Pitt Recruiting Ohio Again

The Pitt recruiting staff has begun scouring the scholastic football scene in Ohio this year, and their efforts have discovered Avon Lake High School located near Cleveland on Lake Erie.

Offers went out to tight end Dan Schneider and Christian Pace, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound offensive lineman. Both were at the Scout.com Combine recently in Pittsburgh.

"I like Pitt a lot,'' Pace said. "They have great facilities like this indoor field, and getting to practice here would be fantastic. The coaching staff is really a good one. I talked to Coach Wannstedt over the phone, but I haven't gotten a chance to meet him yet. I can't wait to do that. Hopefully, I'll get to Pitt's camp.

"I don't know, but I'll definitely come back for a visit. And I've tried to talk to Coach Wise, but we keep missing each other. I've been told a lot of good things about him. He's supposed to be an excellent teacher. It would be great to work with coaches line them who have coached a long time in a lot of places.''

While the Panthers' football program is considered to be on the rise, one aspect that Pace likes about Pitt is its highly-accredited medical school since he is interested in the field of sports medicine.

"Sure, I want to go to a school that's a good football program, one on the rise like Pitt, but I also need to be concerned about academics,'' Pace said. "My football career, I hope it's a long one, but it won't go on forever. So, whenever that ends, I need to have a good education to fall back on.

"I'll work as hard as I can to be as good as I can be in college, and maybe I'll be fortunate enough to play at the next level after that. But there are no guarantees, while you're in college, but I need to get a good education no matter what happens in football. So, academics are just as important to me as a school's coaching staff and its football success.''

The Panthers have been trying to pad their depth chart with offensive linemen the past couple years, and Pace appears to be a good fit.

"I play offensive tackle in high school, but most schools are looking at me as an offensive guard or center,'' Pace said. "Pitt is looking at me as a center, even though I haven't taken any snaps in a game. But I've worked a lot on it after practice, and I get as many reps as I can in 7-on-7s during practice.''

Pace's brother was a football player at Fordham, so he watched him play in a game at Duquesne. But he had not been to Pitt before working out at the Scout.com Combine.

"We drove around the campus, mostly because we were a little bit lost trying to find the practice facility, and I like Pitt's campus,'' Pace said. "It's real nice. I like the city and the campus, and the facilities are great.''

Pace has a lucky 13 offers now with Louisville, North Carolina State, Colorado, Indiana, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Air Force and Pitt among them. Only one is from his home state.

"Location, I don't think will be a factor in my decision,'' Pace said. "Sure, my mom probably wants me to stay near home and go to an Ohio school, but it doesn't really bother me. She also wants me to pick a good academic school, so that's more important than just staying in Ohio to go to school.

"I want to make a decision before the season, but that's OK if I can't. I just want to visit as many schools as possible and just see where I fit in the best and where I feel the best. If I need to take all my officials, that doesn't bother me, either. So, I guess I'll announce my decision when I know it's right.''

Please, check the Media Center near the bottom of Pace's profile page for video with him at the Pittsburgh Combine, a run-blocking clip, two sets of junior highlights: Click Here

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