Zack Gilbert just announced via Twitter that he has committed to the University of Pittsburgh. This likely ends the speculation on who Pat Narduzzi was referring to when he let out a Pat Signal on Tuesday night. Gilbert becomes the 12th member of the 2016 recruiting class for first year head coach Pat Narduzzi.
Zack Gilbert is a 6'2" 260 defensive end that hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. If the last name Gilbert sounds familiar, he is the son of former Panther great, Sean Gilbert (who is pictured). He is rated as a three-star player by Rivals, 24/7, and ESPN. He chose the Panthers over his other finalist, Virginia Tech. Although, Gilbert had plenty of choices on his offer sheet that included West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, Florida, and Cal.
Gilbert joins Rashad Wheeler and Bryce Hargrove as the defensive linemen for the recruiting class, and he becomes the first defensive end for the class. Gilbert is on the smaller side for a defensive end, but with the emergence of a guy like Ejuan Price and his offer sheet, there should be no concern about what he can do on the football field.
Pitt's defensive end situation could turn out to be pretty strong in 2016. DeWayne Hendrix and Allen Edwards will be ready to make contributions after sitting out this season. Shakir Soto and Rori Blair will be returning with multiple years of experience. There is a chance Ejuan Price gets an extra year of eligibility as well. Throw Gilbert into the mix, and Pitt could really upgrade the position overall between this year and next season.
The 2016 recruiting class is starting to take shape. There are obviously some available big names locally that are high on Pitt's wish list like Damar Hamlin, Khaleke Hudson, and Aaron Matthews, Pitt still has room to add some more guys, but they are sitting strong with the guys they have to this point. We all just witnessed Pat Narduzzi take someone else's team and guide them to an 8-4 record, it will be fun to watch when some of his guys out there playing.