Derik Abbott has come to Pittsburgh's camp in the past. This time around, he brought several of his teammates with him, kicking off a string of several prospect camps they traveled to. Abbott and his teammates kept Pittsburgh as a base, as they also traveled to camps at Syracuse, Youngstown State, Toledo and Kent State.
"I love being in Pittsburgh, that's where I'm actually from," Abbott said. "I go up there every year to visit family and friends. To start off that camp, it helps. We stayed in Pittsburgh the whole time; all six of us stayed at my grandparents' house. We slept in the basement."
One thing different about this particular trip to Pittsburgh was the offense. Though he enjoyed his trips to the camp when Dave Wannstedt was head coach, Abbott compared Pitt's new offense to the one he plays in at Freedom.
"The way they do things at Pitt is exactly the same things we do at my high school," Abbott said. "I keep in touch with (quarterbacks) coach (Todd) Dodge weekly, and I talked to (head) coach (Todd) Graham briefly. The offense they run, the spread, is identical to the one I run at school. Me going there, in 7-on-7, I was able to pick it up quickly. When they would flip through plays, I knew exactly how the play was going to work. I felt comfortable since it was out of the shotgun, and with all the passing routes."
Abbott threw for over 2,200 yards with 14 passing touchdowns and another eight touchdowns on the ground. He had a season-high of 402 yards in one game. In general, he feels Pitt's offense—similar to the one he runs, of course—is easy to operate, with successful results as he's also seen. He also guided his offense to 57 points in just one half in this year's spring game.
"It's a very easy offense to understand," Abbott said. "The stuff they echo in plays makes sense. You can understand the concepts. I started off at a Catholic school, then transferred (to Freedom). Basically, I've had five different offensive coordinators in four years. This offense, it's all about learning new words. It's been very effective."
As he said, Abbott has stayed in contact with Todd Dodge. He's pretty open to receiving a Pitt offer, but would also consider other offers if things don't work out with Pitt. Either way, he's generated an even bigger love for Pitt following his recent experience at their camp.
"I'm pretty sure I can come up and go to a game this year," Abbott said. "We'll see where it goes. I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket. If I were to get an offer, I would definitely consider them. I think it would take more time. They want to evaluate me more."