Poteat Coming Home

Jameel Poteat says he couldn't live with the 'what if' anymore. He returns to the school he initially committed to out of high school, the Pitt Panthers.

Jameel Poteat is coming home.

Initially a 2011 Pittsburgh commit, Poteat signed with Cincinnati after Dave Wannstedt and his staff were fired. After two years at Cincinnati, Poteat transferred to Stony Brook this past season.

Poteat announced Monday night that he will be transferring back to his initial first choice, Pitt, and he couldn't be happier.

"I'm glad to be back," Poteat said.

Poteat's brother, Hank Poteat, coaches the cornerbacks at Pitt. While the elder Poteat technically could have served as a bit of a recruiting coach, having his brother here is simply a bonus.

"It wasn't really recruiting," Poteat said of conversations with his older brother. "We're related, but we had more down-to-earth conversations. He was one of the people I wanted to talk to about this. He told me everything. We had some deep conversations."

Even after signing with Cincinnati, there was always something about Pitt he still liked. He played in both of his first two seasons with the Bearcats, carrying the ball 23 times in 2011 and 34 times in 2012.

After Butch Davis left to take over at Tennessee, Poteat decided to transfer. Initially, he wanted to transfer to Pitt.

"I'm going to be honest with you, when I left Cincinnati, I wanted to come to Pitt," Poteat said. "But, when I left Cincinnati. I didn't prepare myself to get recruited by other schools. I was trying to go to Pitt, but I didn't have anything--I didn't have a lot of film. It was hard for me to get film, things like that."

Through the whole experience, including transfers, Poteat says everything about college football was a learning experience.

"It was a gut check," Poteat said. "I'm not saying I couldn't play at that level. I accompished everything in high school, and things didn't work out. I ended up getting inured (at Cincinnati), and mentally, I wasn't right. Once I got hurt, it was hard to dig myself out."

Poteat played in six games at Stony Brook in 2013. The initial plan wasn't to transfer right away. However, after coming in for a couple of spring practices at Pitt, it started to become a thought.

"No disrespect to Stony Brook, everything was great," Poteat said. "I just didn't want to live with the 'what if.' I know it's a big step. It's something I wanted to take. I can go to Pitt and play good. I still want to get my degree, too. Now, I feel like I went through this journey for a reason. It's humbled me a lot. I'm mature now. I talked to Coach (Paul Chryst) today, and I think I can help the team a lot. With as much as I've been through, I can even help the other running backs like Isaac (Bennett) and James (Conner) in watching film."

His brother aside, Poteat says the Pitt coaching staff, and their style of play is an ideal fit for him. Possibly an even better fit than when he committed to the Panthers in 2010.

"These coaches are awesome," Poteat said. "You know coaches recruit you and tell you what you be to hear. These guys--you mess up, they'll get on you. But, when you do good, they'll tell you. I like that. As far as Coach Chryst's offense, it's perfect for the way I play. It's 'get up the field, and get up the field now.' Pitt's offense is perfect for me."

Poteat will enroll at Pitt, and begin taking classes and conditioning with the team. He enters the program as a walk-on, similar to the way Tom Savage started with Pitt. In fact, he got caught up with Savage at one of Pitt's practice, someone he remembered from his time as a high school recruit.

"Me and Tom Savage are real close," Poteat said. "I was looking at Rutgers, and he was there. I was a big fan of his, then.

As for getting put on scholarship, that is a possibility. However, Poteat wants to earn it.

"I'm blessed to have it this way, I want to earn it," Poteat said. "I have great parents who stand by my side. They're going to go through it with me. I'm going to go in as a walk-on. I didn't say anything to (Pitt) about a scholarship, but if it's there, I have to earn it."

Poteat is reunited with another former Harrisburg product in center Artie Rowell. Both were in the same recruiting class at one time. In addition to being acclimated with the running backs, Poteat said there's one more thing he likes about this current Pitt roster.

"The players now, they are all positive, I'm excited just waiting," Poteat said. "I see it in practice, but there is a lot of young talent on this team."

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