The big news in Jerry DiPaola's recent Trib report was about Paul Chryst and the possibility that he could stay at Pitt, passing on the Wisconsin job. But a key piece of news in it was about a couple of 2015 recruits. Wide receiver Tre Tipton says he is staying at Pitt regardless of what happens with Chryst, but four-star running back Darrin Hall may decommit.
Hall says, though, that his decision won't come to Chryst as much as it will running backs coach John Settle:
Asked if he will honor his commitment to Pitt if Chryst leaves, Hall said, "It really depends on who's leaving with him."
The Austintown Fitch (Ohio) High star is ranked No. 22 among running backs nationwide by Rivals.com and has developed a close relationship with Settle, who played and coached in the NFL.
"If Coach Settle leaves, I'm out," said Hall, who is recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee and likely will resume running Dec. 29.
Now, if there's a position that Pitt has depth, outside of the offensive line, it's at running back. I've written about this before but the Panthers' backfield over the next few years is going to be a crowded one. As many as eight running backs, in fact, could gain carries next year.
Still, losing someone the caliber of Hall wouldn't exactly be ideal. The Panthers could survive his loss, but he's an extremely talented kid and not one you'd want to lose.
The idea that Hall is seemingly tied to Settle really makes him indirectly tied to Chryst. If Chryst leaves and a new coach comes in, he'll likely want his own staff, and Settle and company could be looking for a new home if the replacement isn't someone on the current staff (like Joe Rudolph). So while Hall says it depends on what happens to Settle, unless there would be an internal replacement for Chryst, the coach's decision is probably going to ultimately decide what happens to Hall.
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