Some things on a few of the players we will see next year.
Pitt’s top recruit, QB Tra’von Chapman talks about how he decided that Pitt was his choice.
So how did the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Chapman tab Pitt while forsaking nearby Kent State where his father, Thad Jemison, and one of his mentors, Darrell Hazell, coach, along with his hometown school of Cincinnati?
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Chapman said. “My dad played at Ohio State and we, coach Tressel and coach Hazell are all so connected. Growing up, I was a Buckeye through most of high school. But when that stuff went down with Tressel leaving, it changed everything.”
Chapman had his choices down to Pitt, Wisconsin, Kent St. and Cinci. Ultimately Kent State wasn’t enough of a challenge. Then a lot of the decision had to do with geography. Cinci was too close. Wisconsin too far. But Pitt was just right.
“Part of the reason I left Cincinnati [to come live with his father in Kent] is because there’s a lot of negative things happening there,” he said. “I wanted to stay out of trouble and keep focused on school and football. If I would have gone back to Cincinnati for college, those same negative things would have been there.”
In the end, that’s why Chapman believed Pitt offered the best mix of everything he was looking for.
“Pitt gave me the best chance to grow as a man, without being too far away,” he said. “That, and the [Paul Chryst] coaching staff made me feel comfortable. The facilities, the way the uniforms look, going to a situation where I might be able to play right away might be what some kids look for. But for me, I feel comfortable saying I can see myself there for four years. Those coaches, they blew it out of the water to me.”
Part of me died a little inside when he said the uniforms.
Tyrique Jarrett signed with Pitt for this year, but the DT will be spending this season at Milford Academy getting his academics in order. It will be interesting to see if he can take home defensive MVP honors at Milford. That would make it four straight year a Pitt commit did it. Todd Thomas, K.K. Smith and Jevonte Pitts have taken the honor.
[By the way, if you need a reminder of how old you are getting, Keith Byars, Jr. is on the Milford roster.]
Shakir Soto was one of the early verbals to this 2013 class. He is also going to be one of the first on campus.
Soto plans on leaving GAR and enrolling at Pitt for the spring semester, which starts Jan. 7. By doing so, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive lineman will get to participate in offseason workouts at Pitt and be eligible to play in the spring game.
“Scott Orndoff, one of the commitments from Pitt, he’s doing it too,” Soto said. “He told me about it and one of the coaches said, ‘Yeah, you should do it.’ I looked into it, and being out there and having an extra semester of school and an extra semester of football, I’ll be ahead of everyone else.”
Anything to bring more depth to the D-line.