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Pitt stays local for 2014 recruiting class

Updated: Saturday, February 8 2014, 12:12 PM EST

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pitt added 23 players with its 2014 recruiting class, including top-level recruits like offensive tackles Alex Bookser and Mike Grimm, wide receiver Adonis Jennings and running back Chris James.

"This is a group that will come in and not take anything for granted," Chryst said. "(And) I think we got better by adding these 23 guys. I feel like we got better at all positions today."

The Panthers, who were 6-6 last season and won a bowl game against Bowling Green, signed seven players from their backyard. The seven WPIAL players included Bookser from Mount Lebanon High, Grimm from Bethel Park, running back Dennis Briggs from Shady Side Academy, wide receiver Elijah Zeise from North Allegheny, wide receiver Jaquaun Davidson from Elizabeth Forward, linebacker Quintin Wirginis from Fox Chapel and defensive end Rori Blair from Upper St. Clair, who already has enrolled at Pitt.

"Absolutely, we want to get the kids from Western Pennsylvania," Chryst said. "I think it's also that we want the guys who are a great fit for us, and they think Pitt's a good fit. So, it's a two-way street.

"But, we're really excited about this group this year, as well as last year's group, and I think there is something special about local kids playing at the local university. So, you appreciate that and appreciate the coaches and being part of the football fabric of Western Pennsylvania. And every time we recruit, we're going to start close and expand it."

Pitt had one player de-commit earlier in the week, quarterback Wade Freebeck from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He ended up signing with Vanderbilt. This left the Panthers with just one quarterback in this class, Adam Bertke from Maria Stein, Ohio, and three scholarship signal-callers on the roster.


National Rankings (247Sports 44, Scout 42, Rivals 44)

Best in class: Alex Bookser, OT, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Best of rest: Adonis Jennings, WR, Clementon, N.J.

Late addition: Hez Trahan, DE, Philadelphia, Pa.

One that got away: Wade Freebeck, QB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Quotable: "We've had chances to be around him and had a chance to see him play, and we really think he can add a lot to what we think is a pretty good offensive line group that we have already," Pitt coach Paul Chryst said about offensive tackle recruit Alex Bookser.

Copyright The Associated Press

2014 Pitt Football Signing Day

Patrick Amara
DB6-2190Lansdowne, Pa.West Catholic
Adam Bertke
QB6-6210Maria Stein, OhioMarion Local
Rori Blair
DL6-4230Pittsburgh, PaUpper St. Clair
Alex Bookser
OL6-6295Pittsburgh, Pa.Mt. Lebanon
Dennis Briggs
RB5-10195Pittsburgh, Pa.Shady Side Academy
Jaquaun Davidson
ATH6-2170Elizabeth, Pa.Elizabeth Forward
Jamal Davis II
LB6-2200Canton, OhioCanton McKinley
Connor Dintino
DL6-3295Mashpee, Mass.Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.)
James Folston Jr.
LB6-3200Rockledge, Fla.Cocoa
Mike Grimm
OL6-6325Bethel Park, Pa.Bethel Park
Connor Hayes
OL6-4270Traverse City, Mich.Traverse City West
Mike Herndon
DL6-4320Staunton, Va.Riverheads
Chris James
RB5-11210Chicago, Ill.Notre Dame College Prep
Adonis Jennings
WR6-3195Clementon, N.J.Timber Creek
Avonte Maddox
DB5-9165Detroit, Mich.Martin Luther King
Phillipie Motley
DB5-10170Columbus, OhioHilliard Davidson
Qadree Ollison
RB6-2215Niagara Falls, N.Y.Canisius
Brian O'Neill
TE6-6245Wilmington, Del.Salesianum School
Shane Roy
DL6-4245Cincinnati, OhioReading
Hez Trahan
DL6-4250Philadelphia, Pa.Roman Catholic
Jalen Williams
DB6-2180Newburgh, N.Y.Newburgh Free Academy
Quintin Wirginis
LB6-2220Pittsburgh, Pa.Fox Chapel
Elijah Zeise
WR6-2195Pittsburgh, Pa.North Allegheny

Pitt stays local for 2014 recruiting class

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