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Pat Signal: Pitt flips Buffalo recruit Gavin Bartholomew

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The versatile three-star prospect racked up 527 yards and six touchdowns in his last full season at the tight end position

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

Pitt got its 21st commit of the 2021 class on Sunday night, as Gavin Bartholomew, an in-state tight end out of Blue Mountain High School in Schuykill Haven, announced his commitment to the program. The tight end had been committed to Buffalo since July 28, but he backed off that commitment in the same statement in which he committed to Pitt.

“I would like to say how thankful I am for the opportunity the University of Buffalo gave me and the coaches who helped me along the way,” Bartholomew said on Twitter. “After talking it over with my family members who have supported me along the way, I have decided that I will be decommitting from the University of Buffalo. With that being said, I am proud to announce that I will be committing to the University of Pittsburgh. I would like to thank [Pitt tight ends coach Tim Salem] and [Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi] for giving me such a great opportunity and believing in me.”

The 6’5”, 248-pound tight end holds a three-star rating from Rivals, but 247Sports considers him a two-star recruit. During the 2019 season, Bartholomew accrued 527 yards and six touchdowns on 27 receptions. That was good for an average of 19.5 yards per catch.

This season, he flexed his versatility, playing several games at quarterback and showing off his ability as a rusher. All told, he threw for 521 yards and four scores and added 145 yards and three additional touchdowns on foot. At his primary position, he racked up 131 yards and two more touchdowns on six receptions, bringing his yards-from-scrimmage total to 797 and his touchdown total to nine.

Bartholomew is the program’s third tight end recruit of the 2021 class, as he joins Trey Andersen and Jake Renda. All three recruits were flipped after committing to other programs, as Andersen was committed to BYU, Renda was committed to Michigan State and Bartholomew, as noted, was committed to Buffalo. The trio will join a tight end group led by Florida transfer Lucas Krull and former junior college standout Daniel Moraga, who has seen more action than expected this year as a stand-in for the injured Krull.

Given Bartholomew’s size, skill and versatility, he has a lot to offer Pitt and could potentially play a variety of roles, depending on Pitt’s needs. However, there are few areas of need within the program that are more glaring than the tight end position, which has been one of Pitt’s least productive on an annual basis since the departure of Scott Orndoff in 2017.