It was back-to-back recruiting surprises for the Pitt football program on Friday and neither of them were good news for a team still looking for it’s first commitment.
Yesterday, Lackawanna College safety JaQuan Brisker made an early commitment to Penn State and late last night another target selected a Big Ten program.
2019 4-star receiver Mershawn Rice (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) made a verbal commitment to Purdue.
Pitt was one of the first programs to offer Rice and he had consistently referred to Pitt as a second home.
PSN had listed Rice as a Pitt lean in our Panther Paw predictions last week but things seemed to change a few days ago. When PSN contacted Rice to see if he would be visiting Pitt soon, unlike in the past, he was very non-committal.
The Pitt staff had been recruiting Rice for over a year and officially offered him a scholarship last June when he attended a team camp.
UPDATE, 9:30 a.m: PSN caught up with Rice. Here’s what he had to say about committing to Purdue:
“I went on the visit to Purdue and it started to make sense. In a way I fitted better in their offense because they pass more than Pitt, and I just loved the place but Pitt was definitely up there too.”