Madison, Ohio four-star tight end Nic DiLillo rescinded his verbal pledge to Clemson last week, but the talented teenager did not have anything bad to say about the ACC program. In fact, the biggest deterrent to DiLillo was the distance.
“Distance was a very big factor for me, that last trip down there just seemed so long,” DiLillo said. “My family, friends and coaches have always been there for me and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am at today. I owe it to them and myself to stay close to home so they can all be there to see me play.
“My family is very excited, they have wanted me there from day one.”
Another big factor was the Panthers coaching staff especially Dave Wannstedt, Paul Rhoads, Mike Antonoplos and Brian Angelichio.
“They have the best staff of any school I have been to,” DiLillo explained. “They show you respect on a personal level and they really care about you. Their whole staff would send me hand written letters. They never gave up on me and that meant a lot to me. My heart told me I should be a Panther and I feel I made the right choice.”
Matt Cavanaugh’s offensive system employs a lot of two-tight end sets and features the tight end in a lot of ways. Those factors also played a large role in DiLillo’s decision.
“Clemson and Pitt both use the tight end a lot,” he said. “I was watching film of Pitt and sometimes you will see them with three tight ends on the field at once. I think I fit in very well in that offense.”
Pittsburgh landed the nation’s top tight end prospect two years ago in Nate Byham and DiLillo looks forward to being able to learn from the sophomore standout.
“We talk to each other and we text back and forth a lot.” DiLillo said. “He was the No. 1 tight end in the country and I think he will help me get better. How can you go wrong with that?”
DiLillo now has hopes of shifting his attention to recruiting others to join him at Pitt.
“I want to try and help out and get as many good players to come with me to Pitt,” DiLillo explained.
If things go DiLillo’s way Panther fans will get a chance to see him play as a true freshman.
“I hope I don’t have to redshirt,” He said. “If I do I will, but I will work my tail off and do whatever it takes to play right away.”