2011 Prospect: Jameel Poteat

One doesn't have to go back too far in Pitt's football history to remember cornerback Hank Poteat.

The Harrisburg, Pa. High School product parlayed two strong seasons as a starter at Pittsburgh into a third-round draft pick by the Steelers in 1999 and NFL career that continues to this day.

Jameel Poteat, Hank's young cousin from Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa. is hopeful that he can follow his relative's successful path.

"Hank and I are cousins and know each other, but we're really not that close,'' Poteat said. "He's a lot older than me. I haven't talked to him about recruiting or anything like that, but he had a good career at Pitt and in the NFL.''

The younger Poteat is a 2011 prospect -- a sophomore this fall -- and is among a strong group of young talent for the Crusaders who should have college recruiters rolling steadily through McDevitt for several years. Pitt certainly is among the schools which has shown early interest.

Since Poteat is an underclassman, schools can only send questionnaires for him to fill out. He noted that he already has received a number of those, but he hasn't even thought about recruiting just yet. He's more concerned with getting ready for a big sophomore season.

"We have a lot of guys who were good from last year's team, like Mike Jones, and we all had to step in,'' Poteat said. "So, we should be pretty good the next few years, I hope. Definitely, by the time we're all seniors, we should be real good. I think we have a very bright future.''

The last two McDevitt players who came to Pitt are team leaders, junior cornerback Aaron Berry and sophomore tailback LeSean McCoy. The two watched nearly every McDevitt game in the Panthers' recent 7-on-7 high school team passing camp, and McCoy was effusive in praising Poteat.

"Guys at McDevitt like Jameel, they'll probably break all my records,'' McCoy said. "They have a lot of talent in those underclassmen. I think they'll win a state title sometime in the next couple years here. They're that good.''

Poteat noted several times during the conversation that he and his young teammates look up to McCoy and Berry, and the Pitt players certainly will do their part to keep the McDevitt pipeline active for the Panthers.

"Sure, I think it would be great to get those guys to Pitt, but that's a couple years away,'' Berry said. "I guess you have to start on them early, but they already like Pitt. Shady and me made sure of that.''

Poteat is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound tailback. He said that he likely will play only on offense for the Crusaders this year due to their extensive overall depth.

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