PITTSBURGH — The Pitt football team has released its 23-man recruiting class. All information is provided by the University of Pittsburgh.
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Prep School
Patrick Amara DB 6-2 190 Lansdowne, Pa./West Catholic
Adam Bertke QB 6-6 210 Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local
Rori Blair DL 6-4 230 Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair
Alex Bookser OL 6-6 295 Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon
Dennis Briggs RB 5-10 195 Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy
Jaquaun Davidson ATH 6-2 170 Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward
Jamal Davis II LB 6-2 200 Canton, Ohio/Canton McKinley
Connor Dintino DL 6-3 295 Mashpee, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.)
James Folston Jr. LB 6-3 200 Rockledge, Fla./Cocoa
Mike Grimm OL 6-6 325 Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park
Connor Hayes OL 6-4 270 Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City West
Mike Herndon DL 6-4 320 Staunton, Va./Riverheads
Chris James RB 5-11 210 Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame College Prep
Adonis Jennings WR 6-3 195 Clementon, N.J./Timber Creek
Avonte Maddox DB 5-9 165 Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King
Phillipie Motley DB 5-10 170 Columbus, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson
Qadree Ollison RB 6-2 215 Niagara Falls, N.Y./Canisius
Brian O’Neill TE 6-6 245 Wilmington, Del./Salesianum School
Shane Roy DL 6-4 245 Cincinnati, Ohio/Reading
Hez Trahan DL 6-4 250 Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic
Jalen Williams DB 6-2 180 Newburgh, N.Y./Newburgh Free Academy
Quintin Wirginis LB 6-2 220 Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel
Elijah Zeise WR 6-2 195 Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny
Patrick Amara, DB, 6-2, 190, Lansdowne, Pa./West Catholic
Pennsylvania Football News first-team All-Class AA performer at defensive back…All-Southeastern Pennsylvania…Philadelphia Daily News All-City…All-Catholic League…playing safety and wide receiver, led West Catholic to a 9-3 record, the Catholic League Class AA championship and the PIAA playoffs…compiled 43 tackles, 22 passes defended and three interceptions…had 25 receptions for 391 yards (15.6 avg.) and five touchdowns on offense…in his final two varsity seasons, led team to a combined 16-7 record, two Catholic League titles and consecutive state playoff berths under Coach Brian Fluck…rated the No. 20 prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports…selected to play in two prominent all-star games, the Offense-Defense Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and Chesapeake Bowl in Virginia…was lauded by Rivals as one of the top performers in both games…had an interception and three pass breakups in the Offense-Defense Bowl…joins fellow West Catholic product Jaryd Jones-Smith, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman, at Pitt.
Adam Bertke, QB, 6-6, 210, Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local
A three-time state champion quarterback at Ohio’s Marion Local…went 41-4 as a starter from 2011-13, leading the Flyers to three Ohio Division VII titles…threw for 6,272 yards and 58 touchdowns during his career, completing 62% of his passes…also rushed for 1,690 career yards with 28 TDs…missed four games as a senior with a broken bone in his throwing hand but returned to lead his team to five playoff victories, capping a 15-0 season…completed 64% of his passes (131 of 204) for 1,754 yards with 19 TDs and six interceptions as a senior…also rushed for 450 yards and nine TDs on 86 carries (5.2 avg.)…despite injury-shortened year, was named All-Ohio Division VII (second team), All-Northwest Ohio District (first team) and All-Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC)…was a full-time starter at safety as a junior and was a situational player on defense as a senior…compiled 93 tackles and four interceptions for his career…rated the nation’s No. 25 pro-style quarterback by 247Sports…rated Ohio’s No. 27 overall prospect by 247Sports…played under Coach Tim Goodwin…also a basketball and baseball standout.
