Florida safety "surprised" by Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh is in the process of rebuilding its defense. Pitt hosted a hard-hitting safety from Hollywood, FL over the weekend. The PantherDigest.com spoke with this prospect about his visit. Read on for his comments.

The University of Pittsburgh hosted safety Eain Smith (6-foot, 190 pounds), cornerback Akeem Auguste (5-foot-11 inches, 175 pounds) and running back Xavier Stinson (5-foot-9 inches, 215 pounds) from Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School in Hollywood, FL over the weekend. The talented trio flew to Pittsburgh Saturday morning to begin their official visit. Stinson, one of the top running backs from the state of Florida, already committed to the Panthers. The PantherDigest.com contacted Stinson's friend and teammate Eain Smith to ascertain his thoughts on the weekend.

"I had an idea of what I thought the City of Pittsburgh and Pitt would be like. After spending the weekend there, I can honestly say that it exceeded my expectations," said Smith.

"We arrived on Saturday and they took us straight to hear Coach (Dave) Wannstedt address the team before the game. They look us to Heinz Field and we were able to march to the stadium with the team. They let us in the locker rooms as well. It was a great experience."

Scout.com rates Smith a "four-star" prospect and the 32nd best safety in the country. He registered 70 tackles and 2 interceptions as a junior.

"Coach Wannstedt seemed like a really cool guy. He's a good coach and he's real straight forward. The coaches were telling me I would have a good opportunity for playing time at safety. It looks like they have a few players ready to graduate that that position."

When asked if he was being recruited by Stinson, Smith replied "(chuckle) He was trying to get me to commit all weekend. I really like what I saw, but I'm just not ready to pull the trigger yet."

Smith named the Pitt, South Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska and Florida State his top choices. He visited Nebraska on September 29th and he plans on taking at least two additional visits before making his final decision. "I think I'm going to visit South Carolina and West Virginia," he said.

"I thought the facilities at Pittsburgh were amazing. We saw it all. The showed us the UPMC practice facilities, the basketball arena and the Cathedral of Learning. I loved the way they shared their facilities with the Pittsburgh Steelers. You could tell they were pro caliber."

"After meeting a lot of the football players, some of the basketball players and the football staff, they all seemed like good people. The visit definitely helped the Panthers. I could see myself playing for them."

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

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