Panther-lair - BREAKING: 2018 QB Nick Patti commits to Pitt
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BREAKING: 2018 QB Nick Patti commits to Pitt

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After a long search to find the appropriate fit at the quarterback position, Pitt has found their man in the 2018 recruiting class. Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph’s Regional quarterback Nick Patti announced a commitment to Pitt on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 10th, joining the Panthers over offers from Rutgers, Cincinnati, Boston College, Temple, and a slew of other offers.

Patti’s recruitment had taken off in recent weeks, with offers (in chronological order) pouring in from Rutgers, Albany, New Hampshire, Dartmouth, Temple, Boston College, Marshall, Colorado State, Georgia State, Pitt, and Cincinnati since February 28th. Pitt didn’t offer Patti until April 27th, but it didn’t take the New Jersey native long to decide that Pitt was it.

“Well, Pitt has a great coaching staff that is there to stay, in my opinion. Coach Watson and coach Narduzzi were the two guys in this whole process where I just hit it off with them from the start,” Patti said. “They’re two guys that I definitely want to play for and they develop quarterbacks really well.”

The relationships with and appeal of Pitt’s two most prominent coaches in Patti’s recruitment – head coach Pat Narduzzi and quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Shawn Watson – were a massive factor in Patti’s choice to commit to Pitt. The opportunity to be the first passer selected and coaches by Pitt’s new coordinator was not lost on Patti.

“[Coach Narduzzi] is a great coach and a family coach who wants to be comfortable with all of his players. Also with coach Shawn Watson coming in, he’s one of the smartest coaches in college football. With it being his first year, I’m his first recruit,” Patti said. “That’s huge for me to be able to build that relationship with him.”

With his commitment now publicly announced, Patti intends to get going on the recruiting trail himself and look towards building a larger class at Pitt. Patti is only the second commit in Pitt’s class – joining Massachusetts H-back Jay Symonds – but he hopes to work to change that.

“I’m going to talk to coach Watson over the phone and ask him about who some targets are that I should really want to pursue in recruiting,” Patti said.

Patti seems likely to come into an ideal situation when arrives on campus. With fifth-year senior and USC graduate transfer Max Browne likely to start this fall, Patti should arrive in a quarterback room with an open competition prior to the 2018 season. He hopes to maximize his chances to win that potential battle.

“I think that I would be able to come in and do what I can to compete right away,” Patti said. “I’m hoping to graduate early and enroll at Pitt in January, but my school has never done it. I hope I can though.”

During his junior season, Patti led his Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph’s Regional team to a state championship in New Jersey, braving one of the most difficult schedules in the country to do so. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Patti totaled 1737 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and five interceptions over 11 games through the air, adding an additional 315 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

“I would say that I’m a guy who sits back in the pocket and throws the ball well,” Patti explained. “I can extend plays with my feet when I have to. I’m a great leader who has had a lot of success at a powerhouse football program.”

With several more Pitt targets set to decide over the coming weeks and into the month of June, Patti could be the first of several commits on the horizon. Landing the New Jersey quarterback was a huge step for Pitt in their 2018 recruiting efforts. Stay tuned for more updates on Patti’s commitment in the coming hours.