Harlan: Pitt football recruit putting his best foot forward
By Chris Harlan
Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, 10:39 p.m.
There were those who thought Quintin Wirginis should skip basketball season, rest his foot and wait for college football.
He wasn't one of them. His future coaches weren't among them, either.
“Some (people) said: I don't know why you want to play basketball,” said Wirginis, a Fox Chapel senior and Pitt linebacker recruit who's had two surgeries on his right foot to repair the injury he suffered last summer.
“But Pitt's coaches said they'd love to see me compete and said they'll come watch,” he said.
Wirginis, described as a “determined athlete” by his basketball coach, just couldn't sit idle any longer, he said.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder didn't play basketball last winter to focus on football, but then missed his entire senior football season this fall with the Lisfranc injury. Combined, he'd gone about 12 months without a varsity game.
So, with his doctor, physical therapist and future coaches on board, Wirginis was in uniform when Fox Chapel started its basketball season.
The forward has played a key role as a rebounder and strong front-court defender for the Class AAAA Foxes, who are 10-3.
“He has never stopped working,” basketball coach Zach Skrinjar said. “We actually had to scale him back a little bit at the beginning because he was so enthusiastic. He would text me every day saying he was ready, and he still had screws in his foot. He was grabbing the rim in a walking boot.
“He can't just sit.”
But Skrinjar encouraged Wirginis not to be risky.
“I told him from Day One, I respect the position you're in,” Skrinjar said. “If ever you feel like (playing basketball) is putting you in jeopardy, just tell me. He's a special kid who's going to do great things at Pitt.”
Wirginis has the plate, screw and pins that UPMC surgeon Dr. Carl Hasselman used to fix his foot in a jar at home. The injury occurred in seven-on-seven football drills, when he tried to jump for a pass and someone stepped on his foot. His first surgery inserted the hardware. The second removed it.
“Everything has worked as best it could,” said Wirginis, who called his recovery 100 percent. “The physical therapist was surprised there was no swelling or bruising. I healed very well.”
Wirginis chose Pitt before the injury. He called Pitt's coaches the day his foot injury was diagnosed, he said, and they assured him his verbal commitment would be honored. He'll make his official campus visit Jan. 17-19.
“They were very sympathetic,” he said. “They said everything's fine, just get healthy.”
That, he did.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Memo confirms VA Pittsburgh officials knew of Legionella threat long before made public
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Greensburg man lending his expertise to new cable series ‘UFO Files’
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- News Alert
- Time is ripe for this year’s Taste of Westmoreland
- Italian wines, cheeses offer a pleasant break from doldrums
- Judge denies former city police Chief Nate Harper’s appeal
- Mini cheesecakes are easy, impressive, gluten-free