Pat Narduzzi’s recruiting plan is unlike any other coach in Pitt history.
Former Pitt coaches have focused on recruiting the region and bordering states but Narduzzi has a much wider focus.
The Pitt coach wants to make Pitt a national brand and recruit players from all across the country.
Narduzzi’s philosophy in recruiting has always been to go head to head with the top programs for elite-level recruits but now he has assistants recruiting in places Pitt traditionally hasn’t signed players.
The plan may not be successful but as with everything else involving Narduzzi and recruiting, it won’t be for lack of trying.
Florida has always been a priority for Pitt coaches but since Narduzzi arrived it is without question the Panthers top state to recruit.
Pitt has gotten 15 commitments from Florida in their last three recruiting classes and the staff is back there again this year.
Pitt has extended offers to 53 players from Florida in the Class of 2019, by far the most of any other state.
Most 2019 Offers By State:
New Jersey: 14
Pitt hasn’t had a lot of success in Michigan traditionally so the fact that state is in the top 5 in offers is a bit surprising, though not really when you consider Pat Narduzzi’s lengthy time at Michigan State. The biggest surprise, however, is the effort being made in the state of Georgia.
It is a clear shift in recruiting focus and it is fair to wonder why that state has suddenly become a priority.
My guess is Georgia, like Florida, is a talent rich state and if they make a real effort to recruit it, they’ll eventually be rewarded.
Pittsburgh Sports Now reached out to Recruit Georgia (recruitgeorgia.com or @RecruitGeorgia), one of the top sources for Georgia High School recruiting, to try and get some perspective on the recruiting scene down there.
”I think they can always find kids in Georgia though, but they shouldn’t go head-to-head with SEC schools or even regional ACC for that matter,” Recruit Georgia said. “There have been plenty of Group of 5 schools coming into Georgia, and taking talent that ends up in the NFL, so a college like Pittsburgh can step in, and find those diamonds in the rough, and turn them into All-ACC caliber players in my opinion.”
Pitt isn’t the only school that’s made Georgia a new recruiting priority, though, and that isn’t a surprise given then number of prospects from there.
“For the state of Georgia, one of the biggest issues has been lack of organization, but over the last 10-15 years that has changed, and players that go to smaller high schools are now finding their way into major college football,” Recruit Georgia said. “For fours years now, I have seen an increase in players going FBS, and that trend should continue. In fact, the Class of 2017 had the 3rd most FBS commits, and we actually passed California.”
Narduzzi’s strategy is to recruit areas that have an abundance of talent and Georgia fits that description.
“A lot of schools are trying to get into Georgia for sure, just in last year’s NFL draft, Georgia led every state with 30 picks. I haven’t had time to look this year,” Recruit Georgia said. “One of the main reason’s is the incredible amount of concentrated talent. You can just hop over from high school to high school especially in metro-Atlanta and find FBS football players.
”So from a financial point of view, it’s very cost-effective recruiting. It’s starting to pay off for some schools. Minnesota had 5-6 guys in their last recruiting class. G5 schools like Western Kentucky are landing double digit guys from Georgia every year.”
Pitt hasn’t gotten results yet but the belief is if the Panthers coaches continue to pound on the door they’ll eventually break it down.
Archie Collins, Kevin Sherman and Rob Harley are primarily the coaches who will work in that state. As that trio continue to make contacts in Georgia the hope is their efforts will eventually turn into a consistent stream of commitments.