Pitt Lands A Big One

Alex Bookser, the nation's No. 15 offensive tackle commits to Pitt. He joins Connor Hayes and Michael Grimm on the offensive line in the 2014 recruiting class.

It may be a reversal of fortunes for Pitt in recruiting.

After losing out on four-star prospect Dravon Henry last week, who committed to West Virginia, the Panthers have since landed two commitments.

Saturday, Pitt got a commitment from Florida linebacker James Folston Jr. Wednesday evening, one of the top players on their board overall, Alex Bookser, committed to the Panthers.

"#H2P no joke this time," Bookser tweeted at 9:45 pm on Wednesday. The joke Bookser refers to an April Fools Day joke, where he tweeted similar news.

When reached via text, Mount Lebanon head coach Mike Melnyk confirmed that Bookser has indeed committed to Pitt.

Bookser took an unofficial visit to Pittsburgh for the Notre Dame game on November 9. He took official visits to Tennessee (November 23), Penn State (December 6) and Ohio State (December 13).

He was highly impressed with the Tennessee visit.

"It just confused me even more now on where I want to go because it was such a good official visit," Bookser told Inside Tennessee.com, after the visit.

Penn State, Ohio State and Pittsburgh were three schools he was seriously considered all along. He is still expected to make his official visit to Pittsburgh on January 17, which now looks to be a full collection of Pitt commits on campus for the same weekend.

"The coaching staff, is probably the greatest group of guys," Bookser told Panther Digest prior to the season. "They're guys you want to play for."

Bookser brings Pitt's total commit list to 21. More good news could be on the way, with Gateway's Montae Nicholson making his college decision on Thursday afternoon. Four-star running back Shai McKenzie, another local prospect, will make his decision on Friday. Another four-star, Virginia receiver Jamil Kamara, has Pitt in his top three, and had a very good official visit two weeks ago.

The biggest thing with Bookser's commitment is the continuing growth of the offensive line. Heading into 2014, Pitt will return four of five starters, including honorable mention All-ACC selection Matt Rotheram. True freshman Dorian Johnson saw significant playing time, and is a leading candidate to become the fifth starter in 2014. In addition to that, four other freshmen redshirted in 2013, giving this unit more returning players and more depth than it has seen in quite some time.

With the commitments of Connor Hayes, Michael Grimm and now Booker, Paul Chryst has addressed this need, one of his first chores of business.


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