I can’t say I know Cameron Lindsey well. But as far as I could tell, he was a soft-spoken, well-mannered young man, a beloved son of the Aliquippa community, and that meant a lot.
Yes, what he does on the football field is important, and we’ll get to that, but brotherhood and community is a huge factor in Pitt’s plan, and Lindsay embodies what that means. He’s a hometown hero — even if Lindsey didn’t think of it when he committed to Pitt on Thursday afternoon.
The Aliquippa Black Box theater was packed with friends, family and supporters on Thursday afternoon, and Lindsey was emotional as he sat at a table next to mum, dad, aunts and grandma.
“I’m here to thank this man…” His voice trailed off, hoarse as he looked at his father, Dwight. “Everyone here is my biggest supporter, without them I don’t know where I would be.”
But it wasn’t just Lindsay’s family, with hundreds of family members who poured into the theater and took seats against the walls to show their support, it was the entire community. Aliquippa is a proud community, and the support of the community is everything. Lindsey’s commitment, the decision to stay home and play in Division One, is everything.
I could feel the pride, the community, and perhaps most importantly, the love in Lindsay’s commitment. Lindsey’s family arrived before he did, as he and his mom arrived just before he promised, and they stayed afterward to celebrate. Another WPIAL star stays at home.
Pitt’s WPIAL recruiting efforts have often been widely publicized on various fronts, and while Pitt’s coaching staff might not prioritize every WPIAL star out there, Lindsay is a priority. Narduzzi, along with Ryan Manalac, Dave Borbely, Cory Sanders and Karlo Zovko, spared no expense in recruiting Lindsey.
He is the top priority. He was forced to feel this way. While I don’t want to say that Pete doesn’t want WPIAL stardom, the crew actually — usually — serve the hometown kids before anyone else, but Lindsay is someone the crew thinks is important. There is no harm in continuing the pipeline from Aliquippa to Pitt.
Over the years, the likes of Mike Ditka, Sean Gilbert, Darrell Revis and Jon Baldwin have starred as Pitt. Former Quips Eli Kosanovich and MJ Devonshire will stick around at Pitt starting with the 2023 season.
Pitt has a proud tradition of Quips, and Lindsey will be next to do so. It just so happens that he will do so in a position where he needs to move forward.
Over the next few seasons, Pitt will lose Shawn Simon, Brandon George, Benjali Kamara and Solomon DeShields, which is about 80 percent of Pitt’s current depth at linebacker.
There are a lot of inexperienced guys in the linebacker room, but there is help along the way. Jordan Bass has all the potential in the world, Rasheem Biles is a very tough hitter, and Braylan Lovelace is Pitt’s No. 1 early recruit in the spring — regardless of position.
Davin Bruton is Pitt’s first linebacker commitment in the Class of 2024, filling in for Mike at linebacker, while Lindsay is a versatile player — 6-foot-2, 205 pounds — who can play all three positions.
As Aliquippa’s junior last season, he recorded 100 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles, but he also carried for 214 yards on 27 carries (7.9 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. and received two touchdown passes. He has a keen nose for the football, combined with the ability to hit hard and cut through defenses.
As a sophomore, he recorded 86 tackles for loss, 22 tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and recoveries and two interceptions, all returning for a touchdown. In two seasons ? Quips won the WPIAL Championship and advanced to the PIAA Championship.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s also a playmaker on offense, showing the ability to find the end zone on offense or defense.
Lindsey’s ability points to a star guard role, but he could play star or money in Pitt’s defensive scheme. He’s fluid enough to get back in coverage as a star linebacker, has enough guts to be consistent as a Mike linebacker, and he’s certainly strong enough upside to fill the money Vacancy at linebacker.
But what appealed to him was the overall scheme, giving him the opportunity to play wherever he needed to — the opportunity to play as quickly as he needed to.
“I would say, from a program standpoint, they’re very aggressive defensively, and they’re very fond of blitzing or attacking the quarterback, which is something I like to do when I’m playing at Aliquippa,” Lindsay said. “That’s a big deal for me. And then be versatile on defense and probably play any of the three guard spots.”
So when it came to picking Pitt, the teams from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Kent State, Marshall, Maryland, Massachusetts, Miami (Ohio), Penn State, Syracuse, Temple, Toledo, UNLV and West Virginia’s offer, previous success with Pittsburgh and ability to make an early impact at linebacker wins.
247Sports rated Lindsey the 487th recruit in the class (the 44th linebacker and 12th recruit in Pennsylvania), while On3 ranked him the 503rd recruit in the class (the 55th linebacker in Pennsylvania and the 12th recruits) ).
Competitors rate Lindsay higher, ranking him the 22nd-ranked outside linebacker and the 11th-ranked recruit in Pennsylvania — with a 5.8 competitor rating.
Lindsay is the perfect addition in terms of the culture and future of football at Pitt Football. As it happens, he’s at the top of Pitt’s 2024 recruiting pool.
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