Pitt redshirt sophomore cornerback, Trenton Coles, has left the Pitt football team as coach Paul Chryst told reporters this afternoon. Coles entered training camp as an assumed starter at cornerback with Titus Howard's suspension,but failed to hold on to the starting spot throughout camp. Coles did not seize the opportunity, but still figured to be a big part of a depleted and undermanned secondary.
Trenton Coles was one of sixteen recruits in the 2012 recruiting class brought in by former coach Todd Graham, and becomes the seventh one to leave the program to date. Coles played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman, and came up with nine tackles and a forced fumble. He was a graduate of Clairton High School, and was a three time state champion playing for the Bears. He was set to be a key contributor this season, and opts to transfer just ten days prior to the start of the 2014 season opener against Delaware.
The departure of Coles leaves the Panthers with limited and inexperienced options in the secondary. In fact, Pitt has eleven scholarship defensive backs heading into this season with only ten eligible due to Howard's suspension. Lafayette Pitts is locked into one starting spot, and it appears Reggie Mitchell will take the other spot. True freshman, Avonte Maddox is right in the mix, and Ryan Lewis moved from safety to start camp and will likely be the fourth corner. Phillipie Motley is the only other scholarship corner, and may see some time. The Safety spot will be manned by Ray Vinopal and Terrish Webb, and will be backed up by Jevonte Pitts, Pat Amara, and Jalen Williams. So if you are counting at home, that is four true freshmen among the only ten eligible defensive backs on the roster.
Obviously this factors into recruiting as well, as Pitt now has 81 scholarship players, with 11 as seniors. Pitt has 13 committed players and as of right now and they would be able to add two more recruits given the current figures. Pitt's ideal situation would be to add Jordan Whitehead and Shareef Miller to close out this class, although both players are uphill battles. Pitt may be able to add more than two, because with a big roster like this, a lot can happen over the course of the season.