Recruits React to Pitt’s Win Over Clemson and Unofficial Visits

It’s rare that college football programs have a perfect day but that’s what happened on Saturday for Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt Panthers.

Most importantly, they earned an impressive 27-17 win over Clemson and along with that, they do so in front of a large crowd and Kenny Pickett continued his quest for a possible Heisman Trophy. The cherry on top of the sundae for Pitt was that all of this happened in front of 150+ recruits.

Anytime you host this many players, you want to impress and leave a lasting impression and the Pitt Panthers certainly did that.

Over the last 24 hours, Pittsburgh Sports Now has been attempting to track down as many recruits that were at Heinz Field to get their quick impressions of what they witnessed from the now 6-1 Pitt Panthers.

We will continue to add to this list as we hear back from more players.

Rodney Gallagher, 2023 4-star Wide Receiver, Laurel Highland HS: “It was great and I was glad to see a lot more support from the team and Pitt just played a great all around game. What impressed me is how everyone on Pitt gets involved. They can score whenever they want when their offense gets going.”

Courtesy Rodney Gallagher

Isaiah Montgomery, 2022 3-star Offensive Lineman, Virginia Beach, Virginia (Pitt 2022 Commit): “Overall my family and I had a really great time. It felt great to be back at my future school. Before and after the game I got see everyone I met when I went on the visit. It was great singing Sweet Carolina with all the fans and recruits. The student section was packed and showed tons of school pride. The best part of all, we played a good game and won over Clemson.”

Courtesy Isaiah Montgomery

Austen Frattura, 2023 3-star Quarterback, Sparta, New Jersey (Holds Pitt offer): “Was my first time in Pittsburgh, so we spent some time pregame walking around the city and just taking in the atmosphere and fans. Loved the downtown area and how the fans came out to support the team. Atmosphere was what I had hoped to experience. From the moment the team hit the field, the energy in the stadium was electric. Team fed off the fans and the fans fed off the team. Kenny Pickett is, in my mind, one of the top QBs in college football and should be a front runner for the Heisman. Coach Narduzzi’s team reflects the city and the fan base and Coach Whips offense is very quarterback friendly. Enjoyed the campus and look forward to coming back.”

Austen Frattura

William Watson III, 2023 3-star Quarterback, Springfield, Massachusetts (Holds Pitt offer): “I thought the game was great. Both teams are talented and have a lot of playmakers. I expected Pitt to come out and get the win. They are playing better football right now. The atmosphere was good. The fans were excited and had a lot of energy during the game. I went in the locker room after the game and all the players and coaches were excited but you can tell their goals are bigger then just winning that game.”

Derek Burk, 2024 Quarterback, Deer Lakes High School: “I had a great time on the visit. They treated us really special and everyone was so upbeat and excited about the game. The atmosphere was electric as soon as we walked in. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day and I can’t wait to go back.

As for the game, it was awesome I loved the way Pitt battled and played with energy. It was fun watching Kenny Pickett play so well as I love watching the quarterbacks since that is what I play. Pitt’s defense was impressive too rising to the occasion. Overall the game was amazing and I had perfect day. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Courtesy Derek Burk

Tyseer Denmark, 2024 4-star Wide Receiver, Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia (Holds Pitt Offer): “The atmosphere was great. The fact they play at a pro stadium is cool. A lot of people knew who I was and came and spoke with me. The staff made sure we had everything we needed, so it was definitely a top notch experience from that aspect.

As far as the game itself, Pitt has a tough team which is fun to watch. They threw the ball like 40 times so that definitely stood out with me being a wide receiver.

Pitt was my first offer so it was important for me to be here and have the experience and I was definitely impressed.”

Courtesy Tyseer Denmark

Ryan Steinbrink, 2023 Lineman, Canal Winchester, Ohio- “The day started out at 8 when we left from Columbus, Ohio. We got to the field at 11:30, just in time to see the players exit their buses into the stadium. The fans were lined up on both sides of the road to cheer on the Panthers. Me and my family stopped for lunch at a sports bar along with countless fans. The recruits were then seated and fed at the PNC Champions Club. Followed by a visit down on the sideline to view the players warming up, many boos from the large student section as Clemson players took the field. Then we took our seats to watch the game.”

Ethan Heister, 2022 athlete, Upper St. Clair High School-  “Pitt was a great experience. This was my first Game Day visit to an FBS school and I couldn’t have been more excited to attend. I appreciated all the love from staff when I arrived. With my Head Coach Mike Junko being the son of Pitt Coach Bob Junko, I got to talk in person with a lot of the staff. There is nothing like being apart of an awesome Pitt game at Heinz field! Thank you to all the staff and coaches for the hospitality and showing love to the WPIAL!!”

Courtesy Ethan Heister

Drew Viotto, 2023 3-star Quarterback, Walled Lake, Michigan- “I enjoyed my visit to Pitt. I enjoyed seeing where the stadium is located in the core of Pittsburgh and watching a game in that environment. It was great seeing quarterback Kenny Pickett play live. I also like the offense and the ability they have to throw and run the ball and have balance. It’s got to be pretty cool to play in a pro stadium like Heinz Field, where lots of amazing players have played and continue to play.”