Rori Blair, DL, 6-4, 230, Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair
Blair’s path to Pitt was nothing short of remarkable…was a two-way standout at receiver and defensive end for Upper St. Clair’s 2011 WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up team, earning status as one of the area’s top prospects…suffered a stroke in April 2012 and, after nearly dying from complications, underwent a rigorous eight-month rehabilitation process during which he lost nearly 50 pounds…sat out his senior season (fall of 2012) but was granted an extra semester of eligibility from the WPIAL…after receiving medical clearance, Blair made a heroic return to the football field in 2013 and helped Upper St. Clair to an 11-1 record, the Southeastern Conference title and semifinals of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs…named an All-Southeastern Conference defensive lineman…collected 48 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks…played under Coach Jim Render…enrolled at Pitt in January and will participate in spring drills.
Alex Bookser, OL, 6-6, 295, Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon
One of Pennsylvania’s most decorated offensive line prospects…selected All-State Class AAAA by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers…Pennsylvania Football News first team All-Class AAAA…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”…Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “Terrific 25”…also played defensive tackle and was selected first team All-Southeastern Conference at that position…had 34 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two blocked field goals as a senior…three-year starter on the offensive line…was a two-way starter as a junior and senior…led team to two WPIAL Class AAAA playoff berths during his career…selected to play in the Big 33 Football Classic (Pennsylvania vs. Maryland)…rated the No. 2 overall prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports, No. 3 by Scout and No. 4 by Rivals…named to the “Rivals250” and 247Sports “Top247”…rated a consensus national Top 25 offensive line prospect by the major scouting services…played under Coach Mike Melnyk as a junior and senior…as a sophomore played under former Mt. Lebanon head coach Chris Haering, who is now Pitt’s linebackers coach.
Dennis Briggs, RB, 5-10, 195, Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy
Versatile performer at Shady Side Academy, contributing at running back, inside linebacker and kick returner his senior year…selected first team All-Allegheny Conference at all three positions…Pennsylvania Football News third team All-Class AA…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette North “Fabulous 22”…a four-year starter on defense, playing linebacker as well as defensive back…a three-year starter at running back…rushed for more than 1,900 career yards, averaging seven yards a carry…led Shady Side Academy to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs in each of his four seasons…rated the No. 22 prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports…played under Coach Dave Havern, a former quarterback at Pitt from 1968-71…joins fellow Shady Side Academy product Reggie Mitchell, a sophomore defensive back, at Pitt…also a track letterman.
Jaquaun Davidson, ATH, 6-2, 170, Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward
Excelled on both sides of the ball as a quarterback and cornerback at Elizabeth Forward…a dual-threat QB who passed for 1,038 yards and rushed for 1,109, while accounting for 29 touchdowns (14 passing and 15 rushing) as a senior…his junior year, rushed for 1,024 yards and 16 TDs while throwing for 523 yards…Pennsylvania Football News first team All-Class AAA…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”…Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “Terrific 25”…led Elizabeth Forward to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs each of his final two seasons…rated the nation’s No. 20 dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports…rated the No. 21 overall prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports, No. 22 by Scout and No. 26 by Rivals…played under Coach Mike LeDonne…also a basketball standout.
Jamal Davis II, LB, 6-2, 200, Canton, Ohio/Canton McKinley
Earned acclaim as one of Ohio’s top linebacker prospects as a three-year starter for traditional state power Canton McKinley…compiled 105 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles his senior year…selected first team All-Ohio Division I (largest classification) by The Associated Press…Northeast Inland District Division I Defensive Player of the Year…first team All-Federal League…selected to play in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) North-South Classic…rated one of the top 45 prospects in Ohio by Rivals…led Canton McKinley to a 9-2 record, the Federal League championship and a berth in the Ohio Division I state playoffs…played under Coach Todd Filtz.
Connor Dintino, DL, 6-3, 295, Mashpee, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.)
Spent two years at Choate Rosemary Hall, a Connecticut prep school, and was a two-year, two-way starter…played offensive tackle and split his time between end and tackle on defense…rated the No. 1 overall prospect in Connecticut by 247Sports, No. 2 by Rivals and No. 4 by Scout…All-New England Prep selection…received the prestigious Harvard Football Award for Blocking, Tackling & Interference…in 2013, nearly 60% of his tackles were behind the line scrimmage…compiled 40 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three blocked kicks in eight contests…in 2012, led Choate to an 8-1 mark, tying the program record for single-season wins, and anchored an offensive front that averaged 42 points and 260 rushing yards per game…played under Coach Erik Cooper…also a standout wrestler…achieved a Top 5 finish at the Prep Wrestling Nationals to earn All-America status…captained both the football and wrestling teams at Choate.
