On Friday, I briefly mentioned Pitt's standings (per Rivals) in the ACC when it comes to the 2014 recruiting class. SB Nation has taken a crack at their own perspective on the ACC class, naming All-ACC First and Second Recruiting Teams.
Pitt was one of several schools with only one representative on the list - offensive lineman Alex Bookser who made the first team. Here's what Bud Elliott had to say on the Panthers and some of the others:
Louisville wasn't the only awful class. Pitt, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Duke, Syracuse and Wake Forest did not bring much to the talent pool here, with none of them having multiple representatives. They are not beating out their neighbors in the SEC (or the Big Ten in the Northeast) for much talent at all, and it drags the league down significantly. Several of these schools are private or have tough admission standards, but some of these recruiting efforts were fairly poor.
Awful? To each their own.
To start, I didn't have any problem with Pitt's absence on the teams and for the record, it was based on composite rankings from 247. The disagreement I have is the classification of Pitt's class as awful, which is wholly inaccurate.
While Pitt only had one player that made each of the two teams, it should be noted that the Panthers' class also featured several players that could be considered some of the best of their position among ACC recruits. Adonis Jennings was a composite four-star wide receiver and ESPN even rates him higher than Jamil Kamara, who made the second team. Mike Grimm and Chris James were also rated as four-star guys by Rivals. The class isn't a star-studded one, but there is some good talent there.
Pitt admittedly had a very modest class, but I wouldn't personally use the word awful. Awful would be the likes of Purdue, Illinois, and Colorado - none of which even landed a single four-star recruit per 247 (which was used as the basis for assembling the teams) and finished near the bottom of the major-conference teams in the FBS.
All told, Pitt has four four- or five-star players as rated by Rivals, which placed them at No. 44. That was as many as all of the teams ahead of them until you get to Michigan at No. 31. They were also No. 44 per 247's site and while they don't give them as many four-star players, Pitt's two (Bookser and Jennings) also rated just as many as six teams ahead of them on the list. They're also only just behind four other schools that had one additional four- or five-star recruit. In short, the Panthers really are more middle-of-the-pack than bottom of the barrel.
Further, I'd also disagree with the statement that Pitt's recruiting effort was poor. Things could have been better, obviously, but effort-wise, considering the program has produced three straight 6-6 teams, it's really a bit of a tough sell right now. If anything, you can make a far better case that the coaching staff actually overachieved in their effort based on that.
Like I said, I'd never call this class a great one. And the team missed out on many big targets which could have made that group better. But is it awful?
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- Pitt Recruiting Predictions: What to expect from the Panthers' 2014 football class
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