So yesterday, quarterback Wade Freebeck officially flipped his commitment from Pitt to Vanderbilt. Recruits changing their commitment during the course of a year is commonplace these days and it happening shortly before National Signing Day isn't even that much of a surprise. But make no mistake - when the Panthers lost out on Freebeck, it dramatically changed the quarterback unit for the team.
Pitt enters next year with presumed starter Chad Voytik and upperclassman Trey Anderson. The Panthers also get incoming freshman Adam Bertke, but the cupboard is pretty bare under center.
The team was just going to be significantly deeper there with Freebeck. If you thought there was pressure on Chad Voytik to be the guy, there will be even more on him now. If Voytik works out and stays healthy, this isn't as big of a deal it once was. But an injury or Voytik struggles really could make things significantly tougher for Pitt. The only options behind him are Bertke, who isn't rated all that highly, and a career backup who's really more of a third-stringer/emergency quarterback in Anderson.
The Panthers have a couple of unconventional options here. First, they could try to land a late quarterback in this class. Pickings will be slim, but there's someone out there that could help provide depth. Pitt could also go the transfer route again and hope to get someone that would be eligible immediately. Neither is ideal, though, and the Panthers are going to have to get a little creative.
The problem for Pitt, obviously, is the timing here. Had Freebeck bolted earlier, Paul Chryst could have had time to find a suitable replacement. Now, though, the Panthers are really in a bit of a bind. As I wrote yesterday, it just makes a quarterback for 2015 an even bigger priority now if the program doesn't add a late quarterback today.
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- Pitt Football Recruiting and National Signing Day Coverage: All Recruitin' All The Time