Gradkowski talks PITT

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and staff have been actively pursing a number of quality offensive linemen. One of the top prospects in Western Pennsylvania happens to be Gino Gradkowski from Seton-LaSalle High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

"Coach (Dave )Wannstedt and Coach (Greg) Gattuso stopped by my high school to talk with my coach today," stated rugged offensive line prospect Gino Gradkowski (6-foot-3 inches, 285 pounds). "They talked with my coach about my recruitment and where they see me fitting into their plans."

Gradkowski is capable of playing center or guard on the next level. He's known for his physicality on the football field. Gino's friend and neighbor Chris Jacobson (6-foot-3 inches, 290 pounds) from Keystone Oaks High School in Pittsburgh, PA was the first class of 2007 player to commit to Pitt.

"Coach Wannstedt told my coach that they like me at either guard or center. I think they might be looking at me as a center first. They see me as versatile. I can play center and move to guard if I have to."

Gino was asked how he felt about the center position and he replied, "I don't mind center at all. I have asked my coach to give me more reps snapping the ball. If you look at Pitt's roster, I would have a good opportunity for playing time. They really don't have a lot of young players at that position."

Pitt has earmarked five scholarships for offensive linemen in the class of 2007. Chris "Lumpy" Jacobson has already filled one of the scholarships set for the guard position. The Panthers coaching staff would like to add two tackles, a center and another guard.

Pitt, West Virginia and Toledo have offered Gradkowski a scholarship. It appears the Panthers and Mountaineers are co-leaders for his services. Gino's cousin Carmen Connolly is currently a freshman wide receiver at West Virginia. The Panthers also have connections with Gradkowski. He is close with Panthers' commit Jacobson and Panthers' sophomore quarterback and former Seton LaSalle standout Bill Stull.

"I guess Pitt shut their weight room down for a few weeks. Bill (Stull) has been lifting weights at our high school. He has been on my about going to Pitt. It would be great protecting him for a few years. I have Lumpy in one ear and Bill in my other ear talking about Pitt."

"I don't know for sure when I'm going to make a final decision but it probably will come before my season starts. Pitt will always be one of my top considerations. They are close to home, I have friend there and I really like the coaching staff."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

Panther More Top Stories