The Pittsburgh Panthers doubled their commitment total for the class of 2014 on Tuesday, picking up verbal commitments from two offensive players. Pitt now has four players committed in the class and is hoping to build some momentum as they head into the summer.
The first commitment came from quarterback Adam Bertke out of Maria Stein High School in Marion, Ohio. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound signal caller has had great success both as a passer and runner during his high school career. As a junior, he threw for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding another 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing.
Bertke has shown tremendous arm strength and has the frame to add size as he matures. Although not highly ranked, he could blossom at Pittsburgh under head coach Paul Chryst, who has proven to be a great offensive mind. His relationship with Chryst played a key role in his decision to end his recruitment today. Bertke had offers from Illinois and several MAC schools as well.
Later in the day, the Pitt coaching staff learned that another player was ready to make his commitment to the Panthers, athlete Dennis Briggs. At 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, Briggs has been recruited as both a safety and a running back. The Pittsburg native does not have blazing speed but has good vision and excellent balance as a ball carrier. Also, he has excellent hands out of the backfield, which will be an added weapon for the Panthers. He could fit very well into Chryst’s offensive schemes at the next level. Other than Pitt, he had offers from Buffalo and Toledo as well.
It had been a quiet start for the Panthers during this recruiting cycle, but that all changed Tuesday. Two solid commitments at high profile positions could help spark a run on commits in the weeks to come.
B.L. is a sports writer for Rant Sports and can be followed @coachlip.