Yesterday, Pitt grabbed a pretty nice commit from a Virginia linebacker, Chase Pine. His local newspaper published an article, and in it Pine offered some reasons why he chose the Panthers.
For starters, as a high school player right in the middle of ACC territory, it's not a surprise that he wanted to play in the conference:
“I've wanted to play in the ACC since I was younger,” he said. “A lot of people can come see me because almost any ACC game will be close.
The biggest reason, though? Linebackers coach Rob Harley:
“Coach Harley is probably the biggest reason for my decision to go to Pittsburgh. I liked how energetic he was, running around the field yelling at the players.”
His coach also chimed in with another key component - playing time:
Linn said, “Cheyton made this decision for all the right reasons. Pittsburgh is not that far away, he has a chance to play early there...
On Harley, specifically, you might remember that I cited his lack of experience upon his hiring. But one thing that Narduzzi said at the time was that he was an 'impressive recruiter'. I mentioned at the time in that article that he looked to be a road warrior for Pitt and as Chris mentioned recently, he was in California earlier. Harley's ability to land Pine with other quality schools pursuing him does seem to back up Narduzzi's earlier confidence.
The hometown article on Chase also pointed out a few noteworthy things (and it's definitely worth an entire read, by the way). First, he didn't even become a defensive starter until this past year's playoffs. After excelling there, interest in him began to really grow. The other thing is that he plays quarterback for the team. Two-way players aren't uncommon, but I'm not sure how many linebackers I've seen that are also the team's starting quarterback. I don't follow high school sports much, so maybe I'm wrong here. But I don't think you see that every day.
I also added this to the comments section of Monday's article, but it's worth repeating here. It's great to hear that he isn't planning to visit Notre Dame again. There was a lot of interest from his end, it seemed, and if that holds true, it's one less thing Pitt has to worry about.