Thursday, February 7, 2013
Pitt Reels in the Recruits
Thanks to my friend Dan Bonk (Official Golden Panther to The Grandstander), I was able to attend the big National Letter of Intent Day event that Pitt held at Heinz Field last night.
Paul Chryst and his staff officially landed 27 recruits for the 2013 recruiting class, and a lot of great hoopla surrounded the announcement. As Dan puts it, this event, along with the hoopla surrounding the NFL Draft, is one of the great "Non-Events" on the sports calendar, but, what the hell, it's fun, and what's the value of following a team if you can't have a little unbridled optimism once in awhile.
The way the deal worked last night, Chryst opened the show by thanking everyone for coming (and there was probably a couple of thousand people there) and their support. He then introduced each position coach who then talked about each of the kids, or, excuse me, each of the Young Men, who will be coming to Pitt this Fall. Of course, every recruit was a tremendous football player with great "upside", and all were outstanding Young Men who came from Great Families. When it was all said and done, you figure that Pitt should probably end up winning 45 games or so over the next four years.
We were the shown video game films from the high schools of each of the 27 Young Men who will be coming to Pitt. It got a little tedious, to be honest, but one thing I noticed was that on everyone of those tapes, the kid that was being highlighted was always, and I mean always, either the biggest or the fastest kid - and sometimes both - on the field. The only problem is that now these 27 kids will now be competing with and against other kids who were the biggest and fastest kids on their high school fields.
I hope that ALL of these kids work out for Pitt, that they all become All-Americans, Heisman finalists, and/or first round NFL Draft picks, but the reality is that some of these kids won't make it. Some will drop out of school for various reasons, some won't be good enough to play on the Division I-A level, and one or two may get arrested. I don't know what the percentage is that makes for a really good recruiting class, but I'm thinking if seven or eight of those kids become solid two or three year starters, with one or two being solid NFL prospects, Chryst and his staff will probably be pretty happy with it.
In the meantime, as a brand new season ticket holder, I enjoyed last evening's event, and am looking forward to Pitt kicking it off in the ACC come Fall.