Pitt In Cruz's Final 5

Three-star tight end Mike Cruz gave the Panthers a verbal commitment earlier in the year only to back out a while later citing that he ran into his decision a bit too quickly. With some more time to mature and look things over, Cruz has now decided on a final five that he will pick from and Pittsburgh made that cut.

Mike Cruz, a 6-foot-3.5, 245-pound tight end from Johnstown, Pa., holds plenty of scholarship offers, but has now decided to cut the list to a final five and take his official visits after his senior season. Cruz caught 7 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns for Bishop McCort High School this season and talked to us about his plans when the playoffs have ended.

"We just finished the regular season on Friday and ended up 9-1, so now we're all just waiting to see who we get in the playoffs," Cruz explained. "I have no idea what my defensive statistics were on the season, but other then those offensive stats I did have a two-point conversion as well."

"As for recruiting, I have a list of five final schools and they are Pittsburgh, Clemson, Florida State, Illinois and West Virginia," Cruz stated. "Those are in no particular order, but once I have taken all five officials after the season I will be giving out the ordered list of schools. Right now the only official I have set up is at West Virginia on December 8th."

As for what Cruz likes about Pittsburgh, the coaching staff seems to be the biggest selling point.

"The staff are all really cool guys, but Coach (Greg) Gattuso, Coach (Brian) Angelichio and Coach (Bob) Junko really stand out. Like I said though, I have a great relationship with all of the coaches. I like that Pittsburgh is right there in the city and close to home. I already have a relationship with a lot of the team as well. My de-commitment did not change my feelings for Pittsburgh at all. I just thought I rushed into the decision and needed some more time to mature a little and get some more recruiting under my belt. At this point I plan on making my decision in mid-January."

Cruz caught 19 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns from his tight end position as a junior, earning first-team All-Conference honors in the process. On the defensive side of the ball, he tallied 38 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.

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