Pitt has already secured the commitments of a couple of defensive linemen in the class of 2023, but there are two top-ranked recruits who could really boost the class.
One of those is Desmond Umeozulu.
Umeozulu named a Top 9 of Ohio State, Penn State, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Clemson, Maryland, South Carolina and Pitt in April, but after his four official visits, he’s narrowed his choice to just Pitt, Ohio State, South Carolina and UNC.
Umeozulu, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound four-star edge rusher from Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is one of the very best defensive ends in the class, and Pitt is firmly in contention for his signature .
I will be announcing my commitment live on CBS Sports HQ August 29th 2022 at Charles Herbert Flowers at 11:00 AM.
— Desmond Umeozulu ⑨ ☨ (@KashDez) July 20, 2022
With offers from 36 schools, including Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington and West Virginia, Umeozulu has been in very high demand across the country.
Umeozulu visited Pittsburgh unofficially in March, building that relationship with defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and running backs coach Andre Powell to set the stage for his official visit later in June.
“Probably coach (Partridge), he’s definitely a lot better coach than I thought or knew that he was,” Umeozulu told NHP in May. “I now can see how their scheme and how they rush the passer so well and why they’re in the Top Five for sacks almost every year. The way Coach P goes into detail during practice and he’s such a hands-on coach. He goes into team meetings and shows you exactly what you did wrong and will show you how to do it right. That really stood out and impressed me.
“The whole staff, especially coach Powell, coach Partridge and coach Narduzzi treated me well,” he said. “I felt like I was at home. Coach Powell has been on me for a while now. He was on me early and I think Pitt was the third program to offer me and they have recruited me hard ever since. I definitely think after this weekend that they’re one of my top schools.”
With superior size and the ability to use his frame as both a power and finesse rusher off the edge, it’s no surprise that Pitt hopes to pair Umeozulu with Partridge for the next four seasons. The thought of the pairing should excite any Pitt fan, but the competition to secure that pairing is stiff.
With an Aug. 29 commitment date set, announcing his decision at the Helena Nobles-Jones Auditorium at Charles Herbert Flowers, Umeozulu will make his long-awaited commitment in just over a month.
247Sports rates Umeozulu as the 163rd-ranked recruit in the class (19th-ranked edge rusher and the third-ranked recruit from Maryland) and Rivals rates him as the 192nd-ranked recruit in the class (12th-ranked weakside defensive end and the second -ranked recruit from Maryland). On3 rates him as the 188th-ranked recruit in the class (28th-ranked edge and third-ranked recruit from Maryland).
With commitments from three-star defensive end Antonio Camon (Tampa, Florida) and three-star defensive tackle Isaiah Neal (Baltimore, Maryland), Pitt has a strong defensive line foundation, and Umeozulu and four-star defensive end Jalen Thompson could pave the way for an excellent class.