Otah ready to rumble

The University of Pittsburgh needed a desperate infusion of talent along the offensive line. Head Coach Dave Wannstedt and staff have done an admirable job adding a several quality road graters. Mammoth offensive tackle Jeff Otah (6-ft-7 inches, 340 pounds) from Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA may offer the most immediate help.

"I'm very happy with my decision to join the Pitt football program," stated Jeff Otah. "It seemed to be the one place that just felt right. I was comfortable with the coaching staff and players."

Otah chose the Panthers over West Virginia, Michigan State, Maryland, Oklahoma and South Carolina. He completed two official visits to Pitt and South Carolina. Jeff was named All-Conference this season.

"The coaching staff at Pitt has promised me nothing. They told me I will have the opportunity to compete. My goal is to be the Panthers' starting left tackle when they open the season. It's going to be great playing for Coach (Paul) Dunn."

Jeff was asked if he could adapt the Panthers' run-first offensive philosophy. He quickly replied, "Of course I can. My size comes as a big advantage when run blocking. I might be 340 pound but I'm very mobile. We ran the ball a lot and they always ran behind me. I'll do whatever is asked of me to win."

Otah joins high school offensive linemen Joe Thomas (6 foot 5 inches, 295 pounds) from Parma, OH, Eric Rodemoyer (6 foot 3 inches, 310 pounds) from Hermitage, PA, Kevin Hughes (6 foot 4 inches, 290 pounds) from Allendale, NJ and Scott Corson (6 foot 5 inches, 280 pounds) from Johnstown, PA. Hughes officially joined the team in January.

"I'm excited to join the team. (Panthers' defensive tackle) Craig Bokor and I know each other. He went to Valley Forge as well. He's told me some great things about the coaches and the team. I want to get there and make an impact."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com

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