Rivalries are just for fans? Don’t tell that to 2018 Pitt commit Tyler Bentley. He is looking forward to the Panthers’ battles with one in-state foe as much as anyone else.
“The one thing I’m looking forward to is playing Penn State, for sure,” Bentley said. “I have a couple of friends that go to Penn State, they play on the team. Rivalry games, they will be great.”
Bentley, listed as a three-star recruit by 247sports.com, is a 6-foot-3-inch, 295-pound defensive lineman from West Chester, Ohio. Bentley is known on the field for the power he enforces in his game. He compiled 60 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles in his senior year at Lakota West High School, where he was rated as Ohio’s No. 40 overall prospect by 247sports.
“The one thing he lacks is that quick first step, but he definitely has the ability to go punch for punch strength-wise,” a Rivals.com analyst said of Bentley. “And I tell you, he’s got very quick hands that allow him to get some penetration because he is able to maneuver some angles.”
“I bring precision,” Bentley said. “I can pass rush very well. I can also stop the run in short, goal line situations.”
After originally committing to the University of Kentucky in June 2017, Bentley decommitted a few months later. He then decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh in December 2017, turning down offers from place including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Louisville and West Virginia.
“I found out some things about the University of Kentucky that I didn’t really like,” Bentley said. “I just wanted to make sure I was gonna go somewhere where coaches truly do care about the players. They are there to help the players on and off the field, hold us accountable. I don’t think I would’ve gotten that [at Kentucky].”
Bentley isn’t the only 2018 prospect the Panthers have stolen from Kentucky. Florida wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis committed to Kentucky in April and then decommitted in June. Six months later, Jacques-Louis joined Pitt’s recruiting class and has already enrolled at the University for the 2018 spring semester.
“What made me choose Pittsburgh was the fact that they care about their athletes and education,” Bentley said. “The tradition around the program is phenomenal. It’s just something great I wanted to be a part of.”
Bentley is looking forward to developing relationships and connections with people off the field during his time at Pitt. He plans on studying business and logistics.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with certain people,” Bentley said. “Trying to further the world someway, scientifically, anywhere that I can see myself being I want to learn about it.”
After a 5-7 2017 campaign, Pitt failed to make a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Panthers face one of the toughest schedules in the country for 2018. Bentley, however, sees major improvements being made in the next four years.
“I think that last year was somewhat of a rebuilding year,” Bentley said. “We had a lot of seniors leave the year before, and I think it was pretty good how we had some young guys step up and we had a lot more young people play. They’re gonna be older now, but I feel like the team’s headed in the right direction.”