2018 early signing period

As 2018 turns into 2019, Pitt will play in the Sun Bowl and Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. But both programs hope their futures are even brighter than that.

It's the second year of the NCAA's early-signing period, when most college football programs will ink the bulk of their 2019 recruiting classes. Coming off its first ACC Coastal title and a berth in the conference championship, Pitt needs to build off that momentum. Penn State again entered a season with College Football Playoff hopes, but they didn't come to pass.

Both schools' success on the recruiting trail mostly has kept pace with their success on the field, but by bringing in talented prospects and developing them once they arrive, they'll try to move up the ladder in the sport. It's also the final crops Pitt and Penn State will sign before the last scheduled game in their rivalry, at which point they'll each go their separate ways toward an uncertain future.

Neither Pat Narduzzi nor James Franklin dabbled much in Western Pennsylvania and have one WPIAL high school recruit apiece, but other local standouts are headed for big things. Take a closer look at Pitt and Penn State's official 2019 recruiting classes below, as well as the WPIAL's Football Bowl Subdivision signees, and stay up-to-date with our coverage of the Panthers, Nittany Lions and area high schools:

Player ratings and photos by Rivals.com

WPIAL Football Bowl Subdivision signees

Dante Cephas

WR | Penn Hills

Committed to: Kent State
6'1" - 195 lbs

Michael Coleman

DB | Woodland Hills

Committed to: Toledo
6'0" - 167 lbs

Will Gipson

WR | Aliquippa

Committed to: Pitt
6'3" - 180 lbs

R.J. Hart

WR | Imani Christian

Committed to: Ball State
6'3" - 210 lbs

Trent Holler

OL | Latrobe

Committed to: East Carolina
6'2" - 290 lbs

Courtney Jackson

WR | Gateway

Committed to: Syracuse
5'11" - 170 lbs

Jeremiah Josephs

WR | Gateway

Committed to: Miami, Ohio
5'11" - 170 lbs

Mike Katic

OL | Pine-Richland

Committed to: Indiana
6'3" - 280 lbs

Tyler King

LB | Pine-Richland

Committed to: Navy
6'1" - 220 lbs

Andrew Kristofic

OL | Pine-Richland

Committed to: Notre Dame
6'6" - 275 lbs

Skyy Moore

DB | Shady Side Academy

Committed to: Western Michigan
5'11" - 185 lbs

Solvauhn Moreland

DL | Aliquippa

Committed to: Ball State
6'3" - 305 lbs

Lirion Murtezi

OL | North Hills

Committed to: Navy
6'3" - 295 lbs

Joey Porter Jr.

DB | North Allegheny

Committed to: Penn State
6'2" - 187 lbs

Dino Tomlin

WR | Shady Side Academy

Committed to: Maryland
6'0" - 165 lbs

Jayvon Thrift

S | Norwin

Committed to: West Virginia
5'10" - 190 lbs

Mateo Vandamia

TE | West Allegheny

Committed to: Delaware
6'1" - 210 lbs

Konota Gaskins

DB | McKeesport

Committed to: Bowling Green
6'1" - 190 lbs

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Reporting: Brian Batko, Dave Molinari, Brad Everett, Mike White
Editing: Tyler Batiste, Ryan Winn
Web Design: Zack Tanner