Pitt officially landed its fifth recruit of the 2020 cycle on Sunday, as Solomon DeShields, a versatile athlete out of Millville High School in New Jersey, committed to the program after taking an official visit to Pitt this weekend.
”I would like to thank my family for supporting me through this recruiting process,” DeShields wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “I would also like to thank all of my coaches for showing me the right way of doing qthings in this process. I worked very hard and pushed myself to get to this moment, and it’s finally here. With that being said, I am proud to announce that I will be committing to the University of Pittsburgh.”
The 6'1", 210-pound athlete holds three-star ratings from 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. During his recruitment, he drew at least 13 offers, and he chose Pitt over the likes of Auburn, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, Oregon, Rutgers and West Virginia.
In addition to linebacker, DeShields has played as a running back, defensive back, return man and wide receiver at Millville High School, and he has excelled in his various roles. As a pass-catcher, he reeled in 34 receptions for 342 yards and five touchdowns in the 2018 season. He also came up with a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown in his role on special teams.
DeShields has expressed a willingness to change positions if it will help the team as well, as he told Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com, “I’ll do whatever helps the team. ... I’m a team player who will do anything to help the team.”
Given all that, the takeaway with DeShields is that he offers Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff some flexibility in how they utilize his talent. And that, in turn, gives them some leeway on the recruiting trail, as DeShields’ varied skill set means he can likely be moved from his preferred position and still thrive in other roles if the coaches pursue other players at one of his his positions.