Pitt managed to land cornerback Exree Loe, their first commit for the 2017 class, while they were still working on the 2016 commits. Loe chose the Panthers back in August of 2015 and, as I typically do when the program lands someone more than a year out, I gave the standard disclaimer that it might not be over.
I reaffirmed that shortly after he committed. There was all kinds of talk that he was possibly interested in Penn State and vice versa, but Loe still maintained he was 100% committed to the Panthers.
And ... action:
Decisions... pic.twitter.com/asGR9WhYXN— Exree Loe (@ExreeLoe7_) June 20, 2016
As usual, I'm certainly not pinning this on the kid at all. We've all heard the committed talk before, the 'I'm 100% talk" before, etc. Players change their minds and it happens all the time. While it seems sort of comical the way recruiting is these days, the fact is that that's the process and without allowing players to sign early, verbal commitments are just that - verbal only. Few kids are really all in when they're committing more than a year away. Loe's case is hardly unique here.
While Loe said he was committing to Pitt, he never stopped looking around. Some cracks started to show earlier this year when he visited Rutgers and talked about visiting them again since he had family there. He sounded less convinced of Pitt back in April in an interview. Just this past week, he was reportedly at Rutgers again. He's also drawing interest from Penn State, West Virginia, and Tennessee among others.
Loe looks like a very good one but at the same time, you shouldn't be concerned in the slightest about Pitt's secondary. The Panthers still have sophomore Jordan Whitehead there. And incoming freshman Damar Hamlin. And hopefully still Paris Ford for 2017. Those are just the assumed stars, folks - we're not even into the lower-rated guys where a few will pan out as well.
Make no mistake - Pitt's secondary is in more than good hands with Pat Narduzzi at the helm. The program has some potential problem areas for the future but secondary doesn't appear to be one of them.