Damon Wilson is one of the top high school point guards in the class of 2015 and had plenty of offers to play in a major conference and at a top college program.
But all things being equal, one school -- Pitt -- offered him the opportunity to learn his trade from a guy who used to play point guard and so good at it, he was once named the Big East player of the year and had his number retired and hanging in the rafters at the Petersen Center.
That, of course, would be Pitt assistant coach Brandin Knight, who plays a large role in recruiting for the Panthers and who is a big reason Wilson, a four-star prospect from Our Savior New American in Long Island, made a verbal commitment to the Panthers Monday night.
According to Our Savior assistant coach, Eric Jaklitsch, Wilson had a lot of opportunities but the opportunity to learn from Knight and play at a program built on toughness and grit like Pitt was too much to pas up.
"It is simple, Brandin Knight made Damon a priority, made it clear that he was an important piece for the Pitt program, came to see him, had him down to campus," Jaklitsch said Tuesday. "You add that, to the fact that Pitt is a great program and plays in the ACC, the best league in the country, and it was clear this is where he wanted to be and that's why he told Jamie Dixon Monday, he was committing.
"To learn from a guy like that, and also, get an opportunity to play with James Robinson, who will be one of the best point guards in the country in two years."
Jaklitsch said that Wilson, who is 6-foot-4, is a high upside player even though he is highly rated because he is still growing and is projected to be about 6-foot-6 in a couple of years. Wilson's father, Damon, Sr., played football at Georgia Tech and his older sister, Dominique, is a guard at N.C. State.
Wilson, who is actually from Georgia, had offers from a number of schools, including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and George Mason.
Jaklitsch said that Wilson is athletic, long and a "pass-first" point guard who does have a nice scoring touch and is an excellent defender, but he also possesses the most important quality of any Pitt guard.
"Damon is tough and he is a winner," Jaklitsch said. "He possesses that toughness that if you look, the guys like Brandin, like a Carl Krauser, like LeVance Fields all had and it is what that program is built on."
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @paulzeise