Vincent Czerniewski took three pieces of advice he picked up, from listening to Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt. One, stay at the front of the line in one-on-ones. Two, try to go up against the best guys. Three, try more than one position. Czerniewski, at 6-1, 285, was leaning towards playing defensive tackle, but after Pitt's camp this past weekend, wants to turn his focus to guard.
"I tried to find guys who were bigger than me, guys the coaches were watching, so I'd get on their list," Czerniewski said. "I think I did real good in one-on-ones. I kept trying to find the guys they were looking at on offense and defense, guys I thought they were most interested in."
The first thing that Czerniewski shows is a mean streak, even in a one-on-ones with just helmets on. Because of his size, he has the ideal leverage and strength off the ball to make him a good defensive tackle. He finished with 35 tackles as a junior, including 15 for a loss. He also had a forced fumble and four sacks. As a junior, he still earned second-team all-conference honors on the offensive side.
"I worked more with Coach Wise in the morning," Czerniewski said. "When I was going on offense, there was a big group of lineman. Coach Wise was working with the guys in the middle, and I was on the edge. I didn't get to work with Coach Wise on offense, but a lot of coaches said I did pretty good."
After working with the defensive line, he picked up a few tips from Gattuso, but was also able to showcase himself for Wise once more.
"Coach Gattuso had more feedback for me, him and one kid Coach Wise was real interested in, he was probably, 6-3, so I jumped right in there," Czerniewski said. "I beat him good the first time. Coach Wise turned around, and said it was a heck of a move. (Gattuso) said my defensive moves were pretty good. Coach Gattuso said he was happy, and that they are trying to come out and watch me this year."
Czerniewski isn't done with just the Pitt camp. He is planning to head up to Bowling Green later this week to participate at their prospect camp. There's also plans to get to Rutgers and N.C. State. A 3.8 student at North Allegheny, Czerniewski has also heard from some Ivy League schools such as Dartmouth.
"My dad played at Pitt, he grew up here," Czerniewski said. "I've been a fan of Pitt my whole life. I grew up watching Pitt football. Being so close, that would be my number-one school to play for. My sister goes there, so it's an ideal situation. I might not be in the height standard, but I'm trying to make an impression. Maybe they will take me."