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Pat Signal: Che Nwabuko commits to Pitt

The top-50 running back out of Texas brings incredible speed to the table

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Quick Lane Bowl - Pitt v Eastern Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another recruit who visited Pitt’s campus this weekend was impressed enough with what they saw to pull the trigger on a commitment, as Che Nwabuko, a running back out of Manor High School in Manor, Texas, announced his intent to join the program in 2022.

“I already have NFL speed and will only get faster,” Nwabuko said. “I wanted to go to a place that could develop me holistically into an NFL-caliber player and professional. Pitt has produced so many dominant players, and I am certain I can reach my goals there.”

The 5’10”, 173-pound athlete holds three-star ratings from Rivals and 247Sports, and the latter considers him the No. 49 running back in the 2022 class as well as the No. 89 recruit in the talent-rich state of Texas.

During his recruitment, Nwabuko drew 14 offers and narrowed his options down to a top five of Pitt, Purdue, Liberty, Marshall and Michigan. Other programs that offered him included Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota and in-state options Texas State and UTSA.

As noted by Nwabuko in his commitment announcement, the Texan brings speed to the table as a track-and-field standout, and in May, he ran 100 meters — which is the length of a football field plus nine yards — in just 10.44 seconds. For comparison, that time is 0.86 seconds off the world-record 9.58-second 100-meter dash run by Usain Bolt in 2009.

The time also translates to a 4.35-second 40-yard dash, which would have tied for second-best at the 2020 NFL combine. And Nwabuko has used his speed to rack up yardage, as he amassed 1,171 yards in 2020 and averaged 167.3 yards from scrimmage per game.

At Pitt, Nwabuko should immediately compete for playing time at running back, as no stars have emerged at the position since Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison put on dominant performances as seniors in 2018. That issue has rendered the Pitt offense one-dimensional for the past few years under Mark Whipple, but Nwabuko might be able to change that.