Catching Up with Pitt Football’s Newest Commit

On Wednesday the Pitt football team got their second commit for the 2018 recruiting class as New Jersey quarterback Nick Patti made a verbal commitment to Pat Narduzzi and the squad. The 6 foot-3 inch, 195 pound Patti is rated as a 3-star recruit on 247 sports and Scout and a 2-star recruit on Rivals. He follows Jay Symonds who became the first member of the 2018 class when he committed to the Panthers in March. Patti holds offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and several other non-power 5 schools.

Patti, who attends St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, NJ, is dual-threat quarterback who in 2016 threw for 1,737 yards and completed 52.7% (98 for 186) of his passes along with 15 touchdowns. On the ground he added 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. Patti believes something that separates him from the pack is his “sneaky athleticism” that allows him to make plays both in and out of the pocket.

He describes himself as “a guy that isn’t going to beat you around the edge or not a guy that runs a 4.5 like Cam Newton does, but a guy that can get outside the pocket, extend plays, make plays with his feet and throw one on the run.”

Another key characteristic to Patti’s game is his leadership ability. The signal caller will end up as a three year starter at a perennial New Jersey powerhouse and he guided his team to a 2016 state championship.

“I am definitely a leader,” Patti said. “When things go bad I’m kind of the guy to calm everyone down and just get back to the basic stuff and just do it right.”

And when it comes to learning how to play the position, Patti has been taught by some of the best. He regularly works out with Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms who trains quarterbacks at all levels of football.

“[Simms] travels around the country and he’s learning different drills and bringing them back to me,” Patti said. “And I’ve worked with some big time guys that have played division one football. I worked with Geno Smith and I’m hoping to work with guys like Rodgers and Brady soon so that would be really cool. It’s just awesome that I got that connection with him and we got that going so he’s teaching me stuff that he teaches his NFL guys. So that’s great to be in the same boat as them.”

Simms has helped Patti develop his ultra quick release, which he says is one of the main things that attracted Narduzzi and new offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to him.

“Coach Narduzzi and Coach Watson have said that I have one of the quickest releases that they have seen in awhile, which is huge,” Patti said. “It’s not a quick release that doesn’t get the ball out well or whatever. It’s a smooth release that I have worked on for a long time. I’ve worked on it probably since I’ve been in 7th grade and just perfected that so it was something that they liked alot.”

On the other end of the relationship, Patti says the coaching staff was what drew him to Pitt. Their track record of success was a huge selling point for the quarterback.

“I know Coach Watson is going to be the new guy this upcoming year but he does a good job with all the guys that he is coaching now and all the guys he has coached in the past and  Coach Narduzzi is a great coach, too,” Patti said. “He has had a lot of success with quarterbacks in the past so the coaching staff was really huge for me.”

In addition, Patti found the coaching staff’s recruiting techniques to be perfect for developing a close relationship before even arriving on campus.

“Something that was big for me was the constant contact with coaches just reaching out and not being overly enthusiastic like texting you every couple hours, but reaching out every other day and just seeing what’s going on and being able to talk with them and keep the connection going and you just build the connection from there,” Patti said. “You get on a good basis and you get to meet a lot of the coaches before you even get there. I think Pitt did a great job of that.”

He plans to build off the coaches’ recruiting efforts by getting involved himself. Despite only being committed for less than a week, he has already taken it upon himself to help sell other recruits on the thought of becoming a Panther.

“I’ve actually reached out to a couple