After landing 12 verbal commitments in June, Pitt didn't waste much time getting started with its July recruiting.
North Allegheny wide receiver Elijah Zeise gave his pledge to the Panthers Wednesday, becoming the 14th member of Pitt's 2014 recruiting class.
"That's where I've been my whole life; it just seemed like the right fit," Zeise said.
Zeise, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, chose the Panthers over offers from Temple, Old Dominion and West Virginia. He also had strong interest from Ivy League school Cornell.
He said the deciding factor for Pitt was the opportunity the Panthers will give him to play wide receiver, while most of the other schools were looking at the 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect as a safety.
"I really wanted to play offense, be given a legitimate chance to play offense, and the only two schools that offered me at receiver were Pitt and Temple," Zeise said. "It really came down to those two at the end."
As a junior last season at North Allegheny, Zeise had 23 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns.
He is the first receiver to join Pitt's 2014 class. He is also the first recruit to verbally commit to Pitt since the program officially joined the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday.
"I'm real pumped about the direction they seem to be going," Zeise said. "The coaches, they all seem like real good guys. They seem like they're going to get things done.
"From being there this spring and a little bit this summer, it's pretty clear to me that they've got things going in the right direction. I'm pretty pumped."
Zeise's father, Paul, is a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
First Published July 3, 2013 12:30 AM