Pitt has received a commitment from local defensive end Noah Palmer, a recently offered 2018 prospect out of Thomas Jefferson High School. Palmer explains his decision in details and discusses what led him to choose Pitt.
Pitt’s May momentum continued on Thursday as Jefferson Hills (Pa.) defensive end Noah Palmer announced the decision to commit to the Panthers. Palmer, a 2018 product out of Thomas Jefferson High School, had been offered by Pitt just ten days prior and committed to the coaches while on campus for his second visit. For Palmer, the decision to jump on the offer from Pitt didn’t take him long.
“I had a good idea in my mind about committing probably about two days after [receiving the offer]. After talking with my family and what they liked and what I liked and what I felt like what I needed – it was all at Pitt,” Palmer said. “I’ve always been a Pitt fan, so it feels surreal to be able to play for a team that you’ve always watched on TV.”
The opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of his friends and family was at the forefront of his mind. More than being a potential hometown hero, it afforded him the chance to stay in a family environment – both his blood family and the one that has been created within the Pitt football program by head coach Pat Narduzzi.
“For one, family,” Palmer said as the reason for his decision. “Being at Pitt, it just felt like it was a family everywhere. My family is close and the football family, it just feels like a perfect spot for me. I can see my family all of the time and they can come see me play.”
Peers, classmates, and friends in Palmer’s life have been monitoring his recruitment closely. While the offers from schools like Toledo, Army, Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio), and other MAC programs were nice, the reaction to Palmer receiving the Pitt offer was simply different. He felt the same way about the opportunity that came along with it.
“All of the people around me are always asking questions and ‘How do you feel about it?’ and congratulating me and stuff, it’s just been awesome,” Palmer said. “Getting offered by the local hometown team, it’s just different.”
Of course, Palmer isn’t the only player at Thomas Jefferson to hold an offer from the hometown team. A lifelong Pitt fan, Palmer says he’s been pushing teammate and three-star defensive tackle Devin Danielson to play in the blue and gold, even before he knew he’d have the chance to join Danielson.
“I’ve always been pushing [Danielson] to go to Pitt. Now that I’m committed, I can even tell him that we can room together or something,” Palmer said. “I’ve been talking to him and pushing him a little bit, you know how it is. But, Devin’s a man of few words, he doesn’t talk much.”
Danielson’s recruitment will carry on into the summer, but for Palmer, this decision comes with a sense of relief. With his decision wrapped up, the defensive end can move forward and focus on what he hopes to accomplish in his final season of high school football.
“It’s a big weight off of my shoulders now that I can just focus on my senior season and making the most of it and focus on what’s right in front of me… We’re focused on states, as always. We need that three-peat this year,” Palmer said, referring to the WPIAL championships. “I just want to see how we can play, because I feel like we’re going to have something special this year.”
A 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end, Palmer will represent an athletic pass-rushing threat for Pitt when he arrives on campus. It should be a critical class alongside the defensive line for Pat Narduzzi and company and Palmer can provide them with speed coming off the edge.
“I feel like defense is my specialty. I just like hitting quarterbacks,” Palmer laughed. “Hitting quarterbacks, making plays, being a leader.”
Palmer is Pitt’s third commit of the class, joining New Jersey quarterback Nick Patti and Jay Symonds, an H-back and Massachusetts native. He has not yet been rated or ranked by Rivals.com to date, but that is sure to change as his senior season approaches. Stay tuned for more on Palmer’s decision in short order, including the impact this commitment has on Pitt’s recruiting efforts and more. Check out Palmer's junior year highlights below: