North Allegheny senior wide receiver and safety Elijah Zeise will be with the Pitt Panthers next fall competing for a top spot on the depth chart at wide receiver.
If this year gives any indication what the upcoming years will bring then it would be no surprise if we saw Elijah playing as early as next season. Pitt's wide receiver Tyler Boyd is already playing as a true freshman and getting his fair share of receptions in just two games, which means if Elijah puts in the work he could catch the same break.
The 6-2, 186-pound Elijah received an offer from Pittsburgh last August, but didn't make a verbal commitment to head coach Paul Chryst and the Panthers until this past July.
The three-star wide receiver feels much more comfortable on the offensive side of the ball so when offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph was recruiting Elijah at wide receiver rather than at safety, Elijah knew Pitt was it. Elijah recently took an official visit to see the Panthers play in their first big ACC match-up of the season.
"It was pretty cool to be at that first Pitt game against Florida State," said Elijah. "There were a lot of people there, which was awesome to see because usually it's not very filled up. Now that we're in the ACC there were so many more people at the game. It was very exciting to be there even though they lost."
Even though he just visited in early September, Elijah hasn't been able to think much about Pitt, and is instead focused on his final season with North Allegheny. The Tigers started the 2013 season with a No. 1 ranking and 2-0 start, but their luck ran out on Friday, September 13. Elijah had an impressive two picks on defense, but he was limited to only 39 total receiving yards.
"I kept trying to make big plays and to keep every ones heads up," said Zeise. "Things were not going right for us, but everyone kept fighting until the very end. We just couldn't get it done."
Elijah seemed to take the loss the hardest compared to his younger brother sophomore wide receiver and defensive back Isaiah Zeise. The 5-8, 140-pound Isaiah has yet to make an impact on this North Allegheny team like big brother Elijah, but there is still plenty of time left.
Isaiah unlike Elijah described himself as the hot-tempered athlete, and characterized his big brother as the peacemaker of the team, which could also explain why Isaiah feels more comfortable on defense.
"He's more of a wide receiver and I'm more of a DB, so we definitely go at it at practices," said Isaiah. "It's my big brother and I want to challenge him on every single play to make sure he's getting better and to make sure I'm getting better. Right now, playing at corner is a huge part of my game. I'm not really the best receiver around like Elijah, but I think I'm a pretty good cornerback."
Although, Pitt has yet to express any interest just yet in the youngest Zeise. It's never too early to look ahead. The 2016 recruit could easily follow in his older brother's footsteps. It may not be too much of stretch to say we could be hearing from both Zeise's in the Panthers future.