Rugged tackle Rashad Duncan was the first to join the Pitt football program. Duncan attended the Panthers' summer football camp and impressed the coaching staff with his combination of size and speed. He was offered a scholarship shortly after camp and he accepted a few weeks later. Duncan, a stout 6-foot-2 inches, 290 pounds, is currently one of the frontrunners to start at defensive tackle for the Panthers when they open their 2006 season against the Virginia Cavaliers.
The other defensive lineman to commit to the Panthers was a large and athletic defensive end named Tommy Duhart. Duhart received scholarship offers from Pitt, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Illinois, Florida and South Florida. At a solid 6-foot-4 inches, 255 pounds, he was capable of bench pressing 370 pounds and running the forty-yard dash in 4.9 seconds. Unlike Duncan, his friend and teammate, he was unable to qualify academically join the Pitt football program. He opted to attend Coffeyville Community College (Coffeyville, KS) to improve academically and athletically.
Duhart has grown from 6-foot-4 inches, 255 pounds to a towering 6-foot-6 inches, 285 pounds. It appears he will join Duncan next year at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Tommy joined us the spring of 2006 and he's going to play defensive end for us this year," stated Coffeyville Community College Defensive Coordinator Bob Majeski.
"Tommy is simply a great kid. He stands 6-foot-6 inches and weighs in at 285 pounds. He's a big, strong player that happens to be really athletic. I believe he's going to play defensive end for the Pitt."
Coach Majeski was highly complementary of the future Panthers. "Tommy always has a smile on his face. He's the type of person everyone wants to be around," he said. "I can't stress it enough. He has an infectious personality and people rally around him. It's hard to find people with that characteristic."
"I fully expect Tommy to be a leader on and off the field for the Panthers. He has the size, strength and athleticism to make an impact. I believe he will have three years of eligibility."
Duhart and Duncan led Glades Central to an outstanding 12-1 record as seniors. Tommy registered 58 tackles (11 for a loss), 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 blocked punt from his defensive end position. He was named first-team All-Palm Beach County and second-team Class 3A All-State.
Harry G. Psaros can be reached at email@example.com.