Austin Appleby is a 6-5, 225-pound quarterback out of North Canton (OH) Hoover High School. As a junior, Appleby threw for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was a second-team all-league, second-team all-region and honorable mention all-county selection.
Last weekend, Appleby took an unofficial visit to Pitt to meet the Panthers' new coaching staff for Pitt's junior day. He had been contacted by Dave Wannstedt's staff, and the contact has remained pretty consistent through the coaching change.
"We really didn't know how interested they were until we went down for the visit, that's when we really knew" Appleby said. "Individually, I spent the most time with (quarterbacks) coach (Todd) Dodge. I talked with (head) coach (Todd) Graham for a good half-hour. It was a good time. I got to know them real good."
When the group of juniors split up, Appleby went with the offensive group, and learned more about the Pitt offense. After learning about it, he came up with a pretty good perspective of what it's all about—especially from a quarterback's perspective.
"When they were telling us about it, I was getting pretty fired up to be honest," Appleby said. "Their quarterback at Tulsa threw for 4,000 yards, they had a running back go over 1,000 yards and they had three receivers with over 1,000 yards. Those are some numbers that will get your attention."
Schematically, it was also an offense he feels he can translate his skills into.
"They throw the ball all over the place," Appleby said. "They balance the run. For a quarterback, it's something to be excited about. I was really excited. It's very high-octane."
Appleby also got a better idea of where he stands in terms of getting a Pitt offer.
"They said that I'm extremely high on the list," Appleby said. "Coach Dodge said they're going to come see me throw sometime over the next couple of months, then make a decision off that. I might come to their prospect camp, but they said they might not even need it; the workout coming up in May might be all they need. I don't have an offer, but I'm real high on their list."
Appleby holds offers from Toledo, Kent State and Temple so far. He will be attending one of the Elite 11 preliminaries in conjunction with the Nike Training Camps. He is also planning unofficial visits to Louisville, UConn, Florida and Michigan.