Pitt Has Official Visits Scheduled

Even though the Pitt football team has practically completed its 2010 recruiting class with 24 verbal commitments and have long since looked ahead to next year with early offers already extended, the Panthers have not exactly finished with this year's group.

In Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt's initial five seasons, the Panthers used this time to secure final verbals. Seven recruits committed after the season with six pledging to Pitt after the first week in January. So, this year's class was handled somewhat differently.

"We got some verbals, but we really haven't stopped recruiting the verbals,'' Wannstedt said. "I was in seven homes in four nights (last week). I was hitting (almost) two homes a night. I like to get to the homes of every kid that commits to us, and I've always done that. Whether (a recruit) is committed or uncommitted, I think that helps. And for us, that won't change.

"Our approach, whether we have 24 verbals or 10 verbals, I don't think we'll approach it any different way. Our visits to the homes, the schools and the campuses will not change. What's happened, though, is that a lot of these verbals happened before the season was over. All of our recruits were excited about the opportunities at Pitt in August, but now they're really excited.''

Wannstedt believed that maintaining this regimen concerning his home visits and the like is always important, but even more critical in down years. For example, Pitt had 10 commits before the 2008 season began, but a 9-4 overall record helped secure the remainder of the class. This year, the Panthers had 18 verbals, about three-fourths of their class

"If we had 20 commitments in August, but then won four games, we would be struggling to hold onto those commitments,'' Wannstedt surmised. "(And) when you have a good year, it reinforces in the recruits minds, the parents and the high school coaches that they made the right decision to come to Pitt.

So, we'll finish it out. We've got a big recruiting weekend this weekend. We'll have 14 players coming in this weekend with their parents, and we'll have a tie-in with the (Panthers basketball game against Louisville Saturday at noon. Then, we'll be pretty much done with our visits.''

Plans are already in the works for Pitt's Junior Day in February. Possible weekends would include a Feb. 6 game against Seton Hall or a Feb. 21 matchup against Villanova.

Current Pitt commitments scheduled for official visits this weekend include Derrick Burns, Andrew Carswell, Aaron Donald, Andre Givens, Anthony Gonzalez, K.K. Smith, Bryan Murphy, Brandon Sacco, T.J. Peeler, Kevin Weatherspoon, K'Wuan Williams and Salath Williams.

Givens committed to Pitt July 24, 2009, but after freshman Dion Lewis ran for nearly 1,800 yards he wavered a bit. Givens expects to either re-affirm his decision this weekend or taking a visit to Louisville next weekend.

Micah Robinson, an uncommitted defensive end from John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio, is scheduled for a visit. He has won set for Syracuse next weekend as well.

And Bennett Jackson, a wideout from Raritan High School in Hazlet, N.J., is expected to visit as well. Jackson committed to Notre Dame June 6, 2009, but the coaching change for the Irish and Pitt's continued interest apparently has him re-thinking his decision.

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