football

Pitt lands first commitment

Linebacker Dan Loheyde out of Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway became the first addition from the class of 2006 for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
We caught up with Gateway head coach Terry Smith and it appears the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has always had Pittsburgh at the top of his list.
"Growing up in the area, he's always been following the Panthers," Smith said. "He visited a bunch of schools including Penn State, West Virginia and Maryland, and every school he found himself comparing them to Pittsburgh and none measured up.
"He didn't want to have all the pressures of recruiting with 15-20 offers and just thought Pittsburgh was the right place for him. He's Coach Wannstedt's first commitment and we were in his office this afternoon and both Dan and coach were excited and pumped up about the commitment."
So is there any chance another school could change Loheyde's decision?
"He's a solid commitment," Smith said. "He's done, and he told me to stop giving him mail, he's 100-percent for Pitt."
What made Pittsburgh stand out over the other schools?
"It was just the coaching staff and the attention they paid to him," he said. "He's been there numerous times. He was comfortable with the coaching staff and they made him feel wanted."
Did Loheyde have anything to say about becoming a Panther today?
"He said to me, 'I'm going to play for the blue and gold,'" Smith said. "'I'm a Panther and I'm going to make a point to talk to area kids and be part of the new tradition at Pitt.'"
His coach is happy with the way he's preparing for his senior season.
"He's a three sport athlete and plays basketball, football and is just starting baseball right now," he said. "He is also doing weight training for football and he's working on gaining weight, but at the same time keep his speed, which is the most important thing for him according to Wannstedt."
Could he play baseball in college to for Pitt?
"He's pretty good at it," said Smith. "You just never know, but he loves football the most. I think time will tell."
Smith also had some words to share about his linebacker prospect.
"He's a real heady player, very bright, instinctive and has a nose for the football," he said. "He's all over the field and last year he did a great job for us as he had 130 tackles."
Recording 130 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for Gateway, Loheyde was named first team All-Quad South West Conference, All-AAAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review.
Loheyde is planning on focusing on the baseball season over the upcoming months, so he probably won't attend any combines or camps this spring.
As for this summer, he'll obviously attend the Pitt camp and maybe a couple others as he works on trying to recruit other athletes in the region for Pitt.
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