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Bethel Park offensive lineman picks Pitt

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 7:23 a.m.
Bethel Park's Mike Grimm blocks defenders during a drill in practice.

Pitt made a strong impression on Michael Grimm by playing its Blue-Gold spring game at Bethel Park Stadium, the home field of one of the biggest and most coveted recruits in the WPIAL.

“It was an honor for me,” Grimm said. “It was just crazy, just seeing them play on the same field I play on every week. I was really happy that they chose our school to play. I really got to see how they are and how they go about things as a team, how they operate.”

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Grimm, ranked the No. 25 offensive tackle in the nation and No. 6 overall player in the state by Rivals.com, repaid Pitt making him a priority by giving the Panthers a verbal commitment.

He is Pitt's first of two WPIAL recruits and fifth overall from the Class of 2014.

“All the Pitt coaches made me feel comfortable,” Grimm said. “They respected me as a player and made sure everything was OK. They were grown-up about the situation and made me see that I could really grow as a person and as a football player from being there with them.”

Grimm received 17 scholarship offers, including from Arizona, Boston College, Virginia, WVU and Wisconsin, after strong performances at the U.S. Army All-American combine in January in San Antonio and the Rivals.com Five-Star Challenge last month at Montour.

Not only is Grimm the most massive prospect in Western Pennsylvania, but he also is among its strongest. He bench presses 425 pounds, power cleans 340 and squats 610, and he said he was timed in the 40-yard dash at 5.0 seconds at Pitt's camp.

A three-year starter for the Black Hawks, Grimm switched from left tackle to strong-side last season because Bethel Park's quarterback, Levi Metheny, is left-handed. Grimm projects as a right tackle in college.

Grimm is excited about playing alongside former prep All-Americans Adam Bisnowaty of Fox Chapel and Dorian Johnson of Belle Vernon on Pitt's offensive line in the future.

“It made me feel more comfortable, meeting those guys and talking to them at games this year,” Grimm said. “It made me feel like it was a good place to be because everybody is at the same caliber, and we can succeed the same way. We can make each other better.”

Pitt's proximity to Bethel Park also played a prominent role in Grimm's decision to pick the Panthers.

“I liked the (recruiting) experience, but I've been thinking about it a lot, but this is home to me,” Grimm said. “My mother and father (Nanette and Michael I) are a big part of how I play and how I go about my business.

“Being home will give me a bigger advantage. That's a big thing for me. I like being comfortable.

“That's when I play the best. That's how I can succeed and, hopefully, make it to the next level.”

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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