Pitt is one of the newest offers for Columbus (OH) Marion-Franklin defensive tackle Terrell Jackson. When you hear his story of how he got his Pitt offer, it's not all that shocking based on the senior year he had. It all started off when he was hearing from then Wisconsin assistant Joe Rudolph.
"(Rudolph) was recruiting me at Wisconsin, and there was a numbers problem out there (with defensive tackles)," Jackson said.
Time passed, as Jackson found himself watching Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Soon after that, he heard from Rudolph again.
"I'm watching the bowl game, and he's at Pitt now," Jackson explained. "I got a call from him, saying, ‘it's Coach Rudolph, I'm at Pitt now, and I'm doing good,' He said he liked me, and he offered me on the spot."
Jackson didn't know a whole lot about Pitt until he came in for his official visit. Pittsburgh experienced weather in the teens on Saturday. Even with the cold weather, Jackson said he found a way to put a positive spin on that.
"I just know Pittsburgh is cold," Jackson said. "I didn't know there were so many hills in Pittsburgh. I fell walking up one of the hills, but I found it to be cheery. Coming out of the (Fort Pitt) tunnel, I like how you can see the whole city.
"It went very good. This is my first time being in Pittsburgh. I really didn't know what to expect. This was the first time the players got to meet the whole coaching staff. ESPN was there (for the basketball game). It was a great experience. I had a great time meeting with the academic advisors, talking to the coaches. It had a great feel."
Tyrone Ezell was his host for the weekend—a player he felt he could relate to, starting with playing the same position.
"Ty, he's a real funny guy, a great guy," Jackson added. "He just got done texting me. He's a phenomenal guy. He loves Pitt, and he plays the same position as I do. He's on the defensive line; a sack-getter. You can't go wrong with that."
Saturday included the campus tour, and a chance to attend the College GameDay show at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday morning.
"I had a good feel for that, going into the Cathedral (of Learning)," Jackson said. "There's so much history there, just going around campus."
When Jackson and the rest of the recruits entered the Petersen Events Center, the fans in attendance started a ‘We Love Paul Chryst' chant. Jackson couldn't have picked a better ringing endorsement for the head coach.
"We walked in, and they're chanting, ‘we love you coach,'" Jackson said. "They wanted him to stand, and he was like, ‘no.' He said, ‘stand up with me, they don't know me.' I know he feels good about it. I feel good about it. The whole campus is behind you. That's great. That's good to know. They have a good support staff too, and supporting students right behind you."
Prior to attending Saturday night's basketball game, the recruits went to Heinz Field and had dinner there as well.
"I especially liked Heinz Field," Jackson said. "It's nice. I've never been inside an NFL stadium. I'm on the field, and there's three inches of snow on the field. It was real exciting. Heinz Field was great. The food was pretty good too—steak and lobster."
Jackson also picked up another Big Ten offer, which he says will make his decision tougher. He's not sure of when his decision will come. He only knows that with his official visit to Pitt, and his new offer, things only become tougher.
"I want to get it over soon, as soon as possible," Jackson said. "I just got an offer from Iowa, so now I have some thinking to do."
As a senior, Jackson had 75 tackles and 20 sacks. He was a first-team all-city selection, defensive player of the year in the city, a first-team all-district and first-team all-state selection as well.