The Pitt football team is hopeful that Dan Mason will be a plum in its 2009 recruiting class, but the Panthers also noticed Dontae Brown, a nearly 6-foot-5, 190-pound wideout for the Indians.
Pittsburgh already received a verbal commitment recently from Bethlehem, Pa. Liberty High School wideout Devin Street, who is a little shorter than Brown. So, the Panthers have not yet offered a scholarship to Brown.
"Everything's going good right now,'' Brown said. "I'm just working on my game. The Pitt coaches said they're very interested in me, but they wanted to see me at their camp to see what I could do in front of them and against some of the better players in the state and surrounding areas.''
"I'm been talking with Coach Gattuso a lot and Coach Wannstedt, he came to our school, and I've talked to him. So, they've shown a lot of interest in me, and I'm very interested in Pitt. They're probably in my top three schools right now. I don't have any offers, but hopefully I'll get some pretty soon.''
Despite his size, Brown has run the 40-yard dash in less than 4.5 seconds. He also plays in the Penn Hills secondary and along with Pitt, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Boston College, Indiana and Michigan State are interested in Brown. But the Panthers stand out.
"I've been a Pitt fan since I was young, and they're really going to be good this year,'' Brown said. "They've continued to get better the past few years, and this could be their year. I think one of the reasons is that they have more prospects from this area. They didn't have that before, but now they do.
"And that really has helped them get better, because there are a lot of good players in Western Pennsylvania. And the facilities, they have to be one of the best around. The indoor field, outdoor practice fields and Heinz Field, and just being next to the Steelers, that's a real good set-up right there.''
Brown is amazingly versatile and does a lot for Quad-A Penn Hills. He catches passes, throws them and runs reverses on offense, and he gets his hands on the ball quite a bit from his spot in the defensive secondary as well. He caught 35 passes for 450 yards and five touchdowns last season and had a team-high four interceptions. He ran for a score and threw a touchdown pass as well.
Brown also is an accomplished basketball player and watched a Panthers game at the Petersen Events Center this past season.
"I get a ton of mail from Pitt, but they want to see film on me,'' Brown said. "I like Pitt a lot. ... I really like their basketball team, too, so maybe Coach Dixon will let me play there.
"I play the two in hoops and at 6-5, I think I'm pretty versatile. I thought about playing both sports, but I think I'll have more opportunities in football. (And) I think it's a lot easier to get a scholarship in football.''
If the Panthers like what they see from Brown this fall, a football offer could come from Pitt.
Penn Hills WR Dontae Brown Awaits Offers
Panther More Top Stories
Go premium and get SI free for a yearGo premium with PantherMore.com today and get Sports Illustrated for free.
Panther MoreFriday at 8:53 AM
ONE YEAR LATER: Canada vs. ChaneyFormer Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney bolted back to the SEC when he accepted the open offensive coordinator job at Georgia this past offseason, leaving Pitt coach Pat…
Panther MoreThursday at 1:36 PM
Pat Narduzzi listed as "hot commodity" coachScout.com gives you its mid-season list of coaches who could take head coaching positions elsewhere after 2016. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi is listed among college football's hottest…
ScoutThursday at 10:00 AM
Four-star Thompson set to visit PittFour-star Pitt commit Aaron Thompson slated to check out Pitt's campus.
Panther MoreThursday at 8:40 AM