Pittsburgh got some help at linebacker today with a commitment from Charlotte (N.C.) Charlotte Country Day prospect Max Gruder. The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder committed to the Panthers over offers from Rice, Western Michigan and interest from other schools.
"I committed to coach Wannstedt this evening," he said. "The first thing he said was wow, I could tell he's really excited especially since they are graduating three senior linebackers. He told me they need a lot of help there. He went on to say that he really wants me to come up for an official visit after the season. He concluded by saying that this is only his second class and everything at Pittsburgh is going to continue to get better."
What made Gruder decide on Pittsburgh?
"Out of all the schools I went to this past summer from four camps, I felt they were the best for academics, coaches and football team," he said. "I liked everything about the school and I feel they have a lot of potential. They have a lot of young starters and play freshman and sophomores. In the future, they'll be even better and compete for a Big East title in a few years.
"I also like the coaches. Their coaches stood out because they talked to players at the camp unlike the other schools I went to. I really liked coach Wannstedt in particular a lot, he's a great guy and easy to talk to."
The North Carolina prospect is excited to have the decision process behind him.
"I'm really excited to be committed," he said. "It's a big weight off my shoulders. I want to help the team whether it's on special teams or playing linebacker once I get there."
Before scheduling his official to Pittsburgh, Gruder plays in the state championship this Friday.
"We won the semifinal last week 28-7 and now we play our oldest rival in the state Friday," he said. "I'm really excited. It's my final game for the state championship. It would mean everything to me to win this game and go out with a championship."