It's been a while. Okay, it's been a long while. Pitt has had many failed attempts to land their first recruit for the 2014 class but they finally have their man. Local kid Ryan Luther from Hampton made the call to attend Pitt giving Jamie Dixon his first commit for next year's class.
Luther is a 6'8" small forward and is rated by Rivals as a three-star recruit. His other offers included Iowa, Virginia Tech, Duquesne, Dayton, and a bunch of smaller schools, per their site.
Luther says that Pitt's interest was a bit light but picked up recently:
"They recruited me lightly at the beginning, but toward the end of the summer they really picked up their recruitment," Luther said. "It's pretty hard to turn down a school I've liked since I was a little kid. The opportunity to play in your hometown and have your friends and family be at games is nice, and they have a great coach, great team and play in one of the best, if not the best, conference in the country."
Pitt has missed out on a good number of kids so far, so one has to speculate that they looked to Luther as a second-tier guy. He's got excellent size at small forward, though, and averaged 21 points a game last year. His stock is also reportedly rising ($) so hey, I'll take it.
Luther also had some ties to Dayton and Duquesne. But as Mike White says here (with some good analysis on his game, by the way), he had a minor tie to Pitt, too, as he's the cousin of former receiver Mike Shanahan. He joins transfer Sheldon Jeter next year and even though White says they're similar, he's not worried about the competition:
Although Luther and Jeter are about the same size and could end up playing the same position, Luther wasn't scared away just because Pitt took Jeter.
"I guess the way I play I can play a couple different positions," Luther said. "Coach Dixon never said you're going to play this position. He just thought I was a good, versatile player with skill who could play a couple different positions.
"Going to a program like Pitt, they're going to get great players every year. You have to earn your spot no matter where you go."
Ah, how I love that approach as opposed to kids ducking and running for cover anytime another player at their position comes on board. To a degree, sure, the desire for playing time is understandable and no one wants to be buried behind three other guys at the same position. But as he says, there's competition everywhere.