Recruiting Roundup: Pitt's stock down, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma's up
The status of Pitt recruiting is uncertain after Todd Graham's departure for ASU
Georgia Tech added former 'Bama-commit Justin Thomas by offering him as a QB
Oklahoma and UCLA are poised to make recruiting surges over the weekend
Five thoughts on the latest college football recruiting developments.
1. Pitt recruiting is in a state of chaos. Panther commits were absolutely stunned on Wednesday after it was revealed that Todd Graham, the team's first-year head coach, accepted an identical position at Arizona State. U.S. Army All-American quarterback Chad Voytik immediately called fellow commits running back Rushel Shell and offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, and for now, it seems that most of the program's 19 pledges will stay put. With Pittsburgh's future plagued by uncertainty, don't be surprised to see some shakeup before National Signing Day.
2. Georgia Tech stole a five-star prospect from Alabama. The Yellow Jackets scored a big-time recruiting coup when Justin Thomas, Prattville's (Ala.) dual-threat signal-caller, decommitted from the Tide in favor of Georgia Tech on Wednesday. The 5-10, 176-pounder wanted an opportunity to play quarterback, a role he'll fill in Paul Johnson's high-powered option offense and likely wouldn't have been able to play in Tuscaloosa. Thomas tallied 1,652 passing yards, 896 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns in leading the Lions to an Alabama Class 6A title as a senior.
3. It's shaping up to be a blockbuster weekend in Norman. Oklahoma may be out of the BCS picture in 2011, but that doesn't mean Bob Stoops is any less busy. He'll play host to a bevy of the nation's top recruits for the Sooners' banquet weekend. Among the headliners: athlete Nelson Agholor, tight end Taylor McNamara, defensive end Mario Edwards and cornerback Colin Blake, the latter two Florida State and Texas A&M commits, respectively. The nation's top-ranked receiver, Dorial Green-Beckham, could also make an appearance. Oklahoma has 17 commits to date, good enough for 247Sports' sixth-ranked recruiting class.
4. Newly hired UCLA coach Jim Mora Jr. is swinging for the fences. The Bruins' frontman has reached out to five-star talents Arik Armstead, a two-way lineman from Pleasant Grove (Calif.), and Ellis McCarthy, a defensive tackle from Monrovia (Calif.). Though he may be too late to make headway with the former -- Armstead is strongly considering Cal, Notre Dame, USC and Oregon -- he could have a shot with the latter. McCarthy's top three consists of UCLA, Cal and USC.
5. No program has been more successful in recruiting Chicago prospects than Iowa. The Hawkeyes -- who already boast Windy City talents Ryan Ward, Jaleel Johnson and versatile athlete Maurice Fleming -- recently landed their biggest catch in Lake Forest Academy (Ill.) defensive end Faith Ekakitie. A 6-foot-3, 285-pound force, Ekakitie racked up 56 tackles, 11 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his sensational senior campaign. Kirk Ferentz and Co. also remain in the running for blue-chip offensive tackle Jordan Diamond.
Urban Meyer secured his first two commits at Ohio State, locking up defensive linemen Tommy Schutt and Se'Von Pittman, formerly Penn State and Michigan State pledges, respectively. Even more encouraging in Columbus: Touted running back Bri'onte Dunn announced he's a firm commit following his visit to campus last weekend. Dunn was also considering archrival Michigan.
Diamond, Armstead and four-star offensive guard Alex Kozan will take official visits to Auburn over the weekend. Armstead previously visited Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Cal. USC -- a school he decommitted from on Oct. 16 -- also remains in the picture.
Texas' top-ranked recruiting class continues to improve. This week, it added safety Adrian Colbert, a former Baylor pledge, and in-state cornerback Kevin Vaccaro. The Longhorns now have 25 recruits in their 2012 haul.
Five-star offensive tackle Andrus Peat has narrowed his list to Florida State, Nebraska, Stanford and USC. The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder has already taken visit to Lincoln and Palo Alto, and plans to check out Tallahassee and Los Angeles before deciding in January.
Bishop McDevitt (Pa.) defensive tackle Noah Spence will take his first -- and possibly last -- visit to Ohio State this weekend. The pass-rushing force will play for the Pennsylvania Class 3A title on Friday, a game that Meyer and assistant Luke Fickell are expected to attend. Spence plans to reveal his decision at the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 5, and is also considering Florida, LSU, Maryland, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) teammates Yuri Wright and Elijah Shumate will visit South Bend this weekend after both hosting Brian Kelly in their homes on Tuesday. Wright took his first official last week to Colorado, while Shumate has visited Rutgers and South Carolina.
For additional recruiting coverage, visit 247Sports.com.
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