Jamie Dixon[/db[ has not always had the luxury of recruiting prospects in the Pittsburgh area, but that seems to be changing, at least for a couple of years. After landing former Beaver Falls star [db]Sheldon Jeter in a transfer, Dixon has gone local again and obtained his newest commitment from Hampton star Ryan Luther, who gave a verbal pledge Thursday night.
Pitt was not one of the first schools to recruit Luther, but the coaches did enough to overcome that. Even though Pitt was his favorite school since the age of six, Luther seriously considered offers from Duquesne, Dayton, Iowa, and he also obtained interest from Michigan. In the end, the allure of playing for his favorite childhood team was too much.
"I was really excited to call the coaches and get the decision out of the way," Luther told Panther-Lair.com. "Pitt is the team in my hometown and it is a great program so I just felt that it was right. It's nice to know that the process is over and I will be able to focus on the season and getting better."
Luther is right around 6'8" and may not be done growing. His versatility and skill set are what led to the Pitt staff offering and pursuing him aggressively, as he is capable of handling the ball, shooting from deep, and playing a variety of positions.
"I know I have to get stronger and continue to develop. I am just trying to focus on my team and season right now."
Now that his recruitment is over, Luther can look forward to staying home and playing in front of his family and friends in the ACC. One of those family members just happens to be Mike Shanahan, the former standout wide receiver for Pitt's football program who was also a star basketball player.
"I talked to Mike several times throughout the process and he just said that Pitt was very good to him but that I had to do what was best for me. "
One of Luther's teammates at Hampton is his 6'5" left-handed brother, Colin. When you consider the brother tandem, it is no wonder most expect Hampton to win the WPIAL if they can overcome New Castle this year. Colin has drawn some college interest as well, leaving him with some decisions as well.
"I'm not sure what the rest of his recruiting will be now but hopefully he keeps improving and does well this year. He will end up somewhere good and wherever is the best fit for him. "
In addition to Luther and Jeter, Dixon also currently holds a 2016 pledge from the WPIAL's best underclassman prospect in Maverick Rowan. If you consider freshman forward Mike Young from McKeesport, the young Panthers will certainly have a strong local feel.