Mintz found a 'family feeling' on Pitt official visit
Given that Judah Mintz’s commitment to Pitt on Friday came just two weeks after his official visit, the Panthers must have been high on his list prior to the visit, right?
“No, actually they weren’t,” Mintz told Panther-Lair.com. “I was really just open. I wasn’t leaning anyway, to be honest.
“But on the last day of the visit, I was talking to my parents and I told them it would be hard to top what Pitt did. I loved the city, I loved the campus, I loved everything about it, and most of all, I loved the staff. They felt the same exact way when I talked to them about it.”
With that conversation in mind, Mintz and his family left Pitt and proceeded to take an unofficial visit to Georgetown and an official visit to Penn State. Once those visits were complete, the family had another conversation, and once again, the conclusion was the same.
“The family feeling, the feeling that it was home, that was really the biggest part of my decision, to be honest,” Mintz said.
So on Friday, the four-star guard prospect at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia formally made the call for Pitt, becoming the first recruit to commit to the Panthers in the class of 2022.
“The very first thing that stood out was, it felt like family on my visit,” Mintz said. “Going into the visit, I was talking to Coach Milan Brown the most, but when I actually got there, Coach (Jeff) Capel ran the official visit and me and my family, we blended well with them. It felt like home to me and they really just got along with my family so well.”
Mintz said that his connections with Brown and Capel only grew during his official visit.
“[Brown is] a really cool dude. We got closer as my recruitment went along, and when he picked me up from the airport, it was the same exact energy that he had over the phone. So meeting him in person just took it to another level.
“And Coach Capel is a really genuine person. You can tell that just from the three days I was on the visit and then the consistency he had after I left, because I didn’t make my decision right there. And the way he talked to me and my parents and the way he was truthful with every question we asked him, good or bad, stood out to me.”
Mintz drew his own conclusions about Pitt’s coaching staff, but he was further encouraged by conversations he had with Pitt’s current players.
“They basically told me what I had already seen in the coaches, about them being really genuine and wanting to win. So what they told me went hand-in-hand with what I experienced when I was there with the coaches. And then I asked them about the school and things and they all liked it - they all loved it - they loved the city.”
Mintz’s relationships with the coaching staff played a big part in his decision, but he said there were other elements that attracted him to the Panthers.
"An opportunity to play in the ACC and be able to play as soon as I get there, have an opportunity to play as soon as I get there,” he said. “And then, of course, it’s a great academic school on top of being in the ACC. I know Coach Capel wants to win and I know the city of Pittsburgh wants to win and I want to help them do that.”
At 6’4” and 175 pounds, Mintz has a future in the backcourt, and he said the Pitt staff sees him using his versatility and skill set to fill a number of roles.
“They think I can play on and off the ball, being a combo guard. That’s exactly how I see myself playing at the next level and exactly how I see myself playing at Oak Hill this upcoming year. So I think I fit in perfectly.
“My ability to get in the paint and make plays, and also being able to hit shots; I think those are the big things. And on top of that, my ability to play defense will set me apart, too.”
Mintz picked Pitt over offers from Florida, Georgetown, LSU, Marquette, Maryland, Northwestern, Penn State, Seton Hall, South Carolina, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.