In the midst of a wave of commitments, Pitt lost one of the first prospects to join its 2022 class, as defensive lineman Elijah Statham out of Smyrna, Delaware, backed off his verbal pledge on Wednesday. Statham, the brother of Pitt offensive lineman Michael Statham, originally committed to Pitt back on Jan. 11.
The news was first reported by Chris Peak of Panther Lair, but the reason for the move was not provided. And with no statement issued by Statham or Pitt, it is unclear if Statham no longer felt Pitt was a good fit or if the Panthers staff decided to pursue other prospects for what is expected to be a relatively small class.
At the time of his commitment, Statham did not have star ratings from 247Sports, Rivals or ESPN. However, the 6’2”, 275-pound defensive lineman has since earned three-star ratings from both 247Sports and Rivals.
During a 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, Statham led a 6-1 Smyrna team with 60 tackles and came up with 10 tackles for losses. And for his efforts, he earned first-team all-state and Delaware Lineman of the Year honors.
Now, with the defensive lineman off the books, Pitt’s 2022 class is down to seven members. However, more are expected to be added in the coming days and weeks, as June has become peak season for recruiting in the Pat Narduzzi era and several group visits have taken place this month with another to come.