published Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Voytik sticking with Pitt despite coaching turmoil

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- When Todd Graham made the decision to leave the University of Pittsburgh and take the head-coaching job at Arizona State, it rocked the 2012 Panther recruiting class, which includes Cleveland High standout Chad Voytik.

What it hasn't done, however, is change their intentions.

After the news of Graham leaving, Voytik, the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the nation, spent the entire day in contact with the Pitt coaching staff and fellow commitments. He could have made a decision to reopen his commitment, but his choice was to stay firm.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder, who threw for over 5,000 yards in his Blue Raider career, chose Pitt in August over a multitude of offers, which included Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

"Chad's still firmly committed," his dad Gary said Wednesday evening. "We feel like Pitt is going to be able to go out and get a good head coach, and to be able to do so in a timely fashion."

Gary Voytik also noted that other fellow commitments were going to remain solid in their commitments as well. There are no worries about a change in the offense, which could easily differ from the quarterback-friendly, open style that Graham has implemented in coaching stops in Rice, Tulsa and Pitt.

"Chad works hard in the offseason in a variety of offenses," Gary said. "He's actually very well suited for the pro-style offense and he has the ability to succeed in any."

There was a rumbling in Pitt about Graham's departure. The first-year head coach informed the team via text message that he was leaving, which caused an uproar from current Pitt players. The Panthers went 6-6 this season, 4-3 in the Big East Conference.

"I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State," Graham said in the text, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited me from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham."

The Panthers are expected to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in the upcoming season. The team will play in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Southern Methodist University on Jan. 7, 2012, the same day that Voytik will participate in the U.S. Army All-American Game.

"Nothing has changed with us," Gary Voytik said. "We have intentions of returning to Pitt for an unofficial visit after they hire a new coach, but we're excited about the new hire.

"We wish Coach [Graham] well, but Chad's going to remain a Pitt Panther. He remains rock solid on that commitment."

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