Tommie Duhart says "Pitt is it"

The University of Pittsburgh landed one of the top junior college defensive lineman in the nation on Saturday when Tommie Duhart from Coffeyville Community College reafired his commitment to the Panthers. The PantherDigest.com spoke to Tommie on Sunday about his decision.

Rugged tackle Rashaad 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 Panthers starting defensive tackles.

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 initially enrolled at Butler Community College (El Dorado, KS) but his stay was a short one for a number of reasons. Tommie then 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-4 inches, 285 pounds. It appears he will join Duncan next year at the University of Pittsburgh.

"I came to Pittsburgh this weekend thinking I would commit to Pitt. I have been to Pitt before, so I wanted to see the game and spend time with the team," stated Duhart. "I thought the game was great. I have tons of fans that recognized me and came up to say hello or tell me to commit to Pitt. It was cool."

It appears that the Panthers overwhelming victory against Toledo made a significant impact on Tommie. "I loved the atmosphere at the game. It was great spending time the team and seeing how they prepare for the game. The best part was watching my former teammate Rashaad Duncan dominating on the field."

Duhart is set to play defensive end for the Panthers. "The coaching staff told me they want me to step in and make plays next year," he said. "Rashaad and I dominated in high school. We were a nasty tandem. I can't wait to get that tandem together again. We talk about it all the time."

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I saw the guys Pitt has at defensive end now. I have their speed but I'm a lot bigger. I bring a great combination of size, speed and strength," he said. "Right now I'm around 285 pounds. I plan on getting down to 275 pounds when I come to Pitt."

Coffeyville Community College currently has a 4-1 record. Duhart was quick to note that the Ravens will host their arch-rival Butler Community College this weekend. "I have had that game circled on my calendar. I'm going to show them what they missed out on."

"It feels great to get the recruiting process over with. I can't wait to be a Panther"

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


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