Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff added a second member to their 2022 recruiting class on Monday night, as Elijah Statham, a defensive tackle out of Smyrna High School in Smyrna, Delaware, announced his commitment to the program. The class got underway back in September, with the commitment of Aveon Grose, a safety out of Mansfield, Ohio.
The 6’2”, 275-pound defensive lineman has flown under the radar during his recruitment, as he currently has no star ratings from ESPN, 247Sports or Rivals. However, he has ties to the Pitt program, as he is the brother of 2020 Pitt commit Michael Statham, an offensive tackle who played at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore before his commitment.
Statham had two other offers and chose Pitt over Akron and Cincinnati. That was likely due in part to the fact that he was familiar with Pitt’s campus and his relationship with the Pitt coaching staff goes back two years, as he took part in a team camp back in 2019.
During a 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, Statham led a 6-1 Smyrna team with 60 tackles and came up with 10 tackles for losses. And for his efforts, he earned first-team all-state and Delaware Lineman of the Year honors.
Pitt has had luck with recruits out of Delaware in the past, as Brian O’Neill out of Salesianum High School in Wilmington had a successful Pitt career and went on to become a starting right tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and Quadree Henderson out of Alexis I. duPont High School in Delaware earned consensus All-America honors as a return specialist.
The hope for Pitt is that Statham will be as successful as his predecessors from the Blue Hen State, and if he is anywhere near as productive at Pitt as he was at Smyrna in 2020, the Pitt staff’s faith in him may well pay off.