Chas has been doing great articles on the spring practices so far so I wanted to add a little something to Chas’ article yesterday about our first verbal.
Chryst just landed TE Scott Orndoff as his first verbal of the 2013 class. He’s a good one ranked as the #13 TE nationally and a kid who had great offers to choose from. He would have racked up more as his SR year went on.
Orndoff had verballed to Chryst and Joe Rudolph last summer but with those two leaving Wisconsin he opened his recruitment back up again. An interesting point in his decision making is that he made his final decision in the car with his father on the drive back from an official visit to Michigan… not too shabby at that, eh? At that age I would have been asleep or drunk during a five hour road trip.
Here is a good highlight film of Orndoff’s JR season at Seton-LaSalle HS. He had 20 catches for 385 yards and four TDs last season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get another star if he plays up to potential this year. One thing about this highlight film though – Orndoff is split wide on every play.
Makes you wonder how good of a blocker the kid is but he’s quick and agile after the catch. Perhaps the staff is looking at J. P. Holtz as the Nate Byham Memorial blocking TE and Orndoff will fill the anti-Byham role by actually being thrown to. History with the Wisconsin approach is that the TEs will see some real offensive action during the year.
All this made me think about just who we have had verbal to PITT after Chryst was hired and how they were rated. We all know there is a lot concern about Chryst’s supposed lack of recruiting skill so let’s take a look again…
Since early January 2012 when Chryst was hired these players committed and signed LOIs to play for him:
(Woodland Hills SHS)
(Shaler Area HS)
(New London HS)
New London, WI
Mc Kees Rocks, PA
Add *** Orndoff and we’ve averaged a solid three stars. That is just about comparable to what PITT has done in the past and considering that no high school players or their parents have actually seen Chryst get results on the field, I think it is a pretty good start.
In addition, for those PITT fans who were gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair about Chryst’s lack of verbals at this point, it may serve to look back over both Graham’s and Wannstedt’s results in early commitments.
Setting aside kids in Prep School who had already committed to PITT the year before we have these as the dates of earliest commits:
’13 – 3/19
’12 – 6/18
’11 – 5/19
’10 – 2/17
’09 – 6/4
’08 – 4/2
’07 – 2/18
’06 – 3/5
As you can see Chryst’s 1st verbal came earlier than four of the last eight years, some of those with an established coach with a track record to point to and he beat the average start date which was in April.
It has been way too easy for Chryst’s critics to point to his ‘slow recruiting’ when in reality he’s getting the same or better results that previous coaches did with a much smaller head start. I don’t think we’ll see a flood of verbals now that ‘Chryst’s virginity’ has been taken as he’s going to have to rest awhile after that. With all that has gone on since Wannstedt’s firing I think players and their parents are going to take a hard look at which direction the team and program are moving. I’m leaning toward being pretty satisfied with the new staff and our level of play.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge winning season for recruits to sit up and take notice, Wannstedt crapped the bed his first three years and still pulled in good recruiting classes. However, it does take a semblance of stability and progress which Chryst has to provide.
I just hope they don’t look at the attendance figures and decide on that factor…
I’ll try to get something up regarding the first week of camp soon, and will try to get up for a practice next week.