Pitt coach Paul Chryst still has a lot of work to do and victories to claim before his tenure at Pitt can be called a successful one.
But he did something right while recruiting Alex Paulina, a junior offensive lineman at Canon-McMillan High School. At least that’s what Paulina’s dad David said.
“These guys (Pitt’s coaches) really are some of the best men I have met in college football,” said David Paulina after his son committed to Pitt on Saturday. “How they handle themselves, what their demeanor is. Their whole, entire approach is just kind of bar none.”
I’ve never been fortunate enough to watch Chryst interact with recruits and their parents (I’m sure that would be some sort of NCAA violation). But I’ve been around Chryst long enough to know that he treats people with respect, but makes no promises he can’t keep. If a coach does those things, people will at least listen to what he has to say.
Paulina has offers from Virginia Tech and West Virginia, his father said. Plus, he said they have met coaches at Ohio State, including defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of coaches,” David Paulina said. “This was almost getting crazy.”
Paulina, who is set to graduate 17 months from now, has plenty to prove. He has been a starter at Canon-McMillan since his freshman year and was named to the All-Quad South team that season. But he missed six games last year with a concussion and neck injury.
Pitt took a chance on him, but at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, Paulina has plenty of potential, according to his Canon-McMillan coach Ron Coder, a former Penn State star who played 10 years in the NFL.
“He’s a great kid,” Coder said. “Hopefully, his senior year he will play real well and dominate.”
Meanwhile, David Paulina answered the question all Pitt fans are asking: Will Paulina actually sign with Pitt 12 months from now. After all, that’s a long time for other schools to whisper in his ear, and Dave said his son has received “an ungodly amount of mail.”
“I know Alex doesn’t want to commit anywhere but there,” David said. “He wanted to commit early so he could enjoy his senior year.”