Things seem to be picking around the recruiting front, no?
Apparently, Pitt has landed Chase Pine, a linebacker out of Virginia just a short while ago. That gives the program its third commit in the past five days as he joins Bricen Garner and, most recently, running back Chawntez Moss, from this weekend.
The first official word I saw actually came from a teammate:
Others soon reported it and with Pat Narduzzi's Pat Signal, all seems to be confirmed.
The knock on some of Pitt's earlier commits is that the Panthers were unable to beat out better schools for top players. While Pine isn't a four- or five-star recruit (Rivals has him as a three-star), his offer list of Georgia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia (among many other P5 programs) is clearly impressive. He was also drawing interest from Notre Dame ... yeah, so more on that in a bit.
One great thing of note here is that this isn't a local kid picking Pitt to stay home as we often have seen. Pitt went into Virginia and up against Virginia Tech and others to grab him off of four 6-6 seasons. If you take nothing else away here, it should be the fact that Narduzzi is convincing others that he not only has a plan, but one that will work.
I won't delve too much off topic here since this time is best spent telling you about Pine. But I did want to bring it up because it's been mentioned quite a bit. But any talk of concern about Narduzzi being unable to beat out big time programs for recruits based on essentially six months of recruiting is completely ridiculous. To complain about the quality of recruits at this stage of the game from what is really a coach's first class is the height of being misinformed. While the class Pitt has put together hasn't wowed anybody, we're a long way off from making any kind of real judgment on Narduzzi - good or bad.
We're in a hypersensitive society where everything is scrutinized far too much (I'm about to do that myself, actually) and weighed immediately. The whole 'fire the coach' mentality or rush to judgment on a coach (again, good or bad here) is flat out insane - that's especially true in the case of Narduzzi since, you know, he's not coached a single game yet.
Back to Pine - this is a great get if it sticks. I add that disclaimer for a couple of reasons.
First, whenever you're dealing with kids getting high-profile offers, there's always got to be a caution flag thrown here. We've seen it on the basketball side with Mustapha Heron and Maverick Rowan, so I know I don't need to convince this crowd. Pine not only has big time offers, he was likely to attract more.
Also as mentioned, there seems to be a lot of interest from Notre Dame. And while the link to this is behind Rivals' paywall, the headline of this article, entitled "Chase Pine plans to return to Notre Dame" should be telling - particularly since it was only two days ago. He didn't yet have a Notre Dame offer so I'm not sure if that would change things. But Pitt may be, at the very least, up against having to go up against that.
Then, by the way, there was this in April:
"Notre Dame is my dream school," he said. "Once I heard my coach say they called him, I was shocked.
"Ever since I was little, I always liked Notre Dame; their tradition, their colors, the people around and I just like how they go about their business of beating anybody who gets in their way."
That shouldn't be taken completely to heart, of course. Lots of recruits say similar things then make a difference choice once it comes down to it once things like playing time, etc., come into focus. But the fact that he was expected to be back on their campus and felt this way about the Irish only a short time ago is just something to keep tabs on.
For now, though, let me not rain entirely on the parade, as it were. This is for now a great get by the staff and should at least convince some people that Narduzzi has the chops to go up against the better programs for kids.