Wide receiver Elijah Zeise of North Allegheny committed to the Panthers on Wednesday morning. Zeise, the son of Post Gazette writer Paul Zeise, becomes Pitt's 14th recruit for the class of 2014. Standing at 6'2'' and 185 pounds, he is rated as a three-star player by Rivals and had other offers from Arizona, West Virginia, and Temple.
After playing defensive back for his first couple years in high school, Zeise switched to wide receiver this past year as a junior and started to put up big numbers.
In his first year as a starting receiver for North Allegheny, Zeise caught 23 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns, averaging nearly 30 years per reception. He opened the 2012 season with four catches for 78 yards against Mt. Lebanon, and then flashed his big-play ability with a 94-yard touchdown reception against Butler three weeks later.
He had another one-catch/one-touchdown performance against Altoona when his lone reception was a 78-yard score, and the next week he caught two passes for 127 yards - one catch for 64 yards and one for 63 - against Seneca Valley.
"I think I'm a deep threat," he said.
According to Chris Peak's article, Pitt's willingness to let Zeise play as a wide receiver helped to seal the deal. Other schools were recruiting him as a safety and Zeise preferred to stay on offense. I'm a big fan of this pickup. Zeise is an extremely gifted athlete with some height who could become a deep threat-type player. Plus he had some nice offers and he's from a big WPIAL power, so in my mind, he's exactly the type of player who Pitt should be landing. He also seems to really like Pitt's campus which is always a plus.
"It's an urban campus, and that's what I've been looking for; it's a pretty sweet campus," he said. "When I visited two weeks ago, I saw the engineering school and I thought that was unbelievable."
Welcome to Pitt, Elijah!