Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt scored a major recruiting victory over one of the Panthers' oldest and most bitter rivals Wednesday when East Stroudsburg South cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett chose Pitt over Penn State.
Jarrett, 5 feet 11, 182 pounds, is ranked as the fourth-best overall prospect in Pennsylvania according to Rivals.com. He had scholarship offers from Penn State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Maryland.
Jarrett's finalists were the Panthers and Penn State and he had been leaning toward the Nittany Lions throughout the process until recently when he decided that Pitt was his choice.
This shows Pitt can go head to head with Penn State on its home turf in central and eastern Pennsylvania and win some recruiting battles against the Nittany Lions -- something Pitt has not historically been able to do.
Jarrett, who is also a running back/receiver, ran 53 times and averaged 11.2 yards per carry and had 15 receptions for 260 yards (17.3 ypc) but he will play cornerback at Pitt. He had three interceptions last year.
He will finish his career as a four-year starter for East Stroudsburg South, and he was named to the All-Mountain Valley Conference first team following each of the past two seasons.
Jarrett is the 15th player from the class of 2011 to commit to the Panthers, which means the recruiting class is close to complete as they only have 16-18 scholarships to give out.
He is the seventh player from the state from next year's class to commit to the Panthers.
One of the biggest questions going into training camp was at corner but senior Ricky Gary has certainly put any concerns about that position to rest.
Gary has had an excellent camp and has clearly won a starting job and has gone from a stop-gap player to a player who is making big plays.
Wannstedt said Gary's focus, maturity and intensity have been much better this year than at any time during his career and that is a big reason he has made such a big step in terms of his production.
"Every other camp we've had here, the bumps, the bruises, the heat, the screaming, the yelling -- everything that goes into training camp, Ricky would have a little meltdown," Wannstedt said. "He has been a real soldier in terms of showing up, doing his best and being a tough guy and really playing some really good football for the entire camp."
Pitt will hold its annual FanFest Monday night but for the second year in a row fans who want a sneak preview of the team won't get it because there isn't an open practice in the event.
Admission is free -- though parking is $10 in Gold Lots 1 and 2 -- and the event runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The team will sign autographs and be available for photographs from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Two key players did not participate in the scrimmage Wednesday, Greg Romeus (back spasms) and Ray Graham (knee). Wannstedt said both are day to day. ... Kicker Dan Hutchins had a good day as he made both of his field-goal attempts, including a 49-yarder. ... Linebacker Dan Mason was nicked a little bit and came out of the scrimmage. But he was replaced by strongside linebacker Max Gruder and not the official (according to the depth chart) backup middle linebacker Shane Gordon. And with Gruder moving to the middle, reserve weakside linebacker Greg Williams moved into the strongside position. ... Wannstedt gave the players last night off from meetings and said he will let them sleep in for a couple of hours this morning. "I thought they could use a night to get away from the coaches and the coaches could use a night to get away from the players," Wannstedt said. "We'll get back at it tomorrow."