Maryland head coach Randy Edsall extended several offers to elite class of 2017 recruits this week, and one of the more intriguing names was safety Derrek Pitts (South Charleston/Charleston, W.Va.). For about a year now, the 6-foot-1, 165-pounder has been working out with the well-known Next Level Nation group, whose founder is new Terps Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson. Which means Pitts has a direct connection to UMD.
“Getting the Maryland offer was big for me. I’ve been waiting for that one for a long time now,” said Pitts, who holds verbals from Auburn, Oklahoma, Clemson, Louisville, NC State, Nebraska, Pitt, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland and others. “I’m blessed to have the offer and it’s a great opportunity for me.
“But, yes, Cory being there, that means something to me. Cory and I used to talk all the time; he used to be able to call me whenever he wanted. But now that he has a job at Maryland he can’t really do that, so I have to call him. We have a good relationship and there’s a lot of trust there.”
Pitts said he considers Robinson to be “family” even though they only met last year. Now, the South Charleston prospect said the two are looking to strengthen their relationship.
“We’re gaining more trust in each other day by day. Since I’ve only known him for about a year, we’re still building it up, but it’s getting there,” Pitts said. “He told me that things are getting better at Maryland and that things are looking up for [the Terps], and I trust what he’s telling me. But at the same time I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m definitely going to Maryland. Even Cory tells me to go where my heart is, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make the best decision for me.”
Beyond what Robinson has intimated, Pitts doesn’t know much about the Terps yet. However, he did visit College Park, Md., for a spring practice and plans to return for a fall camp practice and/or a game in Byrd Stadium.
“I got to see a little of what Maryland was about when I was up there. It was a good time and I got to meet Coach [Greg] Studrawa, who recruits me. He was a cool guy. Then I thought the campus was beautiful, and I liked the player dorms, the jerseys and the Under Armour gear. It was a pretty neat experience.”
Maryland, though, is only one school Pitts will be considering. He readily admitted hometown West Virginia has his eye early, while he’s taken to Auburn, Oklahoma, Clemson, Virginia Tech and UNC too. In addition, Pitts said he’s hoping programs like Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, USC, UCLA, LSU and others of that ilk ante up.
“All the power schools,” laughed Pitts. “I’d love to have those offers. But I don’t have any leaders or anything like that yet. I have to sit down with my mom and discuss that first. I should have a top five before the school year, but I can’t really tell you who’s going to be on it besides West Virginia.”
Indeed, the Mountaineers have been on Pitts long and hard, the recruit visiting Morgantown, W.Va., numerous times.
“West Virginia is a real good school. Its’ amazing. It’s the hometown school and I know I would have a lot of instate support there. They love me in West Virginia for real. The people love me; like when I go out to eat around there everyone already knows me. Sometimes I have to take my food to go. I mean, I still have two more years of high school and they already know me (laughs). The people there are amazing. The coaches are great and show a lot of love too.”
In addition to WVU, Pitts has seen Auburn, Ohio State, UMD, Marshall, Virginia Tech and a few others. His most recent trek was to Blacksburg, Va., Pitts calling the Hokies “a great school. I really like them a lot too.”
He has not other visits planned the rest of this month, however.
“My focus right now is on my season and helping my team win a state championship,’ said Pitts, who noted that Georgia, FSU, Oklahoma and UF could be offering next. “The ring is the thing.”
Pitts said all of his offers are for safety, although Va Tech will allow him to play corner or safety.
Ideally, he’d like to have his college decision made by next spring or summer.
“I’m going to have a top five, and then I’m going to take some visits, and then I’m going to make a decision before my senior season,” Pitt said. “I’m not the kind of a guy that’s going to play with these recruiters or college coaches. I’m going to let them know before my senior year and get on board with a school.”
New Offer Pitts Has UMD Ties; Updates Status
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