Pitt gets commitment from Sean Fitzsimmons, Central Valley’s ‘face of the program’

Friday, April 9, 2021 | 3:26 PM

After Central Valley defensive tackle Sean Fitzsimmons verbally committed to Pitt on Friday, the last topic coach Mark Lyons wanted to discuss five months before football season was the possibility of repeating as PIAA Class 3A champion.

But he did allow himself one tiny glimpse into the future. “With Sean Fitzsimmons, you always have a chance,” Lyons said.

At 6-foot-3, 283 pounds, Fitzsimmons was recruited to Pitt as a defensive tackle, but he also plays guard on offense at Central Valley.

“You train for it. You prepare for it,” said Fitzsimmons of his busy Friday nights. “It’s fun going both ways. I don’t want to be on the sideline.”

Lyons called Fitzsimmons the face of his program.

“He does the right things in the classroom (where he has a 3.8 grade-point average) and in the community and he carries himself well,” Lyons said. “He’s a leader in every aspect of what we do, in the locker room, on the practice field, in the school. He sets the bar very high for our guys.”

Fitzsimmons has offers from all three service academies — Army, Navy and Air Force — plus Princeton and Penn from the Ivy League and ACC schools Duke, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

“Pitt is right here,” he said. “I wanted to stay home and go to Pitt.”

Lyons said many members of Pitt’s staff have been involved in Fitzsimmons’ recruitment, including coach Pat Narduzzi and line coaches on both sides of the ball, Dave Borbely and Charlie Partridge.

Ranked the No. 22 prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com, Fitzsimmons is the third member of the class of 2022 to commit to Pitt and the first from the WPIAL. He joins defensive back Aveon Gross of Mansfield, Ohio, and defensive tackle Elijah Statham of Smyrna, Del.

He is also the third Central Valley player to plan to join the Panthers. He was preceded by safety Jordan Whitehead, now with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and defensive back Stephon Hall, who signed with Pitt this year.

“They like the CV guys,” Fitzsimmons said. “When I’d see Steph, he’d say, ‘When are you committing to Pitt?’ “

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