First Official Visit Weekend A Success

Pitt may have lost a lot of their previous commitments through the coaching turmoil the program received over the last couple months. Todd Graham's new coaching staff has been off to the races, finally reaping the benefits with three commitments over the weekend.

Pitt was able to reel in three verbal commits over the weekend, who decided on Pitt because of the fast-pace, high-octane offense that Todd Graham intends to run here. All three come from states with a plethora of high school talent. One of the commits comes to Pitt having previously grown up in Pittsburgh.

Corey Davis surprised few when he informed Scout.com that he committed to Pitt during his visit. Davis is a three-star running back out of Gladewater, Texas, which is just two hours east of Dallas. It's been quite awhile since the Panthers lured a running back from the Lone State state. Though they've had a number of Texas high school products, they haven't had a productive running back out of Texas since they got "Swervin" Curvin Richards in the late 1980s. Richards came out of LaPorte, Texas, a suburb of Houston, and still ranks second in school history with 3,192 yards.

"I am going to be signing with Pittsburgh," Davis told Scout's Greg Powers on Saturday. "That is the school I wanted to go to. They run a good program and they send people to the NFL."

Davis rushed for over 1,700 yards and 28 touchdowns, on his way to all-state honors this past season.

Sunday, the Panthers added two more skill players. First, they got a commit from former Penn Hills standout Darius Patton. Patton was recruited by Tony Gibson when Gibson was at Michigan. Patton was one of the first prospects who got an offer from the new coaching staff, the day Todd Graham was hired, not even two weeks ago.

"I'm coming home again, and I'll be a Pittsburgh Panther," Patton told Scout's Bob Lichtenfels.

Patton is a former Penn Hills native. He had some interest in Cincinnati at the time the Pitt staff initially moved on him. It took Pitt less than two weeks to get a verbal commit from the 5-9, 170-pound speedster.

Pitt closed the weekend with a verbal commit from Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington running back Isaac Bennett. A 5-11, 190-pound running back, Bennett picked up the Pitt offer late last week, then decided to come in and take the official visit to Pittsburgh.

As a senior, Bennett rushed for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns to help lead Booker T. Washington to a state championship this past year. Pitt last signed a standout from Booker T. Washington in 1993, when they added linebacker Roderick Humphrey, who became a four-year letterwinner for the Panthers. It sounds like Bennett is being recruited as a free safety.

"I called and committed to Coach Graham and he was pretty excited," Bennett told Scout's Greg Powers on Sunday night.

With three commits out of 12 official visitors, the new Pitt staff is off to a great start. They also left a good impression at the rest of the visitors who were in, including Justin Olack--a one-time Pitt commit. Olack told Panther Digest that he would solidify his commit status by the end of Monday. LaQuentin Smith--a linebacker out of Florida--also had a favorable visit, and told Panther Digest he would decide by next Monday, after taking his final official visit to West Virginia next week.

With nine official visitors on the docket for next weekend, and although it's been a mad scramble getting a new head coach and staff in place, Graham and company have made the best of everything so far, and are in good shape to reel in a few more commits before signing day, which is just nine days away.


Panther More Top Stories