Four years after it began, the tale of Pat Bostick came to an end a bit early. He came to Pitt with high hopes, but leaves with a disappointing career.
It's hard to be tough on college kids and I'm certainly not heading in that direction. But if calling a spade a spade, Bostick's career definitely didn't reach expectations.
When Wannstedt landed him back in 2007, he wasn't only a highly-touted prospect (Rivals four-star and Scout five-star), he was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation - both Rivals and Scout had him rated as the country's sixth-best quarterback. Wannstedt finally had his pro-style quarterback and Pitt's program was officially going to turn around.
The program did get better, but Bostick didn't have a huge part in it - at least not on the field.
Like most freshman quarterbacks, Bostick clearly wasn't ready. After an injury to starter Bill Stull in 2007, backup Kevan Smith was ineffective and Wannstedt turned to his prospect. Bostick completed more than 60% of his passes, but threw 13 interceptions against only eight touchdowns. And despite a bad performance in Pitt's season finale against West Virginia, he was hailed as somewhat of a hero because the team pulled off a huge upset.
With Stull healthy in 2008, Wannstedt made a curious move, burning Bostick's redshirt, but ended up barely playing him. That was really the beginning of the end as he didn't see much time that season. He did get his redshirt in 2009 and the hope was that he would be able to take the reins in 2010.
There was talk of him generally progressing and things would work out fine. He would start in 2010 and 2011 and end up being a good quarterback for Pitt.
Things never work out the way they should, it seems.
We all know the rest of the story - Bostick didn't beat out Tino Sunseri this year and spent most of the time on the bench. You can argue that there wasn't a true competition for the stating job, but the fact is that Bostick didn't do enough in the eyes of Wannstedt to warrant getting the job. And when it comes to things like these, the coach's opinion is the only one that matters.
So, with that, and a new coach coming in, Bostick probably figured his chances at playing this year were minimal and decided to give up his final season of eligibility.
To be honest, I was a bit surprised by the move. Bostick always seemed to me to want to play as long as possible no matter the role. This statement back in 2009 seemed to indicate that as well:
That quote, obviously can't be held against him and, in context, he was referring to not getting a chance to play while on the team. But I think it does show that starting wasn't the only thing important to him. So again, it was a little surprising to me that he would refuse his extra year of eligibility.
And while Tino Sunseri had a respectable season, he hardly set the world on fire. So maybe there could have been hope for Bostick to get into the game. But the fact is that he's a pro style quarterback and probably not the best of fits for Todd Graham's system. So while it was a little surprising, it's not a huge shock that he's decided to move on.
And so ends the career of Pat Bostick. One of Dave Wannstedt's first blue-chip recruits was a perfect example of the inaccuracy of rating high school players. Bostick, of course, wasn't a complete bust. He was a serviceable backup and had he been able to play in 2009 instead of Stull, I think he would have performed reasonably well. But he was never able to avoid throwing interceptions and couldn't reach the lofty expectations placed upon him.