Saturday, July 26, 2014

Panthers add 23 to fold

February 05. 2014 11:54PM
By Dale Grdnic Associated Press Writer

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PITTSBURGH — Pitt added 23 players with its 2014 recruiting class, including top-level recruits like offensive tackles Alex Bookser and Mike Grimm, wide receiver Adonis Jennings and running back Chris James.

“This is a group that will come in and not take anything for granted,” Chryst said. “(And) I think we got better by adding these 23 guys. I feel like we got better at all positions today.”

The Panthers, who were 6-6 last season and won a bowl game against Bowling Green, signed seven players from their backyard. The seven WPIAL players included Bookser from Mount Lebanon High, Grimm from Bethel Park, running back Dennis Briggs from Shady Side Academy, wide receiver Elijah Zeise from North Allegheny, wide receiver Jaquaun Davidson from Elizabeth Forward, linebacker Quintin Wirginis from Fox Chapel and defensive end Rori Blair from Upper St. Clair, who already has enrolled at Pitt.

“Absolutely, we want to get the kids from Western Pennsylvania,” Chryst said. “I think it’s also that we want the guys who are a great fit for us, and they think Pitt’s a good fit. So, it’s a two-way street.

“But, we’re really excited about this group this year, as well as last year’s group, and I think there is something special about local kids playing at the local university. So, you appreciate that and appreciate the coaches and being part of the football fabric of Western Pennsylvania. And every time we recruit, we’re going to start close and expand it.”

Pitt had one player de-commit earlier in the week, quarterback Wade Freebeck from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He ended up signing with Vanderbilt. This left the Panthers with just one quarterback in this class, Adam Bertke from Maria Stein, Ohio, and three scholarship signal-callers on the roster.


National Rankings: (247Sports 44, Scout 42, Rivals 44)

Best in class: Alex Bookser, OT, Pittsburgh

Best of rest: Adonis Jennings, WR, Clementon, N.J.

Late addition: Hez Trahan, DE, Philadelphia

One that got away: Wade Freebeck, QB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Quotable: “We’ve had chances to be around him and had a chance to see him play, and we really think he can add a lot to what we think is a pretty good offensive line group that we have already,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst said about offensive tackle recruit Alex Bookser.

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