Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi capped off his big weekend on the recruiting trail with the addition of one of the more intriguing prospects of the 2019 class, as linebacker and running back Brandon George announced his commitment to the program in a message posted on Twitter.
“I’d like to thank my parents for making me into the young man I am today,” George said in the message, which went up Sunday night. “I’d also like to thank all the coaches that have put their faith in me not only as an athlete, but as a person. Finally, I’d like to announce that I am committing to the University of Pittsburgh to continue my academic and athletic careers.”
Opinion is divided on George, as 247Sports has him pegged as a three-star linebacker, while Rivals rates him a two-star recruit. In addition to that, 247Sports considers him the No. 22 prospect in Pennsylvania, but Rivals has not assigned him an in-state ranking. Still, he managed to pique the interest of 18 programs, drawing offers from Army, Temple and Wake Forest.
That likely stems from the fact that Pitt’s first in-state commit of the 2019 class was not just a two-way player, but a prolific contributor on both sides of the ball for Reading’s Berks Catholic High School and has seen regular action for the varsity team since his freshman season.
All told, the 6’3”, 230-pound recruit has played in 40 games over a span of three years and distinguished himself as a defensive leader and an offensive standout during that time.
As a linebacker, George has accumulated 239 total tackles, including 13 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. He’s also reeled in five interceptions and forced three fumbles. On offense, he has rushed for 1,794 yards and 28 touchdowns on 238 attempts, averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Much of that production came during a breakout sophomore season that saw him rack up 106 tackles, including eight for a loss and 5.5 sacks, in addition to 936 yards and 12 touchdowns as he led the Berks Catholic Saints to a 12-2 record as an underclassman.
However, 2017 was no slouch either, as George was the leader of a Berks Catholic first-team defense that did not permit an opposing offense to score a single point during the regular season. George also played on an injured ankle in the regular-season finale against rival Wyomissing in order to help his team secure that impressive distinction.
“You’ve got to play through it,” he said after the game, per Jason Guarente of the Reading Eagle. “You don’t come out of a football game unless you’re bleeding or they take you off on a gurney.”
Considering all that George brings to the table, this relatively unheralded pickup already looks like a savvy move on the part of Narduzzi and his coaching staff.