A tad ironically, as theatrics about negative recruiting swirled around Penn State at this week’s Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, the team got a verbal pledge from a prolific defensive back.
Derrek Pitts, a four-star safety/athlete from West Virginia, became the 11th member of the Nittany Lions’ commitment Class of 2017 on Wednesday evening.
Pitts attended Penn State’s Lasch Bash earlier this month with a handful of family members. But still, some pundits believed he was leaning toward West Virginia, where he also visited.
Even his mom thought he’d pick his hometown, according to a report by West Virginia Metro News.
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“He loves West Virginia, loves the fans and loves the people,” she told WVMN. “But I think Penn State’s coaches did a little bit more. They solidified their want for him.”
She added that when the family visited Penn State, she and Pitts’ sisters were the focus of the attention of the staff, and that head coach James Franklin contacted her at least three times a week throughout their wooing of Pitts.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound rising senior is considered a top-20 safety by Rivals and Scout.
His verbal is the third for Penn State from a three- or four-star prospect in the past week and a half, which breaks a recent 90-day commitment drought. Five of the Class of 2017’s members have a four-star rating, according to 247 Sports composites, and six are three-stars.