Smith Commits To Panthers

LaQuentin Smith and Rodrick Ryles wanted to play together at the same school. Sunday night that dream came true, as both committed to Pitt.

For LaQuentin Smith, a 6-0, 220-pound linebacker out of Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School, he had a lot of good things to say about his Pitt visit last week.

He knew he wanted to make a decision after his visit to West Virginia this past weekend. He just didn't know that it would come up on him this fast.

"Yeah, I decided when I got home," Smith said. "I talked it over with my parents. I called up the Pitt coaches. They're very happy."

Earlier Sunday night, teammate Rodrick Ryles—also on the same visit to West Virginia—committed to the Panthers as well. On Saturday, a mutual friend in Ron Jones out of Fort Meade (FL) committed to the Panthers. Playing with Ryles at the same school was a thought, but it wasn't the ultimate factor in choosing Pitt. It's simply a bonus.

"Actually, we saw Ron at the (Pittsburgh) airport," Smith added. "We're very pumped. We want to keep the same thing going on. We're all on the same 7-on-7 team. We played in the Florida vs. Miami game."

Interestingly, when asked if he knew they would all be on the same team by the end of the day, Smith said that thought never registered with him.

In the end, there were several factors in why Smith chose Pitt.

"It's in a BCS conference," Smith said. "There's an opportunity to play, and just knowing what the new coaching staff is. They're still looking for people to play, so we're definitely looking forward to it."

Panther More Top Stories