Pittsburgh hasn't gone back to the "Ohio-mania Days,'' when former recruiting coordinator Bryan Deal -- previously an Ohio scholastic football coach -- signed numerous players from the state during each class. However, the Panthers have targeted 11 prospects for next year's freshman class.
Running backs coach David Walker has joined Pitt's recruiting efforts in Ohio this year with offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who took over for Matt Cavanaugh when he left for the NFL's New York Jets.
Cignetti has wideout Bobby Swigert (6-1, 175) from Louisville High School, offensive tackle Eric Franklin (6-5, 299) and running back-cornerback Braylon Heard (5-10, 180) from Cardinal Mooney HS in Youngstown; and running back Andre Givens (5-10, 175) from Hubbard HS.
Walker has offensive guard Christian Pace (6-2, 256) and tight end Dan Schneider (6-4, 230) from Avon Lake HS; tight end Brendon Carrozonni (6-4, 216) from St. Ignatius HS in Cleveland; cornerback Christian Bryant (5-10, 175) from Glenville HS in Cleveland; offensive tackle Matt Rotheram (6-6,305) from North Olmstead HS; safety Latwan Anderson (5-11, 190) from St. Edward HS in Lakewood and offensive tackle Darryl Baldwin (6-6, 245) from Solon HS.
There are no recruits from Pitt's 2009 class matriculating from Ohio, and only place-kicker Kevin Harper from Mentor, Ohio High School joined the Panthers in 2008. He is competing for the field-goal and kickoff duties this fall.
Former Ohio scholastic players joining Harper on Pitt's 2009 roster include senior cornerback Jovani Chappel, Trotwood-Madison HS; and senior right offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Cleveland St. Edward HS.
A trip down memory lane the previous half-dozen seasons revealed Buckeye-State products like offensive tackle Chase Clowser, LaGrange Keystone HS; safety Eric Thatcher, Cincinnati Moeller HS; safety Mike Phillips, Warren G. Harding HS; center Chris Vangas, Dayton Chaminade Julienne HS; place-kicker David Abdul, Massilon Washington HS; offensive tackle Mike DeLuca, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School in Chardon; punter Adam Graessle, Dublin Coffman HS; offensive lineman Mike McGlynn, Youngstown Fitch HS; offensive lineman Eric Fritz from Dublin Coffman HS; cornerback Allen Richardson, Euclid, Ohio; cornerback Larry Moore Gahanna Lincoln HS; safety Tez Morris, Hamilton HS; fullback Tim Murphy, Akron Buchtel HS; defensive lineman Andy Alleman, Massilon Washington HS; center Justin Belarski, Fairfield HS; defensive back Tauzama Edwards, Columbus Northland HS; defensive lineman Jake Holthaus, Cincinnati Moeller HS; offensive lineman Zach Slates, Massilon Perry HS; defensive back Steve Walker, Akron Buchtel HS; wideout Chris Curd, Youngstown Ursuline HS; defensive end Michael Hearns, Cleveland Glenville HS; safety Corey Humphries, Columbus Eastmoor HS; running back Brandon Miree, Cincinnati Winton Woods HS; defensive lineman Darrell McMurray, Akron Buchtel HS; and offensive lineman Jon Schall, Cincinnati Turpin HS.
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