Well, it had to happen sooner than later. PITT has its first defection of the 2012 recruiting class when Dakota Conwell left the fold yesterday. His 100% commitment to PITT flip-flopped to being 100% committed to Arizona in the course of a two day visit. We lose a four star LB right after we picked up a non-ranked LB.
That sounds a bit bitter and I’m really not. This is how things work in the recruiting game. Conwell has now stated that he was ‘feeling’ Arizona for a couple weeks and I believe that. Graham had recruited him to play either the Spur or the Panther LB position and Chryst will field a traditional 4-3; three LB defense where the LB play is rather confined.
Apparently Conwell wants to freelance a bit more than that entail and RR’s 3-3-5 will fit him better.
Conwell, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, said the 3-3-5 defense that new Arizona defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, formerly of West Virginia, is installing for coach Rich Rodriguez, is a better fit for him than Pitt’s 4-3 under its new coordinator Dave Huxtable.
“I’ll get to play in space a little bit more than I would have at Pitt,” he said. “I will have a little more (pass coverage) responsibilities at Arizona.”
Now I’m no Dick Lebeau but I can’t see how having an extra DB is somehow going to translate to Conwell having more pass coverage responsibilities. You’d think having one less DB and an extra body on the DL would make that happen more often.
Anyway, there is no doubt in my mind that Chryst & Co. knew this was probably going to happened and with that they made sure that Caprara was onboard. We’ll see in a couple of years if this was a decent trade off or not.
To be quite honest I thought we’d have lost more than one scholarship by this time anyway and I can’t fault the kid for changing his mind. I caution PITT fans that this may not be over and we’ll have a few more change thier minds before Feb 3rd. I hope not but it does usually follow coaching changes. We’ll pick up some recruits between now and LOI Day also so it will balance out, unlike last year at this time.
We fans have to remember that, especially in PITT’s circumstances right now, these recruits were sold on Todd Graham, his staff and his offensive or defensive systems. That is a powerful thing to just let drop and some of these kids feel that they were betrayed in some degree and whether we like it or not PITT is involved in that.
Having six HCs in 13 months doesn’t help our cause either. What recruits and their parents want as much as anything is stability in the university’s coaching ranks. That way they get what the HC who recruited them promised. A new HC comes in and all that is out the window.
PITT may always honor recruit’s proffered scholarships, which is a great thing to do, but the new HC is in no way obligated to honor what was offered by the departing HC as an incentive to verbal with PITT.
As to RR or Graham trying to steal our recruits? I suggest we hold off on complaining about that since PITT is trying to do the same thing to other recruits. That is the nature of college football recruiting and how the game is played today. If we don’t get anyone to switch commitments then we can scream about it.
And hold the complaints about “honoring a commitment” by these kids either. That pretty much pales in comparison to what Todd Graham did at PITT and what happens in any coaching change. Some recruits commit to the University itself and we are seeing that with the majority of our remaining recruits. However, some others are looking at football only and this type of move fits their decision making well also.