Dodson discusses Pitt commitment

University of Pittsburgh Head Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon recently landed his first verbal commitment for the class of 2007. Darnell Dodson (6-foot-6 inches, 210 pounds) from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD chose the Panthers over a number of Big East schools. He recently spoke with the about his decision.

The University of Pittsburgh received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-6 ½ inch wing forward Darnell Dodson from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD. He was the first player to join the Panthers 2007 recruiting class. Dodson spoke with the about his decision.

"I had a lot of scholarship offers before I got involved with Pitt. They really weren't in the picture until they hired (Panthers assistant) Coach (Mike) Rice," stated Dodson. "Once Coach Rice got to Pitt he started recruiting me as soon as he got there."

"I visited in late June (23rd) when they held a camp there. I loved everything about it. The facilities were incredible and I liked the city and campus. They showed me the classrooms, dorms and thing like that as well. I got to meet their two point guards Ron (Ramon) and Levance (Fields). They were nice guys."

"On the way home from Pittsburgh I was heavily leaning towards committing to them. I really liked it there and I felt comfortable. It seemed like a good spot for me. I got home and decided to commit to them. David Cox (Pitt Director of Basketball Operations) joining the staff made it that much easier."

Darnell Dotson (6-foot-6 ½ inches, 210 pounds) chose the Panthers over offers from DePaul, Rutgers, Providence, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Maryland. Coach Farello indicated that Georgetown and Florida were heavily involved as well. rates Darnell a "three-star" player.

"Coach (Jamie) Dixon told me they needed more scoring from the perimeter. I'm a good shooter and I can think I can help the team (offensively). He told me I was exactly what they were looking for. It looks like I'll get time at the "2" (shooting guard) and "3" (small forward)."

"Most schools have labeled me as nothing more than a shooter or scorer. I have worked on improving all aspects of my game like passing, rebounding and defense. I think I'm a lot better than I have been in the past."

Dodson emerged as one of Maryland's top players as a junior. He averaged 15.6 points, 8 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.8 assists per game. Darnell led Eleanor Roosevelt (25-2) to the Maryland Class 4A championship game. He shot 43 percent from 3-point range.

Dodson is a member the AAU D.C. Assault. Coach (Jamie) Dixon and his revamped coaching staff are in hot pursuit of his friend and AAU teammate Julian Vaughn (6-foot-9 ½ inches, 240 pounds). Vaughn, from South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, is considered one of the top power forwards in the nation. Darnell was asked if he if was actively recruiting Vaughn and he quickly stated, "I'm working on it. I would love to play with him in college."

"I'm happy with my decision. It's great to have the recruiting process over with. I can focus on improving my game and helping my team in a championship."

For further perspective on Darnell Dodson, read the following story: CLICK HERE.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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