Signed: Nate Yarnell
Pitt failed to sign a high school quarterback in the class of 2020, but made it a point to get a commitment secured for the class of 2021 early. Pitt offensive coordinator zeroed in on a number of targets, and extended an offer to Nate Yarnell back on March 29th. One month later, Yarnell made his commitment to Pitt on April 30th.
Yarnell is a rare recruit from the state of Texas, but he comes from one of the top high school programs in the country in Lake Travis High School. Yarnell follows a long line of Division-1 quarterbacks from the program. The 6'6" quarterback did not play this season as he had a hand injury that prevented him from getting on the field.
In the 2019 season, Yarnell was actually a backup to Texas commit Hudson Card. An injury to Card actually allowed for Yarnell to get on the field and that opened up his recruitment. He had additional offers from programs like Utah, Houston, Nevada, and Tulsa as well. During his time as the fill-in for Card, Yarnell threw for 1,509 yards and 14 touchdowns. The team went 6-0 with Yarnell as the starter in 2019.
The 2021 recruiting class had some tough decisions to make as visiting the schools was not really an option in the springtime. At the time of his decision, he had yet to see Pittsburgh, but cited the city as one of the reasons why he committed.
“It was the coaches and the city,” Yarnell told Panther-Lair.com after he announced his commitment back in April. “Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach (Mark) Whipple are two fantastic people that I want to play under and learn from. Pitt is in a great city with passionate fans and people who love Pitt football, and it’s a culture I can’t wait to be a part of."
Yarnell will join a pretty wide-open quarterback situation and he does intend to enroll at Pitt early to join the race. Senior Kenny Pickett is expected to move on after a three-year run as the team's starting quarterback. That leaves Joey Yellen, Davis Beville, and Nick Patti all vying for that position. Yarnell will likely not be ready to start in year one, but should provide depth while getting ready to compete for the job in future seasons.