With players all over the country committing early and locking up spots despite not being able to visit campuses, the Class of 2021 is widely considered to be one that will be rife with de-commitments.
That trend struck Pitt on Thursday, as three-star Virginia defensive end Trevion Stevenson reversed his pledge to the Panthers.
It was the first de-commitment in the cycle for Pitt, and while the athletic Stevenson will be a loss for their class, it barely rates on a national, or even conference-level scale. Miami and Boston College have had five players de-commit, Virginia Tech has had four and even Clemson has lost a pair of players.
Even with Stevenson’s departure, Pitt’s Class of 2021 is shaping up to be one of its best in years, and that’s before local four-star Elliot Donald makes his decision next Friday. Pitt is currently ranked No. 33 by 247 Sports. A commitment from Donald would rocket them to No. 24. Pitt was No. 44 in 2020, No. 55 in 2019 and No. 48 in 2018, so as long as Stevenson’s departure doesn’t become part of a larger trend, Pitt should still be in good shape for 2021.
That hasn’t been a problem for the Panthers, either. Under Pat Narduzzi, they’ve have very few de-commitments overall. He had none in his first full class in 2016, one in 2017, two in 2018, three in 2019 and two in 2020. It’s obviously still early in those players’ careers, but none has made Pitt mourn their departure with their play not the field.
In fact, when one considers the recruits that Pitt has flipped from other schools in that time frame, they’re likely in the positive.
With a potential bumper crop of de-commitments, re-classifications and other changes on the horizon, Stevenson likely won’t be the last member of Pitt’s Class of 2021 that doesn’t make it to signing day, but compared to the rest of the league, they’re doing just fine.