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Pitt makes top five of Gateway cornerback Patrick Body Jr.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff made progress in the recruitment of a top local prospect on Wednesday, as Patrick Body Jr., a defensive back out of Gateway High School in Monroeville, put Pitt in his top five along with Cincinnati, Illinois, Rutgers and West Virginia.

The 6’2”, 180-pound cornerback holds three-star ratings from 247Sports and Rivals, and both outlets consider him one of the top 20 recruits in Pennsylvania in the 2022 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 20 prospect in the state, and 247Sports places him at No. 15.

During his recruitment, Body has drawn 17 offers, including six from MAC teams. All six MAC programs were cut, as were Army, Liberty, Old Dominion, Temple, UMass, and William and Mary. William and Mary was the first Division I program to offer Body back in 2019, but it seems the FCS program's efforts were all for naught. With that said, the local recruit has noted in the past that the opportunity to play in his hometown is meaningful to him.

“I grew up with my grandma and my granddad always going to the Pitt games,” Body told Chris Harlan of the Tribune-Review in 2020. “So to get an offer from them is big.”

Body is actually a two-way contributor at Gateway who has played at wide receiver in addition to cornerback and safety. And as a sophomore, he amassed 467 yards on 27 receptions. However, Pitt is interested in him for his defensive capabilities, and Panthers safeties coach Cory Sanders has been the primary figure in his recruitment.

With that said, the reason for the team’s interest in him as a defender is clear, as Body was a reliable contributor for a 5-1 Gateway team in 2020. During the 2020 season, Body allowed zero receptions and earned first-team all-conference honors for his efforts.

At this point, it is unclear when Body plans to announce his commitment or if any team has emerged as a clear leader in his recruitment. However, given his response to the Pitt offer, it seems there is some room for optimism with regard to him potentially staying home.