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Pitt makes top seven of Gateway star Derrick Davis

The four-star recruit is considered the top safety in the nation by ESPN

Nov 9, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA;  A Pittsburgh Panthers helmet sits on the sidelines against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. North Carolina won 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers coaching staff saw their work with a top local recruit pay off on Sunday night, as Derrick Davis, a safety and linebacker at Gateway High School in Monroeville, placed Pitt in his top seven. The program finds itself in good company, too, as Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State and USC rounded out the list.

The Pittsburgh-area recruit has drawn a total of 33 offers over the course of his recruitment, 29 of which came from Power Five programs. Some of the most notable teams Pitt beat out to make Davis’ top seven include Alabama, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Davis is a consensus four-star recruit, and he is considered an elite prospect at linebacker and safety. Rivals ranks him as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the nation, while 247Sports ranks him as the No. 3 safety and ESPN ranks him No. 1 at safety. In addition, all three recruiting sites count Davis among the top 90 prospects in the 2021 class and rank him among the top four recruits in Pennsylvania.

Last season, the 6’1”, 194-pound recruit came up with 46 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble as a member of a Gateway defense that held opponents to one touchdown or less on nine occasions. In addition, he played running back and led the Gators in rushing yardage, with 1,507 yards on 176 carries. Davis also amassed 547 receiving yards on 36 catches and scored 28 touchdowns en route to a WPIAL title.

Davis has yet to announce a decision date, and at this point, Penn State appears to be the leader in Davis’ recruitment. He visited Happy Valley nine times between 2017 and 2020, and most analysts predict he will join the Nittany Lions. However, Pitt has received the second-most visits, with three, and got a visit from Davis more recently than Penn State.