Commentary: What Nova's commitment means

Sure, Pitt's quarterback position, regardless of who starts the next two or three seasons is in good shape, but a good position just became much better with the verbal commitment of Gary Nova.

Look at this position when Dave Wannstedt got here. With Tyler Palko as his starter for two seasons, there wasn't much thought or emphasis on the position. He was able to sign players like Kevan Smith and Dexter Davidson, but neither panned out. Smith, though, has made quite an impact on Pitt's baseball team.

He secured a big commitment from Pat Bostick in May of 2006, almost four years to the date of Nova's verbal commitment, but it still didn't build depth at the position. If the 2007 season showed us anything, it showed how vulnerable just one injury can be to the quarterback position. Bill Stull still had taken a few reps, but with an injury to him which left him out for the remainder of the season, it left Pitt with two freshman quarterbacks with no experience. It also hindered Stull's development. He had to wait almost a whole year, before starting his next game.

In 2010, with four quarterbacks, an injury to either Bostick or Sunseri doesn't leave the Panthers as vulnerable. It would be a question mark, with two true freshmen as backups, but at least one of the two has game experience. In 2011, with potentially five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, the position is only stronger, while allowing the younger quarterbacks like Mark Myers, Anthony Gonzalez and Nova to learn the system and mature.

Aside from what Nova's commit does for the position stability-wise, take a look at the last three quarterbacks to commit to the Panthers. With Nova, Gonzalez and Myers you have three quarterbacks from three bordering states, with two of them who have won championships in the highest classification in their respective state, and a third in Myers that played in just as prestigious a league, with only one loss in his first year as a starter. Don Bosco has been noted by several outlets as the number-one high school team in the nation. Whether they were played California's De La Salle or St. Peter's Prep in New Jersey, they not only play in a top league in their state, they go around the country looking for the top programs nationally to play. If Pitt is looking to get back to the promised land, why not bring in a quarterback who already knows not just how to win a prestigious conference, but something about winning national titles at the high school level.

Furthermore, as if it didn't have enough momentum already, Nova's commitment opens an even bigger door in the state of New Jersey. There are still plenty of top flight prospects in the Garden State that Pitt is already in good with. A commitment from Nova is sure to help with that.

Quarterbacks are especially good in helping recruit fellow prospects to the school of their choice. Look no further than the examples of Bostick, Sunseri and Myers. Bostick was influential on a number of Pennsylvania prospects after his commitment such as LeSean McCoy. McCoy, during a training camp interview in his freshman year, labeled Bostick as his best friend.

Sunseri was part of a slew of commits following Pitt's triumphant win over West Virginia in 2007. Myers can be attributed to a surge of Ohio commits that came in 2010--Pitt's biggest influence in Ohio in years.

Here's a look at a few of the remaining New Jersey prospects with Pitt offers: RB - Savon Huggins, Charles Davis WR-Bill Belton, Damiere Byrd, Tanner McEvoy, Miles Shuler TE-Jack Tabb, Shilique Calhoun OL-Angelo Mangiro DE-Connor Wujciak LB-Quinton Alston S-Sheldon Royster

A good majority of these players already have Pitt in a pretty favorable spot. For example, just last week, Quinton Alston told us of his good rapport with position coach Bernard Clark. Since quarterbacks have a positive impact on fellow recruits, it's hard not to imagine Nova swaying at least a couple of these guys. Even one prospect from this elite list would please the Pitt coaching staff. There's not as much work and influence that would be needed as in years past. Think of what Bostick or Sunseri had to say to people in their respective classes. Coming off two successful recruiting years in New Jersey, and now a ten-win season, things only look to be getting better.

It may seem like Pitt's quarterback position was already in good graces. It may have also seemed like the success Pitt has had in New Jersey in its last two recruiting classes was enough. If the commitment of Gary Nova showed us anything, it's that the Pitt coaching staff isn't settling for anything yet, and will continue to be relentless in positions or states where things already look good.


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