Pittsburgh Athlete Talks Illini Offer

When spring practice ended, Fighting Illini assistant coaches got busy on the recruiting trail, traveling far and wide in search of talent. Running back coach DeAndre Smith is responsible for western Pennsylvania, and he is the principle recruiter for running back Lafayette Pitts.

Running backs coach DeAndre Smith has been busy improving Illinois rushers, but he's also been active on the recruiting trail. He visited Woodland Hills to check up on rising senior Lafayette Pitts last month.

"DeAndre Smith came to one of our practices in late May," Pitts explains. "It was after the visit that my offer came. He wanted to make sure that my height was what was listed. I like him a lot. He's easy to talk to, is a great guy, and has a great personality."

The Illini have been in touch with the Pittsburgh star for a number of months.

"Illinois has been sending me mail since the end of last season. They're not sure what position they'll put me at, but they've got me down for offense right now, as a running back. They said I could also play corner, but they're just not sure yet."

Pitts took several trips to schools this spring but isn't sure on his summer plans.

"I've visited Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Maryland. I'm not sure if I'll visit any schools in the summer, but I'll probably end up visiting some. Distance doesn't matter to me, it's all about the school."

Although he holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, Buffalo, Kent State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia, Pitts is still taking it all in when it comes to recruitment.

"I have no idea if I'll make a decision before summer or after I take my official visits. I'm letting everything soak in right now."

The 6', 185 pound athlete is being recruited mainly on the other side of the ball.

"Most schools are looking at me as a cornerback, but a few have offered me as an athlete. I don't have a preference on a position, but I think I'll end up as a corner."

Last season, Pitts helped lead Woodland Hills to a WPIAL Class AAAA title.

"We went 12-2 last season and won the WPIAL. This spring, we're working towards getting better because we lost a lot of guys. We have to work on the offense, but we've got about 6 or 7 starters returning on defense.

"The offense isn't young, just inexperienced. The defense has experience on the defensive line, in the linebackers, and in the corners. So, it's pretty spread out there."

Pitts has already had two years of varsity ball.

"My sophomore year I played running back, linebacker and corner. Last year I played running back, corner, receiver, and a little bit of outside linebacker. I was also the punt and kick returner."

Pitts likes being physical as a corner.

"I like to jam and play man to man. I think I've got great hips for the position. I still want to improve my reaction time."


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