Pitt Fans: Don't Put Too Much Stock Into National Signing Day

Photo from Pitt Panthers.com


Remember to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook for continued Pittsburgh Sports coverage: 

I never really got into college recruiting.  At least not at the magnitude of some who follow college sports.  It never clicked with me.

I remember the first time I experienced the passion some have for college recruiting when a fellow student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown asked me if I was going to watch Damar Hamlin’s signing on TV.  I had nothing against Hamlin, and of course became a big fan of his when he played for Pitt, but I was taken aback by the idea of a televised event for a high school kid.

This for me is similar to how some fans love and closely follow high school football.  Since I graduated in 2011, I have not attended, watched, nor even looked up the score of high school football game.  I didn’t grow up in a small town, and I have plenty of professional sports teams around me, so I never followed it after I graduated. 

I’m not saying anything against those who do have a passion for those types of things.  I actually hope we get large enough as a site that we eventually need someone who will cover both of these topics closely for us.  It is just not something I have ever had an interest in.

And as a Pitt fan, how could I?  Pitt always falls somewhere in the middle of the ACC, and the nation, in recruiting class rank.  However, the apathy I have for signing day as a Pitt fan is a testament to how well Pitt has played relative to their recruiting class.  Especially how well some Panthers have played relative to their star rating.  I’m consistently told by Twitter how ho-hum Pitt’s recruiting class was on National Signing Day, yet we continue to be one of the top programs in the ACC and the most stable program in our division.

The Panthers in the last five years have consistently finished behind Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech, among others in the ACC, in recruiting class rank.  While year after year Pitt is consistently better than most of the ACC.  The stat I love to use is that Pitt has more ACC wins under head coach Pat Narduzzi than every team in the ACC besides Clemson and Miami.  Pitt unfortunately lost to Miami in a nail-biter this season, but they did beat Clemson pretty convincingly. 

So how do I take these ranks seriously when the program consistently performs better?

I also believe these grades are too premature for anyone outside of the top 20 to 30 players.  These 18 year-olds are too young to properly know how they will develop into their bodies and as players.  It’s similar to why so many baseball prospects miss.  These kids are too young to properly evaluate. 

If quarterback Davis Beville was Pitt’s highest rated recruit in 2019, why are we so desperate for a transfer QB?  Also Calijah Kancey and SirVocea Dennis were in the same class as Beville, but as a three-star and a two-star respectively.  They are already playing far superior to those grades. Hopefully, when Beville is given the opportunity to play, he does live up to the rank he received in 2019.

The point I am making is that fans put way too much stock into these recruiting class rankings and National Signing Day.  Unless you have a program that consistently turns in Top-10 recruiting classes year after year, it’s just another day of the college football year.  The rest of the nation just needs to find the right kids that fit their system, regardless of their star rating. 

Conclusion

With below average recruiting class ranks, Pitt has consistently played above average college football.  I’m much more interested in getting a transfer quarterback than today’s recruiting class.  I wish nothing but the best for the individuals who committed to the University of Pittsburgh today, but I won’t know any of their names until they play on Saturdays at Heinz.  National Signing Day is blown way out of proportion for most of the nation’s programs.

Comments