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Baldwin star Angelo Priore joins Pitt as preferred walk-on

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The Baldwin running back ran for 720 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Quick Lane Bowl - Pitt v Eastern Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff secured the commitment of Angelo Priore, a running back out of Baldwin High School just nine miles away from Pitt’s campus. He will join the team as a preferred walk-on and a member of the 2020 class.

”Excited to say I will be continuing my academic and football career at the University of Pittsburgh,” Priore wrote in a message on Twitter. “I want to thank my family, friends, and everyone who has helped me along the way.”

Priore has been a WPIAL standout for several years, as he rushed for 759 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. However, he was then forced to overcome an injury that threatened his athletic career as a junior in 2018.

“I had big expectations for my junior year, but I ended up tearing my quads — both of them,” Priore told Steve Rotstein of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in September. “I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play football again. I didn’t even know if I wanted to play football again. I could barely walk.”

However, after three months of physical therapy and rehab, Priore was able to return to the field in time for the start of the 2019 season, and he made a statement in his first game back. In that Aug. 30 matchup, he ran for 236 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-21 victory over Butler. That performance included touchdown runs of 70 and 80 yards.

The 5’11”, 220-pound running back would finish his senior season with 720 yards and eight touchdowns on 81 carries for an average of 8.9 yards per rushing attempt.

At Pitt, Priore will join a crowded backfield, as the program will return all six of the running backs on its 2019 roster in 2020. However, considering how severely the team struggled to run the ball last season, it’s possible anyone at the position could see the field in the coming year if they set themselves apart in camp. So the opportunity could pay off for Priore.