The coaching shuffle has begun ... in a bad way. Pitt has lost super recruiter Jeff Hafley to Rutgers.
Hafley, also the secondary coach, was the one guy I was hoping they could keep. Not for his coaching (as the secondary was one of Pitt's worst units last season), but for his recruiting. Hafley had begun the difficult job of getting Pitt quality guys farther east, which was generally considered Penn State territory as far as Pennsylvania schools are concerned.
While getting star players from New Jersey such as Dion Lewis and Bill Belton isn't going to be impossible for Pitt, it's now going to be that much more difficult. Not only is Pitt going to be starting over in some ways when it comes to recruiting in New Jersey, they'll now be doing it against the guy who is at an in-conference rival school.
The school, I'm sure, has other connections there, but Pitt's staff is going to be dramatically reshaped. Mike Haywood, I'm sure has his own guys in mind, but how many of those guys are going to have a history of recruiting out east? It's impossible to say right now, but one thing is certain - if Bill Belton and Jameel Poteat head elsewhere, the recruiting class is suddenly looking much worse.
And another thing that's going to hurt Pitt. When new coaches come in, sometimes they bring their own recruits with them if they're moving to another top school. But Miami-Ohio probably has little, if any, prospects that Pitt would be interested in.
I think Haywood could be a good recruiter, but time is running out and many of the top recruits are already secured elsewhere. Pitt is likely going to have a difficult time adding top recruits for next year.