Just a couple more days until National Signing Day. Then the drama will end for a little while. No more worries about Tyler Boyd taking one more trip somewhere. Uh, what?
Although [Clairton assistant coach, Eric] Fusco said he still believes Pitt is No. 1 with Boyd, Fusco also said there is a possibility Boyd might not sign a letter of inent with any college Wednesday, the first day high school seniors can sign with a college. Oh no. What do we have here, another Terrelle Pryor situation? Pryor waited weeks after letter-of-intent day to sign with Ohio State.
“There is no definite either way,” Fusco said. “It’s all going to boil down to the next four days. If he really feels comfortable over the next four days, then he’ll sign. … But he’s not going to make a hasty decision.”
So, yeah, this is fun.
I’m not worried too much about Boyd. This Gorman piece on Boyd’s recruitment only hints at the amount of pressure and recruiting still happening.
Something told Tonya Payne not to ask questions up front. That was the first thing every college football recruiter asked Clairton star Tyler Boyd’s mother:
So, what questions do you have?
“In the beginning, I didn’t know what questions to ask,” said Payne, a single mother of two young men. “As time went on, it was like, ‘Don’t ask anything, and let them present themselves.’ That way, you can see what type of person they are and what their pitch is.”
When Payne finally was ready, she directed a two-part question to Tony Gibson, the West Virginia secondary coach attempting to convince Boyd to renege on his commitment to Pitt: Are you a man of your word? If so, is that something you’re going to teach my son?
“His answer was, ‘Of course,’ ” Payne said. “I said, ‘Well, that’s not something you’re teaching him. You’re teaching him to go back on his word.’ He said, ‘It’s just the recruiting process.’ ”
It’s just business, even if it’s a dirty business.
I really like Boyd’s mom. Added bonus to the piece is having the anecdote take a swipe at the Hoopies. But the reality is that it is not simply unsurprising, but expected.
You don’t think Pitt isn’t still “checking in” with Robert Foster to see if he’s still absolutely sure about Alabama? How pissed would Pitt fans be if the coaches actually didn’t at least try to flip him?
Speaking of Alabama and Nick Saban, this piece is worth the read. On how top running back prospects are looking at sharing the carries as a long-term positive.
“I think of it future-wise,” said Lacy, the MVP of last season’s BCS title game against Notre Dame. “A lot of running backs want to get the ball 20 or 30 times a game, but, at the same time, it wears your body down. So you don’t really know how long you have.”
Back when we worried about whether the Y2K bug would shut down our power grids, tailback recruits worried about carries. Would they be the man once they got to college? High school backs still worry about carries, but that attitude is changing as the importance of the odometer trickles down from the NFL. Now, the term “low-mileage back” has crept into the NFL draftnik’s vocabulary. It’s not an insult. It means a back has taken fewer hits at lower levels and therefore might have a longer career in the NFL.
Lacy is a prime example. In 2010, he split carries with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. In 2011, he split carries with Richardson. In 2012, he split carries with Yeldon. Ingram (572 collegiate carries) was a first-round pick (No. 28) in 2011. Richardson (540 collegiate carries) was a first-round pick (No. 3) in 2012. Lacy (355 collegiate carries) projects as a late first- or early second-round pick in 2013. That’s a far cry from the SEC feature-back days of Herschel Walker, who carried 994 times in three seasons at Georgia before he entered pro football.
The last 1,000-carry back chosen in the first round of the NFL draft was Cedric Benson in 2005.
This is something that Coach Paul Chryst has appeared to embrace as well. He was looking to compliment Ray Graham this past season. Rushel Shell should look for similar this coming season.
And the Scout.com recruiting rankings show the silliness of overvaluing large recruiting classes in rankings.
Of the 27 players who have pledged to sign with Pitt on Wednesday, 24 are rated three- and two-star prospects by Rivals.com. Only seven project to play quarterback (one), running back (one) and wide receiver (five). And four-star Clairton wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who has been flirting with West Virginia and Tennessee since committing to Pitt, could decide to sign elsewhere.
Nonetheless, the class has garnered respect.
“Pitt is in the top 25, for sure,” CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said.
“Pitt has a lot of kids who are good players, who, if they develop, they will be even better,” said Brian Dohn, a Scout.com recruiting analyst. “A class that has 27 kids in it fills a lot more holes and gives you more of an opportunity to miss (an increase margin for error) than a class with 19 kids.”
As a matter of fact, Scout.com ranks Pitt’s overall class 16th in the nation — ahead of every school in its new conference, the ACC.
“Some of it is quantity,” Dohn said of the Scout ranking. “But there are some quality kids.”
Look, I like this class. I like the potential. I like the chances with this coaching staff to develop the kids. I can see my way to calling it a top-25 class. But if we are going based on the recruiting rankings of the players — flawed though they may be — there is no way this is the number 16 class.