Pitt gets instant help on the OL with commitment of grad transfer
Pitt needs some help on the offensive line, and on Wednesday, the Panthers got an instant boost up front when Stefano Millin told Pat Narduzzi he will be joining Pitt as a graduate transfer.
Millin was a two-year starter for Kent STate, carrying a 27-game streak of consecutive starts that included every game in 2016 and 2017. As a redshirt sophomore in 2016, he started games at right tackle and center. Last year, he was exclusively at left tackle, where he started all 12 contests.
When he gets to Pitt later this spring, Millin plans to step in at that same position.
“With Brian O’Neill doing to the NFL, they needed a left tackle,” Millin told Panther-Lair.com shortly after committing. “And when I talked to Coach Narduzzi just now he said he’d be shocked if I don’t win the job. Nothing is given, I understand that, but it’s really a good opportunity and my plan is to go in and be the left tackle.”
Millin, who has said he isn’t a big fan of the recruiting process and didn’t intend to drag out his recruitment as a graduate transfer, was focused on two options: Pitt and Cincinnati. He visited the Bearcats and committed to them in December, but Narduzzi convinced him to wait and visit Pitt this month.
After that visit, Millin’s interest in Pitt was high, and on Monday, he had an in-home visit with Narduzzi, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and offensive assistant James Patton that sealed the deal.
“I met with the coaches Monday and that solidified things for me,” he said. “The number-one thing is the graduate program I’m getting into. I want to get my masters in public and international affairs and that program is really good.
“Really, there’s so much I like about Pitt that doesn’t have to do with football. Like the Life Skills coach, Penny (Semaia), is about as impressive as they come; I really liked him. And I really enjoyed they city of Pittsburgh, the atmosphere of it. And Pitt’s just a great school.”
Millin also said that Narduzzi himself was a key factor in the decision.
“Coach Narduzzi is a really good coach. He’s got a really great fiery personality and a great passion for the game, which is something I’m not used to. That was a nice change of pace.”
There was a slight pause in Millin’s consideration of Pitt last week when offensive line coach John Peterson parted ways with the school. But after talking with Narduzzi, Millin isn’t concerned about the next addition to Pitt’s staff.
“I know he’s going to get somebody that’s really good for the program,” Millin said. “He just hired a really good defensive coordinator and I know he’ll hire a really good O-line coach, too, so I’m not too worried about it.”
Millin also isn’t worried about the players he’ll be lining up with on Pitt’s offense. After taking a look at the Panthers in 2017 and seeing what they bring back on that side of the ball, he’s optimistic.
“They have some really good running backs coming back; it’s always fun to block for good running backs,” Millin said. “And obviously Kenny Pickett - I met him on my visit and I’m a little older than him, but he seems like a really good guy. He won the Miami game for them and he’s really good.”