Coach Paul Chryst reached out to some of Todd Graham’s recruits nearly two weeks ago when he was hired at Pitt. One of those was Upper St. Clair linebacker Dakota Conwell, who still plans to research other opportunities.
Conwell remains committed to Pitt, but he also has planned a visit to Arizona’s campus for Jan. 13. Conwell scheduled the trip soon after Graham left Pitt.
“I didn’t know who the (Pitt) coach was going to be,” Conwell told Trib high school sports reporter Chris Harlan, “and I knew a few of the coaches on (the Arizona) staff. I want to see what they’re all about, so I can see all of my options.”
Former Pitt assistants Tony Gibson, Calvin Magee and Tony Dews left in mid-December to join Arizona’s staff under Rich Rodriguez. Gibson began recruiting Conwell to Arizona once Graham left Pitt for Arizona State.
Conwell spoke last week with Chryst, and they will talk again in Pittsburgh. Chryst, who concluded his offensive coordinator duties at Wisconsin on Monday night in the Rose Bowl, will join the Panthers in Birmingham, Ala., this week for the BBVA Compass Bowl.
“He seemed like a nice guy,” Conwell said. “We had a brief conversation. It seemed like he was a good coach, but I’m going to have to sit down and talk to him, learn more about him and the system he’s going to run.”
Conwell verbally committed to Pitt in July, in part because he liked Graham’s defense.
“The position they were going to have me play was perfect,” Conwell said. “I was kind of upset how the whole thing went down. It’s over with now and it’s time to move on.”