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New Pitt OL Commit Shep Turk Wanted to Represent the WPIAL

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Pitt offensive line commit Shep Turk.

Shep Turk started thinking that it was time to make a decision. He knew he fit in best at Pitt, it was where he wanted to be more than anywhere else, so he made the decision.

Turk — a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman from Thomas Jefferson in Jefferson Hills, Pa. — committed to Pitt, one of two Panthers commitments (three-star wide receiver Tony Kinsler) on Monday, and after letting it sink in, he knew it was the right decision.

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“It’s a great feeling,” Turk told Pittsburgh Sports Now Monday. “This is something that I’ve been looking forward to for the last couple of days, the announcement, letting the world know, so it’s definitely a good feeling.”

Turk committed to Pitt over offers from Army, Bowling Green, Bucknell, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Duquesne, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Lehigh, Navy, Maine, Monmouth, Stony Brook, Temple and UMass. The Panthers were his first — and only — Power Five offer, but the relationship with the new coaching staff won him over.

Turk heard from the previous offensive staff, but the bond was immediate when new offensive line coach Jeremy Darveau arrived from Western Carolina in January. He felt like a real priority as Darveau arrived in Pittsburgh, immediately hit him up and began building a relationship.

“(Darveau’s) truly an amazing guy,” Turk said. “I enjoyed spending time with him and having meetings with him, and I think he’s a great guy and even better coach.”

Turk feels like the new staff is building something — something he wants to be a part of. The goal is to return to the ACC championship game.

Darveau and the Pitt coaching staff see Turk as an interior lineman at the college level. He’s played all over the line during his time at Thomas Jefferson, spending his sophomore season at right guard and his junior season at right tackle, and that positional versatility was a major selling point.

Turk isn’t exactly a top recruit at this point in his recruiting process, but the Pitt coaching staff sees a big, mauling interior lineman with enough speed, power and agility to fulfill his responsibilities all across the line.

He’s the first offensive line commit in the class of 2025, but he’s also the first WPIAL commitment in the class. And that’s a special feeling for a kid who grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh.

“I wanted to get on their board early and make sure I represent the WPIAL in that way and just be one of the first hometown kids,” Turk said.
“Hopefully we can pick up a couple more.”

Turk admitted he wasn’t exactly a Pitt fan growing up, but as he got older and watched former Thomas Jefferson stars like Devin Danielson and Noah Palmer head off to play for the Panthers, he watched more and more Pitt games. As he watched, he said he definitely felt that pull to play there one day, too.

He’s coming to Pitt as an offensive lineman who wants to make an impact on and off the field.

“I’m someone that wants to help a lot in the community and do good things off the field,” Turk said. “But as a player, it’s a different mode when I get on the field. It’s not the nice guy anymore; it’s smash-mouth football, that’s what I play at my high school and want to bring to Pitt.

“I want to win a championship. I want to bring one back. I’m excited to be on the team, and I just want to do something special there.”

Pitt holds five commitments in the class of 2025, including Turk, three-star wide receiver Tony Kinsler (Port Orange, Fla.), three-star wide receiver Bryce Yates (Chesterfield, Va.), three-star defensive lineman Trevor Sommers (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and three-star quarterback Mason Heintschel (Oregon, Ohio). It’s not unlikely that a couple more soon join the class this spring.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
15 days ago

of course he did, it was his only real offer. Would he say the same thing if he had any other P4 offers?

Tim
Tim
15 days ago

Those offers may come and we’ll see. I wish the kid luck…..sometimes you get a late bloomer.

Tim
Tim
15 days ago

I always think of Dion Lewis. He made the most of an opportunity. Very few stars for Mr. Lewis. Until he put on the uniform.
Pretty good NFL career with Super Bowl bling. All after attending a fine university. H2P!

Tony
Tony
14 days ago

Ok this is very concerning. Again a reach. Pitt isn’t been beating legit schools for recruits. When you’re competing with Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Duquesne for recruits in football something’s wrong! The only thing that gives me any hope for this kid is he’s a local TJ guy and those kids know how to play but offer sheets don’t lie and this one is ugly. Looks like Narduzzi is as incompetent as I thought without legit coaches around him were stuck with the Fred Flinstone of the college head coaches about as creativity as a caveman there’s nothing exciting… Read more »

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
11 days ago
Reply to  Tony

Spot on Tony. I’m sure you will be accused of being a WVU or PSU fan but you are smart enough to see the emperor wears no clothes. The talent levels have been dropping, no depth and now it’s competing with MAC or worse Patriot teams. The program needs a full reboot, or keep writing articles about difference makers putting pitt in their “top 12” knowing full well no chance they are coming. Fran Brown is just starting to warm up in Syracuse, watch how him and Robinson recruit Jersey, MD, PA

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