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Pitt football notebook: Quarterback recruit follows Chryst to Wisconsin

Jerry DiPaola
| Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, 9:39 p.m.

Pitt lost its only quarterback recruit in the Class of 2015 on Monday when Alex Hornibrook of Malvern Prep decided he will follow former Pitt coach Paul Chryst to Wisconsin, Malvern coach Aaron Brady said.

Hornibrook, who verbally committed to the Panthers in June, graduated from high school early and plans to enroll at Wisconsin this month.

“He had a great relationship with coach Chryst,” Brady said. “It was a tough decision because (Pitt) coach (Pat) Narduzzi is a class act and one of the top coaches in the country.”

Hornibrook did not return telephone calls.

The following was posted Monday from a Twitter account with Hornibrook's name: “Beyond excited to announce that I have committed and will enroll early at the University of Wisconsin. I have nothing but respect for the (Pitt) program and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

This is the second year in a row Pitt lost a quarterback from its recruiting class. Verbal commit Wade Freebeck flipped to Vanderbilt two days before signing day last year.

Facility upgrades?

Pitt chancellor Patrick Gallagher said there are no plans for major on-campus or off-campus capital improvements, but he said some of the Olympic sports are in need of facility upgrades.

“We have been looking for a long time at some of the facility needs of the Olympics sports areas where we do have aging facilities,” he said. “The university is doing a refresh of the facility 10-year plan and that input is going into that planning process now.”

But he said he has no plans to move the football team out of Heinz Field.“I'm certainly not looking at an on-site (football facility),” he said. “I'm sure to the dismay to some.”

Backyard Brawl?

Pitt hasn't played West Virginia in football since 2011, but Gallagher said he'll leave consideration of resuming the 104-game series to the next athletic director.

“I would love to see the rivalry be a serious consideration when we put together our nonconference schedule,” he said.

100-percent graduation rate

Interim athletic director Randy Juhl said it “warms the cockles of my heart” that 10 of the 11 football seniors have earned their degrees.

Defensive lineman LaQuentin Smith, the remaining senior, never redshirted and will graduate in the spring.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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