That was good news for the Pitt football team, because Dan Schneider called Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt to tell him the good news Saturday afternoon. Schneider and his mom, Mary Kay, visited Pittsburgh Monday and also drove to West Virginia Tuesday to compare the two schools.
Florida State was Schneider's third choice, although he did not get a second chance to visit there this summer. So, what made the difference for Pitt?
"It's exciting,'' Schneider said. "I'm pretty pumped up about it. Coach Wannstedt said he felt the same way after I called him to tell him about my decision. I didn't make any sort of list, but I've got a pretty good handle on what each school provides. So, I could make a comparison in my mind.
"I knew it was Pitt after I came back from WVU, but I wanted to sleep on it for a couple nights to make sure. So, that's what I did. What put Pitt above and beyond all the other schools were the academics that they have there, the academic support that they offer and opportunities for internships later on.
"Pitt really knows how to set you up for life after football if there's no NFL, but they know how to set you up for the NFL, too,'' Schneider added. "So, those were the biggest things for me and my family. And it's going to be a short drive for them to get there for games, so they're excited about that, too.''
Schneider also informed Pitt tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, who will be his position coach, and running backs coach David Walker, who recruited him, about the decision. Pitt's recruiting staff opened doors for the coaches in Ohio this year, and those efforts have not gone unnoticed by the recruits.
Schneider is the Panthers' fourth verbal commitment from the neighboring state for the Class of 2010. The others are another tight end, Schneider's good friend Brendan Carozzoni, running back Andre Givens and massive offensive lineman Matt Rotheram.
"I'm certainly glad that Pitt recruited Ohio pretty hard, and I'm looking forward to being teammates with Brendan,'' Schneider said. "We've got to know each other pretty well growing up, and we talked a lot about being on the same team. Now, that's going to happen.''
Schneider had more than 20 offers, but said he felt the most comfortable with the Pitt coaches and players he got to know during the recruiting process. He also looks forward to having success in Pitt's offense.
"I don't really split out a lot, but I'll do it,'' Schneider said. "And I think I'm pretty versatile. I can line up in some different places, catch the ball and block. I'll do whatever I need to do to help the offense. And if I catch it, I'd like to think I'll be able to break a couple tackles if necessary.''
Schneider noted that Avon Lake "should be pretty good this year if some guys step up to fill the holes that we have after last year, and I think we'll be able to do it. If that happens, we'll do some damage.''
Pitt now has 17 verbal commitments for 2010 and reportedly hopes to secure eight more before the signing date.
Dan Schneider Commits To Pitt
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