Recruiting (and Keeping) Prospective All-Americans

Much is talked about with the “star” rankings given high school recruits by the for-profit recruiting sites, like Rivals.com and Scouts, and what that means later on in college. I don’t believe anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want a roster full of 4* and 5* players… but then we’d be Alabama and that wouldn’t be any fun.  All they do is win all the time.

Well, we ain’t Alabama, OSU or even Penn State when it comes to recruiting. So Pitt has a lot less of the blue-chip recruits then some schools do.  I have written in the past that it isn’t recruiting those highly ranked players as it is to keep them on the roster for a full four years of eligibility.  Pitt has a real problem with that.

Just the other day Chris Peak of Rivals posted up a great article as he re-ranked Pitt’s 2013 recruiting class.  That was Paul Chryst’s first class and those kid are, or would be, rsJR or SRs this upcoming season.  What jumps out is 10 some of the best talent Pitt has seen in years and 2) the fact that almost half the class didn’t make it onto the field or finish a four-year stint.

Pitt has a poor track record of getting highly ranked kids and then getting the most out of them.  It is much like the chicken and the egg conundrum; are the recruits too highly ranked or were their coaching staffs not up to getting the best out of them?

Then of course there is the attitudinal side of things with recruits where for various reasons a player just can’t cut the mustard at this level and that doesn’t happen only on the athletics side.  Many can’t adjust to the harder academics or being away from home and some just can’t adjust to a lifestyle they weren’t accustom to prior to arriving at Pitt.

Some recruits come from a place where they were put on a pedestal and their younger transgressions were either overlooked or even allowed based on their status as football players. Those kids have the hardest times re-adjusting to the fact that they are now one of many and actually do have to do what others tell them to do.

Let’s take a look at some of the past recruiting classes and see what the Top 10 ranked kids did while here at Pitt.  First lets look at two Dave Wannstedt classes with  the 2007 and 2008 classes as ranked by Rivals.com:

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