Pitt receives verbal commitment from Wisconsin lineman Roberts
Gabe Roberts has so many relatives who hold season tickets to Wisconsin games that he wondered what the reaction would be when he told them he was going to Pitt.
"But I was over my aunt and uncle's house (Saturday) night after I committed to Pitt, and they told me that was the best thing for me," he said. "That made me feel better."
Roberts, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman at New London (Wis.) High School, turned down a chance to walk on at Big Ten champion Wisconsin and gave Pitt his verbal commitment.
"If you told me a month ago I was going to go to Pitt, I would have laughed pretty hard," Roberts said.
But Pitt offensive coordinator Bob Bostad, who was recruiting Roberts for the Badgers, kept talking to him about Pittsburgh and finally convinced him to commit.
"He is a straight shooter," Roberts said. "No lies there."
"(Gabe and Wisconsin) went back and forth," New London coach Pete Mroczynski said. "They talked about different options, but they never came through. It's a case of one in the hand is worth two in the bush."
Interest in Roberts from Division I schools was curtailed by a hip injury he suffered last spring while throwing the shot put and discus. But he recovered and played well last season for New London, which plays in the third smallest of seven classifications in Wisconsin.
"I think he has room to grow. I think that's what Pitt sees in him," Mroczynski said. "I don't think I have seen his best football yet."
Roberts is the 15th recruit in Pitt's Class of 2012 and the second offensive lineman, joining Fox Chapel's Adam Bisnowaty.
Central Catholic's Lou Taglianetti committed to Bucknell, where he will join teammate and wide receiver Brandon Farrell.
Taglianetti said he will play safety and enter the School of Management.
"Academics is a lot more important to me than playing football, so I have a chance for a better future," he said.
The brother of Pitt safety Andrew Taglianetti also had offers from Holy Cross and Colgate.