Pitt verbal, Rashaad Duncan

A recruiting class wouldn't be complete if the Panthers didn't get a commitment from a Florida athlete. The wait is finally over for Pitt fans as Walt Harris has secured his first Floridian of the class of 2005.

Glades Central (FL) high school defensive tackle Rashaad Duncan (6-1.5, 258, 5.0) has given his verbal pledge to the University of Pittsburgh. Duncan chose the Panthers over an offer from Florida Atlantic and interest from Iowa, Illinois, Miami, NC State, and Wake Forest. This spring Duncan was a standout as he recorded 7 tackles and 2 sacks during the Glades Central spring game.

"I got offered after camp, and when I talked to you I said I'd probably jump on an offer if I got one. I didn't jump, but after I thought about for a month or so I realized Pitt was the best fit for me," said Duncan

Defensive Line coach and ace Florida recruiter Charlie Partridge has a keen eye for talent and finding hidden gems in the "Sunshine State". The Panthers have had success landing unknown commodities from Florida and grooming them into productive players such as wide receiver Greg Lee.

I can here the collective sigh now, as Panther fans cringe at the thought of another diamond in the rough. Partridge is a tremendous talent evaluator and Duncan is clearly a kid he likes. So I'd hold off on passing judgment just yet.

I got to watch Rashaad back in June at the annual Walt Harris Football Camp. He does not possess sprinter speed, but he does have football speed. He has a nice initial burst off the line of scrimmage. He has a very compact and powerful frame. His broad shoulders will allow him to add more weight rather easily.

Glades assistant coach Sheldon Harriott the elder brother of former Panther and current Chicago Bears defensive end Claude Harriott raved about Duncan this summer at the Walt Harris football camp.

"He's one of those kids who's a late bloomer, not a lot of people know about him. He is an animal in the weight room. We don't have a big team so we've been forced to use him on the offensive line," said Harriott

Harriott lead a contingent of 12 players from Glades Central to Pittsburgh for camp this year.

"The kids really like it up here, they get to see a lot of different things in Pittsburgh as compared to South Florida."

Duncan is the seventh verbal commitment for the Panthers class of 2005.

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