As mentioned by Mike on Sunday, Pitt looks to have the inside track on former/current (depending on what you're hearing) Ohio State linebacker Ejuan Price. Price is the four-star recruit that Pitt was initially after, only to lose out to the Buckeyes in the end.
In case you don't remember, he never sounded all that sure in his decision at the time:
"Ohio State wasn’t necessarily No. 1 the whole way," Price told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Iowa is still a great school, and I have a lot of respect for their coaches and university. Ohio State just kind of separated themselves in the end."
The other thing was, of course, those coin flips in which were rumored to have played a part in his decision:
Solid? Now, I'm not one for criticizing high school kids...especially ones that are going to be playing for Pitt. But using a coin flip to help make you feel good about a decision probably isn't the best way to go.
Still, he's headed to Pitt and this is yet another good late pickup for head coach Todd Graham if he ends up here. Technically, this wouldn't be a transfer since Ohio State would let him out of his scholarship, but another signee for the class of 2011.
So, we all know about the Jim Tressel thing, but surprisingly, that's not the reason Price says he's leaving.
Price admits that he just really didn't want to be a Buckeye after all:
Speaking after Pennsylvania’s 50-14 loss to Ohio in the annual high school all-star game, Price said the recent scandal at Ohio State – including the Memorial Day resignation of head coach Jim Tressel – wasn’t what caused him to change his mind. Quiet throughout much of the recruiting process before picking OSU in January, Price said he was never fully sold on the Buckeyes despite his choice.
"It had nothing to do with the allegations," he said. "I know what kind of people they are. Everybody makes mistakes, but that’s just not where my heart is. I don’t think that’s where I wanted to go in the first place. They’re still good people whether all of that stuff happened or not. Coach Tressel is still a good guy. They’re still all right with me."
Then comes the key part in all of this:
"I got some late interest from a couple of schools, but it looks like I’ll probably end up at Pittsburgh," he said.
Pirce goes on to say that he requested and has received his release.
So why not the first time around? Why couldn't he have saved us all the aggravation and been a Panther from the start? Price just thought that with Graham coming in the way he did, it was a bit late to really pick Pitt:
"Actually, I never got around to meeting [Graham]," Price said. "I met a couple of the other staff members and they seem like cool people. But it seemed kind of late in the game to get involved with them."
SB Nation's Ohio State blog Along the Olentangy commented back at the time that Price actually did meet with Graham shortly thereafter. Who knows what that conversation was like, but the site points out, it was the night that Price actually committed to OSU.
ATO also mentioned several days ago that they thought Price would end up a Panther and points out (correctly, if I might add) that Ohio State should have released him from the commitment. Whenever a new recruit comes into a situation where the coach isn't there anymore, I think they have a right to leave - point blank.
No one can doubt this is a great pickup for Pitt - especially getting him after the fact when it didn't seem possible anymore.