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Pitt FB Recruiting

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

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A Pitt football helmet sits at a player's feet during a timeout against Virginia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now.)

Pitt is in the midst of its third and final official visit weekend of the month of June, and while it isn’t the biggest group, it’s a group full of some of the top targets in the class of 2o25.

Pitt has 13 commitments in the class of 2025 as it stands, following five commitments on the first weekend of visits and two more last weekend, and it’s a solid base. A base that is quickly turning into the foundation of the class.

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There’s one outside linebacker and two cornerbacks in town. It’s a small but stellar group, which already features a commitment from top recruit Elijah Dotson.

Denim Cooka 6-foot-4, 220-pound three-star linebacker from Bishop Hartley in Columbus, Ohio 

Cook holds offers from Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, CMU, ECU, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Liberty, Louisville, Marshall, UMass, Miami (Oh.), Ohio, Purdue, Toledo, Western Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Pitt jumped into the fray for Cook in January, with Narduzzi and Manalac extending an offer during a busy in-school visit period. He hasn’t visited Pittsburgh since picking up an offer, but he made a trip out for the Florida State game last November.

247Sports rates him as the 83rd-ranked linebacker and 31st-ranked recruit in Ohio. He isn’t rated by Rivals or On3, but he does hold a 5.5 Rivals Rating.

Cook was very impactful as a do-it-all defender for Bishop Hartley last season, racking up 116 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries — earning All-District, All-Conference and All-State honors.

Cook would be a big-bodied linebacker in the class, and I’d say he’s one to watch this weekend.

Pitt defensive back target Elijah Dotson.

Photo courtesy of Pitt commit Elijah Dotson

Elijah Dotson — a 6-foot-2, 175-pound four-star defensive back from Belleville High in Detroit, Mich. (COMMIT)

Dotson committed to Pitt over offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Pitt initially offered Dotson on Jan. 17, 2023. Archie Collins extended the offer way back when and the Pitt staff did everything they could to roll out the red carpet after the fact; Dotson definitely felt the love.

247Sports rates Dotson as the 24th-ranked safety and third-ranked recruit from Michigan in the class while On3 rates him as the 332nd-ranked recruit in the class (14th-ranked athlete and third-ranked recruit from Michigan).

Rivals rates him as the 45th-ranked cornerback and sixth-ranked recruit from Michigan.

Dotson did a lot of everything during his junior season at the University of Detroit Jesuit High, racking up 43 receptions, 1,653 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns — adding 66 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Dotson is the top-ranked recruit in the class and a legitimate cornerstone piece.

Mason Alexandera 6-foot, 180-pound four-star cornerback from Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Ind. 

Alexander holds offers from Auburn, Ball State, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Western Michigan and Wisconsin.

Alexander received his first Power Five offer from Pitt last year, with Archie Collins extending an offer on April 1, 2023, and the culmination of the year-long relationship is coming to fruition this weekend.

247Sports rates Alexander as the 298th-ranked recruit in the class (29th-ranked cornerback and fifth-ranked recruit from Indiana) while On3 rates him as the 279th-ranked recruit in the class (25th-ranked cornerback and fifth-ranked recruit from Indiana).

Rivals rates him as the 34th-ranked cornerback and fifth-ranked recruit from Indiana — holding a 5.8 Rivals Rating.

Alexander racked up 39 tackles (19 solo), three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), eight pass breakups and a forced fumble as a junior at Hamilton Southeastern last season.

Alexander would be another elite addition to the class of 2025, a cornerstone piece alongside Dotson.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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