February 5, 2014

So Much For Drama Free Signing Day

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 12:02 am

Long. Extra long day of work. Put in the extra hours in no small part because the snow that is falling — yet again — will almost certainly cancel school  — yet again — for my kids. So, get the extra stuff done ahead of time so that taking most of Wednesday off is not a hassle. That it would just happen to land on signing day and let me stay home and watch tweets of a confirmations of recruits was just an extra bonus. Not an extra bonus — not being able to post/comment on a last minute flip of a recruit.

Just remember, Pitt. It’s not you, it’s him.

Quarterback Wade Freebeck said choosing Vanderbilt over Pitt wasn’t easy.

“It was very stressful,” he said Tuesday night. “I’m stressed out.”

Freebeck said he chose an opportunity to get a degree from Vanderbilt, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the U.S., more than he passed on Pitt.

Freebeck said Vanderbilt’s “pedigree” — it was 17th in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 university rankings — was the deciding factor.

“Football is football,” said Freebeck, who said he carries a 4.7 grade-point average at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “For me, if I can utilize it to get the best education, that’s what I want to do.”

He said giving Pitt coach Paul Chryst the bad news — after he had committed June 30 — was difficult.

“It was nothing Pitt lacked. They are definitely on the right track,” Freebeck said. “I was disappointed to have to tell him something like that. He was very understanding, a good person.”

I doubt that Chryst will give an answer, but at the presser this afternoon I would really like someone to ask him if Freebeck told him directly when he was at Pitt over this past weekend.

It royally sucks to lose a recruit just before signing day. And yeah, Pitt is now in an even more precarious spot at the QB position after giving the boot to Chapman in August. But if Pitt flipped a player at the last minute, would you be killing the kid and his character for it or just welcoming him and what he can do for Pitt? If Dravon Henry or Montae Nicholson have a last minute change of heart tomorrow (not happening, but go with it), are you telling them, “No?”

I know what I’d be doing, so I’m not going to jump on some moral high ground. I might engage in some passive-aggressive comments that reference/compare Anthony Morelli, but that’s about it.

After the first two years of Pitt recruiting classes under Chryst where one QB disappears from each class, maybe he should look to recruit 3 in a class. Just in case.

And, yes there is the whole coaching carousel thing that created this. It’s not like new Penn State coach James Franklin directly flipped a Pitt recruit. He was just part of the dominoes that led to it.

This is not terrible news. It thins the numbers of competitors at the most important position on a football field which may prove problematic. It’s kind of interesting that the very thing many are so proud of at our university, is the very thing that wasn’t good enough to land a recruit. Am I disappointed, sure. When a kid is carrying a 4.7 gpa, that tells you what type of kid Paul Chryst is going after. Smart kids are more coachable and as such have a higher ceiling than those that perhaps have rocks upstairs but are more athletically gifted (see Morelli reference above).

In a nutshell, Pitt will survive this last minute change of heart. We have a real nice class coming in and they want to be here. The negative is that it takes a Florida kid off the roster, which really stresses the importance of getting someone with Florida ties to help our recruiting there.

The football factory going forward is IMG high school that is recruiting sophomore and junior three and four star prospects, putting them on a team with other stars and then putting them in the right program. Chris Weinke runs the show and it would be in Pitt’s best interest to find one of his old teammates that can coach and hire him for the connection. Terrel Buckley was hired by a top program for just that reason as he and Weinke are close.

Anyway, get away from the cliff fellas. Take a few deep breaths, shovel some snow and relax. When will coverage start with respect to signed LOI’s? Carpe’ recruits….Any last minute flips for Pitt?

Comment by dhuffdaddy 02.05.14 @ 1:06 am

So much for wearing a:

“Hail to Pitt” while he was at the Pete on Sunday.

He performed very averagely at best at St. Thomas
As they say in Quebec:

C’est la vie !

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 2:19 am

Gents: need an assist. Rigorous schedule today, meetings in two cities requiring air travel; will miss live game tonight. Please post score occasionally in game thread. Thanks

Comment by Old School Panther 02.05.14 @ 6:27 am

This news…on top of an already MEDIOCRE recruiting class…is VERY disappointing news.

Chryst and the a.coaches need to step up their game.

Comment by The TRUTH 02.05.14 @ 6:55 am

Is it the University of Vanderbilt or Vanderbilt University?

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 7:07 am

hey Chas & Dhuff, if you look on the vast majority of the posters on the previous blog, you can see that nobody is on the cliff and (remarkably) most are taking the moral high ground.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 7:10 am


It is Vanderbilt University. Great school. Can’t fault the kid’s
choice. That said class of 15 needs a QB. Ironically Fraud
Recruited Voytik the best QB prospect since Palko. Hopefully
this will be the only negative today as PC rebuilds the roster.

