After a visit to Pittsburgh last week, Clairton, Pa. safety Manny Williams wrapped up his recruitment. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder headed back to the school on Monday and committed to the Panthers over offers from Akron, Buffalo and Toledo.
"When I got home, I talked about it over the weekend and then this morning I went and talked to the staff," he said. "I talked to coach Wannstedt and Gattuso. They were very happy about my decision and talked to me about how their program is great."
What made Williams pull the trigger?
"I felt like I was part of a family there," he said. "I could picture myself being up there and the coaches treated me like one of the players already. I've talked to coach Gattuso and Wannstedt in the past. Coach Gattuso is a real friendly guy that told me what it's like if I go there. Coach Wannstedt told me how I can grow in the program and he would make sure I'd graduate."
A couple other factors were big in the Keystone State prospect's decision.
"I like the success they've had with recruiting classes and I'm a Pitt guy," he said. "I love this city and want to help them out. It's nice to be close to my family too. It's just a wonderful decision."
The decision for Williams is even sweeter since he grew up a fan of the Panthers.
"I grew up liking Pittsburgh and West Virginia," he said. "The chance to help out this city where I was born and raised is big. All the people I know can come and watch me play."
As for playing time, the coaches haven't mentioned that yet although they are looking at Williams to fill in either at safety or linebacker.
Williams had a final note to send to fellow Panther fans.
"Tell the fans to get ready for another great season."