After a slow start, Paul Chryst and his coaching staff have been able to land 14 commitments for the class of 2014. Of those recruits, only two stick out as top priority guys. Mike Grimm and Elijah Zeise seemed like priorities from the onset and Pitt has been able to land their verbal pledge so far. The other 12 recruits can be labeled as a bit under the radar, but I think there are some real steals in there. Still, the fan aspect in all of us would like to see some big names on the commitment list. Let's take a look at seven that fit that label.
Shai McKenzie - McKenzie is a top rated running back from Washington, PA. He named a top five recently, and Pitt was listed at number two. McKenzie is a big time back and Florida State could be the team to beat for his services. As it has been mentioned before, McKenzie's recruitment will be hard to predict.
Juwann Winfree - Winfree is an athletic wide receiver from New Jersey. He has liked Pitt all along, and he recently named the Panthers in his top choices via his Twitter account. A "top 9" isn't exactly paring things down much, but at least Pitt is there.
Jamil Kamara - Kamara is another top receiver prospect the Panthers are after. His Rivals page has Pitt in his top seven along with, Miami, Michigan State, NC State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It could be Pitt's first big coup in an ACC dominated state.
Alex Bookser - Bookser is a highly rated linemen from Mt. Lebanon right in Pitt's backyard. He is only a three star recruit, but Alabama and Ohio State have offered, so it could be an uphill battle for this one.
Montae Nicholson - Nicholson is from the D-I factory Gateway High School, just East of Pittsburgh. He can play either receiver or safety, and is very highly rated. Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech are just some of the offers. Pitt should make some final cuts, but it will be a tough battle.
Dravon Henry - Henry is another stud from Aliquippa High School - the same school that has produced Darrelle Revis and Jon Baldwin in recent years for the Panthers. Aliquippa has been kind to Pitt and I see the Panthers being a factor to the very end.
Malik Hooker - Hooker can be labeled as a receiver or an athlete. Check out his dunk from basketball season and you will see why Ohio State and Michigan have offered the New Castle standout.
Pitt won't land all of these guys and if things go badly, they may not land any at all. But adding a few of these guys can do wonders for Pitt's recruiting efforts. It should be an entertaining few months to see if Paul Chryst can add any of these guys to his list of committed players.