Pat Narduzzi welcomed them via Twitter last month, but Pitt just released an official welcome to the Panthers' three mid-year enrollees: defensive end Patrick Jones, running back Chawntez Moss and tight end Chris Clark.
Jones, listed at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, had 83 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a senior at Grassfield High School (Chesapeake, Va.). He's listed as a two-star recruit on Rivals, and his primary recruiter, per the release, was linebackers coach Rob Harley. It'll be interesting to see how he works into the rotation this spring, as Pitt was very thin at defensive end this season, but stands to gain a lot of depth as Dewayne Hendrix and Allen Edwards join the mix.
"Patrick is a big and athletic defensive end who runs very well," Narduzzi said in the statement. "He adds depth and competition to a position of need. Patrick is from a military family and that is reflected in his disciplined play as well as his character."
Here are his junior year highlights:
Moss (5-11, 195 lbs) rushed for nearly 3,000 yards over his career at Bedford (Ohio) High School. Rivals has him as a three-star recruit, and his primary recruiter was running backs coach/special teams coordinator Andre Powell. Moss also steps into an interesting position this spring. Pitt lost Chris James to a transfer, but returns Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall. You have to figure Rachid Ibrahim will be back in the mix, and while James Conner won't be a factor this spring as he undergoes chemotherapy, he could be back by next fall. I think a redshirt is probably likely, but you really never know with running backs. I would've said the same thing about Hall a year ago.
"Chawntez is an athletic back who we really liked when we initially watched him on tape," Narduzzi said. "We offered him a scholarship once we saw him in our camp. He was very impressive, not only in his testing and drill work but also his work ethic."
Here are some highlights from his senior season:
Clark, meanwhile, is joining Pitt as a transfer from UCLA. He played in the season-opener for the Bruins this year, but decided to transfer soon after. Pitt is still trying to apply for a waiver to get him eligible for this season, but the feeling inside the program is that it's a real long-shot and Clark will not play until 2017, according to a source. Listed at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Clark was a four-star recruit for Rivals in the class of 2015 out of Avon Old Farms (Conn.), and had a litany of high-level scholarship offers. Assuming he can't play until 2017, he'll actually fit in pretty well as a replacement for Scott Orndoff in an offense that figures to use the tight ends pretty heavily.
"I've known Chris for nearly three years, dating back to when I was at Michigan State and recruiting the northeast," Narduzzi said. "He is a very gifted athlete who we believe can make an immediate impact when he steps on the field. It is a real benefit that his position coach, Tim Salem, was also his primary recruiter."
Here are Clark's junior-year highlights from high school: