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Pitt FB Recruiting

Who Has Recruited the WPIAL Better Since 2017, Pitt or Penn State?



The evergreen topic of the job Pitt football does recruiting in the WPIAL was brought back to life last week when Belle Vernon 4-star athlete Quinton Martin made the decision to commit to Penn State.

This commitment was no doubt a sting to Pat Narduzzi and his program as Martin was a top priority for Pitt going back to his freshman season.

Not surprisingly, a large portion of the Pitt fan base immediately started calling into question Pitt’s ability to keep top talent in the 412 to play at home.

Since it’s not possible to sign every single player from the area that they offer, Pitt is in a no-win situation because the criticism of not signing many local players is without merit.

The real bone of contention within the fan base really is that Pitt isn’t landing the higher rated players from the WPIAL. If that started to become the narrative, then that would come with some merit. The other irritating aspect of this is that a majority of these players have chosen to sign with Penn State.

Here is a look back at Pitt’s last eight recruiting classes and the number of players they’ve signed from Western Pennsylvania.

In total, over the last eight seasons, Pitt has gotten commitments from 24 WPIAL players, which comes out to three players per class. That’s a pretty good number and far from the narrative that they don’t get any local players.

CLASS OF 2017:

Paris Ford, 4-star safety, Steel Valley
Gabe Houy, 3-star lineman, Upper St. Clair
Tyler Sear, 3-star tight end, Neshannock
Grant Carrigan, 3-star tight end, Pine-Richland

CLASS OF 2018:

Noah Palmer, 3-star defensive end, Thomas Jefferson
Jake Kradel, 3-star lineman, Butler
Blake Zubovic, 3-star lineman, Belle Vernon
Devin Danielson, 3-star defensive tackle, Thomas Jefferson
David Green, 3-star defensive tackle, Central Catholic

CLASS OF 2019:

Will Gipson, 3-star wide receiver, Aliquippa

CLASS OF 2020:

Dayon Hayes, 4-star defensive end, Westinghouse

CLASS OF 2021:

Nahki Johnson, 4-star defensive end, West Mifflin
Stephon Hall, 3-star safety, Central Valley
Elliot Donald, 4-star defensive tackle, Central Catholic
Dorien Ford, 3-star defensive tackle, Baldwin

CLASS OF 2022:

Sean FitzSimmons, 3-star defensive tackle, Central Valley

CLASS OF 2023:

Braylon Lovelace, 3-star linebacker, Leechburg
Cruce Brookins, 3-star defensive back, Steel Valley

CLASS OF 2024:

Ty Yuhas, 3-star defensive end, Central Catholic


  • 3-star LB Johnny Petrishen / Penn State / Central Catholic
  • 4-Star DB Donovan McMillan / Florida / Peters Township
  • 4-star QB Phil Jurkovec / Boston College / Pine-Richland
  • 4-star CB MJ Devonshire / from Kentucky / Aliquippa
  • 4-star RB Derrick Davis / from LSU / Gateway


Here’s a look at the players that have signed with James Franklin and Terry Smith during that same time period.

  • CLASS OF 2024: 4-star LB Anthony Speca (Central Catholic), 4-star athlete Quinton Martin (Belle Vernon).
  • CLASS OF 2023: 4-star CB Lamont Payne (Chartiers Valley), 4-star linebacker Ta’Mere Robinson (Brashear).
  • CLASS OF 2022:  None
  • CLASS OF 2021: 3-star TE Khalil Dinkins (North Allegheny).
  • CLASS OF 2020: 3-star DE Zuriah Fisher (Aliquippa).
  • CLASS OF 2019: 3-star DB Joey Porter (North Allegheny), JUCO Safety Daequan Hardy (Penn Hills).
  • CLASS OF 2018: None
  • CLASS OF 2017: 5-star DB Lamont Wade (Clairton).


Going Back to the Class of 2017, Pitt has signed 24 players from Western Pennsylvania, Penn State has signed 9.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 month ago

The whole point of my post in your previous like article was indeed about quality, not quantity, of WPIAL recruits. Pitt losing the majority of top local recruits to Penn State (and Notre Dame, for that matter) should not be happening. Pitt’s program is clearly on the rise. The coaching staff has, rightfully, gained recognition for success and also is as stable as ever. Thus Pitt should be winning more of the recruiting battles for local top talent, not less. The Narduzzi/coaching staff failed pretty badly in the most recent years as they have been completely shellacked in this area… Read more »

1 month ago

Daequan Hardy was a HS recruit. I think you have him mixed up with All-Big Ten, 2nd round pick of the Chicago Bears Jaquan Brisker. Out of Gateway HS.

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