J.P. Holtz is a Pitt Panther. Holtz announced via Twitter on Monday that he would make his annoncement during the KDKA 6 pm newscast of where he was going. At 6:40, Holtz made the call.
"I'll be attending the University of Pittsburgh," Holtz said on the newscast.
Holtz becomes the third prospect to commit since the hiring of Paul Chryst. Chryst has been pretty active at nearby Shaler High School, attending many of his basketball games. In addition to getting a chance to stay home and play in front of his family, he cited a connection with the new Pitt head coach.
"Whenever he came in, he came in to visit me," Holtz said. "I like the rest of the coaching staff too. They're all very good coaches. The recruiting class, I bonded really well with the rest of the recruits. It's a very good recruiting class. We should be good."
Holtz will also play tight end for the Panthers. When he was being recruited by previous head coach Todd Graham, the Panthers were recruiting him for defense. Though he would have been fine on either side of the ball, he admits playing on offense is something that excites him a little more. Chryst plans to run a more conventional offense, one that will use the tight end a lot. That much was proven when Chryst was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, where he incorporated several different tight ends in the offense.
Holtz initially took his official visit to Pitt on December 2. He also took visits to Purdue and Michigan State. In the end, the allure of playing at home and being part of Pitt's new direction was something he couldn't turn down. Academics also played a factor
"These coaches from Michigan State and Pitt definitely stuck with me," Holtz said. "Definitely the people, that's where I best fit in. I'm planning on majoring in criminal justice."
As a senior at Shaler, Holtz ran for 337 yards on 72 carries. He also finished with 19 receptions for 332 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was also recently selected to play in this June's Big 33 game in Hershey.