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Pitt loses Travis Koontz to Texas Tech

The three-star JUCO tight end decommitted from Pitt on Oct. 4

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Former Pitt commit Travis Koontz reopened his recruitment on Oct. 4, and on Sunday, he brought that process to a close with the announcement that he would continue his athletic career at Texas Tech. Koontz delivered the news in a message posted on Twitter.

”After meeting with [Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells], I just saw the opportunity at Texas Tech, and it was really hard to pass up,” Koontz told Matt Clare of on Sunday. “Not many schools use the tight end like this staff does, and they just had an All-American tight end at Utah State this past season who is going into the NFL draft.”

The 6’5”, 260-pound tight end held three-star ratings from Rivals and 247Sports and received interest from Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, TCU, and UConn, among others. He initially committed to Pitt on June 15 but seemed to rethink that decision after seeing the Panthers’ tight ends play a minimal role in the team’s run-oriented offense.

Pitt tight ends coach Tim Salem paid Koontz a visit recently in an effort to convince him to recommit, but based on Koontz’s account of their conversation, Salem only clarified that he would be forced into a run-blocking role. Conversely, Wells could simply point to the fact that he fielded the No. 17 passing offense in the nation in 2018 to illustrate to Koontz that a better role awaited him down in Lubbock.

Koontz is the second recruit from the 2019 class to flip from Pitt, as Windermere, Florida, safety Khadry Jackson decommitted on Dec. 9 and landed at North Carolina two days later. However, while Koontz’s change of heart won’t benefit a division rival like Jackson’s will, it hurts Pitt perhaps even more, as tight end has been a position of need for the Panthers for the majority of the past year.

The decommitment of Koontz leaves Pitt with Westville, New Jersey, tight end Jason Collier as its only addition at the position in 2019.