Need to win the next 2 hoop games then upset the Cuse!

Comment by JR 02.05.14 @ 7:41 am

Jaquan Davidson was recruited to play WR but he played QB in high school he is 6 foot 3 and has a good arm.
My guess is his freshmen year he plays QB on the scout team to give them deph who knows if he looks good he might stay there .
But if not it is back to WR in 2015 at least we will have 4 QB next year just not who we wanted.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 8:41 am

4.7 GPA. Now see that just annoys me. Whatever happened to the standard 4.0? Yes, let’s inflate that GPA scale so every kid looks a little better. What’s next the 35 yard dash? Argh the crotchety old man in me is coming out…

Comment by Iron Duke 02.05.14 @ 8:50 am

just a thought we are at 23 commits now do we stay there or do we go to 24 is there some one that we thought we might like but had no room for and now we do.
do we try to flip a mac recruit would we try for duckworth a QB who commited to ohio
i wonder if they wish they had kept QB kincaid who they pushed out after he commited to pitt.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 8:52 am

right Iron Duke

I never got weighted GPA for taking advanced courses or courses with kids a grade ahead of me.

4.7 i bet he can’t even point out Uzbekistan on the map. 🙂

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 9:09 am

Freebeck can take his 4.7 GPA and shove it.

Frank I like your idea of maybe snagging a MAC kid with potential to add some depth…or maybe giving Davidson a look at QB. I watched Kincaid’s film and wasn’t very impressed. Looked about as good as Davidson throwing the ball, IMO.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 9:16 am

Fuck him & Fuck Vanderbilt. He was playing us all the while. Enjoy Nashville you piece of shit…

Comment by JG 02.05.14 @ 9:33 am

At Wisconsin, Paul Chryst helped to develop the QB who just won the Super Bowl. I would think QB prospects would stand in line to come to Pitt. Freebeck’s new coach was a defensive coordinator. He better hope for a good offensive line, since he only weighs 180.

Comment by 66Goat 02.05.14 @ 10:28 am

He chose Vandy over Pitt for academics??? Bullshit!

Comment by Dan 72 02.05.14 @ 10:35 am

PITT will get better QBs in the future. Who wouldn’t want to play behind the line PC is building.

Comment by Pittastic 02.05.14 @ 10:37 am

I’m thinking that Freebeck screwed up his chances to get a Valentine’s card from JG with his last minute decommittment from Pitt.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 11:06 am

All 23 are in and signed good deal i guess there wont be a 24th

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 11:43 am

Info for you Joe Butler of metro scouting sent a tweet Jaquan Davdson is a capable QB prospect.
may be chryst had this in mind all along a way to have 3 QB in this class with out seaming to that way he could tell the outher 2 you man are my only QB recuits,
but he might have known he had 3 a just a thought.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 12:02 pm

It could have been any school. Freebeck made a mistake by committing so early and his dad let him make the mistake.
he may have made another one. He was engaged to the the first team he slept with and marries the second one after two dates.
he is someone else’s problem now.
I still like this class and am very happy for the QB from Ohio.

Comment by sfpitt 02.05.14 @ 12:23 pm

BTW…the name is Vandy…as in Mandy…as in to be restored to bottom feeder in SEC.
Enjoy the holdiays off to all Commodores…your once, twice, three times a lady…..

Comment by sfpitt 02.05.14 @ 12:25 pm

His school is probably one of those that grades on a 5.0 scale to make their students look better than they are. There are tons of them in Florida. Those schools are generally huge grade inflators as well (although to be fair that’s becoming pretty much the norm everywhere). That’s not the kid’s fault though – he may be very bright. In any case my hat’s off to him if he’s putting academics in front of football to the point where he’s discerning between two good schools like Pitt and Vandy, who are actually pretty similar program by program. I just hope that his ridiculous high school actually prepared him to do something with it, though all colleges are dumbing things down so much these days it may not matter either way. Best of luck to him.

At the end of the day he wasn’t exactly a big-time recruit in the first place, so it’s not a huge loss by any means. Bertke may have the bigger upside anyway.

Comment by Steve S 02.05.14 @ 1:33 pm

you should’t try to hide your feelings! haha i like your style.

Comment by goalie44 02.06.14 @ 10:31 am

He’s hiding behind the academic reason. He simply changed his mind. This was his last shot at saying something that anybody cares about, so he fumbled around with trying to duck out. He will live a career in obscurity getting his ass kicked around at Vandy and no one will ever hear from him again.

With this development, shouldn’t we be ramping up the communication with the Southern Cal QB who mentioned an interest in transferring to Pitt, and who is available for immediate duty?

Comment by PittMan 02.06.14 @ 2:10 pm

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