James Folston Jr., LB, 6-3, 200, Rockledge, Fla./Cocoa
Leading tackler for Florida Class 4A program Cocoa, which won the 2013 District 5 and Region 3 championships…totaled 108 tackles and added six tackles for loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries…helped team to an 11-2 record and the semifinals of the Florida Class 4A state playoffs…Honorable Mention All-Florida Class 4A…Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) All-District 12…All-Space Coast…played under Coach John Wilkinson…selected to play in the Florida East Coast Prep Football All-Star Game and the Central Florida All-Star Game…father, James Folston Sr., played linebacker at Louisiana-Monroe and spent eight years in the NFL, including five with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (1994-98) and three with the Arizona Cardinals (1999-2001)…brother, Tarean, is a freshman running back at Notre Dame…sister, Jazzmine, is a freshman track and field athlete at Texas Christian.
Mike Grimm, OL, 6-6, 325, Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park
Highly regarded offensive line prospect who was a three-year starter at Bethel Park…selected All-State Class AAAA by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers…Pennsylvania Football News first team All-Class AAAA…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”…Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “Terrific 25”…first team All-Southeastern Conference…led Bethel Park to three WPIAL Class AAAA playoff berths…selected to play in the Big 33 Football Classic (Pennsylvania vs. Maryland)…rated Pennsylvania’s No. 8 overall prospect by Rivals, No. 14 by 247Sports and No. 16 by Scout…played under Coach Jeff Metheny…joins fellow Bethel Park product Adam Lazenga, a senior fullback, at Pitt.
Connor Hayes, OL, 6-4, 270, Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City West
The top-rated offensive guard prospect in Michigan according to Rivals…a four-year fixture on the offensive line for Traverse City West…one of only four freshmen to play on the Titans’ varsity team in the past two decades…played guard and tackle on offense during his varsity career…played tackle on both sides of the ball as a senior…All-Big North Conference…Lake Michigan Football Report Big School All-Lake Team…led team to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state playoffs each of his final two years…rated the No. 8 overall prospect in Michigan by 247Sports, No. 13 by Rivals and No. 24 by Scout…played under Coach Tim Wooer.
Mike Herndon, DL, 6-4, 320, Staunton, Va./Riverheads
Dominant and decorated two-way player at Riverheads…as an offensive tackle, was the anchor up front for a unit that produced 4,500 rushing yards and 579 points in 14 games (321.4 rush yards and 41.4 points per contest)…was also periodically used as a running back and ran for two touchdowns…versatile performer on defense, playing both linebacker and nose tackle…collected 102 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles…selected first team 2A All-State by the Virginia High School Coaches Association (VHSCA) and VirginiaPreps.com…VirginiaPreps.com 2A Offensive Player of the Year…VHSCA Group 2A East Offensive Player of the Year and Offensive Lineman of the Year…Shenandoah District Defensive Player of the Year…Conference 36 Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year…The News Leader All-City/County Player of the Year…led team to a 12-2 record and the semifinals of the Virginia 2A state playoffs…rated the No. 26 overall prospect in Virginia by Rivals and No. 34 by Scout…played under Coach Robert Casto.
Chris James, RB, 5-11, 210, Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame College Prep
Rated one of the nation’s top 25 running back prospects by Rivals and Scout…described by the Chicago Tribune as the “most physically advanced running back in Illinois”…his offseason workout video became a YouTube sensation, garnering more than two million views…rushed for 4,220 yards and 53 touchdowns as a three-year starter at Notre Dame College Prep…as a senior, rushed for 1,734 yards and 20 touchdowns on 252 carries (6.9 avg.)…his junior year, had 2,089 yards and 29 TDs on 315 carries (6.6 avg.)…two-time Chicago Tribune All-State selection…Pioneer Press Offensive Player of the Year…rated the No. 8 overall prospect in Illinois by Scout, No. 14 by Rivals and No. 20 by 247Sports…played under Coach Mike Hennessey…also a track standout.
