Blake Rankin has had some Pitt interest for awhile. In fact, he's been hearing from a number of schools. Rankin has been offered already by Rutgers, and has heard from others such as Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Penn State, North Carolina, West Virginia and N.C. State. Saturday was his first chance to get to a junior day.
"It was a great experience, it was nice to meet the new coaching staff," Rankin said. "I saw the facilities before. Obviously, they're not any different. I went to the basketball game, my first Pitt basketball game. The atmosphere was amazing. I can only imagine what it would be like during football games. It was a pretty neat experience."
Rankin has been in touch with Pitt quarterbacks coach Todd Dodge, but also had a chance to meet head coach Todd Graham this past weekend.
"I met Coach Dodge about two weeks ago," Rankin said. "We really hit it off. I felt comfortable talking to him. He told me what he expects. We have a lot of the same views. I think it would be a good fit, but I'm keeping my options open.
"Coach Graham, Coach Norvell, Coach Dodge—the thing that impressed me the most was the campus itself. I was very impressed. It's one of the nicer campuses I've seen. The coaches, they're coming in with a really good attitude. I think they' re going to make some noise in college football, that's how they come across."
Rankin said he's open to playing in either a spread system or a more pro-style system. Based on his numbers as a junior, he could do either. He threw for over 1,600 yards, 17 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He tacked on another 981 yards on the ground with 16 rushing touchdowns.
"I think it's going to be different for every quarterback, either way," Rankin said, when asked which system he prefers. "I feel like I could do both. It's nice to be able to just drop back and throw the ball. They say pro style (offense) will get you to the NFL, but I think if you're good enough, you'll get there."
Rankin did say he was impressed with Pitt's system.
"It's fun," Rankin said. "I think I can speak for most quarterbacks, but it's a dream offense. Ten times throwing 40 yards or more, I guess I can only speak for myself, but that's pretty amazing. It's what every quarterback wants, other than winning; throwing for 5,000 yards."
Most importantly, he got a better idea of where Pitt stands in terms of an offer.
"They said they were interested, but they want to wait until summer to offer anybody," Rankin said. "They haven't really seen the athletes other than game film. The quarterbacks, they want to be able to see them in person. They don't want to base and offer of just a highlight film. I think they'll definitely make an offer at some point."