When the time is right, it's right. And for Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rosemary Hall lineman Connor Dintino, the time was right on Thursday night for him to commit.
"In the back of my head, I think I always knew it was going to be Pitt," Dintino told Panther-Lair.com. "It just felt right; that's the only way to put it."
Pitt offered Dintino after the last round of prospect camps, but his recruitment began earlier in the spring when defensive ends coach John Palermo reached out to him and visited his schools. So when the time came to make his commitment, Dintino called Palermo and delivered the news.
And even though it was after 10 p.m. on Thursday night when Dintino called, Palermo was excited about the new commitment.
"I called Coach Palermo and I told him I was ready to be a Panther; he was just as excited as I was," Dintino said. "He said Coach Chryst needed to hear it and told me to call him, so I called Coach (Paul) Chryst and he was so excited. It was great. I said I was speechless and he said he was, too."
Dintino, 6'3" 305, picked Pitt over offers from Buffalo, Connecticut, Villanova and Holy Cross. He was hearing from other programs as well, but the Panthers stood out for a number of reasons.
"Everything felt right," he said. "The big thing for me was the community; the campus, the education, and the coaching staff, everything was right. The campus was amazing, the facilities were amazing, and a degree from Pitt is going to mean a lot. So it really was everything."
The Pitt coaching staff was also a significant factor in leading Dintino to the Panthers.
"Coach Palermo is so down to earth and so laid-back," he said. "When I was doing the camp with him, I could tell that he will push you hard and make you the best player you can be. I love that about him. And Coach Inoke (Breckterfield) is the exact same thing. They reminded me of my high school coach, and I have a great relationship with him.
"And when you're talking to Coach Chryst, it's so relaxed with him. You can really just relax and talk. I couldn't have done that at the other places recruiting me."
Dintino became Pitt's tenth recruit in the class of 2014 and was the third recruit to commit on Thursday. Fox Chapel linebacker Quintin Wirginis and Virginia defensive tackle Mike Herndon also committed Thursday night, joining Bethel Park offensive lineman Mike Grimm, West Catholic safety Patrick Amara Detroit cornerback Avonte Maddox, Shady Side Academy athlete Dennis Briggs, Ohio quarterback Adam Bertke, New York safety Jalen Williams, and Michigan offensive lineman Connor Hayes.
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