Earlier Today, Dravon Henry committed to WVU over Pitt. Normally, losing out on a recruit isn't a huge deal on this site, but this just wasn't any recruit, it was the highest rated player in Pitt's backyard. Henry hails from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and usually Pitt has an excellent pipeline to the powerhouse Beaver County high school. Paul Chryst, and defensive coordinator, Matt House were not able to land the prized defensive back and now we have to wonder why it happened, and where Pitt goes from here.
First off, Pitt lost out on a major recruit to West Virginia. Let that sink in. Pitt has lost out on top Western Pennsylvania kids before, but to Ohio State, Alabama, Penn State, and Michigan, almost never (if ever?) to West Virginia. It is not total meltdown mode within Pitt's fan base right now like the Robert Foster decision, but this is not an ideal scenario for Paul Chryst. West Virginia is coming off a 4-8 season, and they actually only beat two FBS teams on the year. The Mountaineers have a questionable coaching future with Dana Holgorsen's antics and results not exactly wowing the Mountaineer faithful, and yet he was still able to sway one of Pitt's top targets out of their own backyard.
I am not on the "Paul Chryst can't recruit" wagon. He landed some talented players last year ranging from top recruits to hidden gems, and he has the same thing working in his favor this season. Paul Chryst will recruit the type of players that fit his system, and he will land four stars in the process, but he is never going to land 20 four star players, especially following up a 6-6 season. We are in a day and age where people want results instantly, and trust recruiting website stars over coaches' opinions on prospective recruits. It is a tough age to coach, and like many other coaches in the country, Chryst and his whole staff are taking some beatings in the media and social media. Fair or not, but as of right now I see it to be fair.
Pitt is 12-13 under Paul Chryst, and will going to their second straight meaningless bowl under his guidance in a few short weeks. As I mentioned last week, Chryst needs to get better on the field next season, and that starts with the recruiting trail. Pitt's recruiting is not in shambles without Dravon Henry,but it was an unfortunate outcome, although not a total unexpected one. Many people said WVU all along, but the thought of a top player committing to a team that lost to Kansas and Iowa State in one season seemed out of reach, and that led a fair amount of people to believe he would commit to Pitt. Whatever perception you had going into today, it is not a good result if you are a follower of the Pitt football team. I will not say today is unacceptable, because its hard to recruit with Pitt's results, but losing out on a top local prospect to anyone never feels good.
The 2014 recruiting class will go on without Dravon Henry, and Pitt has the opportunity to land some very good prospects yet. Montae Nicholson is a four star player from Gateway High School, and many believe him to be a Pitt lean. His teammate, Anthony Davis, could be a very good fallback plan from Henry, as he has multiple BCS level offers. Pitt needs talent in the secondary, and their commitments would offset the Henry loss. Pitt is still in play for other local standouts like Shai McKenzie and Alex Bookser, along with out of state guys like Jamil Kamara and Adonis Jennings. In lieu of today's events, though, Pitt needs to amp the pressure and land a few of these kids. Something allowed for a 4-8 team to swoop in and steal a player from Pitt, and the staff needs to figure out how to prevent that from happening again this year, and in the future. Recruiting is the life blood of college football, and Pitt lost out on a major asset today.
- Reaction: Dravon Henry commits to West Virginia
- The Week Ahead: Youngstown State
- ALL THE LINKS: Weekly Pitt link dump / "Eee-O Eleven" (Sammy Davis, Jr.)
- Dravon Henry to decide between Pitt and WVU today
- Little Caesars Bowl Game: Pitt vs. Bowling Green (projected) - Game Information, TV, Schedule, Time
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