Caragein talks about his decision

The University of Pittsburgh landed one of the top defensive players in Western Pennsylvania on Thursday. Myles Caragein (6-foot-3 inches, 265 pounds) from Keystone Oaks High School (Pittsburgh, PA) verbally committed to Pitt. He spoke with the about his decision.

"I got up in the morning and decided I wanted to commit to the Panthers. I just felt it was time," stated defensive lineman Myles Caragein (6-foot-3 inches, 270 pounds). "I went in and told my coach. He was happy for me. I then went to Lumpy (Pitt commit Chris Jacobson) and pulled him aside. I told him I had to tell him something but I wanted him to keep it quiet."

"I told Lumpy that I was committing to Pitt and he went crazy. He started yelling, screaming, jumping up and down, punching me and going nuts. I was trying to calm him down so nobody would know. It was funny."

Caragein chose the Panthers over Iowa, Purdue, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Clemson and Arizona State. Big East Analyst Bob Lichtenfels ranks him the 11th best player in the state of Pennsylvania.

"I drove down to Pitt around 6:30(PM) and I spoke with Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and Coach (Greg) Gattuso. I told them I wanted to be a Panther. They were ecstatic."

Caragein registered 68 tackles, 12 for a loss, 8 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries as a junior. One offense, he caught 28 passes for 331 yards. Myles is the Panthers sixth recruit from the Class of 2007 and the third from the WPIAL.

Why did he choose the Panthers? "Pitt is my hometown team, Pittsburgh is a great football city and I really liked the coaching staff. I think the coaching staff was the difference. I felt most comfortable with them. Pitt is on the rise and I want to be a key part of that."

Caragein is the defending WPIAL Class AAA heavyweight wrestling champion and won a Greco-Roman national title in the cadet division last summer. Myles is capable of running a 4.85 forty-yard dash, bench press 340 pounds and squat 505 pounds. He is a solid student with a 3.6 grade point average. Myles has been a standout two-way player, a tight end-defensive end who made first-team All-Greater Allegheny Conference on offense as a junior.

"I'm a solid 270 pounds right now. I believe I'll start off at defensive end but I have no issues moving to tackle if I take on more weight. I just want to get to Pitt and contribute."

The spoke with Keystone Oaks High School Head Football Coach Nick Kamberis about Caragein's decision. "This is huge news for the Panthers," stated Kamberis. "Pitt landed a player with 30 scholarship offers and they kept him home. If the Panthers continue to do that with most kids from the WPIAL, they are going to have something special."

"This is definitely a big shot in the arm for our football program. Keystone Oaks isn't known as a powerhouse like Woodland Hills or Penn Hills High School. Chris (Jacobson) and Myles (Caragein) going to Pitt is going to give our players a feeling of success. We're going to put their scholarship offers on our bulletin board."

"I want out younger players to see their scholarship offers and understand that hard work can pay offer. You won't find two harder working kids that Chris and Myles."

"Myles went about the entire process the right way. I wasn't sure Pitt was going to get him at first. He was very open to throughout the entire process. I could just tell that he was much more comfortable with the staff at Pitt. They did a great job recruiting him."

"Myles is currently 270 pounds and totally ripped. I see him as a 3-5 technique down tackle."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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