Scott Orndoff said he gets the question a lot--is he at all nervous about enrolling early, graduating high school early.
"I don't really give an answer, but I'm just excited after this visit, looking forward to just being on campus," Orndoff said.
Orndoff, along with Tyrique Jarrett, TraVon Chapman and Shakir Soto will be enrolling in January, and will be moved in to their dorms by the time the current Pittsburgh team returns from the BBVA Compass Bowl.
One thing unique with Orndoff coming in early, is how much he'll be counted on at tight end this spring. If he were on this year's team, he'd certainly see the field. Even with Hubie Graham and Drew Carswell on the roster, J.P. Holtz was able to get in the mix, and had to step up in a hurry with the senior Graham being injured for much of the season. Holtz was Orndoff's host for the official visit, like Carswell and himself, a local prospect.
"I didn't meet (Holtz) until last spring, until he committed," Orndoff said. "I have been talking to him for awhile, so we get along real well."
Orndoff chose the Panthers, and ironically committed to Wisconsin when Paul Chryst and Joe Rudolph were on staff there. It was a no-brainer to switch his commitment to the Panthers when Chryst was named head coach a year ago, who brought Rudolph with his as offensive coordinator. Just for the simple fact of how much they use the tight end.
Even more of a no-brainer to enroll early, to push for the chance to see the field as a true freshman. Only three true freshmen out of the 2012 class will not redshirt this year--Holtz, Rushel Shell and Darryl Render. The coaching staff played it conservatively at those other respective positions, in terms of using freshmen. The tight end position requires a different emphasis as opposed to other positions.
"The one thing I did on this visit, was sit down with Coach Chryst and Coach Rudolph, in their office, to talk about the offense," Orndoff said. "If you look at this past season at Pitt, and even when they were at Wisconsin, you see how they use the tight ends. They talked about what they expect out of me, what I need to be prepared for. It was just a nice conversation about football.
That was my favorite part of the visit--meeting with Coach Rudolph. We talked about this offense, and how I can become a part of it. It's definitely exciting because I know regardless at what schools tell you, if I work hard, I can become a big part of this offense because of the numbers. Right now, they only have three tight ends on the roster, and Hubie Graham is graduating. I'm looking forward to putting work in with the mental preparation, working in the weight room. I can't wait to play at this level and make a difference."
Orndoff also talked about Chryst's loyalty to the Pitt program. He had very little doubt that Chryst would go back to Wisconsin, despite having his name linked to the opening; all the more reason he's excited to be at Pitt.
"When the news came out about (Bret) Bielema heading to Arkansas, people just started saying (Chryst) was going to go (to Wisconsin)," Orndoff said. "Knowing Coach Chryst, knowing what he's all about, I knew he wasn't going anywhere. He's definitely the kind of guy you want to fight for, the kind of guy you're excited to play for."
As a senior at Seton LaSalle, Orndoff finished with 18 catches for 313 yards and 7 touchdowns.