Erie Cathedral Prep receiver Charlie Fessler is off to a running start in terms of his recruitment.
He went to the first spring practice for Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago, and was impressed both what he saw. He wouldn't mind getting an offer from the Panthers, either.
"There's a lot of schools I'd like to get to, but Pitt is an easy one because they're so close," Fessler said. "I met with the new receivers coach (Greg Lewis). I've been talking to Coach (Joe) Rudolph. I talk to him when I go down there. I get invites to games. The keep talking me they want to see me at camp."
While a camp visit is a certainty, Fessler summed up the thing he liked about Pitt the most.
"I love the whole attitude of the program," Fessler said. "The coaches are good, down-to-earth guys. Coach Chryst really cool with my whole family. I really like the energy they bring to practice."
Fessler helped the Ramblers to an appearance in the state semfinals, with a 13-1 record. He finished with 41 catches for 626 yards and six touchdowns along the way, with Billy Fessler as his quarterback. Junior offensive lineman Jim Trucilla recently added an offer from Ball State. There's a lot to replace for 2014, but also a lot coming back. Fessler hopes for a similar season in 2014.
"Hopefully," Fessler said. "We have a lot of kids stepping up."
One thing is for sure. Colleges can't ignore the Erie area anymore. Former teammate Damion Terry pushed for the starting quarterback job at Michigan State last year. Pitt's James Conner played at nearby McDowell, a rival of Cathedral Prep.
"Definitely, there's a lot of unseen talent up here, a lot of good football," Fessler said. "We should have three Division I athletes on our team this year, so that's pretty good."