Narduzzi, staff finishing recruiting season at a sprint

By Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

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Since taking over the Pitt football program after the sudden departure of Paul Chryst, new head coach Pat Narduzzi has been busy on the recruiting trail. Narduzzi and his newly assembled staff have already received six commitments. Here is a rundown on the sextet of future Panthers.


 The first commitment Narduzzi landed, Stocker is a talented safety from Coatesville High School, located in suburban Philadelphia. The defensive back weighs in at a good-sized 6-foot-2, 186 pounds. Schools like Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Syracuse, West Virginia and Wisconsin all offered the three-star recruit a spot on their team, but Stocker chose Pitt on Jan. 21. 


Hours after Stocker announced his commitment, Curtis, a defensive end from Florida, became the second Panther commit under the new Pitt football regime. At 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, the two-star commit from Ronald Reagan/Doral High School wasn’t overly heralded by scouting websites, but still garnered offers from Duke, Illinois, Mississippi State and Wisconsin.


Perhaps the most notable recruit that this new staff has snagged, McKee is a high-end, three-star linebacker from Columbus, Ohio. With offers from top programs like Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin, McKee seemed potentially out of reach for Pitt. Now that it’s official, expect Narduzzi and linebackers coach Rob Harley to utilize the talented linebacker early on.


The only junior college commit of the group, Edwards is an intriguing defensive line project. Originally from Miami, Edwards thrived at Dean College in Massachusetts, recording 11 sacks last year. Still, he only managed to garner an offer from UMass. Edwards stands at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds and, as a junior college transfer, looks to make an impact sooner rather than later.


Brightwell was another pleasant surprise of a pickup for Pitt, as powerhouses like Oregon, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Missouri were all looking to grab the 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker. Brightwell, a three-star recruit out of Paramsus Catholic, committed at the same time as the Pitt men’s basketball team game against the Louisville Cardinals on Sunday, and elicited a significant amount of excitement from the Pitt fanbase on Twitter.


The local quarterback out of Pine-Richland High School was an important commitment for Narduzzi to land, as the team recently lost commit Alex Hornibrook, who flipped to Wisconsin. DiNucci was verbally committed to University of Pennsylvania, but, upon receiving an offer from Pitt, decided to decommit from the Quakers and join the Panthers. DiNucci set a Pennsylvania state record this year for passing yards in a season with 4,269 yards for the Pine-Richland Rams, leading them to a PIAA state championship.

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