Pat Narduzzi and his staff had a plan as they hosted recruits on official visits over the weekend and it worked to perfection.
In an unprecedented weekend, nine players made their verbal commitment to Pitt’s program. Following yesterday, Pitt’s Class of 2019 Recruiting Class is now ranked No. 29 in the country and No. 5 in the ACC conference according to Rivals.com.
This afternoon, Pittsburgh Sports Now had a chance to catch up with Narduzzi to get his thoughts on what transpired over the weekend.
Narduzzi tweeted on Sunday night that he’d have a hard time sleeping after spending all day “turning on the lights” with commitments to Pitt. But he reports that he got a sound night’s sleep after what’s likely the largest one-day recruiting haul in Pitt history.
“No, I had no problem sleeping last night and feel asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow,” said Narduzzi. “I was out. I never have a problem sleeping.”
Of course, Narduzzi now has plenty of reasons to sleep soundly. After weeks of hearing about how few commits he had, Narduzzi now has the basis of what could be a successful class in hand.
“To me, everyone is speeding the process up, we want to slow things down,” Narduzzi said. “Talking with coaches across the country, a lot of them want to slow things down, but the NCAA is speeding things up. I think every coach wants to slow things down but don’t have the patience to do so. We have the patience to slow it down because we have a good plan.
“There was no frustration here. There would be frustration if we’d be texting kids and getting no response. We’d have frustration if we’d be making phone calls and no one would answer or wanting to talk. That would be frustrating but that isn’t happening to us. We work our tails off to get guys on campus, we target guys and sometimes you hit and sometimes you don’t.”
It seems that Narduzzi’s strategy of having a big weekend full of official visitors from the south all come to check out Pitt together was a successful one.
“We know that if we can get kids on campus, see how beautiful Pittsburgh is, how beautiful the campus is, get them to see the facilities and everything the University of Pittsburgh has to offer and how much the people care about them, we know that once they see all of this, they’re going to love it,” he said.
“When you think about having fifty percent of the kids that visited commit that’s impressive. Our philosophy was let’s get some of these kids on campus, take a big swing at kids we really want, get them here in June and have a big bash and that’s what we did. We didn’t say that if we walk out of there and don’t get half of these guys that we’ll be upset, we’d never think like that. As I said, if we can get a player on campus, they’re going to love the city of Pittsburgh, the hospitality and everything that Pitt football has.”
Pitt football was a trending topic all day on Sunday and into Monday. The big bunch of commitments certainly gave reinforcement to Narduzzi’s belief that his staff was going about things the right way and would eventually be rewarded.
“I don’t know if our staff needs reinforcement with what we’re doing here. They know the plan,” said Narduzzi. “I guess it’s the fans that need reinforcement. We have a plan and we’re going to execute it. We know who we’re talking to, who we’re texting, we know who we need to work harder on, that’s recruiting. Pitt football is on the way up.
“We know who we’re dealing with out there and we know who we like. No one out there, including the players know who we really like. We don’t care about star rankings, I don’t care about stars. We know who we’re evaluating. If you look at our camps, I think we offered 11 players that worked out for us. When you look at Western Pennsylvania, we don’t offer a ton of players early because that’s when you tend to make mistakes. When I say making a mistake, I mean you offer a kid just by watching tape and then say he kind of doesn’t fit in after you personally watch him on the field. That’s what we want to get away from.”
If the results from the weekend can hold through the rest of the 2019 class, it appears that the way Pitt is going about things is working just fine.