Pitt's wrestling program got a boost on Wednesday with the news that Kellan Stout is transferring to the Panthers from Penn State.
Stout was a standout high school recruit back in the 2015 class and was FloWrestling 59th overall recruit that year. He wrestled at 184 and 197 pounds at Penn State but according to the Pitt release, he's coming here as a 197-pounder. That, of course, makes sense since Pitt is looking to fill that hole with last year's starter there, John Rizzo, graduated.
He is also a local product that wrestled at Mount Lebanon. In his senior year, he went a perfect 38-0 and won the state title at the 182-pound class. One interesting tidbit is that his dad trained with NCAA, Olympic, and WWE star Kurt Angle, who also was a Mount Lebanon grad. And as FloWrestling notes, his dad was also a Pitt volunteer assistant for ten years.
Stout will be a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility left and was a combined 17-8 at Penn State. He also is eligible immediately. In wrestling, if you secure a release from your prior school, you can compete without having to sit out, so it's a little different from basketball and football.
He likely comes for more opportunity here. Penn State's Matt McCutcheon was moved to 197 pounds last year and has another year of eligibility left as the presumed starter. I don't know what else the Nittany Lions have there but it was likely that Stout probably wasn't going to start this year for them. At Pitt, Stout probably has the inside track to a starting job here.
At 13-16, Rizzo wasn't spectacular for Pitt but he was still a starter the team had to replace. That weight class could see an improvement with Stout and that improvement might even come immediately. Stout also still has the three years of eligibility left. There are no guarantees, obviously, but this could be a weight class that Pitt doesn't have to worry about for the next three seasons if he works out.
Stout couldn't grab a hold of the starting job at Penn State and likely wouldn't have next year, either. There is no guarantee that he becomes a star or even remains the starter long-term. But this is still a very strong addition simply because it fills an immediate need and has the chance to be a viable long-term fix. This is a solid get for new head coach Keith Gavin.
The Panthers still have a lot to sort out in terms of figuring out the roster, thanks in part to Teshan Campbell who bolted from the program to leave for Ohio State. But Stout's addition could mean that at least the 197-pound weight class is settled.