In its first prospect camp of the summer, the Pitt coaching staff had a lot to work with at the quarterback and receiver position. Pitt's new offense is geared towards the quarterback and receivers putting up big numbers. Saturday, the coaching staff got to test players out at these positions, running similar plays to what the Panthers will run.
It gave North Canton (OH) quarterback Austin Appleby an option to see how he would respond to the coaching of quarterbacks coach Todd Dodge, and how well he could apply Pitt's system in just one day.
"I really got to see firsthand why they're as high-octane as they say there," Appleby said. "They're going to put up tons of points. The timing was off in some parts, but (the offense) was still deadly. If you were watching the offense work, it didn't matter who was dong work, it was touchdown after touchdown. It was a fun offense to run."
While Appleby had a good understanding of what he was supposed to do on Saturday, testing himself in Pitt's system, he also gained a better perspective on where Pitt stands with him. Pitt has offers out to other quarterbacks such as Devin Fuller, Chad Voytik and Jared Johnson. Voytik is one of the staff's top targets, and Appleby understands that.
"Coach (Todd) Graham was pretty straight-forward," Appleby said. "If (Voytik) decides to commit, they're going to take him. If that doesn't work out, Coach Graham still wanted me to come out for the day, to hang out and get to know the coaches.
"When schools are not giving straight-forward answers, and not being straight forward, it's tough to build that relationship. (Pitt) has been up front with me from the start. That will strengthen the relationship, no matter what."
Whether an offer comes through or not, Appleby was excited to test out the Pitt system, and really enjoyed working under Dodge for the day.
"It was awesome from top to bottom," Appleby said of the camp. "Coach Dodge's drills, the 7-on-7, and just getting to go upstairs in the meeting room; just everything. I can definitely see myself doing well there, and I know I can be successful in that offense. I know the way they run their offense, they can win a Big East Championship."
Appleby has seen his interest grow in the Big Ten, with schools such as Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State all opening some contact with Appleby. He also has some other camp visits planned, in addition to Pitt.
"It changes every day," Appleby said of the rest of his camp schedule. "We're really picking some schools we want to go after. Louisville (camp) is coming up soon. Iowa and Purdue are coming up soon. If it's worth it, I can be out there. It's hard to commit (to a camp) and say I'll be there if something comes up. If schools are worthwhile, I have no problem in getting up there."