Thomas Habakkuk Baldonado makes Italian Football History, will play at Pitt

Lazio Marines Thomas Habakkuk Baldonado has become historic after committing to study and play football on a full scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the first Italian player to join the NCAA Div. I as a freshman.

The 6’5″, 230 lb defensive end from Rome, Italy who turns 19 this year, left Italy  last August to attend Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Florida.  He definitely made his mark in his only season at Clearwater, racking up 30.5 (!!) sacks, 9 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries in only seven games.

Suddenly he was on the radar of a slew of schools.

He chose Pitt over Michigan State, where he visited earlier this month, and Central Florida, the first of those three to offer a scholarship. He was also offered by Nebraska, Coastal Carolina University and Syracuse along with seven other schools.

Thomas Habakkuk Baldonado and Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and assistant coach Rob Harley Photo courtesy Habakkuk Baldonado

From next year, Baldonado will be studying mechanical engineering at Pittsburgh and wearing the Panthers colors.

The University of Pittsburgh plays in the ACC, one of the five Power Conferences in the NCAA’s Div. I. Notable alumni from Pitt include legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett and Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka.



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