Fields - "Pitt felt like home"

Elijah Fields (6-ft-2 inches, 200 pounds) from Duquesne High School (Duquesne, PA) is considered one of the top players in Western Pennsylvania. He narrowed his final list to Pitt and Penn State. Elijah called Head Coach Dave Wannstedt on Sunday to say "Pitt is it". The spoke with Elijah last night.

"I knew about two weeks ago I wanted to go to Pitt. I let the process go a little further and decided to commit tonight," stated blue-chip athlete Elijah Fields. "My final choices were Pitt and Penn State. I chose the place I felt most comfortable at."

Fields is a "four-star" prospect and ranked the 10th best safety in the nation. He was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fab 22" team, first-team Class A Associated Press All-State, MSASPORTS "Elite 11", Pittsburgh Tribune Review"Terrific 25", and first-team All-WPIAL. The Associated Press crowned Fields as its 2005 Class A Player of the Year.

When asked why he chose the Panthers, he stated, "I just felt comfortable at Pitt. It became my home away from home. I like Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and the staff. The players are great as well."

"Coach Wannstedt seemed really relieved and happy when I called him to commit. I called my friend Shane Brooks (redshirt freshman running back) at Pitt to let him know as well. He knew I was coming before tonight but I wanted him to know it was official."

The University of Pittsburgh currently has one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. Elijah was quick to admit Pitt's impressive class of 2006 factored heavily into his final decision. "Yes, their recruiting class was a big part of my decision," he said. "Its not that Penn State didn't have a good class, Pitt's already seemed like a family. They all keep in touch and their all really close. We hung out this weekend and had a great time."

Elijah was named the WPIAL Class A Player of the Year. He finished with 704 yards rushing on 59 carries and caught 42 passes for 1,167 yards.

"I have no expectations when it comes to next year. Obviously I want to play but I know nothing is going to be handed to me," stated Fields. "I'm ready to work really hard, learn their offensive system and try to get onto the field."

Elijah was quick to dispel rumors that he's headed to a prep school. He indicated that he has already qualified and fully expects to be in a Panther uniform next year. Duquesne Head Football Coach Pat Monroe was kind enough to call the shortly after Field's commitment. Coach Monroe had nothing but positive things to say about his star athlete.

"Elijah is going to be sorely missed. He provided me and the Duquesne Football program with a lot of great memories and victories," stated Monroe. "He's a very capable wide receiver and he has all of the physical tools to make an impact on the next level."

"I realize Pitt fans are going to have very high expectations for him. They need to realize that he's only going to be a freshman and he needs time to prove himself. His best football is ahead of him, but you have to give him time to develop."

Pitt's coaching staff initially will play Fields at wide receiver. Coach Monroe was asked if Elijah was a better wide receiver or safety. He replied, "Elijah is very good at any position he plays. It doesn't matter where they put him."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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