Pitt lands Morgantown, W.Va., offensive lineman
Nick Malone said he has been a West Virginia fan “since I was little.”
But that didn’t stop him from commiting to Pitt even while the Mountaineers started showing interest in him.
“I just thought it was time to commit to a school that is interested in me and has been showing me love from the beginning,” he said of Pitt.
When Malone, a 6-6, 280-pound offensive tackle who attends Morgantown (W.Va.) High School, committed to Pitt on Sunday morning, he became the Panthers’ fourth verbal pledge within the past nine days. Overall, Pitt has 18 members in its class of 2019, and Malone is the second offensive lineman.
“Coach (Rob) Harley (linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator) came to one of our practices (this summer) and watched us practice,” Malone said. “He was the first one to contact me. With Pitt, it just felt like it’s family-oriented from the very beginning.”
The lure of practicing side-by-side with the Steelers was also an important element of Malone’s recruitment, he said.
“Not every team in the country gets to share facilities with a professional team,” he said. “I feel like that will help, too, in the long run to have relationships and being around professionals.”
With his senior season at Morgantown still to come, Malone may get other offers to go along with those from Rutgers, Eastern Kentucky and Robert Morris. West Virginia may attempt to get into the picture, too.
“I’m not anticipating (other offers). If they come, they come,” he said, “but I’m 100 percent committed to Pitt. Now, the stress is over. It’s football time.”
Pitt’s streak of commitments started July 27 with Germantown, Md., defensive back A.J Woods, and includes Manorville, N.Y., offensive lineman Matthew Goncalves, and Canadian wide receiver Jared Wayne, who is attending Clearwater (Fla.) Academy this year.
Malone is not rated by Rivals.com. Before Malone’s commitment, Pitt’s recruiting class was ranked 30th in the nation by Rivals.