WVU Pays Visit to Pitt Commit Adam Pankey - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Pays Visit to Pitt Commit Adam Pankey


News of Pittsburgh football coach Todd Graham taking the same position at Arizona State traveled fast on Wednesday. It quickly made its way to Hamilton, Ohio and to the classroom that Adam Pankey was in.

"I was in school and one of my coaches came and pulled me out of class and told me to call my offensive line coach [at Pittsburgh]," says Pankey, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman at Hamilton High School who committed to the Panthers in October.

A call to the man who Pankey believed would be his future position coach didn't yield all the answers he was hoping for. At this point, the situation is still so fresh and so many questions remain for Pittsburgh as it prepares for the BBVA Compass Bowl in January.

"There's a lot of uncertainty in what's going on and he's playing it by ear too," Pankey says of Pitt offensive line coach Spencer Leftwich. "As far as the Pitt players that are playing now, they have a lot of right to get mad. They've had four different coaches over like 13 months or something like that."

Pankey understands the way current Panthers players may feel after learning that their first-year head coach was leaving, and he's still trying to figure out exactly how he feels about it. He knows he was caught off guard, and he knows he's learning a lot more about the business side of the game he plays.

"Me personally, I've always known it was a business, but you don't really get your first look at it until it happens to you," says Pankey. "This is really showing me that this is a business and anything can change at any given moment."

As of Wednesday night, Pankey is still committed to Pittsburgh, but for the first time since October, he is open to other options. Minnesota called with an offer after learning of Graham's departure and West Virginia University acted quickly as well.

WVU safeties coach Steve Dunlap was in the Columbus area and called Pankey to let him know he would be visiting him at basketball practice after school. Following practice, Dunlap paid Pankey a visit at his house.

"We were just talking about everything," says Pankey. "A little bit of the Pittsburgh situation and then he was really selling West Virginia to me and telling me about the facilities and the academics."

Pankey had initially scheduled an official visit to Morgantown, but says he was "blown away" by his trip to Pittsburgh and closed out his recruitment at that time.

Now that he's reopening his search, he plans to visit campus on Jan. 13, 2012.

A big part of his decision will be dependent on what Pittsburgh's next move is. He committed there for many reasons, not just a head coach, and whether or not he sticks to that commitment could rest largely on the direction the program moves next.

"If a coach came in and I didn't get any kind of calls or anything, I'd feel like I wasn't part of their style of offense or something for them not to reach out to their commitments already," he says. "And if the guys who are committed to Pitt all disperse, I'm not going to come into Pitt and not have a [recruiting] class."

Prior to committing to Pittsburgh, Pankey had offers from other Big East schools like Cincinnati and Louisville in addition to West Virginia.

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