As we approach the first national signing day on December 19th, Pitt currently stands with 19 commitments and is attempting to secure at least a few more before it’s all over. While we’ve obviously been meticulously covering what the Panthers have been doing as they try and reel in their Class of 2019, it’s important to remember that there are 13 other teams in the ACC (and more importantly, six in the Coastal Division) attempting to do the same.
It’s important to consider how these teams are recruiting when looking at the future of the Pitt program. Recruiting is an inexact science, but there’s a reason why the same teams have been vying for a National Championship over and over again. Strong recruiting classes have at the very least a correlation with winning, one which increases the higher the class is ranked. Yes, you can outcoach your recruiting rankings, but having a class full of 4- and 5-star players is usually a recipe for success.
But enough talk, let’s get to the crux of the matter: how does Pitt compare with their ACC Coastal competition?
|TEAM||NO. OF COMMITS||RIVALS RANKING||4/5 STARS||247 RANKING||4/5 STARS|
|Virginia Tech||17||5th / 35th||5||4th / 29th||5|
|Virginia||21||4th / 32nd||3||5th / 35th||1|
|Pitt||19||6th / 36th||2||8th / 42nd||0|
|Miami||14||7th / 37th||8||6th / 32nd||7|
|Duke||19||8th / 38th||1||7th / 36th||1|
|Georgia Tech||17||10th / 46th||0||10th / 48th||0|
|UNC||14||13th / 64th||2||13th / 56th||1|
Just like the ACC Coastal standings every year, it’s a cluster. Miami stands out with its eight 4- and 5-star recruits and smallish class, but other than that and the two teams with new coaches, Georgia Tech and UNC, who may move up depending on their new coaches recruiting prowess, there’s very little else. Good luck trying to glean anything from a 38th ranked class compared to a 32nd.
Pitt does a little bit better on Rivals compared to 24/7 thanks to the 4-star statuses of quarterback Davis Beville and Daniel Carter. And there’s always the possibility that other recruits could be bumped up before the final signing day in February.
Historically in the ACC era, there hasn’t been too much variation between classes for the Panthers. They finished 44th/44th in 2014 (Rivals/247), 46th/65th in 2015, 29th/30th in 2016, 37th/38th (2017) and 36th/46th (2018). Most of the difference can be attributed to class size rather than talent level. Since 2014, their 247 composite average player ratings have been: .8413 (2014), .8598 (2015), .8563 (2016), .8494 (2017), .8584 (2018) and sit at .8536 so far in 2019.
Not that all of this is necessarily a bad thing. The Panthers goal every year is to win the ACC Coastal. In 2018 the accomplished that goal, and it doesn’t look like there should be any reason they won’t continue being serious challengers anytime in the near future.