Fears about Paul Chryst's recruiting ability should be fading

Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of weeks ago, Pitt's recruiting outlook for 2014 appeared pretty dire. Despite it being early, there was borderline panic in the streets.

Today, though - not so much.

In a week's time, the Panthers have gone from being woefully behind to ahead of the curve. With 12 recruits heading into Sunday, Pitt's fortunes have taken a turn for the better. The Panthers have a good jump on things and with about six months left, have plenty of time to still land impact players.

The doubters will insist that Chryst is padding his class with jobbers and mid-card talent. I'll listen to that argument - there are several lower-ranked guys to go around so far. But Chryst has also gotten several four- and five-star guys over the past couple of seasons even when recruits had little reason to come. And as I said in a recent post, imagine what he can do in the ACC with bigger opponents and/or if Pitt starts winning some games.

And in the midst of the guys Pitt has gotten this year, there has been some quality as well. The big prize thus far is four-star offensive tackle Michael Grimm, who the team has pursued for some time. Mike Herndon was a three-star kid that Pitt went into Virginia to get. Even better, they snagged him over a local team, Virginia Tech, who also offered him. Connor Hayes, Pitt's first recruit in the class, is ranked by Rivals as the 30th best guard in the nation and could become a four-star kid. And players like Connor Dintino and Brian O'Neill didn't have a ton of great offers, but are rated by Rivals as top five players in their respective states.

In his short time with Pitt, Chryst has proven he can recruit. He's yet to have a top 25 class yet, but has only had one full year to recruit in 2013. Plus selling the program with so much turmoil over the past few years can't have been an easy job. The 2014 class still has a while to go, but based on what Chryst has done so far, there's much less cause for concern. He hasn't been perfect and has lost out on several recruits, but overall, it's hard to complain about the job he's done in recruiting.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill, @AnsonWhaley.

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