PITTSBURGH – The Pitt Panthers have landed yet another Keystone State prospect in this 2011 recruiting class. Already, Pitt landed OL Artie Rowell and LB Ben Kline, but the blue and gold have their first western Pennsylvania prospect in this 2011 class.
The Panthers' latest verbal commit comes from one of the WPIAL's traditional "AAAA" powerhouses – Woodland Hills.
Running back/defensive back Lafayette Pitts announced his verbal commitment to the Panthers Saturday.
Pitts had numerous Division-1 offers before commiting to Pitt – including schools like Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and West Virginia. UCONN, Michigan State, Purdue and Syracuse also showed interest, but did not extend a scholarship offer to the Wolverines' 5'11, 180-pound athlete.
"I'm staying close to home," Pitts told PantherDigest.com following his commitment. "I'm staying close to my family. I always liked Pitt."
"Pitt has a great program," said Woodland Hills head coach George Novak. "Coach Wannstedt is one of the top coaches in the country. We've had eight or nine guys go to Pitt (from Woodland Hills) over the last 23 years."
Pitts knows a thing or two about playing for a program with an outstanding tradition. In its 23-year existence, Woodland Hills has won five WPIAL "AAAA" titles, appeared in three PIAA championship games and finished ranked among the USA-Today's Top-25 teams in the nation in 2001 and 2002.
Woodland Hills went 12-2 last season, falling in the PIAA "AAAA" quarterfinals to State College.
Pitts said his goals for his senior season are, "to win a state title and keep working hard."
"Also, I want to be a leader and help out my teammates," Pitts continued. "Hopefully that can help us be a much better team."
Pitts' versatility will be utilized in various ways this 2010 season, even though he's been recruited as a defensive back by Pitt "with the potential to make impacts in other ways, too," Pitts said.
Novak said Pitts can be a threat in all three phases of the game.
"He's a very versatile athlete," Novak said of Pitts. "He's one of the best athletes in the WPIAL and the entire state.
"He had a lot of offers," Novak continued. "But Pitt was always his favorite. He wanted to get his decision made early so he could focus on what he needs to do with football (this year)."