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2024 4-Star DE Elias Rudolph’s Relationship With Pitt’s Coaches Stands Out Ahead of OV



Elias Rudolph feels like — and knows that — he’s a priority to Pitt’s coaching staff, so he knew he needed to make an official visit to Pittsburgh.

Rudolph — a 6-foot-4, 220-pound four-star defensive end from Deerfield Beach High School in Deerfield Beach, Florida — is taking his official visit to Pitt from June 1-3, ahead of official visits to his other contenders in Michigan, Ohio State and Miami.

And while he hasn’t taken an unofficial visit to Pitt, he’s been in Pittsburgh for camps a handful of times now.

“Just building a great relationship with the staff, coach Bates and coach Partridge, I’ve been up to their camps,” Rudolph told PSN. “Pretty much all the camps I went to were Pitt.”

He was able to tour around the facility a bit during his camp visits, but the official visit will be all-inclusive. And it will give him another chance to connect with Bates, Partridge and the entire Pitt coaching staff.

Pitt first jumped into the fray for Rudolph over a year ago, with Randy Bates extending an offer on Jan. 18, 2022, while he still attended Taft in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pitt was the first Power Five school — and the second overall — to extend him an official offer.

Bates and Charlie Partridge have served as Pitt’s main recruiters, and it helps that 2024 three-star cornerback commit Tayshawn Banks and 2024 three-star wide receiver target Jay’Quan Bostic are good friends with Rudolph.

But it is Partridge who is making the final push to bring Rudolph to Pittsburgh for the extended future. The pair talk every single day, and Partridge has even been down to Florida to see him.

“I got a strong connection with coach Partridge,” Rudolph said. “I’m confident going into the official.

“He’s just building a connection, checking on me every day. He’s been to see me a couple of times.”

Partridge’s experience working with defensive linemen, putting defensive linemen into the NFL and leading college football in tackles for loss and sacks every season, is a major draw. But it’s Partridge’s heart that Rudolph likes the most.

As a junior at Taft, Rudolph made quite the impact. As the Senators put together an 11-3 season, he racked up 92 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 19 sacks and recorded four touchdowns — hauling in numerous postseason awards and honors.

“Relentless,” Rudolph said. “Hard working. Passionate. Big time and a clutch player. I got intensity and a lot of energy.”

Rudolph will spend his senior season competing in Deerfield Beach, competing in Florida.

247Sports rates Rudolph as the 222nd-ranked recruit in the class (15th-ranked edge and the 34th-ranked recruit from Florida) while Rivals rates him as the 208th-ranked recruit in the class (16th-ranked weakside defensive end and fourth-ranked recruit from Ohio).

On3 rates him as the 260th-ranked recruit in the class (29th-ranked linebacker and 39th-ranked recruit from Florida).

Rudolph will be taking official visits to Pitt (June 1-3), Michigan (June 9), Miami (June 16) and Ohio State (June 23). He’s thinking about a July commitment at this point, but it’s about seeing what happens on his official visits now.

“A lot of people want me to go to Pitt, like hometown, a lot of people I know, like a lot of them favor Pitt,” Rudolph said. “A lot of them favor Michigan. And then a couple of them favor Ohio State. Miami just came in the picture, so.”

Rudolph would be an elite addition defensively, pairing well with 2024 four-star defensive tackle commit Jahsear Whittington, along with three-star Francis Brewu, three-star Zach Crothers and three-star Ty Yuhas.

Pitt’s June 1-3 visits include Rudolph, four-star quarterback Trever Jackson, four-star wide receivers Nick Marsh and Keylen Adams, four-star offensive lineman Caleb Holmes, four-star linebacker Gabriel Williams and four-star safety Reggie Powers.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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