Pitt landed an important recruit on Monday when Buffalo running back Qadree Ollison announced he was verbally committing to the Panthers over Penn State.
A 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, Ollison rushed for 1,876 yards and 25 touchdowns last season and got his final scholastic year off to a bright start by piling up 195 yards on 20 carries and scoring four touchdowns in Canisius High School's 42-15 win over McQuaid Jesuit on Friday night.
Several internet recruiting analysts considered Penn State Ollison's top choice until recently - Canisius also is the alma mater of Lion starting guard John Urschel. However, Ollison's only official visit was to Pitt on Aug. 31.
Wisconsin, Rutgers, Boston College, Syracuse, Iowa and Maryland also were on a list of about 15 schools that had offered Ollison a scholarship. He has stated in the past that he intended to take other official visits even if he committed to a college.
Ollison is the 17th recruit to verbally commit to the Panthers for 2014 and the second running back. The Panthers also have a pledge from Shade Side Academy's Dennis Briggs.
Penn State, meanwhile, got more bad news. Dravon Henry, the four-star defensive back from Aliquippa, has informed the Nittany Lions that he has eliminated them from contention, Scout.com's Brian Dohn reported on Monday. Considered by some to be Penn State's No. 1 target remaining in this recruiting class, Henry has narrowed his list to Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State.
- Philip Cmor