Darryl Render came to Pitt's spring game this past weekend because of a good relationship he has with his area recruiter, Pitt safeties coach Randall McCray. He knew McCray wanted him there on Saturday. He was not expecting the type of good news he got when he got to Heinz Field.
"Yeah, they offered me," Render said. "It was before the scrimmage started, and I was just talking to everybody. It kind of surprised me, to be honest. Coach McCray said I should come down. He said he watched my highlight tape, and they were real excited about me.
"I met Coach Graham, and he was real cool too. Coach McCray, he's my recruiting coach, but I talk to (defensive line) coach (Paul) Randolph a lot too. Coach Randolph saw me there, and he was real excited.
As a junior, the 6-2, 200-pound Render helped St. Edward to a perfect undefeated season that climaxed with a Division I state championship, Ohio's largest classification. Render finished with 78 tackles, 9 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, 5 forced fumbles and 28 tackles for losses, which has led him to picking up offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Ohio, Toledo, West Virginia and now Pittsburgh.
"I just loved the atmosphere (at Pitt)," Render added. "I met the whole coaching staff. The coaching staff is real cool. Even when I got there, I met some tailgaters. They were real. The coaches talk about family environment, and I just really felt it."
Render said he hung out with fellow Ohio standouts Chris Davis, Demitrious Davis and Austin Appleby, who play at schools within close proximity to St. Edward. Render still went back, and had more thoughts on how much he likes the Pitt coaching staff.
"They're always being straight up with me," Render added. "They say they want to support me whatever decision I make. They were being real with me, stuff like that. They were real cool, giving me advice on how to approach everything. The players all seem real cool too. They like everybody."
He was also impressed watching the players play in Saturday's scrimmage, before actually meeting them in person.
"It was fast, it was real fast," Render said of the game. "It was a lot different from the type of offense at (St.) Ed's, but it looks cool. I'd like it better if we playing in something like (Pitt's system).
Render doesn't have any unofficial visits lined up in the near future, but he did say he would "most definitely" be back at Pitt. He will also attend the Nike Football Training Camp in Columbus on May 21.