Pittsburgh added 4.3 speed to their 2014 class yesterday when Detroit King's Avonte Maddox chose the Panthers over Cincinnati, Toledo, Bowling Green and others.
"I wanted to be a Panther because I have a great relationship with [defensive coordinator and safeties coach Matt House]. I went down on visit and I didn't have to do that much at camp, I did half a session, they took me around campus and I like how the school was."
House, a Michigan native himself, was a big reason for the Maddox commitment according to King assistant coach Terel Patrick.
"I really think Coach House did a great job establishing a relationship with Avonte. He came up to the school, met him, really recruited him hard, got him to campus, and pretty much kept his word on everything he was going to do. Avonte is big on trust, and they established a relationship where trust was first. He wanted Avonte for Avonte. He was fine with his size, fine with his weight, he just wanted a playmaker."
Other schools may have backed off of Maddox because of his 5'9, 160-pound frame, but Patrick believes he has everything he needs to play above and beyond his listed size, and proved that in his junior year at King.
"In my honest opinion, I think Pitt is getting the pound for pound best player in the state of Michigan. He's a lock down cover corner, he's the most dynamic slot I ever coached, he's a running back, dangerous kick return-punt return game, and he's a great leader as well."
Not only are the Panthers getting 4.3 speed and great ball skills, but they are also getting a competitor and a hard worker.
"People gravitate to him. Avonte's a natural leader. He's not very vocal, he's not a vocal leader, but he leads by example and kids gravitate to Avonte Maddox. He has lots of qualities, quiet confidence, and he'll do anything he takes to win, go in at tight end, return kicks, wide receiver, lock down the other team's best wide receiver, he'll do anything it takes to win and is the ultimate team player."
As a junior, Maddox accumulated 1138 all purpose yards and ten touchdowns. He also chipped in three interceptions on defense and 24 tackles. In the classroom, he carries a 3.5 grade point average.