Recapping Pitt Football's 2012 Recruiting Class: Part I

Rushel Shell and Chad Voytik were the prizes of Paul Chryst's first class (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

After a busy day, time to take a look back at Pitt's success in recruiting for 2012. First things first, if you're looking for a decent breakdown of the class with snapshots of each player all one one page, here's a decent one from NBC Sports/College Football Talk.

Here's Part I of the Signing Day recap - a look at the 'Big Two', Rushel Shell and Chad Voytik. Part II will go up later today.

Now, even though they continually reaffirmed their commitment, there's nothing like hearing they've 'officially' signed. I mean, we all remember the Anthony Morelli/Andrew Johnson fiasco. Chryst gets credit for a huge save of which even Mario Lemieux would be envious.

So, with them now signed, the hopes are that Chad Voytik is the quarterback of the future. How soon is that future? Who knows. I don't personally think it's this season, but Chryst didn't rule it out:

"As talented as he is on the field, I think he's got a lot of intangibles," Chryst said.

Though quarterback Tino Sunseri is returning for his senior year, Chryst didn't rule out Voytik competing for playing time right away.

"The thing I'm excited about, is he thinks he's the type of guy that can come in," Chryst said. "His mobility is a plus. He understands and appreciates the position. He checks off with a lot of different categories."

I personally think that trying to unseat a two-year starter (especially one who had some success in a pro style offense before) is going to be too daunting a task. But we'll see, I suppose.

The coolest thing about Voytik, of course, was that he was the first player to fax in his commitment. Voytik then discussed his signing. But back to that whole 'playing' thing. How does Voytik see it?

For the record, he's fine with a redshirt or playing immediately:

Voytik said he would accept a redshirt in his freshman season, if coach Paul Chryst believes that's best for the program.

"I'm A-OK with anything," Voytik said.

But he also said Chyrst told him he will have an opportunity to compete against incumbent starter Tino Sunseri, who will be a senior next season.

"He told me the best player will play," Voytik said. "If I come in and blow it up and if I am the best player, I will play. I will do what I can to make that happen. Nothing is promised."

Onto Shell.

In case you didn't see it, he had a pretty good feature by ESPN last week.

Look, despite articles floating around out there, Shell is the gem of this class. Voytik plays a far more important position, obviously, but Shell is the guy Pitt's been targeting seemingly forever. He's the guy that's expected to pan out no matter what. He's the guy in their own backyard. That's not to say that Voytik can't be a better player - he certainly has the tools. But looking at things as they stand now, Shell is one they had to have.

The interesting thing will be how much time he gets with Ray Graham still around. Had Pitt's record been a bit better, he would have been considered a legitimate darkhorse candidate at the time he went down last year. Graham will (and should) be the number one back next season. Shell definitely will get his fair share of carries, but he won't likely be the workhorse.

Both should play key roles in Pitt's future ... but then again, it's all still a bit of a crap shoot.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt football and basketball.

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