Adonis Jennings, WR, 6-3, 195, Clementon, N.J./Timber Creek
Widely recruited receiver prospect who committed to Pitt during the national Fox Sports 1 telecast of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl…had 83 receptions for 1,434 yards (17.3 avg.) and scored 15 total touchdowns as a senior at Timber Creek…had seven 100-yard receiving games, including a 288-yard effort on 13 catches with three touchdowns against Eastern…The Star Ledger first team All-New Jersey…first team New Jersey All-Group 4…first team All-South Jersey…led Timber Creek to a 10-2 record and the South Jersey Group 4 final…rated the No. 9 overall prospect in New Jersey by Rivals, No. 11 by 247Sports and No. 13 by Scout… played under Coach Rob Hinson…also a track standout who was a member of the New Jersey champion 4x100 relay team that ran 41.50, setting a record for the state championship meet.
Avonte Maddox, DB, 5-9, 165, Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King
One of the top athletes in the state of Michigan…played only two years of football at Martin Luther King but was an incredibly versatile performer…played slot receiver, running back and defensive back and also returned kicks…on offense, averaged an impressive 27.3 yards per catch as a senior, totaling 35 receptions for 956 yards and 14 touchdowns…averaged 11.0 yards per rush with 717 yards and four TDs on 65 carries…a shutdown corner who helped the King Crusaders limit opponents to just 10.9 points per game…had four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns…also had two punt return TDs…Associated Press All-State…MLive.com Metro Detroit “Dream Team”…Detroit News first team All-Metro…led team to a 10-2 record and the semifinals of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state playoffs…rated the No. 6 overall prospect in Michigan by Scout, No. 15 by 247Sports and No. 22 by Rivals…played under Coach Dale Harvel…also a standout in baseball and basketball.
Phillipie Motley, DB, 5-10, 170, Columbus, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson
Speedy cornerback prospect who was also a big-play performer on offense for Hilliard Davidson…two-year starter at corner…played slot back and wide receiver on offense…first team All-Ohio Capital Conference Central Division…helped team to a 13-1 record and the semifinals of the Ohio Division I (largest classification) state playoffs…averaged 10.3 yards per rush, compiling 781 yards and nine touchdowns on 76 carries…averaged an incredible 27.6 yards per catch (nine receptions for 248 yards and four touchdowns)…in a 20-7 playoff victory over Pickerington North, had 130 receiving yards on just two catches (65.0 avg.) with both going for TDs (covering 50 and 80 yards)…on the season, scored 13 total TDs for 78 points…selected to play in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) North-South Classic…rated one of the top 60 overall prospects in Ohio by Scout and 247Sports…played under Coach Brian White...set track school records in the 100 meters (10.63) and 200 meters (21.67).
Qadree Ollison, RB, 6-2, 215, Niagara Falls, N.Y./Canisius
The top running back prospect in the state of New York according to Rivals and 247Sports…rated a consensus Top 5 overall prospect in New York by the major scouting services…two-time New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) Class AA All-State selection…finished as the all-time career rushing leader at Canisius with 4,147 yards, a total that ranked third in Monsignor Martin Association (MMA) history…scored 57 career touchdowns…rushed for 1,465 yards and scored 22 touchdowns as a senior…in the MMA championship game played in Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ollison closed his high school career by rushing for 240 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries (12.0 avg.) to lead Canisius to a 41-7 victory over rival St. Joe’s…as a junior, rushed for 1,876 yards and scored 26 TDs…led Canisius to a 20-2 record (.909) his final two seasons, including back-to-back MMA championships…played under Coach Rich Robbins.
