Shaler football star J.P. Holtz switches to Pitt

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Shaler star football player J.P. Holtz had a feeling when he got back from a visit to Michigan State a few weeks ago.

"After I visited there," Holtz said, "I knew Pitt was the right place for me."

Wednesday night, Holtz let everyone else know.

Holtz announced he will play next season at Pitt, choosing the Panthers over Michigan State. It is a good catch for new Pitt coach Paul Chryst because Holtz is one of the best players in the WPIAL.

In his career at Shaler, Holtz (6 feet 4, 240 pounds) played everything from quarterback, running back, tight end and receiver on offense to linebacker and end on defense. He also punted.

But Pitt wants him as a tight end.

Holtz, a member of the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, made a verbal commitment to Penn State last summer, but changed his mind after the Jerry Sandusky case became public.

"I've always liked Pitt, but I had decided to commit to Penn State," Holtz said. "But I just love it down at Pitt. I enjoyed all of my official visits, but it just felt right at Pitt."

Pitt also got a commitment from cornerback Ryan Lewis of Sammamish, Wash. Lewis chose Pitt over Colorado.


Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1975.


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