After yesterday's fiasco with WPIAL offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach you would think Pitt would get a break, I mean Miles' dad is a tennis coach there, that must have stung. Well the universe can be very cruel sometimes because, on the heels of Dieffenbach's commitment comes the second WPIAL lineman to spurn Pitt and choose Penn State: Tom Ricketts. The thing is Ricketts father isn't some non-revenue women's athletics coach, no it's much worse for Pitt; much, much worse:
Ricketts' decision might have been even a bigger blow to Pitt. Ricketts father, Tom II, was a standout lineman at Pitt in the 1980s. His mother, Sandy (Albright) Ricketts, was a standout swimmer at Pitt. The parents have season tickets to Pitt football games. Ricketts' great grandfather was Charles "Doc" Hartwig, who was a first-team All-American at Pitt in the 1930s.
The dude's a Pitt legacy the entire freakin' family has award winning athletic ties to Pitt. That, my friends is cold.
"Penn State has always been my secret favorite," Ricketts said. "Growing up, Pitt was a favorite, too. But just looking at the opportunities given to me, Penn State was the best thing for me. ... This past week - and maybe even a little less than that - I was pretty sure Penn State is where I wanted to go. The past three days, I said, 'This is where I need to be.' I love the campus, the coaching staff, everything about Penn State."
More from young Tom about his commitment: "Really, it's just about the best fit for me - as a student and player. Maybe as Tom Ricketts' son, it might have been best for me at Pitt. But as Thomas Ricketts III, Penn State is where I need to be."
Ricketts really didn't have a chance though, he was recruited by Penn State's best recruiter at a VERY early age:
Fourteen years ago, Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley sent a recruiting letter to Tom Ricketts. Ricketts was 3 years old at the time.
Bradley knew Ricketts' father, Tom II, and sent the letter as a joke. Fourteen years later, Bradley recruited the younger Ricketts for real - and got him.
Both Ricketts and his father talked tonight in a phone interview about the letter from Bradley and laughed about it. They have the letter framed in their home.
Somewhere Ron Zook is frantically constructing thousands of recruiting letters for newborns of former college football players.