Pitt-bound Fox Chapel linebacker Wirginis: 'It all happened so fast'
Pitt's newest local football recruit comes from a large family.
Linebacker Quintin Wirginis is the youngest of seven children and has four brothers and two sisters.
If elbow room wasn't already a problem indoors at the Wirginis household, dozens of animals — horses, goats and chickens among them — roam the outside of their Indiana Township property.
Talk about a zoo. That's what the past few weeks have been like for Wirginis, an incoming senior at Fox Chapel who got a fast and furious glimpse of the college recruiting process.
In a matter of weeks, after attending several summer showcase camps, he suddenly had scholarship offers from Virginia Military Institute, Temple, Robert Morris and Pitt. He accepted Pitt's offer Thursday night, lighting up social media sites with his seemingly out-of-the-blue verbal commitment.
“It all happened so fast,” said Wirginis (6-foot-2, 225 pounds), who has started for three seasons, but only moved to linebacker last year. “A month ago, I never thought I'd be in this position.”
Fox Chapel coach Eric Ravotti moved Wirginis from strong safety to outside linebacker last season to better utilize his skills. Wirginis led the team in tackles as a junior and gradually found his way onto recruiting watch boards.
“He is an unbelievable athlete,” Ravotti said. “He's big, strong and fast — a rare combination of athleticism and size. I think he's starting to realize he can be a dominant force.”
Pitt recruited Wirginis as a middle linebacker. He plays on the outside in Fox Chapel's 3-4 set.
“He can cover the pass just as well as the run,” Ravotti said.
Wirginis attended camps at Penn State, Ohio State and Pitt, posting a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time at Pitt.
“(Pitt linebackers) Coach (Chris) Haering liked some of the things I was doing,” Wirginis said. “I passed his test.”
Wirginis said his family's support has allowed him to corral the sudden burst of college interest and the hype that can accompany it.
“I come from a house full of competitive kids,” he said. “I have a great home life. There's a lot of competitive spirit. That's one of my best attributes, and I owe it all to my family.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.