This week, Pitt signed the majority of its new recruiting class for 2018 with the NCAA’s new early signing period. Narduzzi was available to the press and touched on some other somewhat related topics.
One thing that was interesting was that the quarterback transfers of Ben DiNucci and Tom MacVittie sort of caught the staff off guard. While one was expected, a second was not.
“...We really didn't think we were going to lose two [quarterbacks],” said Narduzzi in discussing the position. “We thought it was going to be one quarterback. Had discussions with both of them. Both of them I understand what they had to do, and we want the best for those guys because they're great kids and great people, but we kind of didn't think, probably until Thursday, okay, of that last weekend for recruiting that we were going to have a true need for a mid-year.”
Narduzzi also added that the staff, as you would expect, is always prepared.
“At that point, the wheels started to turn, but we had a list,” he added. And again, as you would expect, that’s a complicated thing to manage, too.
“You never investigate the list because you're worried about the other list because you've got a lot of lists.”
That led, of course, to the program signing Ricky Town, which sort of came out of nowhere. Given the context of not expecting to lose two quarterbacks, it makes more sense now.
So the question is, which of the two did the staff know they were losing? That wasn’t clarified in the transcript. But a reasonable hypothesis makes me believe that MacVittie may have been the the expected one.
By Narduzzi’s indication, the staff wasn’t planning to add a quarterback. If it was MacVittie that they knew was leaving, they anticipated Ben DiNucci was coming back and probably felt decent about their chances with MacVittie, DiNucci, and incoming freshman Nick Patti. If it was DiNucci that was the one known about, then that would mean Narduzzi was standing pat with Pickett, MacVittie, and Patti. That just seems less likely since neither of those last two guys have any experience.
I can’t imagine that Narduzzi would have been fine with a trio of Pickett/MacVittie/Patti (along with the two non-scholarship guys they have) so that’s why I believe DiNucci was the one that caught them off guard. Just my opinion.
Neither loss really surprised me. I’m guessing the coaches anticipated it was something that could happen but that they weren’t expecting both to leave was interesting.