On Friday, Pitt landed Jordan Whitehead, one of the top recruits in Pennsylvania. While Whitehead kept his decision close to the vest, his announcement of choosing the Panthers was a surprise that most weren't expecting.
Crystal Ball, 247s predictor for recruits, had only one recruiting person correctly pick Pitt. The chances the Panthers were given were a slim 4% to land Whitehead.
If you looked hard enough, Pitt was generally considered the least viable of the options for Whitehead. Penn State and West Virginia seemed to be the favorites, as stated by PennLive, but no one would have been all that surprised if he Urban Meyer convinced him to come to Ohio State.
And when you factor in things such as Pitt's second-half collapse to Iowa as well as the team's ugly loss to Akron last week, the Panthers weren't exactly trending upward. It's true that Penn State lost to Northwestern during his visit there while Pitt easily won against Delaware, 62-0, when he visited the Panthers. But Pitt has looked like a significantly different program since that big win and the 3-0 start and Whitehead surely has been paying attention.
Pitt did have the all-important playing time available for Whitehead, who should have a fighting chance to start for the team at cornerback next year. But the Panthers also have been unable to land top defensive players. That history of misses likely was a factor by some who predicted he'd land elsewhere.
Really, though, this all just underscores what we already knew - that it's very difficult to read the minds of recruits. As I said, Whitehead didn't let much known about his plans. But even the kids that do lean a certain way are hard to read because they can change their minds at the drop of a hat.
Bottom line - even if recruiting 'experts' do have an idea of what's going on, they're not always right because things can change just like that. And in the case of Whitehead where practically everyone swung and missed, a lot of the predictions seemed to be based on guesswork more than anything.
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