Turner Promotion Already Pays Off

Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. produces among the most scholarship football athletes in the nation, and recent inroads there by the Pitt football program apparently have paid off.

Pittsburgh secured two recruits from Coach Bill McGregor's team, offensive lineman Shane Johnson and safety Jeff Knox. And with first-year wideouts coach Scott Turner already hitting the Maryland-D.C.-Northern Virginia area hard, the Panthers picked up an early verbal for 2011.

Sam Collura, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end from Dematha, gave Pitt a commitment Monday night. He just received the offer from the Panthers earlier that day.

"They wanted to look at more film on Sam, and he dropped his stuff off when he was there for the Junior Day,'' McGregor said. "He had a great time up there at the basketball game and going around to all the facilities, and they liked what they saw in him.''

As a junior, Collura caught nine passes for 154 yards and one touchdown, and he already is a devastating blocker. Collura was named a second-team all-star in the Washington Catholic Athletic League and an honorable-mention all-state performer in Maryland, and he can only get better.

Johnson was a first-team selection, while Knox also earned honorable-mention honors. With Turner's promotion to wideouts coach from a graduate-assistant position, Pitt apparently has already picked up the pace in his recruiting area. And Dematha is a hotbed of talent.

The Stags had 13 players from its 2009 team get college scholarship offers, including nine to Division I-A schools, and at least a dozen already are being concerned. Along with Collura, Cyrus Kouandjio, OT (6-7, 332); Darian Cooper, DT (6-3, 275); Darien Harris, DB (5-11, 205); Kelby Johnson, OL (6-8, 265); Michael Williams, DB (5-11, 175); Elbie Williams, LB (6-2, 212); Jestin Hamm, WR (6-2, 185); Jordan Lomax ATH (5-10, 185); Kendall Patterson, DT (6-2, 272); Michael Moore, WR (6-2, 235); and Delonte Morton, LB (6-4, 240).

Pitt was Collura's only offer so far, but he also had some initial interest from Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Here are junior highlights and game footage for Collura:

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