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North Allegheny's Zeise commits to Pitt

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 2:06 p.m.

North Allegheny wide receiver Elijah Zeise isn't ashamed to admit the truth about his recruitment:“It's something I, actually, enjoyed,” he said.

But enough is enough.

Zeise, who will be a three-year starter for the defending PIAA Class AAAA champion, ended the process Wednesday when he said he plans to enroll at Pitt.

Two factors played heavily in his decision to take Pitt's offer over West Virginia, Temple, Arizona and several Ivy League schools, including Yale and Cornell.

• Pitt will allow him to play wide receiver.

• Coach Paul Chryst practiced moderation in the recruiting process.

“There are parts of it that are kind of annoying,” he said. “But I kind of like the fact that they were really interested in me, but they didn't push too hard.”Zeise, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, played only defensive back as a sophomore, but he branched onto the offense last year, catching 23 passes for 677 yards, four touchdowns and an average of 29.4 yards per reception.

He set the tone for a 47-17 victory against Seneca Valley in the WPIAL semifinals when he raced down the left sideline on the first play from scrimmage and caught a 64-yard touchdown pass.

Weeks earlier, he caught a long touchdown pass against Butler that was called back by a penalty.

On the next snap, NA ran the same play and Zeise turned it into a 94-yard score.

“I really want to play receiver,” he said.

“That's where I feel most comfortable.”

Zeise has a 3.7 grade-point average and plans to major in engineering or business at Pitt. He said he has met several people over the past several years at Pitt — from Chancellor Mark Nordenberg to students who aren't athletes.

“They all seem like family-oriented people, who care about me doing well,” he said.

Zeise will be one of the few returning starters for North Alleghenhy this season, and he said assuming a leadership role won't be a problem.

“Just show up every day and get it done and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do,” he said.

Zeise, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, is the 14th member of the Class of 2014 to verbally commit to Pitt — the fourth from the WPIAL and the first wide receiver.

Of Pitt's 14 pledges, eight have come from four- or three-star recruits.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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