Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Pitts Settled in at WVU

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Pitts Settled in at WVU

Article excerpt

Ex-SC star glad recruiting process is behind him

For all intents and purposes, the recruitment of South Charleston's Derrek Pitts ended when he set foot on West Virginia University's campus in Morgantown in January as an early enrollee. Technically it ended with a ceremony on National Signing Day surrounded by friends and family Wednesday at South Charleston High School, flanked by longtime teammate Lawrence "Nunu Cunningham, who signed as a preferred walk-on with the Mountaineers.

Wearing a plain white T-shirt and a smile for the most part, Pitts exuded a loose and celebratory demeanor and admitted it was a great relief to finally end what was a long and at times chaotic chapter of his life.

"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders, Pitts said. "I've got to respond to one coach only, that's my head coach. ... I have to please one person, I don't have to please the whole country with my decision. It's just good.

"That's the best choice I've ever made. I feel excited about this choice I made.

Pitts emerged as one of the most highly recruited players in the state and defensive backs in the country, earning a three-star rating on 247sports.com and a four-star rating on Rivals.com among others.

On July 27, 2016, Pitts held a ceremony at Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill restaurant on the West Side and gave a verbal commitment to Penn State, selecting a Nittany Lions hat over Tennessee, Maryland, Florida and West Virginia. Several other Division I powers were also in the mix.

But on Oct. 3, Pitts decommitted from the Nittany Lions before announcing on Twitter two weeks later that he would instead attend WVU. The tweet read, "I'm coming HOME!!

That sentiment was echoed again on Wednesday when Pitts was asked what the final deciding factors were that led to his change of heart.

"This is my home, Pitts said. "I wouldn't want to leave this place. …

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