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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Watch List QB, Pitt commit talks Tide, Vols

By Jared Shanker

Chandler Kincade remains committed to Pitt but recently visited Alabama and Tennessee.
Following two days of visits to Alabama and Tennessee, quarterback Chandler Kincade (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) added a few physical and mental exercises he can take back to Western Pennsylvania with him.

The two-day visit for Kincade began in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Monday in the Crimson Tide’s weight room, where the 6-foot-5, 218-pound Watch List quarterback watched a workout by two-time national champion and 2009 ESPN 150 quarterback A.J. McCarron.

“There were some little things I took out of it. They did a lot of medicine ball, not just bar and weights and lifting,” Kincade said. “It was a quick workout, but he got through a lot, and it was very impressive.”

Kincade then took a tour of the facility and campus before going to lunch with Doug Nussmeier, Alabama’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The two talked about where Kincade, a Pittsburgh commitment, stood on the Tide’s recruiting board. Alabama has offered only two quarterbacks in the 2014 class, both from SEC states.

Former Tide assistant Mike Groh was recruiting Kincade, but with his departure to the NFL, Nussmeier said he will come visit with Kincade in the spring, and an offer could come after that, although that would not spell the end of Kincade’s recruitment with the Tide.

“What we got out of it is he’s very interested, but they recruit a little differently. What they like to do is really get to know you and see you throw in the spring, and he’ll film it, and Coach [Nick] Saban will see it,” Kincade said “Then they’ll offer, but it’s not a committable offer until you get to the camp and Saban sees you throw live.”

Kincade left Tuscaloosa on Monday and headed for Tennessee so he could visit the Volunteers the following day. In Knoxville, Kincade spent close to two hours with Vols quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian, who tested Kincade mentally a bit with the Vols’ playbook and gave him a few things to take back with him to Blackhawk.

“We went over a lot of their offense, and it was real impressive. It’s kind of identical to [Blackhawk’s offense] in the basic concepts,” Kincade said. “His footage he was showing me I was able to relate to all of it. I got a lot out of it, a couple plays we can use at my school.”

Much of the visit was touring the school and facilities, and Kincade said the Volunteers’ football complex was the most impressive he has seen at any school. Before he left, Kincade talked to coach Butch Jones, who made a big impression on Kincade.

“The plan he has for Tennessee, you can really see if the players buy in they’re going to have success there,” Kincade said.

Similar to the Tide, the Vols staff wants to see Kincade throw this spring before extending an offer. Bajakian asked Kincade to keep in touch at least once every two weeks, as Tennessee is definitely interested.

Alabama and Tennessee are just a few of the close to 20 teams or so expected to come watch Kincade throw in the spring. Cincinnati, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple and Virginia are just a handful of the programs interested. Rutgers and Temple offered recently, and Kincade is interested in the Owls after former Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway coach Terry Smith took an assistant coaching job with Temple.

Kincade committed to Pitt during his sophomore season, although there was a time this summer when things were shaky, as he was not in much contact with Paul Chryst’s staff. Things were smoothed over during Kincade’s junior season, and he was at Pitt earlier this month for a junior day.

While Kincade remains committed, he is not closing the door on other possibilities.

“I want to make sure that I’m looking out for myself and these options are still available if they decide tomorrow I’m not their guy,” Kincade said. “I can’t sit here and say, ‘Oh, man.’ I need to move on and be prepared for that.”

The Pitt staff has not given Kincade any indication the Panthers are not as high on him as they once were, but Kincade said he is just protecting himself.

“I think they still are as strong as they were. You never really know,” he said. “I want to just be sure of it.”