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April 22, 2007

Mike Cruz seemed like he was more than excited to play for Pitt when he verbally committed at the beginning of April.

“Pitt’s been my dream school,” Cruz said. “It’s always been my favorite school.”

Don’t be too quick to picture him in a Panthers jersey though, since he’s backed out of his verbal.

Johnstown Bishop McCort junior tight end Mike Cruz has reneged on his verbal commitment to Pitt and will reopen his college recruitment.

“Unfortunately, I did,” Cruz said. “I think I rushed my decision.”

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Cruz was the second player from the Class of 2008 to pick the Panthers. Verbal commitments are non-binding until prospects sign a binding national letter of intent in February.

For more on Cruz, here are other posts about him on Pitt Blather.

The Curse on the 2004 Recruits?

Filed under: Football,History,Recruiting — Chas @ 11:34 am

I don’t know what bitter Pitt fan did it. I just don’t want to end up on his bad side. It just keeps getting stranger. The collapse of one of Pitt’s best recruiting class in a couple decades came with the confluence of the Big East being a complete mess, Pitt’s 2003 bitter disappointment of a season, the questions that began swirling around Walt Harris led to a complete picking off of verbal after verbal.

Yet, aside from being part of what cost Harris his job, Pitt didn’t actually suffer for the lost players the way the players themselves have:

Johnny Peyton, WR: signed with USF, looked good as a freshman, then got in the doghouse and eventually quit football.

Andrew Johnson, RB: changed to Miami, never was able to climb the depth chart and suffered injuries; currently at Akron after transferring.

Anthony Morelli, QB: had his redshirt burned for no apparent reason at PSU, can’t shake the “dumb” label of not being able to read defenses, and played such a lackluster first season as starter that most PSU fans are hanging their high hopes on the fact that he didn’t suck in the Outback Bowl.

James Bryant, LB: moved to fullback because of depth chart issues, against his wishes; has been suspended numerous times; and is now transferring as a senior because he still wants to play linebacker.

Only Alphonso Smith (CB) seems to be doing okay for himself at Wake Forest.

Not that there is much else to see from the 2004 recruiting class. Also transferring: Brandon Mason, Rashad Jennings, Robbie Agnone, Kelvin Chandler, and Tyler Tipton. Special mention to Steven Walker who was kicked off the team and out of school after the first semester, and is now in prison for murder.

There were/are some good ones from the class: Darrelle Revis, Derek Kinder, Scott McKillop, Darrell Strong, Marcel Pestano.

But, wow. It’s stunning to realize that as demoralizing as it was to lose out on all of those players back then, it really wouldn’t make much of a difference now or the past couple years with on the field action.

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