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Highly rated offensive lineman picks Pitt

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Matt Rotheram had reason to party Sunday, whether it was celebrating his 17th birthday or his verbal commitment to Pitt.

"The idea of doing this, it was like a combination commitment-and-birthday party," Rotheram said. "It was time. I visited Pitt two weeks ago Tuesday, and it brought some closure to my whole recruiting. It sealed the deal."

Rotheram, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman from North Olmstead (Ohio) in suburban Cleveland, picked the Panthers over Indiana and Purdue. He had 27 scholarship offers, including Arizona, Boston College, Louisiana State, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Rotheram is Pitt's 12th recruit from the Class of 2010.

"I never cared about the conferences," Rotheram said. "Big Ten meant nothing to me. I just cared about finding the best school for me, and that was Pittsburgh."

Rotheram is ranked the nation's No. 9 offensive guard prospect by , but he is projected to play right tackle at Pitt. He said playing in the Panthers' pro-style offense was appealing to his type of game.

"I'm a run blocker," Rotheram said. "Finishing the block is my best trait. I never give up on a block. People call it a mean streak."

Pitt running backs coach David Walker recruits the Cleveland area for the Panthers and was Rotheram's primary contact, but Rotheram said he was influenced by his relationship with Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt and offensive line coach Tony Wise.

"I really made a connection with coach Wise," Rotheram said. "He's really experienced and I'm pretty excited to learn from him.

"I want to make it a great recruiting class. I saw there was some commitments coming in, and that was good."




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