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Moritz Schmoranzer Brings German Flair to Pitt Football



Moritz Schmoranzer. Pitt Football

PITTSBURGH — Germany isn’t normally a country people look towards for new, great football talent, but Moritz Schmoranzer is looking to show just how great the talent is in the country for the sport at Pitt.

Schmoranzer hails from the west German town of Langenfeld in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of around 60,000. He first watched football with the 2018 Super Bowl, a great game featuring the Philadelphia Eagles upsetting the New England Patriots for their first title.

The love for the sport soon grew and he started to play flag football to learn to play. Seeking for chances to get more physical and rougher, he found opportunities to play in the United States and moved to Virginia to pursue his dream starting with his sophomore year of high school in 2021.

While Schmoranzer chose to move to play the sport he loved, he had to make many sacrifices to do so. He had to say goodbye to his loving parents, his beloved Germany and its culture for a new continent and entirely new way of life.

“I was 16, It was a big change,” Moritz Schmoranzer said Wednesday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the Southside. “I was living in a dorm. My school was a part-boarding school. They helped us. We had people, like a dorm mom that helped us and looked over us, but, you know, like the small things. I mean, we were like 40 kids for four or five parents, and we had to schedule appointments and things like that by ourselves. So, we had to grow up a little bit.”

He first started out at wide receiver his sophomore season but found more success when coaches suggested he changed positions to a lineman. Schmoranzer played both sides of the line and excelled, earning Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II All-State honors, making the First Team offense and Second Team defense. He also led his team, North Cross School in Roanoke, to a 21-3 record over his final two seasons and back-to-back VISAA Division II state championships.

“Yeah, it was always like, my dream, you know, having the ball and running,” Schmoranzer said on the position change. “I mean, when I actually started playing at lineman, during camp season and everything, I was like, ‘This is a lot more fun.’ Because you have action every play.”

Schmoranzer not only excelled at football in high school, but a number of other sports too. He won a Virginia state championship in lacrosse in 2022 and competed in a number of track and field events. He finished sixth in the state at shot put as a junior and ran in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes, with a personal best of 13.08 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

His size and speed bode well for new Pitt offensive coordinator Kade Bell and the quick scheme he is putting in place ahead of next season. It also benefits that he’ll have extra time to learn the offense as a mid-year enrollee.

“I love it,” Schmoranzer said on Bell’s offense. “I ran track in high school, so I’m used to running and my high school offense is pretty much the same. We were a spread team, ran a lot of screens. I mean, the system is very similar, so I know what I have to do and it’s a lot of fun just running around out there.”

Former running backs/special teams coach Andre Powell recruited Schmoranzer and his relationship with him and head coach Pat Narduzzi grew instantly, even with the offer coming much later than the ones he received previously.

While Schmoranzer is sad that Powell and former offensive line coach Dave Borbely are no longer with the program, he enjoys learning from new offensive line coach Jeremy Darveau and they’ve built a great relationship.

Schmoranzer is one of five Pitt freshmen offensive linemen in Caleb Holmes, Adham AbourayaJiavani Cooley and Mason Lindsey. He is the only mid-year offensive lineman mid-year enrollee and joins defensive linemen in Sincere Edwards, Francis Brewu and Zachary Crothers, defensive back Nigel Maynard, linebacker Jeremiah Marcelin, quarterback Julian Dugger, running back Juelz Goff and wide receiver Cameron Monteiro as one of 10 mid-year enrollees at Pitt.

The city of Pittsburgh is a home away from home for Schmoranzer. This gives him the space to not only be his true self, but to also completely focus on becoming a great offensive lineman at the collegiate level.

“It just feels the best,” Moritz Schmoranzer said on Pittsburgh. “I come from a village in Germany. So blue collar family, that’s what Pitt is. I just like, I don’t know, the feeling I had, it was between Miami and Pitt for me, and Pitt had everything I wanted, and I needed.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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3 months ago

I dub him “Schmoranzer the Panzer.” Put it on a t-shirt.

Tom D
Tom D
3 months ago
Reply to  Eli


3 months ago

Get on the phone Pat Narduzzi and inquire about Hines Ward’s possible interest in becoming Pitt’s next Wide Receivers Coach. You can thank me later.

3 months ago

If not Hines think about Perry Parks from Coastal Carolina for WR Coach.

3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

May be worth considering Perry Parks if Pitt isn’t able to gain any interest from someone like Hines Ward.

Completions per game rankings 2023.
Coastal Carolina #42
Pitt #107

Last edited 3 months ago by Jeff

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