New Pitt coach Paul Chryst got good news tonight when Shaler's J.P. Holtz announced he will play at Pitt.
Holtz, who was recruited to play tight end, originally committed to Penn State last summer, but changed his mind when the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case became public. Holtz is one of the top players in the WPIAL and was a Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 selection.
Holtz's commitment to Pitt brought about a natural question. Would he have chosen the Panthers if Todd Graham was still coach?
"Ummm," Holtz said before pausing. "I'm not sure about that."
The hesitation in Holtz's voice said something about his thoughts about Pitt when Graham was coach. Later, the excitement in his voice talking about Pitt said something about Chryst.
"He's a good guy. I think he's going to turn the program around," Holtz said.
Holtz chose Pitt over Michigan State. He visited both schools along with Purdue.
"I liked Purdue a lot, but it's just too far away," Holtz said.
Holtz plans to be a criminal justice major. His father, Bob, is a U.S. Marshal. Here is something interesting about J.P. Holtz: When asked what area of criminal justice he would like to work for someday, Holtz said, "I'd like to be on the S.W.A.T. team."