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Pat Signal: Preston Lavant commits to Pitt

The Georgia linebacker helped Crisp County reach the 2019 state title game

NCAA Football: Ohio at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt football program added a fourth defensive recruit to its 2021 class on Sunday, as Preston Lavant, a linebacker out of Crisp County High School in Cordele, Georgia, committed to the Panthers.

“I’d like to thank all my teammates and my ‘21 class for believing in me and helping me push myself,” Lavant said in a Twitter message. “You are all loved. With that being said, I will be committing to the University of Pittsburgh.”

The 6’2”, 200-pound linebacker holds three-star ratings from Rivals and 247Sports, and he chose Pitt from a batch of 19 offers. The other notable programs to offer Lavant included Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska and West Virginia.

As a sophomore at Crisp County, Lavant amassed 69 tackles, nine quarterback hits, four tackles for losses, two sacks and two pass breakups. And in his junior season, he helped the team to the Georgia’s Class 3A state final for the first time in its history, bringing 117 tackles, two sacks and six tackles for losses into that pivotal game. However, Crisp County fell to Cedar Grove in the state title game.

“I just love his personality, he’s vocal on the field but at the same time he is a lunch pail guy,” Crisp County coach Brad Harber said of Lavant, according to Barry Every of SouthernPigskin.com. “He is fun to be around and very mature in his thinking while being a great team guy. He understands the importance of all three phases of the game, special teams, offense and defense.”

At Pitt, Lavant will join a Panthers linebacking corps returning nine of its current 11 members. He will also be joined by Trevion Stevenson, a linebacker out of Phoebus High School in Hampton, Virginia. The two defensive recruits come from major geographic areas of focus for Pitt, as the coaching staff has already added three Virginia recruits and Pitt has been a finalist for a number of Michigan prospects as well. So more recruits may well be coming to the program from both states.