Pitt was left stranded on signing day when Wade Freebeck opted to not honor his commitment to the program and made a late switch to Vanderbilt. The move by Freebeck left Pitt in a precarious situation with only three scholarship quarterbacks heading into the 2014 season - one with little game experience, one a former walk on, and another a true freshman. Pitt's plan all along was to add two quarterbacks into last year's recruiting class, and at that, Freebeck was the higher regarded of the two by many. It ultimately appears like Pitt will now try to bring in two quarterbacks this time around, but who is Paul Chryst and his staff interested in the most?
Two players have drawn the coaching staff's interest enough to earn offers to date. The first one being Kyle Shurmur from powerhouse LaSalle College High School in the Philadelphia Catholic League. If the name Shurmur sounds familiar, it is because his Dad, Pat Shurmur, is the Offensive Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Shurmur looks the part of a big time pro style quarterback with a 6-4 205 pound frame. He holds offers from Pitt, Illinois, Central Michigan, and Temple to date. Scout has him as a three star and ranked as the 41st best quarterback in the country.
The other player currently holding a Pitt offer is Alex Malzone of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Malzone is the star quarterback for Michigan power, Brother Rice High School. Malzone led the team to a 14-0 state championship season by tossing for over 2,700 yards and 25 touchdowns. Malzone stands at 6-2 195, and has some solid rankings to back up his game. He checks in as a four star by Scout, and they list him as the 12th best quarterback in the class. Malzone is listed as a three star by both Rivals and ESPN, and currently has offers from nearly every team in the MAC, along with Pitt and Wake Forest. It appears his recruitment could take off, with other schools monitoring him recently.
Pitt is linked to a few more quarterbacks right now, but they do not have offers listed from the Panthers on their recruiting pages. The most intriguing of such players would be Nick Johns from Gonzaga Prep in Washington D.C. Johns holds offers from Virginia, NC State, and Maryland, and a Pitt offer may not be far away from this point. Johns is listed as a three star across the board and has the ideal 6-3 215 size for a pro style passer.
Two in-state players round out the list as this time. Alex Hornibrook from Malvern Prep near Philadelphia could come into play. Also, local star Brett Brumbaugh may be an intriguing player to keep an eye on in this class. Brumbaugh is coming off a AA state championship for nearby South Fayette High School, and was named the player of the year by both local papers. He only holds offers from some MAC schools, but if he has a repeat type of season, it will be hard for the Pitt coaches not to hear about the hype.
Now with Paul Chryst taking over the quarterback's coaching duties, it can mean a couple of things with recruiting. Chryst is known to be a very good quarterback "guru" and past history can show he is particular with what quarterbacks he wants to bring into his program. Chryst inherited a commitment from local three-star Chandler Kincade, but ultimately through the re-evaluation process, Pitt went elsewhere in 2014. That move shows Chryst may be very selective in recruiting the most important position. It could be a telling sign for the players that already hold offers and the ones that may not ever receive one. Either way, Pitt will be down to just two scholarship quarterbacks after this season with Chad Voytik and Adam Bertke, it is imperative that they bring a few more into the program in the 2015 recruiting class.