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Partridge’s Departure ‘Heart-Shattering’ for Jahsear Whittington

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It was another normal Monday for Jahsear Whittington when he walked into Imhotep Institute Charter High School in Philadelphia, Pa.

As he entered the school, he felt his phone buzzing. When he peered down at his screen, he saw that it was his future head coach Pat Narduzzi. He thought maybe it was one of Narduzzi’s routine calls to check up on the four-star defensive line commit.

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Whittington then went to his first class of the day where he then received another notification. It was from a fellow d-line recruit that alerted him to news that would make a big imprint on the foreseeable future.

“No way coach P is leaving,” read the message.

After carefully dissecting the message, Whittington noticed that he not only received one call from Narduzzi, but rather a few calls, texts and a voicemail.

The news left Whittington in disbelief. Pitt defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was making the leap from the college ranks into the NFL to coach the Indianapolis Colts.

His teacher understood that something urgent was happening as he allowed Whittington to step out of class and make a call.

As Whittington sat in his coach’s office, Narduzzi broke down what was unfolding.

“It was heart-shattering,” Whittington said.

The next call for Whittington was to his mom.

“I shed some tears for sure,” he said. “She could hear it in my voice that I was pretty upset. When I broke the news to her, she bursted out and said, ‘what.’ I was talking to her, and she was telling me that everything was going to be alright, and I thank her for that because that’s what I needed to hear in that moment.”

After informing his father moments later, Whittington needed to return to class, but he did not want to draw any more attention to himself as he tried to process everything that was happening.

“I had a covid mask on because I didn’t want anyone to ask me what’s wrong because I didn’t want to think about it too much,” he said. “I took time and listened to music.”

Later that day, Partridge put Whittington and his father in a group chat to explain why the decision was made and to apologize for how Whittington was informed.

“He told us it was so much commotion that he really couldn’t tell me himself,” Whittington said. “He said the college football world is a lot with this NIL stuff. He basically told us that he had to get away from college football.”

For years, Partridge became more than a coach for Whittington. The two formed a strong relationship that helped Whittington make the decision to commit to Pitt.

“He told me that he appreciates me,” Whittington said on the messages he received from Partridge. “Reading that message, it gave that whole feeling I felt earlier that day. All I could do was tell him I love him and appreciate him.”

While Partridge is off to the NFL, Pitt moved quickly to fill the vacancy. Tim Daoust was hired Wednesday after serving as the special teams coordinator and defensive ends/outside linebackers coach at East Carolina.

Whittington will get the opportunity to meet his new position coach when he plans on visiting Pitt in the coming weeks.

“I can’t wait to meet him and build a good relationship with him and see what he expects and what type of coach he is,” Whittington said.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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George
George
1 month ago

love this attitude, can’t wait to see this man in uniform!

Toledo Window Box
Toledo Window Box
1 month ago

Interesting perspective. Would love to read a similar article on the reaction of a coach when a close recruit bolts

ken robertson
ken robertson
1 month ago

East Carolina staff just seems to be moving to Pittsburgh……is that a good thing?

Cignetti & Friends
Cignetti & Friends
1 month ago
Reply to  ken robertson

It’s Western Carolina for most of them on the Offense Side like Bell. ECU is in the AAC, not to be confused with the ACC. Western Carolina is a FCS school.

Cignetti & Friends
Cignetti & Friends
1 month ago

Well as I was reading the article and then Partridge’s remarks…..I was waiting to read….that Partridge told them all in this group chat….that they still made a great decision to attend Pitt and that Pitt has produced many great NFL players pre-Partridge like for one…..Aaron Donald, who has won NFC defensive player of the year several times.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cignetti & Friends
Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.

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