Voytik commits to Pitt Panthers

Voytik commits to Pitt Panthers

July 29th, 2011 by Gene Henley in Sportspreps

Cleveland quarterback Chad Voytik (8) is pursued by McMinn's Ty Kimpson (32).

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Chad Voytik enjoyed watching the new University of Pittsburgh coaches oversee Nintendo-type offensive numbers at Tulsa the past few seasons -- so much so that he decided to plug into their system.

The Cleveland High School senior quarterback has committed to Pittsburgh, accepting a Panthers scholarship offer over those from Southeastern Conference schools Mississippi State and Vanderbilt as well as Arkansas State, Clemson, Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Mississippi, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Voytik is rated the No. 6 pro-style quarterback nationally in the class of 2012 by Rivals.com, and the fourth-best prospect in Tennessee.

Pittsburgh finished 8-5 last season and tied for a share of the Big East championship, defeating Kentucky 27-10 in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Then-coach Dave Wannstedt was fired after the season and Pitt hired Todd Graham, who was 36-17 in four seasons at Tulsa. He had three 10-win seasons and three bowl victories, and the Golden Hurricane led the nation in total offense in both 2007 and 2008.

In 2010, Tulsa averaged more than 500 yards of total offense.

"Every aspect that I looked for in a school, I put a check mark next to Pitt," the 6-foot-1, 202-pound Voytik said. "They've really got an established program, and the offense they're bringing there really fits my skills.

"It's my ultimate goal to play in the NFL, and I know that with my height, I'm going to have to put up a lot of numbers and win a lot of games to put myself in that position. Pittsburgh gives me that chance.

"Vanderbilt has big plans, but the Pittsburgh staff has shown what they can do," Voytik said. "I feel I can go into the program and win some games."

A four-star prospect, he is the highest-rated recruit to sign with the Big East school since Pat Bostick in 2007. He's only the third four-star quarterback to sign with Pitt in the past 10 years -- the other two being Bostick and Tyler Palko (2002).

Voytik threw for 1,850 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2010, while rushing for 439 yards and seven scores. He recently went to the Elite 11 quarterback camp in Malibu, Calif., and was rated the fifth-best quarterback in attendance -- at one point being ranked No. 1.

Voytik, who carries a 4.0 grade point average and scored a 23 on the ACT, said Pitt's proximity to his previous hometown of Warren, Ohio -- an hour -- played a role in his decision as well. Making a decision before the start of his senior year was important, too.

"I'm the type of person that if a project is due two months from now, I want to knock it out in the first few days for my piece of mind," he said. "It's my senior year, and I want to go into it with no worries."

Cleveland coach E.K. Slaughter was pleased with the decision.

"It's a great honor for the school, and I couldn't be prouder of him," Slaughter said. "He's a great role model for the kids, and he's already looking at doing some witnessing once he gets to Pitt.

"I'm happy and proud for him, but it's a lot more of a testament to him."