Pitt continues to build momentum in Cincinnati. They got a commit from St. Xavier center Brandyn Cook on Friday. They have also offered 6-3, 225-pound linebacker Jhalil Croley out of Princeton High School.
Croley holds a total of eight offers, including his first BCS offer from Pitt. He recently visited Indiana and plans to attend the Bowling Green camp. He also took an unofficial visit to Pittsburgh to check things out. The coaching staff has helped generate some initial interest in the Panthers.
"I visited the Pittsburgh camp, where I saw (defensive line) coach (Paul) Randolph coach," Croley said. "I love coach Randolph. He brings excitement. He makes you just want to go out and play for him."
Another factor for Pitt, is simply playing in the Big East—a BCS conference.
"It's a big conference, and it's a big team," Croley added. "I like the defense that they play. They're talking about using me as a Panther back and a defensive end."
Just like he did in getting the commitment from Cook, Pitt assistant Tony Dews started with the initial recruiting, based on previous success in recruiting the area while he was at Michigan. Dews got it started, then turned things over to Randolph, who would be Croley's position coach.
"Tony Dews, he came to my school, he saw my film," Croley said. "He told me coach, ‘We got to get this guy. He told (linebackers) coach (Keith) Patterson. He came to the school, checked out my tape, and a couple days later sent me an offer."
Croley didn't see much of the campus on his visit, but was impressed with Pitt's football facilities.
"I didn't get to really see campus because I was on a time base," Croley said. "The facilities there are nice. They're great. When I walked into athletic building, everything hits you all at once. They're just really nice."
Outside of the other unofficial visits he mentioned—Indiana and Bowling Green—Croley will get ready for his senior season by performing at a few local 7-on-7's with his team.