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Pitt facing competition for 2019 commit Brandon Mack

The defensive end has had a breakout year in Alabama

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Clemson vs Pittsburgh Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers coaching staff have made headlines for flipping recruits in recent weeks, as they drew defensive end Nate Temple away from Middle Tennessee State and landed wide receiver Will Gipson after he decommitted from Ball State. However, Pitt may be in danger of losing a recruit of their own, as 2019 commit Brandon Mack took an official visit to Missouri last Friday and has additional visits scheduled.

The defensive end committed to the Panthers on June 17 after visiting June 15. A consensus three-star recruit, Mack picked Pitt over the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Western Kentucky. Now, it appears he’s the target of renewed interest from multiple programs, including Ole Miss and Florida Atlantic in addition to Missouri, which he already visited.

All the recent attention is likely in response to the Montgomery, Alabama, recruit’s standout season at Jefferson Davis High School. In 2018, he has significantly increased his output in relation to last year, amassing 68 total tackles, including 10 sacks and 18 tackles for losses. That’s up from 29 tackles with five sacks and six tackles for losses in 2017.

As a result, opposing coaching staffs have penciled him in for visits in the coming months, with Florida Atlantic set to host Mack on Friday and Ole Miss preparing to bring him to Oxford on Jan. 24, according to 247Sports. This is a worrisome development for Narduzzi and his staff, as it appeared they had an under-the-radar recruit secured before the peak of his high school career. But there’s hope for Pitt if Mack’s decision is dependent on the program’s trajectory in relation to others.

The Rebels haven’t had a winning season since 2015, the Tigers have averaged six wins per season over the past four years and the Owls failed to qualify for a bowl game in Lane Kiffin’s second year at the helm in Boca Raton. So it can’t be said that any of the teams in question offer a real improvement over Pitt at this point.

In any case, Mack’s apparent change of heart presents the possibility that he will not officially join Pitt during the early signing period, which runs from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21 this year, as his Ole Miss visit is scheduled for January. It is also unclear if he intends to visit any schools other than the aforementioned three. Officially, Mack remains committed to Pitt.