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Pitt FB Recruiting

2024 3-Star OL Mercer Luniewski Hasn’t Played Football Long, But He’s Earned a Pitt Offer



Not every football recruit grows up with the dream of one day playing major college football. Some athletes grow up with other interests and play other sports.

That’s the road that led Mercer Luniewski to where he finds himself today.

Luniewski — a 6-foot-7, 300-pound three-star offensive lineman from Cincinnati Hills High in Cincinnati, Ohio — has the interest of many college football programs. But up until two years ago, he never played football.

It’s a good thing he started because Luniewski will eventually have his college paid for all because he decided to play football. One of Luniewski’s latest offers arrived this weekend as he made the trip from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh.

Luniewski’s growing list of offers now includes Pitt, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Boston College, Duke, Akron, Central Michigan, Connecticut, Kent State, Miami (Oh.) and Toledo.

Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Luniewski on Monday about his recent visit to Pitt. Luniewski was joined on his trip by his twin brother Charlton (6-foot-5, 285 pounds), who also holds a number of Division I offers. And while Pitt didn’t offer Charlton, there is interest there.

“My communication and relationship with Pitt have come together quick,” said Luniewski. “Really, all of the recruiting for me and my twin brother has come together quick because this is only our second year playing football. About a month ago, coach Borbely and coach Bates hit me up and both have been instrumental in our recruitment. They invited us up for a visit, so we made our way up there.

“Pitt was so very impressive with the way they share things with the Steelers. The number of players from the Pitt program that get drafted is massive. Both of those things are a huge, huge gift. While there, we were with Coach Narduzzi, who unfortunately only had an offer for me at this point. However, they want to come see my twin in the summer workout and also have him come workout at one of their summer camps and possibly offer him then.”

The Luniewski twins’ list of offers would no doubt be doubled at this point if they had been playing football longer and had more tape to show programs. Mercer explained that this wasn’t due to not liking the sport but more to do with other interests.

“We played everything, and we’ve done everything besides football,” said Luniewski. “At one point in time, we were nationally ranked cyclists, we were in a circus group of juggling, we played volleyball competitively and basketball at a pretty high AAU level. Basketball was a really big part of our athletic background and was a huge passion for us. Initially, we thought we were going to be playing basketball in college, but I started to gain a lot of mass and extra muscle, which made it difficult to keep playing basketball at the level that I wanted to.

“Once we transferred to CCA (Cincinnati Christian Academy), we were approached by the head coach. Actually, eight days before the school year started, he was like, ‘Hey, come visit the football team,’ and it kind of clicked right then. About a week later, I was playing my first game. I fell in love with football quickly and since then, it’s become our full-time job. I actually think it’s a blessing we’ve only played football this long. We don’t have any of those bad habits and are really raw athletes that can be developed for any position. I’m hoping that coaches see that we have a lot of intangibles, with a lot of size and a lot of incredible potential.”

Pitt could be fortunate that they’re getting in early with the Luniewski brothers, whose recruitment appears to be ready to skyrocket. Mercer tells PSN that in the near future, they’ll be making unofficial visits to Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Louisville and Michigan.

“In terms of this recruiting process, I think we’ve expected it at one point or the other,” Luniewski said. “We didn’t have a lot of knowledge or support about this, so we’re kind of learning along the way. We’re okay with that and are willing to do whatever it takes in order to bring us the most success and opportunity. This is our job right now and we’ll do whatever it takes to make it. I’m expecting things to really pick up soon for myself and my twin.”

Luniewski is glad that he had the opportunity to get to Pitt early in this process and admits that it could play a factor down the road when it comes time to getting serious about decisions.

“Totally, it could be pivotal for us,” said Luniewski. “They were very straight to the point and showed us what is important to us, the education, their campus and the resources for their athletes. It’s definitely a big consideration for us, especially if my twin would get an offer as well. Pitt was great, the vibe that I got from them was great. We actually knew some members of their strength and conditioning staff that we knew previously, so that was neat. It was huge to be able to see how they practice and left us with a very good early impression.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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