Dunmore (PA) offensive lineman James McHale was one of six offensive linemen at Pitt's junior day on Saturday, out of a total of 35 prospects in attendance. It's reflective of the emphasis that Paul Chryst's staff places on recruiting at this postion.
McHale, 6-7, 290, helped lead Dunmore to a 14-2 season, and a Class A State Runner-Up finish.
"I had a great time, I love that they share a practice facility with the Steelers," McHale said. "I'd like to see more of the campus, but I loved it. I'll probably go to camp there, and see more of the campus next time."
The morning session consisted of meeting with the coaches, getting an academic presentation, and watching a highlight video from the 2012 season.
"Everyone was there, and Coach Chryst came in and talked," McHale said. "They split us up into positions, then we came back to learn about the academics. I liked (offensive line) coach (Jim) Hueber. I'd like to get to know him better."
In the afternoon, the prospects got to go to the Pitt basketball game to watch the Panthers knock of No. 6 Syracuse. It also didn't hurt that the fans gave the prospects a standing ovation as they were walking to their seats.
"I had a great time at the game," McHale said. "I loved it up there. I'm a big college basketball fan, so I thought it was real cool to be down there for an exciting game."
In addition to saying he will be back for a Pitt camp this summer, McHale also talked about what other junior days he might get to this offseason.
"I'm going to UConn on February 16th with my teammate, Daiqwon Buckley," McHale said. "They want us both to come up for their junior day. I'm also heading to Buffalo."
Despite losing three starters on the offensive line, McHale says there's a lot returning for his senior season as Dunmore looks to earn another spot in the state championship game.
"We're losing three of our best linemen, losing our running back and a couple receivers," McHale said."Daiqwon is getting some looks. We have our center back. We have a couple guys who stepped up as sophomores at defensive back and played a lot for us."
As a junior, McHale made the coaches All-Lackawanna County team. He also earned All-Reegion and All-State honors.