Pitt added some high-level athleticism to its class of 2013 Thursday when Elizabeth Forward athlete Jaquan Davidson committed to the Panthers.
"I chose Pitt because of the coaching staff," Davidson told Panther-Lair.com. "They're like family to me already and it feels like it's home. I like Pitt a lot, and I always have since I was a kid."
Davidson picked Pitt over offers from West Virginia, Western Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois, Temple, Old Dominion and Youngstown State. He had narrowed his list to Pitt, West Virginia and Western Michigan before selecting the Panthers.
Early in the summer, Davidson was favoring West Virginia, but the continued efforts of Pitt's coaches after offering him in June eventually swayed the 6'2" 180-pound athlete.
"I was just thinking about what the Pitt coaches did for me, what they did to help me get to where I am," he said. "They helped me so much."
Davidson is referring to his eligibility. He grew up in Duquesne, but the Duquesne City School District closed its high school in 2007, so Davidson faced a choice on which high school to attend. Like many of his friends from the Duquesne City Elementary School, he opted to attend West Mifflin. But midway through his freshman year at West Mifflin, Davidson transferred out and finished the year attending Lincoln Park.
For his sophomore year, Davidson attended McKeesport before transferring to Elizabeth Forward prior to his junior year. After spending time at four high schools over the past four years, Davidson approached his senior year at Elizabeth Forward lacking some of the core courses that he'll need to be eligible to play in college in 2014.
According to Davidson, the Pitt coaches worked out a plan with him over the summer, and if he puts in the work on that plan, he should be ready to play next season.
"It's not grades; I'm just trying to get caught up on the classes," he said. "With going to all the different schools, I just couldn't get settled until now."
Davidson has been settled on the football field for some time now. Last year he rushed for 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns, threw for 523 yards and four touchdowns and even caught two passes - both for touchdowns. And he made an impact defense, too, with nine passes defended, five interceptions and a blocked kick.
This year he is once again leading the charge for the Warriors. In five games he has almost 900 yards of offense (392 rushing and 489 passing) with four rushing touchdowns and eight passing scores.
While Davidson has made plays all over the field for Elizabeth Forward, his college position is still in question. He could be a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, but his can also use his size, speed and athleticism to be an impact player on defense.
For his part, Davidson doesn't have a preference. He's just looking forward to the opportunity to play.
"It feels so good to be committed and have this process over," he said. "Even though it's only a verbal, it feels so good."
Davidson's commitment gives Pitt 18 recruits in the class of 2014. He is the sixth WPIAL player to commit to Pitt.
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