Signing day is still a couple weeks away, but it looks like Pitt is finished with the 2014 class even as the 2015 class recruiting is already underway.
The final two verbals over the weekend were not a huge surprise. Jamal Davis and Hez Trahan were Pitt leans and expected to commit this past weekend on their official visit. And that’s exactly what happened.
Pitt landed a pair of commitments for its 2014 class Saturday, securing verbal pledges from Canton, Ohio, linebacker Jamal Davis and Philadelphia defensive end Hez Trahan.
Davis is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and chose Pitt over offers from Louisville, Indiana and Minnesota, among others.
“Just committed to Pitt!!!” Davis announced on his personal Twitter page.
Davis is the third linebacker in Pitt’s 2014 class, joining Cocoa, Fla., prospect James Floston, Jr., and Fox Chapel senior Quintin Wirginis.
Trahan had scholarship offers from James Madison and Massachusetts. He is the third defensive end in the 2014 class.
As for Trahan, well as you probably assumed from the offer list, he is not quite so highly ranked in the recruiting system. Rivals.com gives him 2-stars but the other sites have him unrated. It’s worth noting that Philly.com had him ranked as the 8th best local player in the 2014 class, so there is potential.
Roman Catholic coach Joe McCourt said Trahan can play inside or outside on the defensive line.
“I think (Pitt) will start him (outside), but once they get him on the training table and he starts eating, he could go inside, too,” McCourt said. “He’ll live in the weight room. He is a very coachable kid.”
Which is something the coaches in all likelihood, really liked about him. The amusing kicker was citing the coaching stability at Pitt as part of why he verballed.
That should do it for Pitt’s recruiting class in 2014. At this point they have 24 verbals. The estimate is that Pitt is 5 over the scholarship limit, creating a bit of a question about how it fits. Are there players in the recruiting class with academic issues that may keep them from qualifying this year? What players currently on scholarship do the coaches expect to leave (or get pushed out of) the program?
As for 2015, Pitt already has its first verbal. And of course he is an offensive lineman.
But he did something right while recruiting Alex Paulina, a junior offensive lineman at Canon-McMillan High School. At least that’s what Paulina’s dad David said.
“These guys (Pitt’s coaches) really are some of the best men I have met in college football,” said David Paulina after his son committed to Pitt on Saturday. “How they handle themselves, what their demeanor is. Their whole, entire approach is just kind of bar none.”
Paulina has offers from Virginia Tech and West Virginia, his father said. Plus, he said they have met coaches at Ohio State, including defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of coaches,” David Paulina said. “This was almost getting crazy.”
Paulina, who is set to graduate 17 months from now, has plenty to prove. He has been a starter at Canon-McMillan since his freshman year and was named to the All-Quad South team that season. But he missed six games last year with a concussion and neck injury.
Pitt took a chance on him, but at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, Paulina has plenty of potential, according to his Canon-McMillan coach Ron Coder, a former Penn State star who played 10 years in the NFL.
“He’s a great kid,” Coder said. “Hopefully, his senior year he will play real well and dominate.”
The injury and missed game cost him last year in terms of early offers, and evaluations. Scout.com and 247 have no ranking/evaluation on him. Rivals.com lists him at 3-stars. Assuming he stays healthy, Pitt may have quite the steal in Paulina.
I’m just trying to imagine the concept of going into a season with confidence in an O-line. Not simply being pleasantly surprised that they are better than expected. I’m going to need some time to visualize that.