Well I imagine a lot of you have seen the recent news of some certain WPIAL kids going elsewhere. You’ve witnessed the meltdown on message boards, Twitter, and probably read some columns from the local papers. Here’s some things we should already know as Pitt fans:
1. Pitt has six verbal commits from WPIAL players. They had around 8-10 with last years
2. Pitt isn’t going land every WPIAL kid. Some kids just don’t want to stay in PA.
The latest saga with these recent players has been a bit comedic. Shai McKenzie was upset that Pitt recruited other backs and questioned their loyalty. I guess it’s okay for him to visit other schools if he really did have his heart set on Pitt. Shai is going to get a lesson in loyalty when he learns about the depth chart in College Football. Think Frank Beamer is going not recruit any backs next year?
Dravon Henry’s mother took shots at the Pitt staff. Days later, a defensive player for Pitt took home several awards. She gloated about Tony Gibson. Tony was just doing what he does best like any other recruiter: being a salesman. I’d love to sell her a car. Can you imagine the interest rate you probably con her into signing for?
Recruiting the WPIAL has never been easy for Pitt going back to the Walt Harris years. Some high school coaches, which won’t be named, even had a hand of sabotaging Harris’ recruitment of their own players. It got worse when Harris started recruiting Ohio and Florida. When you recruit elsewhere, your backyard tends to feel a little slighted even if your players aren’t Big East let alone FCS worthy.
It even got hard for Dave Wannstedt in the end. Wannstedt was recruiting New Jersey and Maryland a lot more. Wanny had a lot of momentum from Pitt’s BCS appearance. He was landing some big name players out of the WPIAL. Then after some 5-6, 6-6, and 5-7 seasons…the momentum seemed to fall.
Here’s WPIAL recruiting in a nutshell:
1. Pitt offers, they accept and commit
2. Pitt offers, they want to think about it. A bigger program offers, and they commit elsewhere.
3. Pitt doesn’t offer which pisses off the high school coach. After that, it becomes difficult to recruit any other players from the school.
4. Pitt offers, but recruit wants to wait it out. Pitt lands a similar player and pulls the offer. Recruit gets mad and complains to Mike White or Kevin Gorman.
There’s probably a lot more scenarios you can add in the comments section. It’s almost Midnight here and my brain is fried. Bottom line from what has happened recently….move along there’s nothing to see here. Pitt can land WPIAL kids, but they won’t land them all. They may miss out on a lightly recruited player. It happens to other programs as well. Let’s wait and see how everything plays out. Regardless of what happens, we Pitt fans will wake up the next morning and put our Pitt gear back on for another day.