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Pitt FB Recruiting

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

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Pitt football.

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 a running back, two wide receivers and two offensive linemen in attendance this weekend, and it’s a group with a ton of potential.

Synkwan Smith — a 5-foot-9, 165-pound athlete from Roswell in Roswell, Ga.

Smith holds offers from Arkansas State, UConn, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Marshall, UMass, Miami (Oh.), Pitt, Toledo. Western Kentucky and Wofford.

Pitt is one of the more recent schools to reach out to Smith, with Archie Collins officially extending an offer on May 14, and the relationship progressed rapidly. He’s being recruited by Collins and Lindsey Lamar, likely pointing toward his future position.

247Sports rates Smith as the 527th-ranked recruit in the class (42th-ranked athlete and 60th-ranked recruit from Georgia). He hasn’t been ranked by Rivals but holds a 5.7 Rivals Rating.

Smith served a few different roles at Roswell last season, racking up 24 carries for 285 yards (11.9 yards per carry) and four touchdowns and 32 receptions for 420 yards (13.1 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns. And he returned 10 kickoffs for 444 yards and a touchdown and 10 punts for 357 yards and four touchdowns.

Smith is a talented running back, and a dominant all-around athlete, and I think there’s a decent chance he leaves Pittsburgh as a Panther.

Kha’Leal Sterling — a 5-foot-10, 170-pound three-star wide receiver from Miami Central in Miami, Fla.

Sterling holds offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Bowling Green, FAU, FIU, Indiana, Liberty, Oregon, Pitt, SMU, Temple, Tulane, UAB and West Virginia.

Pitt has been recruiting Sterling since the end of last year, with Kade Bell and former wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood leading the way. JJ Laster has since taken over for Underwood, spearheading the effort to land the talented wideout.

247Sports rates Sterling as the 1,090th-ranked recruit in the class (167th-ranked wide receiver and 146th-ranked recruit from Florida) while On3 rates him as the 1,184th-ranked recruit in the class (168th-ranked wide receiver and 150th-ranked recruit from Florida).

Sterling transferred to Miami Central ahead of his junior season, and while he’s a two-way player, his future lies on the offensive side of the ball. He hauled in 26 receptions for 609 yards (23.4 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns.

Sterling is a late addition to the visit list but a talented one. He fits the mold of a Pitt wide receiver.

Emmanuel Taylor — a 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete from Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, Va.

He narrowed down a list of offers that included Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, Liberty, Marshall and Virginia Tech to just three back in January: ECU, Liberty and Pitt.

Pitt extended an offer to Taylor back in November, with then-running backs coach and special teams coordinator Andre Powell serving as a lead recruiter for the Virginia recruit, but it’s Ryan Manalac who has spearheaded his recruiting process for the Panthers.

247Sports rates Taylor as the 100th-ranked athlete and 24th-ranked recruit from Virginia, and while neither Rivals nor On3 have ranked him, it’s only a matter of time.

He was an explosive playmaker for Green Run in 2023, on both sides of the ball, but he flashed on the defensive side. He racked up 120 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, four sacks and six touchdowns, and his athleticism flashes just about every time he steps on the football field.

Taylor doesn’t fit the mold of the wide receivers that Pitt has recruited this cycle, but he’s an excellent athlete with size.

Chastan Brown — a 6-foot-8, 250-pound four-star offensive tackle from Northside in Warner Robbins, Ga.

Brown holds offers from Boston College, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Liberty, Louisville, Memphis, North Carolina State, Pitt, Troy, Tulane, UAB, UCF, USF, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

Archie Collins and the Panthers have been on his case since January, and that dedication has led to perhaps the most high-profile recruit visit of the official visit window.

247Sports rates Brown as the 188th-ranked recruit in the class (20th-ranked offensive tackle and 30th-ranked recruit from Georgia). Rivals and ESPN also rate Brown as a four-star recruit.

It’s going to be a battle to land Brown, but an official visit can change minds very quickly. Pitt is in the mix.

Torian Chester — a 6-foot-5, 315-pound interior offensive lineman from Westover in Albany, Ga.

Chester holds offers from Buffalo, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Liberty, Pitt, South Alabama, Tulane and Wofford.

The Pitt coaching staff first reached out after his spring game earlier this year, with Darveau as the main point of contact. The relationship has developed over the last few months, enough for the official visit to come to fruition.

