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Pitt's 2013 football recruiting class could go from disappointing to exceptional

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Pitt's 2013 football recruiting class is leaving a lot to be desired so far. Nearly half of the team's 18 verbal commitments are rated at only two stars by Rivals as of early this week. Two-star recruits aren't the sign of a bad class, but with as many as Pitt currently has, there's plenty of room for improvement.

The Panthers' class can actually get worse if things don't work out. Running back Corey Clement, one of the stars in Pitt's class, is leaving his options open and it wouldn't surprise most if he found a new home. That's particularly true because with freshman star Rushel Shell and sophomore Isaac Bennett, Pitt is pretty stacked in the backfield for at least two more seasons. That's not to say Clement can't make an impact, but if immediate playing time is of the utmost importance, he could look elsewhere.

And that's not even mentioning other recruits that could take a hike based on Pitt's poor season so far. If the Panthers end up with a losing record, some kids might be convinced that Paul Chryst isn't the answer. But have no fear, there's hope.

Pitt's class can actually get significantly stronger as well. Holding onto Clement would be a start. He had a huge night recently and is looking better and better. Then there are super recruits Dorian Johnson, Robert Foster, and Tyler Boyd.

Johnson, particularly, is just what Pitt needs. The offensive line is arguably the biggest area that Chyrst needs to upgrade and while one man won't all of a sudden turn the unit into a great one, it would be a huge start. Chryst needs a strong offensive line for his run-heavy offense and getting Johnson to sign on the dotted line would be a big statement.

Foster is another weapon that would really be a coup for Pitt. With Chad Voytik in the fold, the young quarterback will be in need of some offensive weapons at receiver. Mike Shanahan and Cam Saddler will be gone after this season and Devin Street would be a senior in 2013. The Panthers have young receivers Zach Challingsworth and Reggie Green ready to sign in next year's class, but adding Foster to that mix would mean Pitt picked up a star.

Ditto for Boyd, who is not only one of the highest rated players in Pennsylvania, but one of the top wide receivers in the nation. He's reportedly really high on West Virginia, but there's still a chance he ends up at Pitt. Getting either Foster or Boyd would be huge. Both? Off the charts.

The bad news all three is that they have some big fish after them. Pitt is battling Ohio State and Virginia Tech for Johnson and taking on Alabama and Ohio State for Foster. Boyd still has a ton of suitors. The Panthers have a legitimate shot for both and Pitt even appears to be Johnson's favorite. But I'd feel much better about their chances if the team found a way to win a few more games this season.

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