Pat Narduzzi has put together quite the recruiting class for the upcoming season despite not having an offensive coordinator on staff.  The list includes 4 recruits in the top 300 and the class is currently ranked number 32 in the nation by 247 Sports.  The class includes 4 players already enrolled for the spring semester and another 20 added on signing day.   Meet the member of the newest Pitt recruiting class: #SteeleCity17

Paris Ford – Safety, Steel Valley (Homestead, PA) 

Paris Ford is the 3rd ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania, and will stay to play for the hometown Panthers.   Ford was a PA state champion this year for Steele Valley, and was the first verbal commitment for the 2017 class when he gave Narduzzi his word back in October of 2015. He solidified his commitment today by signing with the Panthers, after late efforts to flip him were made.  He could make an immediate impact in a secondary that struggled a season ago.  There is a good chance he will start at free safety alongside Jordan Whitehead.

A.J. Davis – Running Back, Lakeland (Lakeland, FL)

Davis was a late addition to the class as he made his commitment during NSD coverage.  Ranked the 19th best running back in the nation, the Panthers are rebuilding their backfield to make up for the loss of James Conner.  Davis could also play a big role catching the ball out of the backfield and he could line up as a slot receiver.  He joins a crowded backfield with the likes of former ACC Freshman of the year Quadree Ollison.  Some are naming him the best Running Back recruit for Pitt since Russel Shell In 2012.

Todd Sibley – Running Back, Archbishop Hoban (Akron, OH)

Sibley is another big time running back recruit that the panthers signed this year.  He was ranked as the number 22 running back in the nation and the 15th best player out of Ohio.  The battle to be the starting running back come September 2nd at Heinz field will be an interesting one.  Sibley, along with Davis will be the future of the Panther backfield and running backs coach Andre Powell is excited:

Charles Reeves – Tight End, Steubenville (Steubenville, OH) 

Reeves enters as the 8th ranked tight end in the 2017 class.  At 6’5, he should provide a big downfield target for the Panthers who are losing their top tight end from last year, Scott Orndoff.  Early indicators point to red-shirt freshman, Chris Clark a transfer from UCLA, to be the starter.  However, Reeves will likely have the chance to battle for the starting job in camp and find himself getting significant playing time as a freshman.

 

Carter Warren – Offensive Tackle, Passaic (Passaic, NJ) 

Pitt had one of the best offensive lines a season ago only allowing 10 sacks the entire season.  With the departure of starting left tackle Adam Bisnowaty, Warren could be called upon as the next man up.  At 6’6 he’s shown decent speed for a tackle and should find a place along the O-line within his first 2 years with the Panthers.

Jaylen Twyman – Defensive Tackle, Woodson H.D (Washington, DC)

Twyman was a priority recruit for Narduzzi and his staff for this class and they managed to get him signed.  Pitt loses its 2 of its top pass rushers that anchored the defense against the run.  He has good size for a defensive tackle at 6’2 290lbs, and should be able to fill the hole left by Tyrique Jarret. 

Demarri Mathis – Corner Back, Lakeland (Lakeland, FL)

The secondary was the glaring weak spot in the Pitt defense last season, and Mathis is one of 2 corner backs that Narduzzi signed in this class.  He has 4.5 speed at 6’0 and can hopefully help the Panthers improve their pass defense which ranked among the bottom of the NCAA a season ago.

Albert Tucker – Line Backer, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 

The 3-star linebacker will add some depth to the Panthers defense.  He posts a 4.5 40-yard dash and can play as either an edge rusher, or effectively drop into coverage.  He totaled 48 tackles in 11 games his senior season, 20 of them being solo.

Kamonte Carter – Defensive Tackle, East Mississippi C.C (Scooba, MS)

Carter was a hug get for Pitt to strengthen their defensive line.  The JUCO transfer was ranked the number 14 DT in the country.  He will have 3 years of eligibility with the Panthers.  He’s another recruit responsible for making up for the loss of Ejuan Price and Tryique Jarret. 

Kyle Nunn – Safety, Fidnlay (Findlay, OH)

Nunn is a big 6’3 safety looking to improve the defensive backfield in the coming years.  He can play both linebacker and safety but I would imagine he will have a solidified position come the season.  He faces stiff competition at safety with Jordan Whitehead returning and the addition of Paris Ford.

Carson Van Lynn – Defensive Tackle, Worthington Kilbourne (Columbus, OH)

Van Lynn has impressive speed for his size running a sub 5 40-yard dash while weighing in around 240lbs and standing 6’7.  That combination of size and speed could see him climb the depth chart in camp as the Panthers search for a dominant pass rusher along the line.

Grant Carrigan – Tight End, Pine Richland (Gibsonia, PA)

Carrigan can offer a big target on the field for the offense next season, and has family ties to the University. His dad played basketball at Pitt in the 80’s, and he will now try to create his own legacy on the football field.  

Cameron Bright – Line Backer, Park Crossing (Montgomery, AL)

Bright is a speedy outside linebacker who showed in high school he can get into the backfield quickly.  He should be very useful in blitz schemes and has shown that he can breakdown and make an open field tackle.  He will provide the Panthers with more depth at the outside linebacker position.

Gabe Houy – Offensive Tackle, Upper Saint Clair (Pittsburgh, PA) 

Houy is listed at 6’7 and is a big physical tackle that was named first team all-conference last season.  He is quick enough to reach up to the linebackers in a zone blocking scheme and pull around as a lead blocker. He is also solid as an outside edge pass blocker.

Dontavius Butler – Wide Receiver, American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 

One of three receivers added in this class, it should be an interesting battle to see who will join Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah.  He is a good route runner and has the speed to beat man coverage on the outside.  AT 6’2 he could become a key red zone target throughout the season. 

Darian Street – Wide Receiver, Liberty (Bethlehem, PA)

Street may be a familiar name with Pitt fans.  Devin Street played for the Panthers from 2009-2013.  Now his brother Darian has signed his letter of intent trying to write his name into the Pitt history books.  He brings the potential to take the top off the defense.  He also has experience with the jet sweet, something that was very successful for Pitt this last season.

Michael Smith – Wide Receiver, Vero Beach (Vero Beach, FL)

Another quick receiver added to the offense, he also brings reliable hands to the receiving corps.  Smith has shown the ability to get up field quickly and to gain as much after the catch as possible.  He had 66 receptions for 1556 yards and 23 touchdowns in 12 games during his senior season.  

Owen Drexel – Center, Montclair (Montclair, NJ)

The three-star center was ranked number 15 at his position.  While it is likely that Alex Officer will keep his starting position from a year ago, Drexel provides depth at the center position.  He has the potential to anchor the offensive line in the future.  

Jason Pinnock – Corner Back, Windsor (Windsor CT) 

Pinnock is another corner brought in who will likely have the chance at playing time immediately.  After the performance of the secondary last season, it wouldn’t be surprising if every starting job in the secondary is open to competition.  The starters likely won’t be decided until camp.  

Tyler Sear – Tight End, Neshannock (New Castle, PA)

Sear is a physical tight end who can block, and get out in pass schemes providing a 6’5 target for his quarterback.  With Orndoff gone, he has a chance to compete with fellow Steel City 17 member Charles Reeves.  He has reliable hands for a tight end and could be a big red zone target for Pitt this season.

 Featured Image Via @CoachDuzzPittFB

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