It appeared Pitt had swung and missed in its effort to land top 2022 target Tyreese Fearbry when he committed to in-state rival Penn State on July 4. But with his decision to back off his pledge on July 29, Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers staff once again entered the fray for the City League recruit. And on Thursday, the Perry Traditional Academy defensive end discussed where things stood with Pitt.
“I’m still considering Pitt,” Fearbry told Steve Rotstein of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an interview. “A lot of people want me out of the city. But I love the city, and Pitt loves me. Some people tell me to get away, and some people tell me do this and that. You know what I mean? But I just can’t listen to them. I’ve got to do what I feel is best for me.”
“Just playing with some of the city guys, like Dayon [Hayes], Nahki [Johnson], Elliot [Donald], the hometown heroes as everyone calls them; playing on that D line; getting coached by [Pitt line coach Charlie Partridge], that’s a big thing,” Fearbry continued. “Pitt’s most definitely still in it. They’ll always be in it.”
The 6’5”, 230-pound defensive end is a consensus four-star recruit considered by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN to be one of the top 25 players at his position in the 2022 class. And in addition to that, ESPN and 247Sports both rank him among the top five prospects in Pennsylvania. Fearbry earned those high marks in part because of a solid junior campaign in 2020, during which he managed to come up with five sacks in five games as well as 29 total tackles and one forced fumble.
Fearbry’s confirmation that Pitt remains in the mix is a positive for the program, which has been working hard to keep Pittsburgh’s top recruits within the city limits for their college careers. But the news was not all positive on Thursday, as Fearbry revealed that he had been in talks with Clemson and Tennessee.
“I’ve already talked to Tennessee,” Fearbry said. “Tennessee’s offered me. I’m talking to some [other] schools that have already offered me. I’m also talking to Clemson. Hopefully, I can get down there to camp or something just to showcase what I got. So I’m just building back up my recruiting process.”
Despite the threat that interest from an SEC program like Tennessee and a national powerhouse like Clemson poses to Pitt’s efforts to recruit Fearbry, Panthers defensive end Dayon Hayes — who is Fearbry’s cousin — sounds confident that the Perry standout will ultimately come to Pitt.
“We’re going to get Tyreese,” Hayes said on Wednesday. “We’re going to get him.”
While Fearbry has not said as much himself just yet, he has said that playing with Hayes could be beneficial and would be one of several potential perks of staying home.
“Not a lot of guys from the City League play at Pitt, but Dayon playing there is a big thing,” Fearbry told Chris Carter of DK Pittsburgh Sports in June. “Being related to someone I could potentially be playing football with for another school, that was a really big thing. To have that family connection, it would be real easy to communicate on and off the field.”
At this point, it is unclear how far along Fearbry is in terms of weighing his options and when a decision should be expected. Prior to his brief commitment to Penn State, Fearbry was down to four finalists, which included Auburn, Kentucky, Penn State and Pitt. And while Fearbry’s relationship with Penn State seems to have cooled off, the current status of Auburn and Kentucky is less certain.