Hargrove excited to be a Panther

The University of Pittsburgh's football recruiting class of 2006 was considered one of the best in the nation. If you're looking for a player that truly classifies as a "sleeper", look no further than defensive end prospect Justin Hargrove from Baldwin, PA. The PantherDigest.com spoke with Justin about his future at Pitt.

"Letter of intent day was really special. I was able to get my family, friend and coaches together for the signing," stated Justin Hargrove (6-ft-4 inches, 245 pounds) from Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, PA. "Jason (Pinkston) and I signed together. It was cool having the media there and everything. It's a moment I won't forget."

Hargrove had a difficult senior season due to a brain contusion. He registered 13 tackles and 1 sack in less than two full games. A rare combination of size and speed, Justin is capable of bench pressing 400 pounds, squatting 500 pounds and running a 4.6 forty-yard dash.

"I'm really excited about getting to Pitt. The doctors have cleared me and I have fully recovered. I can participate in football without any issues."

Pitt Head Coach Dave Wannstedt is a 1970 graduate of Baldwin High School. Justin and his teammate Jason Pinkston (6-ft-5 inches, 280 pounds) committed to the Panthers last summer during a well publicized press conference.

"I just received the Panthers' workout book. It has a lifting schedule, a running schedule and stuff on nutrition. It's pretty complete. There are different running schedules for different positions," he said. "I have been hitting the gym hard to prepare for my freshman season. The coaching staff told me to weigh around 250 to 255 pounds. I'm not too far off from that right now."

When asked about his future goals, he was quick to reply, "Our class wants to lead Pitt to a national championship. We feel we can do it. There is a lot of talent in our class and we know we're the foundation for something special. Obviously a Big East Championship is on the list, but we want to take it all."

"I would like to play my freshman year but one never knows how that's going to turn out. I'm going to go in prepared and work as hard as I can to make an impact."

Hargrove joins fellow Class of 2006 defensive end recruits McKenzie Mathews (6-ft-2 inches, 240 pounds) from Syracuse, NY, Greg Romeus (6-ft-5 inches, 225 pounds) from Coral Springs, FL and Tyler Tkach (6-ft-3 inches, 235 pounds) from Slatington, PA.

"I can't wait to get to Pitt and get started. Once Jason (Pinkston) is done with basketball we're going to start lifting together. Hopefully we'll play side by side at Pitt and dominate."

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

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