Josh Hartigan thrilled with Pitt visit

Josh Hartigan thrilled with Pitt visit

The University of Pittsburgh will lose three key linebackers after the 2006 season: H.B. Blades, Clint Session and Brian Bennett. Head Coach Dave Wannstedt is searching for playmakers capable of stepping in and improving the Panthers defense. Linebacker Josh Hartigan visited Pitt this weekend and comments on his experience.

The University of Pittsburgh has received verbal commitments from three 2007 linebacker prospects: Max Gruder (6-foot-2 inches, 225 pounds) from Charlotte Country Day High School in Charlotte, NC, Brandon Lindsey (6-foot-2 inches, 220 pounds) from Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, PA and Tristan Roberts (6-foot, 215 pounds) from Pennridge High School in Perkasie, PA. Lindsey and Roberts committed shortly after visiting Pitt over the weekend. Another visitor, athletic linebacker Josh Hartigan (6-foot-2 ½ inches, 216 pounds) from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, FL, appears to be very close to joining them.

"I had a great visit this weekend. It was a lot of fun," stated Hartigan. "Conredge Collins was my host and we had a great time. We hung around a lot with wide receiver Cedric McGee and another recruit Tyson Butler. It was great to see how many guys from Florida they had on the team."

Hartigan has received a number of scholarship offers including Pitt, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Iowa State, South Florida, Akron, Colorado State and Toledo. Scout.com ranks him a "two-star" prospect and the 42nd ranked middle linebacker in the nation.

When asked what he liked about the visit, he stated, "To be honest, I liked everything. I was here over the summer so I knew the facilities were great, but I was blown away by the new dorms and the academic center. Everything was just cool."

Hartigan has been diligently preparing for the Broward County All-Star game on December 14th. He has been selected to the Broward North squad. Josh will participate in the Dade-Broward All-Star game on January 14th.

"I felt really comfortable with the coaches and players. Coach (Dave) Wannstedt sat down with me and told me they really would love to have me. They lose a bunch of linebackers and there's a good chance for early playing time."

Hartigan's father, Sterling Palmer, was a former standout for the Florida State Seminols. He is capable of running the forty-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, bench pressing 320 pounds and squatting 450 pounds.

"I measured in at 6-foot-3 inches, 216 pounds this weekend. I've gained back some of the weight I had lost during the season. I have the frame to get up to 225 to 230 pounds by my freshman year," stated Hartigan. "The coaches told me I'm versatile and I could play either strong or weak side linebacker."

The Panthers continue to pursue Hartigan's teammates Darian Williams, Bo Williams, Jim Maitland and Charles James. Panthers assistant Charlie Partridge has been his primarily contact.

"I was considering a trip to Colorado but now I'm not sure. I loved the visit and I could see myself playing for Pitt. There's a strong possibility I could commit sometime this week. I simply want to sit down and talk with my family and coach."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com

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