In the last few months alone, the big offensive lineman from Hempfield took a pair of spring visits, attended the Panthers’ prospect camp in June and returned for another visit a week later. So when Pilato finally made his commitment Thursday, the decision was a natural one.
“I just think it was a really good process with them,” Pilato told Panther-Lair.com. “All the coaches were really genuine and they’re all great guys; I really enjoyed spending time with them and the players. When it came down to it, it was the right fit for me.
“I think it really felt natural with Pitt. I just wanted to take my time and consider all my options. But they offered me first and that was a big thing, and t was just good with them. Toward the end of the process, it just felt right with them.”
As has been the trend with Pitt’s O-line recruits in the Chryst regime, Pilato is a big ‘un at 6-7 and 310 pounds or so.
Pilato’s dad was an offensive lineman back in the Jackie Sherrill days, but did not pressure him to make the correct decision that was reached.
Pilato’s father, Sam, was an offensive lineman at Pitt from 1980-82, though he didn’t pressure his son.
“I was really thankful for my dad throughout this process,” Pilato said. “He’s laid back. He told me it’s my decision, that it’s going to be a big one and do what I want to do. I’m grateful for him doing that.”
Since he made the right choice, no pressure was needed.
There is no question that Pitt has an identity coalescing around the offensive line. It still feels odd to think that in another year or maybe two, the O-line will be considered Pitt’s strongest, deepest unit. It’s been more than 20 years since that has happened.