Pitt landed a commitment from a quarterback on Thursday, as Nate Yarnell, a signal-caller out of Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas, announced he would be continuing his athletic and academic career in Pittsburgh.
I am very excited to announce I am committed to Pitt! Thank you to all the family and coaches that have helped get me to where I am today! #H2P @CoachDuzzPittFB @CoachWhipPitt pic.twitter.com/3ZSAsMbhGC— Nate Yarnell (@NateYarnell) April 30, 2020
"I am very excited to announce I am committed to Pitt," Yarnell wrote in a message on Twitter. "Thank you to all the family and coaches that have helped get me to where I am today."
Yarnell holds three-star ratings from Rivals and 247Sports, and the latter considers him the No. 21 pro-style quarterback in the 2021 class as well as the No. 117 prospect in the talent-rich state of Texas. The recruit chose Pitt over offers from Houston, Missouri State, Nevada, Texas State, Tulsa, UAB and Utah.
During the 2019 season, the 6’6”, 200-pound quarterback played in 11 games and made six starts for Lake Travis, a team that went 13-2 and was ranked No. 52 in the nation at the high school level. The reason Yarnell started in just six of 15 games is that he stepped in to replace injured Lake Travis signal-caller Hudson Card, a four-star Texas signee, and he acquitted himself well in the process. By the end of the campaign, Yarnell had thrown for 1,489 yards and 14 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also completed 107 of his 158 pass attempts for a 67.7 completion percentage and accrued a quarterback rating of 114.1.
Lake Travis is the alma mater of Cleveland Browns star Baker Mayfield, and the school has earned a reputation as a “Division I quarterback factory,” according to ESPN. Specifically, every quarterback who started at Lake Travis dating back to 2004 has gone on to play Division I football in college. Yarnell is the 10th consecutive Lake Travis starter to head to a Division I program since Todd Reesing committed to Kansas in 2006.
At Pitt, Yarnell will compete with Davis Beville, Nick Patti and Joey Yellen to succeed Kenny Pickett as the Panthers’ quarterback. Beville and Yarnell both earned four-star ratings from at least one recruiting website, and Patti notably saw action at the college level in Pitt’s 17-14 win over Delaware in 2019, throwing for 271 yards and two touchdowns. Given all that, the competition should be fierce, especially for Yarnell, who has relatively limited experience as a starter. But when the dust settles, Pitt should have a capable leader for its offense, and it should be interesting to see what they can do in Mark Whipple’s pass-heavy system.