I got a few questions into the mailbag on Pitt recruiting and figured I would ask Craig Haubert of ESPN Recruiting for some solid answers.
Dave in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Most of Todd Graham's early commitments chose Pitt over Temple, Akron, and a bunch of other MAC/C-USA schools. As a fan, how worried should I be about Graham's recruiting capabilities?
Adam in New York writes: By the looks of it, Pittsburgh is last in terms of commitment and no news has really come out about their recruiting. Should I be worried that most teams in the Big East already have double digits in terms of commitments while Pittsburgh has only 7? Are recruits not buying into Todd Graham's philosophy and/or potential at Pitt?
Craig Haubert: Some patience needs to be shown. He came in late and took over a less-than-ideal situation from a PR standpoint. While he has members of his staff who have coached and recruited the region -- several other members of his staff like him have spent a good chunk of their recent coaching careers in the Southwest. (Dave Wannstedt was not only an alum, but grew up in that area)
He needs to be given the time to develop relationships and spread his message. He also needs to show recruits in this region what he can provide Pitt on the field. He did a good job at Tulsa, but he did not come from a program that was regularly featured in "prime-time" type matchups -- so prospects in Pitt's region might not immediately be familiar with him and what he has accomplished.
There is still plenty of time left as well, and it is a good year in Pennsylvania with many of those prospects still uncommitted. So he still has time to build this class with more "top-tier" talent. Also, Pitt might not have beaten top powers for the prospects it has now, but they are not bad prospects -- all but one are three-stars and the one other guy is a high two-star. They also seem to be in good shape for undersized, but very talented quarterback Chad Voytik out of Tennessee. Other programs in the conference might have more commits, but none have landed an ESPNU150 prospect to date. More importantly, it is not how you start, but how you finish. So Pitt fans need to be more worried about how they stack up at the end and not so much now.
So he might not be making the splash Pitt fans would like, but he has not been on job that long and fans need to realistically cut him some slack -- time will tell if he can do the job, but now is certainly not the time to hit the panic button.