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Pitt FB Recruiting

Closer Look at the Second Weekend of Pitt Official Visitors – Defense

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A Pitt football lays on the turf on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now.) College Football / Signing Period. NCAA.

Pitt has done a good job of building the foundation for its class of 2025, and despite a smaller group coming to town this weekend, more than a couple will likely leave as Pitt Panthers.

There are 11 commitments in the class as the second visit weekend is underway, and if the trend continues, that number is going to rise.

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There are more defensive recruits in town this weekend than offensive, and they’re all uncommitted. A defensive lineman, a linebacker and three defensive backs.

Quante Gillians — 6-foot-3, 280-pound three-star defensive lineman from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y.

Gillians holds offers from Boston College, Bryant, Buffalo, Colgate, UConn, Fordham, Georgia Tech, Lafayette, Michigan State, Minnesota, Monmouth, New Hampshire, SMU, Syracuse, Toledo, USF and West Virginia.

Pitt was the first school to extend Gillians an offer, with former tight ends coach Tim Salem offering him on Jan. 4, and his recruiting process has picked up in a major way since. The official visit is his first time checking out Pittsburgh in person.

247Sports rates Gillians as the 86th-ranked defensive lineman and fourth-ranked recruit from New York while Rivals rates him as the fourth-ranked recruit in New York.

He hauled in 10 receptions for 169 yards as a tight end last season, but his greatest impact came on the defensive side of the ball, racking up 27 tackles (15 solo), five tackles for loss, a team-high 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

Bryson Williams — a 6-foot-2, 220-pound three-star athlete from St. Mary’s in Orchard Lake, Mich.

Williams holds offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Illinois, Kansas, Kent State, Marshall, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Pitt, Princeton, Purdue, Toledo, West Virginia and Yale.

Archie Collins and Ryan Manalac, who have served as key recruiters in Williams’ chase, went out to see him at St. Mary’s late last year and kicked off the relationship on a high note.

247Sports rates Woodson as the 70th-ranked athlete and 12th-ranked recruit from Michigan while On3 rates him as the 67th-ranked athlete and 23rd-ranked athlete from Michigan.

He’s a versatile athlete, likely capable of playing wide receiver or defensive back at the next level, but the Pitt coaching staff sees him as a Star linebacker.

Shawn Lee — 5-foot-10, 170-pound three-star athlete from Harrisburg in Harrisburg, Pa.

Lee holds offers from Akron, Buffalo, UConn, Howard, Iowa State, JMU, Kent State, North Carolina State and Pitt.

Pitt was a more recent offer for Lee, who made it out to Pittsburgh last September for a gameday visit, and it’s his first visit back to town since.

Lee isn’t ranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals or On3), but he does hold a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

He starred on both sides of the ball at Harrisburg last season, racking up 3,721 yards and 45 total touchdowns (1,451 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground) and 47 tackles (32 solo), four interceptions and seven pass breakups. The lack of major interest is surprising, but it may have to do with his size.

Joshua Guerrier — a 5-foot-9, 160-pound three-star athlete from Ocoee in Ocoee, Fla.

Guerrier holds offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, FAU, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Liberty, Louisville, Marshall, Pitt, Temple, Tennessee, USF, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Pitt was one of the more recent offers for Guerrier, with Lindsey Lamar extending an offer on Jan. 30, and he’s already been to Pittsburgh. He checked out a spring practice in March.

247Sports rates Guerrier as the 52nd-ranked athlete and 77th-ranked recruit from Florida while Rivals rates him as the 23rd-ranked athlete and 71st-ranked recruit from Florida.

He did a little bit of everything for Ocoee last season, completing 8-of-13 pass attempts for 53 yards, racking up 30 carries for 218 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns and six receptions for 79 yards (13.2 yards per reception) and a touchdown.

But his future lies on the defensive side of the ball, and he recorded 38 tackles (29 solo), two tackles for loss and one interception last season.

Cole Woodson — 6-foot-1, 190-pound three-star defensive back from Battlefield in Haymarket, Va.

Woodson holds offers from UConn, Duke, JMU, Minnesota, Pitt, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

Pitt extended Woodson an offer on Jan. 30, and his official visit is the second time he’s made it out to Pittsburgh. His first was a visit for spring practice in March, getting his first taste of the coaching staff and the culture.

247Sports rates Woodson as the 52nd-ranked safety and 20th-ranked recruit from Virginia.

He was a solid receiving threat for Battlefield last season, hauling in 13 receptions for 127 yards four touchdowns, but he’s another versatile athlete whose future is on the defensive side of the ball. He picked off four passes (returning three for touchdowns) and broke up seven passes.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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