When any team is struggling, all aspects of the organization are critiqued and talked about and that’s certainly been the case with Pitt football.
One of the areas that has come under fire is the program’s recruiting.
Are Pat Narduzzi and his staff bringing in talented enough players—ones coveted by other successful programs?
Instead of just accepting what’s being said, I’ve went back over the last three years to take a look.
What I’m going to do is list players that have committed in the last three years and list the biggest offers they had aside from Pitt.
I want to point out, while some of these offers might not have been commitable when they ended up deciding, they were offered a scholarship which tells me they were deemed good enough by that particular school to play for them.
I’ll give my opinion at the end of the story but here are recruits in Pitt’s Class of 2017, 2018 and players that have verbaled for this year.
Class of 2017
AJ Davis: Auburn, Florida, Florida St, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
Jaylen Twyman: Florida, Michigan State, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Kam Carter: Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech.
Michael Smith: Notre Dame, Washington State, Georgia Tech.
Damarri Mathis: Louisville, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Minnesota and Indiana.
Jerry Drake: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Charles Reeves: Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Carter Warren: Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
Todd Sibley: Ohio State and Michigan.
Kenny Pickett: Boston College, Iowa, North Carolina and Rutgers.
Kyle Nunn: Northwestern, West Virginia, Indiana and Iowa State.
Paris Ford: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.
Gabe Houy: Wake Forest, Maryland, Louisville and Illinois.
Class of 2018
Mychale Salahuddin: Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Shocky Jacques-Louis: Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon and Tennessee.
V’lique Carter: Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Purdue and Central Florida.
Tyler Bentley: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Louisville, Michigan State, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
David Green: West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Syracuse.
Marquis Williams: Clemson, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Devin Danielson: Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Blake Zubovic: Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Chase Brown: West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, TCU and Minnesota.
John Morgan: Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Penn State and Maryland.
Wendell Davis: Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
Judson Tallandier: Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, NC State, Purdue and Wake Forest.
Jake Kradel: Iowa, Maryland, Boston College, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Virginia Tech.
2019 Verbal Commitments
Calijah Kancey: Georgia Tech, Louisville and South Carolina.
Bryce Nelms: Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, Nebraska, Virginia and Syracuse.
Deandre Jules: Boston College, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Purdue and Wake Forest.
Brandon Mack: LSU, Louisville, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Brandon Hill: Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, Maryland, NC State, Purdue and Virginia.
Khadry Jackson: NC State, Central Florida, Iowa State, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and North Carolina.
Vincent Davis: Boston College, Illinois, Kentucky and Syracuse.
Kyi Wright: Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse, UCLA, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
Jason Collier: Virginia, Syracuse, Maryland and Duke.
In my opinion, any complaining that Pitt hasn’t recruited well over the last few years is simply being done out of frustration. I’ll admit that the current class has a few more players without major Power Five interest than what we’ve seen in 2017 and 2018 but there’s still five months left of recruiting to be done.
If you look at the overall talent that Pitt has been able to sign in the last couple of classes, I’d give the coaches a very good grade. Taking all things into consideration, they signed plenty of players that held big-time offers and talk that Pitt is only competing against the bottom Power Five for recruits is silly. Take a look at some of the schools that offered current Panthers in the Classes of 2017 and 2018.
Bottom line is that this just confirms my belief that this current Pitt roster has talent on it and the recruiting has been fine but for whatever the reason, the players aren’t playing up to their potential or aren’t being put in the right position to succeed. As the saying goes, all potential really means is that you haven’t done it yet.
This isn’t to say that things are guaranteed to turn around. It just means that the future of Pitt football isn’t as bleak as it might seem and it’s up to the coaches and the players to get this turned around.