Pitt has been one of the top schools in the country at sacking the opposing quarterback over the past five years and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge has built a reputation as one of the best in the country at his position.
Partridge and the Panthers hosted a player over the last three days that they believe can be someone who will continue the trend of Pitt defensive ends terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.
Elias Rudolph is a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end from Deerfield Beach, Florida and a consensus four-star recruit. Rivals and 247Sports rank him as one of the Top 200 players in the class of 2024.
It’s impressive that the Panthers received an official visit, considering Rudolph’s long list of offers. Just a few of the schools that have offered Rudolph include Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
Pitt, Ohio State and Michigan — three schools that Rudolph has either taken an official visit to or plans to — are currently battling the hardest for his commitment going forward.
While this will be an extremely hard recruiting battle to win, Pitt did nothing to hurt their chances as Rudolph tells Pittsburgh Sports Now that he loved his latest visit to Pittsburgh.
“I went into the Pitt visit strongly on Pittsburgh, and the visit made an even greater impact on me,” Rudolph said. “I’d say that I got to learn a lot about the program as far as the people in the program. I had a lot of interaction with different people, and it was remarkable. It was truly remarkable from the beginning to the end. Pitt did an outstanding job showing me a beautiful time.
“When I talk about people within the program, I’m referring to everyone that I encountered including coaches and players and the academic staff. A lot of people really seemed down to earth. I even had the chance to meet some fans of Pitt. I really had the chance to meet a lot of great people over the last few days. I came up with my mom and my sister. For various reasons, my mom and sister loved everything they encountered in Pittsburgh.”
Rudolph went on to talk about the special bond that he’s formed with Partridge and how before he left, both Partridge and head coach Pat Narduzzi expressed to him how much they want him to be a part of their program.
So, what’s next?
Despite really enjoying his time at Pitt, Rudolph resisted the temptation to give a commitment and still plans on making his visits to Michigan (June 9) and Ohio State (June 23).
The national recruiting analysts still have both Michigan and Ohio State as the favorites for elite talent, but after talking with Rudolph, I’m not so sure about that.
We’ll all find out in the next few weeks.