Chester isn’t ranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals or On3), but that will change over the next few weeks as the class is reevaluated.

Pitt is looking for a couple more offensive linemen in the class of 2025, and an official visit at this stage of the month bodes well for Chester. He’s someone to watch this weekend.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Menotyou
Menotyou
29 days ago

They’re not even going after the kids that the big boys want. That should tell you that they can’t compete. NIL will be the death of college football for the majority of fans.

Marty
Marty
28 days ago
Reply to  Menotyou

How you think they had all that success in the 70s and 80s it wasn’t because of the facility’s. They were committed to winning and did what the big boys do and did what needed done to land the stars. Wanny tried to do it look at what he was able to land he’d be a prefect fit in this college world happily paying top players top dollar. Narduzzi still thinks it’s 1995. 🤣

MDtkd
MDtkd
29 days ago

It is like we are not in a power 4 conference based on these profiles.

Marty
Marty
28 days ago

It’s Fred Flinstones fault aka Natduzzi. He makes Wanny look like a rocket scientist. Narduzzi has been incompetent for the majority of his time here. 6/7 win seasons is what he can offer. Only when he had an elite college quarterback and a OC that wouldn’t put up with his stupidity did Pitt play like a premier program. After that Kenny left Narduzzi forced Whipple out and the program has gotten worse each day since. You can pretend he’s a great coach but there’s a reason the entire league views him as a bottom tier coach in this league. Wake… Read more »

Maz1960
Maz1960
28 days ago

I will state that I am a Pat Narduzzi supporter as I was a Dave Wannstedt supporter. I don’t think we need to be reminded what it was like being a Pitt fan between these two men. With that as a precursor I wonder if many who comment on Pitt’s recruiting even follow college football today. I did some quick research of the time period between 2017-2021. I looked at the top 100 recruits during that five year period as per 247 Sports. Of those 500 recruits 361 committed to only 17 schools. During the 2019-2023 seasons four separate schools… Read more »

Menotyou
Menotyou
28 days ago
Reply to  Maz1960

Ok, but none of that has anything to do with the fact that just a few years ago the majority of our recruits had offers from the big guys, now it’s rare. That means things are going to get much worse as I think there is a big difference between a low 3 star and a high 3 star. I dont know why anyone would happily accept mediocrity at the hands of others. I’m guessing you are happy to support the Pirates? I’m wondering if you follow college football today at all? Winning gets you the best recruits now? No… Read more »

Maz1960
Maz1960
28 days ago
Reply to  Menotyou

Your many comments require a longer response than what I will provide, but I will try and keep it simple. By using Maz1960 it should be obvious that I am a Pirate fan. You can’t compare the Pirates to Pitt football. As a professional team the Pirates can draft and not recruit Paul Skenes. He did not choose the Pirates they chose him. Professional baseball is not a competitively balanced sport because of the big market teams out spending the small. For the Pirates to win first the front office must outperform the front office of the big money teams… Read more »

Menotyou
Menotyou
28 days ago
Reply to  Maz1960

Ok, you spent alot of time stating the obvious. My point is we should be angry, not accepting. I can’t stand Pirate fans because with your support you accept mediocrity at best. Go ahead and eat the bugs, going along makes you virtuous? Not me.

Maz1960
Maz1960
28 days ago
Reply to  Menotyou

First, I appreciate the debate. My question for you is … who are you angry at? If you are talking about MLB are you angry that the Pirates and other low revenue teams are playing in an uneven arena? I know people who stopped following baseball because of the strike. Some stopped when the Indians changed their name to the Guardians. Some can’t stand the Pirates ownership. Pick one of these or another and you have a valid reason. I follow the Pirates because I enjoy the sport. I don’t accept or like mediocrity or in reality terrible teams. What… Read more »

Menotyou
Menotyou
27 days ago
Reply to  Maz1960

Fair enough. I was definitely sensing a holier than thou mentality. I checked out of baseball when the bucs had the big fire sale at the end of the CBA, ’92 or ’93 maybe? I’m angry with those that support it because you enable them to feed us bugs. If we didn’t buy their stuff put them on our TV and go to the games they would change. I’m 55, I remember the Pitt national championship and around 8 years of great teams that were definitely ruined by Foge and his successors. I mean he handcuffed Marino his senior year,… Read more »

Maz1960
Maz1960
27 days ago
Reply to  Menotyou

Agreed. Thank you for the conversation

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