Longtime Pitt target Derrick Davis, a safety at Gateway High School in Monroeville, trimmed his list of finalists from five down to three on Monday, and Pitt was one of the two schools on the chopping block. The other was Georgia, and his final three consists of LSU, Ohio State and Penn State, according to a report from Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Davis’ decision sees an ailing Pitt program fall out of contention for the top remaining recruit in Pennsylvania in a rare year when it could have landed three top-10 in-state players. So far, Pitt has already seen 2021 recruits Nahki Johnson and Elliot Donald commit, who 247Sports ranks No. 7 and No. 9 in the state, laying the foundation for what could be an immaculate defense in the next few years. And Davis, ranked No. 4 in Pennsylvania, would have made a timely replacement for former WPIAL star Paris Ford, who opted out of Pitt's last four games of 2020 on Monday.
The Gateway standout is considered a four-star recruit by 247Spots, Rivals and ESPN, and he drew offers from a total of 33 programs. Penn State has widely been regarded as the favorite to land him for much of his high school career, but Pitt might have had a strong pitch for him had the team posted a decent season during his senior year. But that was not in the offing for the Panthers in 2020.
Over the last month, Pitt has fallen apart, going from 3-0 to 3-4, with four straight losses, two of which were by one point. Of course, Pitt may never have had a real shot at landing Davis, with former Gateway head coach Terry Smith now an assistant at Penn State and playing a pivotal role in the recruitment of the blue chip.
Davis plans on announcing his decision in Monroeville at around 5 p.m. ET on Saturday.