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Pitt coach Chryst tells his prized recruit he is 'Here to stay'

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 6:14 p.m.

Pitt coach Paul Chryst reached out to his prize recruit Wednesday, and quarterback Tra'von Chapman wasn't shy about getting right to the point.

“I asked him if he would be my coach, and he said he would,” said Chapman, a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio. “He said he would shoot me straight. He decided he's here (at Pitt) to stay.”

Chryst, who met with his current players before calling Chapman, has been linked to the head coaching vacancy at Wisconsin since Tuesday when Bret Bielema was hired by Arkansas. Chryst was Bielema's offensive coordinator from 2005-11.

“All the speculation sounds false to me,” Chapman said.

Chapman, a four-star prospect who threw for 5,736 yards in two seasons at Roosevelt, is set to enroll at Pitt next month.

“He made it pretty clear to me he is a Panther,” Chapman said. “He said he is excited for the second year (at Pitt) and getting the freshmen on campus.”

Earlier, Chryst met briefly with his players to tell them he had not been contacted by Wisconsin. Chryst did not address the possibility of replacing Bielema, but he read the statement issued by the school Tuesday in which he affirmed his commitment to Pitt.

“Business as usual,” safety Andrew Taglianetti said.

Chryst, who has a $6 million buyout clause in his contract, is scheduled to travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday to attend functions related to the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl, ESPN reported.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jdipaola@tribweb.com or 412-320-7997.

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