Brian O’Neill, TE, 6-6, 245, Wilmington, Del./Salesianum School
Two-way standout at tight end and defensive end for Delaware state champion Salesianum School…first team Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association (DIFCA) All-State…also selected all-state as a junior and sophomore (third team both seasons)…1290 “The Ticket” Defensive Player of the Year…three-time first team All-Catholic…as a senior, averaged 18.6 yards per catch with 33 receptions for 614 yards and eight touchdowns…totaled 45 tackles, five sacks, 13 pass deflections, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on defense…rated a consensus Top 5 overall prospect in Delaware by the major scouting services…led team to an 11-1 record and the Delaware Division I state championship…in his final three seasons, led team to a combined 31-7 mark (.816)…played under Coach Bill DiNardo…also a basketball standout for Salesianum, which reached No. 1 in the state rankings this season.
Shane Roy, DL, 6-4, 245, Cincinnati, Ohio/Reading
One of Ohio’s top defensive end prospects who collected a school-record 27.5 sacks as a three-year starter at Reading…compiled 279 total tackles for his career…as a senior, had 94 tackles and seven sacks…his junior year, had 98 tackles and 16.5 sacks…in addition to defensive end, also started at tight end and offensive tackle…Honorable Mention All-Ohio Division V…first team All-Southwest District…two-time first team All-Cincinnati Hills League…selected to play in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) North-South Classic, becoming only the second player in Reading history to be selected for that historic all-star game…played under Coach Scott Thamann…also plays basketball and wrestled at Reading.
Hez Trahan, DL, 6-4, 250, Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic
Three-year starter at defensive end for Philadelphia Roman Catholic, a Class AAAA program…two-time All-Catholic…All-Catholic AAAA Division…Philadelphia Daily News All-City…considered one of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s top prospects by the Philadelphia Inquirer…disruptive performer who compiled 18 total tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries as a senior…also played tight end…played under Coach Joe McCourt.
Jalen Williams, DB, 6-2, 180, Newburgh, N.Y./Newburgh Free Academy
Gained status as the top defensive back prospect in the state of New York…two-time New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) first team Class AA All-State…three-time Varsity845 first team all-star…a three-year starter on both sides of the ball at Newburgh Free Academy, playing safety and wide receiver under Coach Bill Bianco…collected 17 career interceptions…had more than 100 tackles with three interceptions as a senior…had seven INTs in both his junior and sophomore seasons…led team to a three-year record of 24-7 (.774), including a berth in the New York Class AA title game his sophomore year…rated the No. 5 overall prospect in New York by Rivals, No. 7 by Scout and No. 12 by 247Sports…attended the same high school as Pitt defensive ends and linebackers coach John Palermo.
Quintin Wirginis, LB, 6-2, 220, Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel
Started three seasons at Fox Chapel before missing his entire senior year due to a foot injury…played strong safety his initial two seasons before moving to linebacker as a junior…was highly productive at his new position as an outside linebacker, totaling a team-high 72 tackles with 15 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception…started at tight end on offense…sustained a right foot injury in July 2013 that required surgery…although he missed his senior football season, Wirginis finished his rehabilitation in time to be a starting forward on Fox Chapel’s basketball team…rated the No. 33 overall prospect in Pennsylvania by Scout…played under Coach Eric Ravotti...joins fellow Fox Chapel product Adam Bisnowaty, a sophomore offensive lineman, at Pitt.
Elijah Zeise, WR, 6-2, 195, Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny
A big-play wide receiver and shutdown cornerback at Pennsylvania Class AAAA power North Allegheny...selected All-State Class AAAA by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers…Pennsylvania Football News first team All-Class AAAA…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”…Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “Terrific 25”…three-time All-Northern Eight…averaged 19.4 yards per catch as a senior, totaling 49 receptions for 952 yards and 10 touchdowns…as a junior, averaged an incredible 29.4 yards per catch with 23 receptions for 677 yards and four TDs…had eight interceptions over his final two seasons…as a three-year varsity starter, helped the Tigers to a combined 37-5 (.881) record, two WPIAL Class AAAA championships and a PIAA state title…his junior year, North Allegheny went 16-0 en route to the state championship…rated the No. 10 overall prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports, No. 19 by Scout and No. 21 by Rivals…rated one of the nation’s top 40 “athletes” by 247Sports…played under Coach Art Walker…also a two-year starter in basketball…joins fellow North Allegheny product Jeremy Gonzales, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman, at Pitt.
LINK: Pitt Signing Day Central