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Pitt FB Recruiting

Hometown Pipeline: Who Remains Available for Pitt in Class of 2025?



The hometown hero moniker has been utilized as a recruiting tool for Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt football program when targeting WPIAL and Pittsburgh talent.

Thomas Jefferson offensive lineman Shep Turk became the latest iteration of that backyard pipeline when he committed to the Panthers on Monday.

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While Turk made the verbal announcement to join the Panthers, he’s just the first player from the local area in the class of 2025 to land with Pitt.

Over the years, Pitt has battled the two primary competitors for WPIAL talent in Penn State and West Virginia and, of course, the outside challenges like Notre Dame, Michigan and others trying to pluck recruits right from under Pitt’s nose.

In the 2024 recruiting cycle, Pitt brought in three WPIAL prospects in the likes of Aliquippa’s Cam Lindsey, Central Catholic’s Ty Yuhas and Penn Hills’ Julian Dugger.

It’s still likely that Pitt lands another player from the surrounding area, however, the top-tier talent for the 2025 class has quickly gone off the board and Pitt may have to look for some under-the-radar finds.

Per usual, Penn State swooped in and collected a handful of key recruits from the area in four-star Aliquippa running back Tiqwai Hayes, four-star Imani Christian linebacker Dayshaun Burnett, four-star Latrobe linebacker Alex Tatsch and three-star tight end/defensive end Brady O’Hara.

Even with Pitt recruiting each player, the top four prospects in the WPIAL opted to head to State College, Pa. and the Big 10.

While Pitt extended offers to each of those players, the Panthers missed out on joining the recruitment of Central Catholic three-star defensive back Xxavier Thomas, who also committed to Penn State, and Peters Township three-star linebacker Mickey Vaccarello, who made a quick decision to commit to Stanford after being offered just days prior on a visit.

With all of that, let’s examine who remains available in the Pittsburgh area for the Panthers to snag.

The college-producing powerhouse that is Central Catholic boasts an uncommitted talent in athlete Bradley Gompers.

A three-star prospect, according to Rivals, Gompers paid visits to West Virginia, Rutgers, Duke and Penn State in the month of April.

As Pitt deals with stiff competition for a prospect that resides right down the road from campus in Oakland, the Panthers have also hosted Gompers on numerous occasions, including a recent visit on March 21.

Gompers, who stands at 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, can line up at outside linebacker, safety, tight end and wide receiver. After being sidelined with a broken collarbone this past fall, Gompers returned for the postseason and made 16 tackles and recorded a fumble recovery in the Class 6A Championship.

A healthy senior season could ramp up an already enticing recruitment with Gompers holding an offer sheet that includes the aforementioned Panthers, Penn State, West Virginia, Duke and Rutgers, along with Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana, Cincinnati and others.

Another prospect that is still up for grabs in the area that is receiving Power 4 interest is Laurel Highlands’ athlete Antwan Black Jr.

Coming in as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, Black Jr. holds offers from Pitt, Penn State, Michigan State, Boston College, Syracuse, West Virginia, amongst a handful of other FBS and FCS interest.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound dynamic athlete makes an impact on both sides of the ball as a lock down defensive back with a knack of forcing turnovers, while using his speed at the wide receiver position to find his way into the end zone.

Most recently, Laurel Highlands produced four-star athlete Rodney Gallagher III who is emerging as a weapon at West Virginia, and Black Jr. could potentially be on his way to join his former teammate.

Out of the remaining top players in the WPIAL, the most likely recruit to land with the Panthers is West Mifflin offensive/defensive lineman Jaiden Brown-Demery. The 6-foot-4, 345-pound target holds a three-star ranking and is the 23rd-best player in the state, according to On3.

Pitt and West Virginia look to be atop his recruitment as Brown-Demery visited each school for their respective spring games.

The physical and big West Mifflin product would be a key addition for the Panthers, especially on the offensive front.

Gompers, Black Jr. and Brown-Demery are three of the top WPIAL players remaining in the class of 2025 that Pitt has offered, but there are a few others that the Panthers could get involved with.

Latrobe three-star safety John Wetzel holds Power 4 offers from West Virginia, Cincinnati and Boston College, along with Temple, Akron, Marshall, Kent State and others.

Wetzel’s recruitment started to pick up steam starting in December after a first-team all-conference junior season, but Pitt has yet to jump in.

Additionally, Pitt has shown interest in three-star defensive lineman Christopher Climes out of Elizabeth Forward. Climes made a trip to visit Pitt for a spring practice on March 22.

Despite not holding an offer from Pitt, Climes has a sheet that stands at 29 Division I offers, including Akron, Toledo, Air Force, James Madison, Bowling Green, Harvard, Dartmouth, Miami (OH) and more.

There are plenty of other prospects in the Pittsburgh area that could see their recruitment rise throughout the summer and once play resumes in the fall such as South Park offensive lineman Parker Cunningham, who holds 15-plus offers, and Woodland Hills linebacker George Hill, who owns offers from Akron, UConn and Temple.

With Pitt still molding it recruting class in the 2025 cycle, there could potentially be more WPIAL talent on the way and there are plenty of hidden gems in the local area.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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12 days ago

Depressing, the last few years of recruiting are beginning to remind me of Walt and Wanny.

12 days ago

They need to go down in class because there recruiting has gone down in class

12 days ago

Even with all the NIL money, Franklin is still a poor excuse for a head coach. You read the PS threads, the hope is some other fool hires him.
Two years and half those studs will think Pitt looks pretty good.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
12 days ago
Reply to  Pittband

the pitt band will look good or the team? pitt now recruits against UMass, Stony Brook and Lehigh. hahahahaha

12 days ago

Do you have any criticisms for Diddler U. or at least Franklin? At this point I don’t think you are capable of anything other than adolescent trolling.

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

I’ve got plenty and I voice them on PSU boards. I can list them here if you’d like but I thought you’d be more worried why pitt now constantly competes for low 3* players who are also looking at Stony Brook, Lehigh, Maine, etc. This season and next will be really bad to watch

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