Derrek Pitts

West Virginia Gets Commitment From In-State Defender Derrek Pitts

Persistence -- with perhaps a final push from a dominating defensive performance, has South Charleston, W. Va., defensive back Derrek Pitts headed to West Virginia University.

When Derrek Pitts announced Penn State as his intended college destination earlier this year, there were more than a few gasps of surprise from the assmbled crowd -- including a few from his inner circle. Almost immediately, though, word began spreading that a re-think might be in order. WVU never gave up on recruiting Pitts, and signs soon began emerging that the Mountaineers were still strongly in play. 

The next step in that process came when Pitts decommitted from the Nittany Lions program in early October, and it completed on Monday when he announced via social media that West Virginia would be his destination. That followed WVU's defensive demolition of Texas Tech on Saturday, where the Mountaineer defense shut down the nation's best passing attack.

Pitts is rated as the number four safety in the East Region and number 33 nationally.

"Pitts accelerates quickly and covers a lot of ground in his first three steps. He has plus length and athleticism, and can chase a play to the sideline," analyst Brian Dohn says. "He can line up as a defensive back, but he could grow into an outside linebacker in college. Pitts is physical, and he uses his strength to disengage and find the ball carrier. He needs to improve his change of direction, but his explosion helps make up for it."

Pitts is the 16th member in West Virginia's 2017 football recruiting class.

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