After years of losing top Pittsburgh-area prospects to the likes of Notre Dame and Penn State, Pitt made a concerted effort to improve its recruiting at the local level under Pat Narduzzi. That led to a major commitment from Dayon Hayes last year and subsequent pledges from Nahki Johnson and Elliot Donald. And on Thursday, Pitt continued to stock its program with local talent, as it landed a commitment from Dorien Ford, a defensive tackle out of Baldwin High School.
Ford is a consensus three-star recruit. However, 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals all consider him a high three-star prospect just one or two points shy of a four-star mark. In fact, 247Sports and Rivals both count him among the top 25 defensive tackles in the 2021 class. And as a result, Ford piqued the interest of major programs across the country.
The 6’4”, 290-pound defensive tackle drew a total of 24 offers during his recruitment, and he chose Pitt over Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Syracuse, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, among others. Ford also gave serious consideration to offers from Penn State and West Virginia, as he visited the two nearby schools as recently as January.
During his junior season at Baldwin, Ford came up with 52 tackles and earned all-conference honors as well as a spot on the Tribune-Review’s Trib 25 all-star team. The Highlanders made the playoffs thanks in part to Ford’s contributions, but the team also finished the 2019 season with a 5-6 record.
At Pitt, Ford will join an elite defense that led the nation in sacks per game last season. He will also be part of an influx of top-level defensive talent from the Pittsburgh area into the program, as he will join Elliot Donald and Dayon Hayes on the defensive line and that trio will be backed by Nahki Johnson. And with a number of key contributors moving on in the near future, Ford, Donald, Hayes and Johnson could all end up seeing early action.