Speedy FL Linebacker wants playing time

The University of Pittsburgh will lose three key linebackers after the 2006 season: H.B. Blades, Clint Session and Brian Bennett. Head Coach Dave Wannstedt is searching for playmakers capable of stepping in and improving the Panthers defense. The Panthers are in good standing with an excellent prospect from Oakland Park, FL. Read on.

"I'm in the process of getting ready for an official visit to North Carolina State," stated blue-chip linebacker Josh Hartigan (6-foot-2 ½ inches, 215 pounds) from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, FL. "Pittsburgh, Sorth Carolina State, Tennessee, Auburn, South Florida, Akron, Colorado State, Toledo and FIU have offered me a scholarship."

Hartigan, along with his teammates Bo Williams (6-foot-2 inches, 211 pounds) and Darian Williams (6-foot-1 inches, 185 pounds) attended the Dave Wannstedt summer football camp. Pitt has extended scholarship offers to each of them. Panthers assistant Charlie Partridge has been their primary contact.

"I'm going to visit North Carolina State, but I'm not ready to make a commitment to a school yet," he said. "I really liked what I saw at Pittsburgh when I visited. My and my teammates loved the trip. We're in the process of trying to set up a visit. I think they want all three of us to visit at the same time."

Hartigan's father, Sterling Palmer, was a former standout for the Florida State Seminols. He is capable of running the forty-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and bench pressing 320 pounds. Panthers Assistant Coach Charlie Partridge has been primarily responsible for his recruitment.

"I would say the North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Georgia Tech are my top schools right now. Georgia Tech called the other day I may take a look at them."

When asked what characteristics he was looking for in a school and a football program, he quickly replied, "Playing time is key to me. I don't want to sit the bench. I'm not the type to sit out. I prefer to play. I'm not saying I expect to start, but I want to put in some minutes as a freshman. I know that Pittsburgh is going to lose a bunch of linebackers after this season."

"I'm going to take a close look at school's academics and surroundings. I want to take my visits and see where I feel most comfortable."

Hartigan indicated that the trio from Northeast High School has discussed visiting Pitt on December 2nd after the football season.

"It's still early but I have talked with Bo and Darian about attending school together. If we do that, Pittsburgh seems like it would be our top choice."

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

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