The early knock on first year head coach Paul Chryst was that he lacked the charisma to attract recruits. Well, signing day is one day away and the doubters are pretty quiet.
Chryst and Pitt have put together, on paper, one of the school's best classes in recent memory. It’s also one of the largest. While classes can sometimes fail to reach expectations, Pitt’s is important for a variety of reasons. First, there are some legitimate players in positions of need expected to sign with the Panthers. Most important is probably Belle Vernon’s Dorian Johnson. Chryst and Wisconsin churned out offensive linemen at an alarmingly effective rate and the coach is looking to do the same at Pitt. Johnson is the first huge prospect for Chyrst as coach of the Panthers
Secondly, Pitt needs bodies, plain and simple. The coaching changes depleted the roster to the point where some positions, like offensive line and linebacker, have become extremely thin. By sheer numbers, this class is impressive. However, that’s not what impresses me the most about Chryst and his staff’s ability to bring in players considering the current state of the program.
For all those out there who said Paul Chryst doesn’t have the charisma, that he can’t sell the snake oil, and that he doesn’t have the Yinzer hucksterism of Dave Wannstedt, the new ball coach has proven them wrong for the time being. Pitt’s class is ranked by Rivals as the 29th best class in the nation. Scout has Pitt as the 17th best class in the country, and first in the ACC. Rankings are usually wrong and no indication of how these players will perform and be coached, but it is impressive nonetheless.
Just think about it for a second. What has Pitt football done in the past few years to warrant such a class? Hell, what has Pitt football done in the last 30 years? Pitt has potential, a new home, and some nice facilities. Hopefully, Paul Chryst will coach these players and mold them into a championship-caliber team. If he doesn’t, I’m sure Dave Wannstedt will understand.