Sometime, somewhere, Paul Chryst was labeled a poor recruiter. A less-than-enthusiastic recruiter. A coach who doesn't inspire high school kids in their living room. He's too mild-mannered. He's too quiet. He doesn't enough sizzle. He can't sell Pitt football. Basically, he's not Todd Graham. And he doesn't have the Yinzer hucksterism of Dave Wannstedt.
Be patient. I know that Chryst lost a recruit to Nebraska this past week, but that happens, even though some members of the media are beginning to doubt Chryst's ability to sell the program. The problem remains, however, that the team needs to sell itself, not Chryst.
Paul Chryst is definitely not a pitchman. The work on the field will sell high school prospects on Pitt. There is a huge opportunity for the program this season. A weak Big East schedule offers Pitt a chance to win the conference, a BCS bowl appearance, and a win in the recruiting game. Winning solves problems.
Pitt is high on the list for local blue-chippers Robert Foster (WR) and Dorian Johnson (OL). Those two commitments (hopefully) will go a long way towards Chryst establishing himself in Western Pennsylvania high schools. And I'll leave you with this: Pitt has more verbally committed recruits (four) at this early stage than they have had since the 2004 class that included Darrelle Revis. So when you are quick to judge the new coach, remember to also blame the ineptitude of Pitt football over the last decade. That stigma is going to be the real challenge for Paul Chryst. If he can turn Pitt into a winner, the talent will follow.