ve went, there’s been good energy. It just feels like a good place to be. I’ve never seen any player come back and say they feel bad after, I’ve never seen anybody do anything else, so it’s just good energy all the time. It seems like a good place to grow as more than just an athlete.”

But speaking of athletes, Howerton certainly lives up to his nickname. He may not be as big as ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, but he’s a load at 6-foot-5, 305 pounds. He’s the resident starting right tackle at St. Vincent Pallotti, and he uses his blend of strength and speed to overwhelm opposing defensive linemen.

247Sports rates Howerton as the 978th-ranked recruit in the class (76th-ranked offensive tackle and 31st-ranked recruit from Maryland). On3 rates him as the 54th-ranked offensive tackle and 22nd-ranked recruit from Maryland.

Rivals hasn’t rated Howerton yet, but he does hold a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

Howerton will likely be making another visit back to Pittsburgh for a camp appearance, and there’s very likely an official visit in the future.

As of right now, with offers from Akron, Boston College, Maryland, Pitt, Temple, Toledo and West Virginia, he doesn’t have any official visits locked in. But he’s thinking that Pitt, Maryland and West Virginia are currently in the mix for visits this summer.

He’d like to be committed at some point during his senior season, when he’s able to have friends and family around, so his commitment is still a ways away. But Pitt is firmly in the mix.

“Right now, they’re definitely top three,” Howerton said. “And they just keep climbing because I keep going back and loving it.

“Just the connection with the coaches. I don’t have as much of a connection as I do with coach Powell and coach Borbely. We’re texting every other day at this point, and it just feels like I can ask them anything. I feel like a priority there.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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