Gateway junior Patrick Body Jr. becomes 2nd Gators safety with Pitt offer

Sunday, September 6, 2020 | 7:57 PM

There’s already a four-star safety in Gateway’s senior class, but now there’s a Power 5 defensive back in the junior class as well.

Gateway junior Patrick Body Jr. announced his first Power 5 offer from Pitt on Wednesday, joining senior Derrick Davis as sought-after teammates for the defending WPIAL Class 5A champions. Body already had eight Division I FBS offers, but said adding his hometown Panthers was exciting.

“I grew up with my grandma and my granddad always going to the Pitt games,” he said. “So to get an offer from them is big.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back and wide receiver also has offers from Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Old Dominion, Temple, Toledo and UMass. His father, Patrick Sr., was a City League standout at Schenley, played college ball at Toledo and spent time with three NFL teams.

“He’s got a chance to be really, really special,” Gateway coach Don Holl said. “He’s long, he’s physical and he can play corner or safety. And he’s only a junior.”

Pitt was Body’s first Power 5 offer.

“They already offered Derrick and I’m close with Derrick,” Body said. “He’d been talking to them and telling me they like my film.”

Body and Davis work together in tandem in Gateway’s secondary. Body played mostly cornerback last season but moved to safety this fall. The two are close but have different skill sets.

“I feel like I’m more of a ball hawk,” Body said. “He likes to be in the box.”

Body played a key role in Gateway run through the WPIAL playoffs last season. He caught a 28-yard game-winning touchdown with 38 seconds left to defeat Bethel Park, 17-13, in the quarterfinals.

Two weeks later, Body caught a 61-yard touchdown in Gateway’s 21-20 victory over Peters Township in the finals.

Body had 27 catches for 467 yards as a sophomore.

He’ll be a two-way player again this season, but Pitt sees him on defense. Safeties coach Cory Sanders is leading Pitt’s recruiting efforts.

As a junior, Body must wait until at least December 2021 to sign anywhere, so there’s time to make his decision. Now that he has a Power 5 offer, others could follow.

“That’s all I can hope for,” he said. “I’ll just keep working until that happens.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at


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