Back in September, we reported on that UCLA freshman tight end Chris Clark was leaving the school, and Pitt was one of the options. He officially visited Pitt for the Virginia game, and it had seemed Pitt was the place he was going to land. Suddenly, there was a ton of chatter that he was going to join some former teammates at Syracuse, and he ended up committing there instead of Pitt.
It seemed like all was done, until it came out the week after the Pitt-Syracuse game that the Orange and Clark had mutually parted ways. Since then, Clark had essentially laid low. He hadn't done any public interviews, and didn't reveal any plans for visits or anything along those lines publicly. Before the Notre Dame game, however, his commitment to Pitt was announced
PITT IS IT!— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) November 7, 2015
Can confirm Narduzzis tweet was about TE transfer Chris Clark— JD Schroeder (@Sta7ic) November 7, 2015
Here's my thoughts on Clark's commitment with all the baggage surrounding it: he's an extremely talented player an a huge position of need. Pitt's tight end recruiting for 2016 has not been...good. After Holtz graduates this year, Pitt will have Scott Orndoff and FB/TE Jaymar Parrish left on the roster as experienced players at those positions. Clark is the perfect fit for Pitt OC Chaney's offense, and should excel when he does become eligible.
The situation right now is that Clark won't be eligible until the 2017 season, but the staff and Pitt's compliance department will be making a push to get him eligible next year. I have no idea what reasoning they could use, but Pitt's compliance department is one of the best, and if there's a way to get a kid eligible they usually find it.
Being honest, Clark's entire situation does not look good to the unbiased observer. All of the shine of signing a former #1 TE recruit seems to be gone after all that's happened with him committing to UNC, then Michigan, enrolling at UCLA, transferring, parting ways with Cuse after committing, and now committing to Pitt. Chris Peak over at Panther-Lair got a great interview from Clark ($$$) with Clark basically admitting he understands why people feel that way. Clark at the least has to sit out 8 or 9 months, and that should give him time to get settled and figure out anything he needs to. Pitt doesn't lose much by taking him, even if fans of other schools will fault Pitt for taking him. It's a low risk, high reward type scenario.
At the end of the day, Narduzzi has added another high quality transfer.