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June 20, 2013Mike Herndon wasn't sure if he would commit to Pitt during his unofficial visit Thursday. He knew he liked the Panthers after working out at defensive tackle during the prospect camp a week earlier, and he was enjoying his visit on Thursday.
As the day went on, though, it became clear that Pitt was the college for him. One snag, though: he had to ask his parents, who were on the visit with him.
"I was talking to Coach (Matt) House," Herndon said. "We've connected since he came to my school and we always joke and talk about everything and everything felt right, and while I was talking to him I was thinking, 'I could definitely see myself going here and being here.'
"I told him that, and then I told him I had to ask my parents if it would be alright for me to commit. So then went to talk to Coach (Paul) Chryst and I told him, too, that I wanted to commit, but I said I'd just call him tomorrow. Then as we were walking down the hall to leave, I asked my parents what they thought about me committing, and they said, 'Yeah, we could see you here."
House, Pitt's defensive coordinator and Herndon's main recruiter, was walking the family out of the facility when the decision was reached, so he was the first Pitt coach to learn the news.
"My mom turned around and asked Coach House how I would go about committing, and he just started going crazy," Herndon said. "Then we went back down the hall to tell Coach Chryst, and me and my dad raced down the hall. We were pretty excited."
Herndon, from Staunton (Va.) Rivershead, chose Pitt over offers from Virginia Tech, Connecticut, Western Michigan, Old Dominion, and James Madison. Pitt offered him a scholarship last weekend after he worked out at the Panthers' prospect camp and he got a chance to see a bit of Pitt's campus then. But he returned on Thursday to see more of what Pitt has to offer.
"It was great; I loved everything about it," he said. "I love the coaches and everything about the school. I liked the school when I was at the camp but I didn't see much then. Once I started seeing the campus and the teachers and the classes and everything my interest just kept rising.
"I thought I might commit, but I wasn't too sure. Then when I was going through the day, I knew. And at the end I sat down with the coaches and I knew for sure after talking to them."
Herndon, 6'4" 320, lines up at middle linebacker in high school. He is ranked by Rivals.com as a three-star offensive tackle prospect, but Pitt is recruiting him as a defensive tackle.
Herndon is Pitt's eighth recruit in the class of 2014 and the fourth commitment in the last two days. Bethel Park offensive lineman Mike Grimm, West Catholic safety Patrick Amara and Detroit cornerback Avonte Maddox announced their commitments Wednesday, joining Shady Side Academy athlete Dennis Briggs, Ohio quarterback Adam Bertke, New York safety Jalen Williams, and Michigan offensive lineman Connor Hayes.