The first recruit of the Paul Chryst era is in (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
A little late on this and I had it scheduled for earlier in the week, but lots going on. Unlike Todd Graham had to do last year, Paul Chryst won't have to rebuild a class that fell apart. Most of Pitt's recruits appear to be staying put, but Chryst still has to add a few to the strong class.
He got his first one over the weekend with local linebacker Mike Caprara. New coach, Chris Haering, apparently reeled him in and it looks like the local connection is paying off already. Now, Caprara isn't highly rated and the knock on him is that he's undersized. But frankly, it still sounds like this is a good pickup.
Caprara's had a decorated high school career at Woodland Hills. He was a three-year starter and the school's all-time leader in tackles ... heading into his senior season. He's also been a leader right from the start according to his high school coach:
"At Woodland Hills, he's been a leader since ninth grade," Novak said. "Seldom do you run into a kid with his work ethic and his natural ability and love for the game. He plays with passion."
He'll also be suiting up for Pennsylvania in the Big 33 game. Still, as I said, Caprara isn't highly rated.Neither Rivals nor Scout rates him at all and while neither site says he has any other offers, he apparently at least had some interest from South Carolina and Michigan State. Penn Live also says he had interest from Penn State and Syracuse.
But despite the lack of size, I still like this. Some kids are just winners and born leaders and that's the way he comes off to me. And the fact that Haering appears to be the one who got him is also pretty significant. Having coached at Mount Lebo, he's familiar with the local kids and should be a pretty good judge of talent.
I'll take it.