Taleni Is A Panther

Jeremiah Taleni said there is a lot to be excited with at Pittsburgh. Just a day after returning from his official visit, Taleni decides to become a Panther.

It took Jeremiah Taleni 13 hours to fly from Hawaii to Pittsburgh. It started with a flight to San Francisco, then another flight from there to Pittsburgh. Jet lag and the long travel over just a weekend was hardly a factor.

It took little time for Taleni to make up his mind after that visit. He informed Panther Digest early this morning that he was a Panther.

"I committed to PITT this afternoon around 12 (Hawaii time)," Taleni said in a text message.

Not a shock, considering the successful weekend he had.

"It was good, the visit went great," Taleni said. "My offensive coordinator is friends with (defensive line) coach Inoke Breckterfield. I have been interested in going back east to play football. Pitt offered, so they set up this visit, and I went out."

Taleni said after his visit was set up, he had to do a little research on the school.

"To me, all that matters is that wherever I play will be a good school," Taleni said. "I did some research on their academics. It's a good school. That's why I'm taking Pitt into consideration."

One of the big pluses on the visit was simply meeting other recruits--some committed, some not. He also liked meeting current players on the team. In fact, getting to meet fellow defensive players, it became obvious to him that he was he of them.

"Being a recruit was a good experience," Taleni said. "When I met the other recruits, it gave me a little taste of who I'm playing with. The campus was great also, seeing the city and everything. It was a great experience. James Conner is a good guy, great personality. I met him. He's somebody I definitely want to play with, a reason why I want to be on this team. I also met other people like Luke Maclean and Josh Jones. Not only are they good players on the field, but they have the right attitude off the field.

"Devin Cook was my host. He is a all nice guy. He showed me around campus. That's where we learned about the life skills program. I met (life skills coordinator) Penny Semaia. That really caught my eye. That presentation, that's why we're favoring Pitt."

The coaching staff is also a major factor. He's had a pretty strong relationship with Breckterfield all along, and he also liked his first meeting with head coach Paul Chryst.

"He's a hard-working man," Taleni said of Breckterfield. "He's shown me a lot of interest, the only coach who has stayed up to date with me. He calls me once a week, every week just to see how things are going. He really wants someone from Hawaii to play for him. That's a plus for me.

"Paul Chryst, the head coach, is new. He has a new goal of trying to recruit personalities on the field off the field. He's not just focused on winning games, but building more than just that."

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