A huge sigh of relief was breathed by Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Paul Chryst on Saturday.
No, it certainly wasn’t due to the fact that his team was utterly destroyed by the Ole Miss Rebels in the BBVA Compass Bowl that day. It was because of the huge verbal commitment Tyler Boyd gave to the Panthers during the U.S. Army All American Bowl on Saturday. Boyd, from Clairton High School in Clairton, Pa., is now the 22nd verbal commitment to the Panthers class of 2013.
The 6’1” 170lb Boyd is a must-get for the Panthers. That’s been apparent ever since Monaca Valley (PA) wide receiver, Robert Foster, spurned the hometown Panthers for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Pitt has been struggling to maintain its recruiting turf in talent-rich western Pennsylvania in recent years. Many things can be attributed to this: lack of abundant success, four different head coaches in the last three years alone, Penn State’s state-wide recruiting superiority, Ohio State’s omnipotent presence next door, Big East affiliation, etc.
When Foster decided to take his talents to Tuscaloosa, it seemed that Pitt’s recruiting turf was essentially open real estate. But then Boyd comes in and saves the day.
He is the premier player of western Pennsylvania in this class and will certainly give a much-needed boost to recruiting. He’s also going to be able to step in and contribute right away.
The Panthers will need immediate help at wide receiver next year because three of their top four wide receivers will be graduating. Boyd, who’s actually played running back throughout his prep career, has the speed and playmaking ability that the Panthers have been lacking at the position since Jonathan Baldwin left in 2011.
What prompted Boyd to pick the Panthers? He feels very comfortable around the Panthers coaching staff, especially receivers coach Bobby Engram. It doesn’t hurt that his stepbrother, Tyrique Jarrett, just enrolled in time to participate in spring ball for the Panthers at defensive tackle.
All in all, a huge commitment for the Panthers–one they didn’t just want, but sorely needed.