Courtesy Drew Viotto

Derek Berlitz, 2022 Defensive End/Tight End, Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa, Pennsylvania- “Upon arrival, the fans were electric and seeing Heinz Field for the first time, I noticed it was a first class facility. I really enjoyed watching Pitt’s style of defense. Their D lineman really get after it, which is the style I play. Overall, it was a great experience, can’t wait to come back!”

Courtesy Derek Berlitz

Gabriel Arena, 2023 Offensive Tackle, Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania- “I had a great time today at the game with my grandmother and aunt who are both Pitt fans. The coaches and staff were very hospitable. The recruiting lodge was pretty cool, nice pre-game touch to start the day. I also enjoyed the seats we had to watch the game. My favorite part was going into the locker room after the game and got a chance to meet Kenny Picket and wish him luck on his Heisman run. All in all, everything was great and Pitt sure does represent Pennsylvania well. Very great full for the opportunity to attend this game with my grandmother, great way to celebrate her recent clear scans from cancer, she loved it!”

Austin Ramsey, 2023 Offensive Tackle, Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia (Holds Pitt offer)- “It was really amazing. The Pitt players played a physical game and earned the W, and the fans were really hospitable and everyone was really nice. Pitt looks like a great program.”

Ryan Baer, 4-star Offensive Tackle, Eastlake, Ohio (Pitt 2022 Commit)- “The atmosphere was unbelievable. The crowd was loud and was active the whole game. The team played hard. Dominated all game. The Offensive Line were bullying Clemson. Every time I’m down there it reminds me that I made the right decision to commit.”

Dashawn Carter, 2023 Defensive End, South Allegheny High School- “The atmosphere was great , the game was action packed and I honestly felt the energy in the air. Today really showed me what Pitt is about and how great the city is.”

Courtesy Dashawn Carter

Donovan Walker, 2023 athlete, Aliquippa High School- “Pitt is always a great place to be! The game today was extra hyped up because of Clemson and the atmosphere was amazing! Pitt is always showing love to me and I love it there ! Thanks to Karlo, my day today at Heinz Field was amazing!

Mekhai White, 2024 3-star athlete, Kings George, Virginia (Holds Pitt offer)- “I had a great time. We toured their facilities and it was really nice. It was a great atmosphere and the fans were nice. Pittsburgh played really well against a really good football team. They really impressed me. They showed me last night that they are heading to the top. Pitt has a bright future ahead of them.”

Eryck Moore-Watkins, 2023 athlete, Plum High School- “I had a great time there honestly.  I loved the food and got to meet some of the coaches. It was just a great atmosphere all around and the food was good but the game was even better.  It was fun to watch and you know me being a running back seeing that they put up over 100 rushing yards was good to see. The best part was going into the locker room after the game, now that was cool. So overall I had a great time.”

Josh Jenkins, 2023 Quarterback, Sto-Rox High School- “The Atmosphere was great! As soon as I walked in the doors, I’ve never seen as much people at Heinz Field in my life. I got to meet Shady McCoy and a couple other people. Pre-Game warmups were  fun, also got to watch the Panthers warm-up and watch how they do things. Their were also a lot recruits there. I came to the game against UMass and their weren’t nearly as much recruits there. So all in all, I can say I had a great day and would love to come back!”

Courtesy Josh Jenkins

Gavin Moul, 2023 Athlete from Bethel Park High School– “Everything about the game today was great. The stadium was packed and pumped up. I was talking to some of Pitt’s coaches before the game and they all make you feel at home. Also, all the coaches said they had a great week of practice and it showed. Pitt physically dominated the Tigers. The atmosphere was incredible start to finish and I loved talking to the coaches and the recruits today. Overall my experience at Pitt today was great.”

Courtesy Gavin Moul

Jay Burt, 2022 Athlete from Steel Valley High School- “Well it started off walking thru the tunnel. I felt the energy from Pitt players and fans and saw that they were very hyped about the game. The atmosphere of the game was incredible. Pitt played their butts off against Clemson today and I’m happy to see them on top.”

Mason Fry, 2023 Offensive Lineman from Canal Winchester, Ohio– “It was a great experience and the atmosphere was loud and extremely fun to be a part of. Being able to go through the tunnel onto the field was amazing and something I won’t forget for a long time. I was a great game to watch and a great win for Pitt. The fans when leaving the stadium were so passionate and excited.”

Jake Polito, 2023 Offensive/Defensive Lineman, Somers, New York– “I couldn’t speak higher about the staff that I had the pleasure of speaking with this weekend, everything from the facilities to the food was amazing. The atmosphere was nuts from the beginning to the end of the game and I could actually feel the stadium shaking when the Panthers balled out. The atmosphere hit like a brick wall once I stepped on the field and immediately felt the entire cities support for the team and it didn’t wavier the entire game, even after the game on the shuttle you heard “H2P” and “Let’s Go Pitt” over and over again. People even beeped their car horns in unison to that same rhythm. It was a thing of beauty. Top notch visit and I can’t wait to get back in Pittsburgh again.”

Courtesy Jake Polito

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