Donovan Jeter

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi closing in on WPIAL targets

The WPIAL season is a week away, and several Pitt targets are ready for week one.

Defensive Tackle Donovan Jeter (Beaver Falls High School, Beaver Falls, Pa.) announced Monday that he will make his college decision on Halloween, just three days removed from his team’s regular-season finale at Beaver.

A couple months ago, it seemed as though Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi would land Jeter in a cake walk. Pitt is still considered the favorite for Jeter, who told Scout that he dropped 50 pounds in the past year or so, but Jeter told Scout that he added Notre Dame back into the mix recently after spending a day at Kennywood with Pittsburgh Central Catholic defensive tackle and Notre Dame commit Kurt Hinish.

Notre Dame now joins a list of Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee.

Some things haven’t changed with Jeter’s recruitment. He told Scout that he still crashes on the couch of his brother Sheldon, who’s got a shot at cracking Pitt Basketball’s starting five, in Oakland twice a month.

Down the Monongahela River in Clairton, cornerback Lamont Wade tweeted that he will be visiting Tennessee for week one when the Vols host Appalachian State during the first night of college football action. This is probably a good thing for Pitt, as Wade, who is seriously flirting with former Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop at Rocky Top, will favor the Pitt-Penn State game on Sept. 10 over the rip-roaring Tennessee-Virginia Tech contest at Bristol Motor Speedway the same day.

The recent Tennessee obsession by WPIAL recruits has been puzzling to me. Tyler Boyd nearly chose the Vols in 2012, and don’t count the Vols out for Wade’s pledge. Wade’s parents have said repeatedly that it would be nice for him to attend school out of state. He’s down to a final eight of Pitt, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio State, Mississippi State, UCLA and Alabama.

Beaver Falls opens its schedule with what is shaping up to be one of the signature WPIAL/City League match ups of 2016 when it hosts Aliquippa on Sept. 2.

Aliquippa had a rough offseason, as running back DiMantae Bronaugh found out his leukemia had returned, former quarterback Sjavante Gilliam was shot and killed, and Marcus Tigner, a defensive back, committed suicide. But the Quips return a talented bunch that is highlighted by 2018 Pitt target Kwantel Raines, a Scout top-150 recruit, at defensive back. Beaver Falls also has another guy to watch out for – 270-pound Raquan Crowder – who will man the trenches and look for additional Division I offers as the season progresses.

I will be in attendance for that game, but this week I am geeked to see Steel Valley-Clairton in a Friday scrimmage, the same day that Central Valley is scrimmaging South Fayette. North Allegheny will also be tested Friday against a quality Olentangy Liberty (Ohio) squad.

With James Conner and Rachid Ibrahim in the latter parts of their Pitt careers and since we really didn’t know much about which position George Hill could have wound up at, one name to keep your eye on is Dewayne Murray, senior running back from Steel Valley. A very good season from Murray could mean Pitt offers the 5-8, 173-pounder as a “lightning” piece to Todd Sibley’s “thunder.”

In Oakland, Pitt Athletics announced yesterday that it had sold out of student season tickets. The day before, it said that Pitt-Penn State is now standing room only. The average ticket price to Pitt-Penn State in two weeks is about $200 a pop, good for the ninth-most expensive seat for 2016, according to coachingsearch.com.

And for anyone hoping that Pitt would land the week two College GameDay slot, think again. ESPN announced today that GameDay is headed to the aforementioned Battle at Bristol.


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