Panthers add late addition to Class of 2004

The University of Pittsburgh announced Tuesday the signing of WR Andre Broussard (6-2, 185, 4.4), Elmer L. Myers High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Broussard is the 4th WR recruit to sign with Pittsburgh joining Kelvin Chandler, Marcel Pestano, and Derek Kinder. A scholarship was made available when Florida WR Johnny Peyton backed out of his verbal commitment and signed with South Florida. Broussard formerly attended Crestwood High School before Elmer Myers (sophomore year).

Andre Broussard was recruited as a sprinter for coach Alonzo Webb's Pittsburgh Panthers track team. After Coach Walt Harris watched film on Andre, he decided to offer him a scholarship for football. Broussard had 32 receptions, 603 yards, 18.8 yards per catch and 9 TD's in 2003. Myers head coach Mike Namely employs a primarily run oriented offense. Broussard ran the anchor leg on the 400-relay team that captured the gold at the 2003 PIAA Class AA State Championships. During the same meet he took home a silver medal in the long jump. During a preliminary heat in the 200, Andre broke a state record.

When it comes to sports, one often hears about a player's genetics. If a scientist were to break down DNA and create an athlete, he could start with the bloodlines that Andre has in his family. His father Frank was a member of the UCLA track team in 1965. He then served his country in Vietnam for 1-½ years, before finishing his college career at Texas Southern University. Andre's mother, Christi Jackson, was a high school track star in Texas.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers great John Stallworth and current NFL star Donte Stallworth are related through marriage. But the athletic lineage doesn't end there. His close family includes Former Steeler DB Jimmy Allen, former Seattle Seahawks RB Steve Broussard, former NFL great Jerry Ball, former Miami Dolphins DE Wayne Moore, former Oakland Raiders WR Oscar Wells, and current LSU RB Alley Broussard.

There is no disputing that Broussard has the athletic ability and genetics to succeed on the gridiron. Now we will see this fall if he puts it all together.

PittInsider spoke with Andre's coach Mike Namey

Coach Namey, how did this all transpire?

"Pitt was recruiting him for track. Coach Freeman has kept in contact with us about Andre and said there may be 1-2 open scholarships available. They wanted to wait until all of the vacancies were filled on their staff before they came to a decision. Tom called back and verified all of Andre's academics and offered him."

Is Andre a track kid playing football or a football player who runs track?

"In my opinion Andre's best years are ahead of him. I look at him as another Wilkes-Barre product, Qadry Ismail. He has improved year to year and he is much more physical than your average track kid."

Can Andre play right away or does he need more experience?

"I think he can step onto the field right away and help somewhere. He is an athlete. I think he could at least be a return man and then eventually work in as a WR. He has a great burst, a quick step off the line of scrimmage, he runs precise routes, and will go over the middle."

When did Andre know that Pittsburgh was for him?

"He took an official visit in January. He fell in love with everything about the people, the city and the school. He was really taken back by it."

Andre is fully qualified to play in the fall.

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