Saturday, Ryan Anderson--who says he's at 6-4, 312 pounds--came in for Pitt's game with Florida International. It was a perfect game for an offensive lineman to see, as Pitt opened the way for 300 yards on the ground. It was also the first game with Pitt's new-look offensive line; Lucas Nix moved over to start at right guard, with Jordan Gibbs making his first start at right tackle.
"Yeah, I noticed that," Anderson said. "It worked."
It's a move Anderson relates to, because it's one he made himself, for the exact same reasons. He started off the season at left tackle, then was moved over to left guard to create a more physical presence, even though his team runs a run-oriented version of the spread, instead of a more conventional pro-style offense like Pitt‘s.
"I definitely like run-blocking most the most, getting in peoples' faces and blowing them off the ball," Anderson said. "I love counter runs and traps--that‘s my bread-and-butter play. I lick my chops anytime we run that."
Obviously, Anderson likes the physical aspect of football. He was going to keep an eye on that aspect of the game Saturday. His unofficial visit also gave him a better look at Heinz Field. He had been to a game at Ohio State earlier in the season, so he took the time to compare the two atmospheres.
"It was my first time in Heinz field, my third college game ever, my second time game going to a game as a recruit," Anderson said. "It's a lot different than Ohio State, and not different in a bad way. At Ohio State, it feels like everyone is on top of you. Heinz Field, it's more like a hometown feel."
Though he was impressed with the crowd, Anderson did admit he'd like to see a Big East game, with a little more on the line.
"It wasn't a very big game, but there were still a lot of people there, which I like," Anderson said. "I really enjoyed myself from the moment I got there. They took me down to the field to talk to Coach Cignetti and Coach Wise. I had a good conversation with the running backs coach (David Walker) about the offense.
"I liked the atmosphere of Pitt, but from what they said about the Notre Dame game last year, the atmosphere was amazing. I believe it, but it's something I want to see for myself. I'd like to see a game, like the West Virginia game."
After the game, Anderson got a chance to meet some of the current players in the locker room, which further solidified the good impression he had of Pitt.
"After the game, they just took me to meet two of the offensive line," Anderson said. "I don‘t know which ones they were. Talking to them, it just seems like they bought into the whole system. It‘s really good from a coaching standpoint, because everything seems established. I know it sounds cliché, but it‘s like a family. It seems like they bought into the system, which I think is really important to any teams' success."
He also talked with head coach Dave Wannstedt after the game, as well. Overall, his visit to the Pitt-Florida International game on Saturday left a favorable impression on him.
"They kind of unofficially offered me," Anderson said. "I really like Pitt, and I think they like me too, from what I'm feeling and hearing. It also sounds like an opportunity to play early, which is definitely something I'm going to go for. I definitely enjoyed myself. I can see myself going there, but I can't say that will happen yet. I've only been to Ohio State and Pitt, and there's a lot more schools I'd like to get to."