Recruit: “I’m here!” Pitt: “Thank God!”

As a follow-up to some items we discussed on here last week regarding recruiting and  Narduzzi not hesitating to switch kids to positions where the team needs help and the kid can thrive here is something that dovetails with it.

The Post-Gazette has a piece on the impatient go-getters from our 2016 who have already reported for summer drills.

“He did tip his hand a bit, though, when asked about positions that could use reinforcements from the freshman class. The names Narduzzi mentioned — Zack Gilbert, Keyshon Camp, Rashad Weaver — all play defensive line, an area where the Panthers do look thin heading into 2016.

“Those are three cats that can play a lot of different things,” Narduzzi said.

Another player who figures to play a number of roles, at least immediately, is Ohio athlete George Hill. Hill, a former four-star recruit, could end up playing defensive back, running back or even receiver, and Narduzzi wasn’t eager to pigeon-hole him before training camp started.”

Obviously having them on the Southside before fall camp starts isn’t a coincidence.  Narduzzi can say that he’ll let the player themselves choose which position they would be most comfortable with and that seems to be the case…you also get the impression from the HC that even if that player isn’t 100% sold on the idea of switching the decision will be made by the guy who is paid to make those decisions.

I think that when the dust settles in the last week of fall camp well see George Hill in the two-deep at defensive back. That is where we really need a quick injection of talent as opposed to the alternative of having Hill be, at best, the second RB off the bench after Ollison and Conner.

On a last note in the article we see that fans will be on edge again this summer, as we are every summer, wondering if all the recent recruits will be academically eligible for the upcoming season.  And each fall camp we find out that they are.  As the P-G reports our 4* LB Kaezon Pugh might fall into that category out of the 2016 class.

But if they don’t qualify there are some options that the recruit can follow. One is that the recruits can enroll in school on their own dime (on other scholarship benefits I believe) than once they meet both the NCAA and the college’s academic requirements they can join the roster and start contributing.

The other option is to skip the whole season and enroll in a secondary high school (prep school) and defer the scholarship until the player is eligible to meet the NCAA clearing house requirements.   The Kiski School (one of my almost alma maters)  is a local school that takes these kids in, usually on a needs based scholarship, so that the student can work to meet the goals set.

One of the more well-known football prep schools is Milford Academy in NY State. And it is almost exclusively a football factory. Pitt doesn’t hesitate to suggest their prospective recruits spend time there.  Take a look at this and you’ll see that LB Todd Thomas, DL K.K. Mosley-Smith and DB Jevonte’ Pitts all were “MVPs” at Milford then went on to have nice careers at Pitt.

Currently we have two kids on roster who attended Milford – Walk-on DL Calvin Hamilton (who actually attended two different prep schools) and DL Tyrique Jarrett,

Tyrique’s PSA; “Kids- do not try to dry your hair in a microwave.”

a lineman who will see some substantial playing time this season.

One common misconception fans have about this process is that a college can ‘put’ a recruit into prep school for that extra year.  They absolutely cannot do that. They can suggest to the parents or guardians a certain school to attend, or can lobby that prep school to accept the student but other than that the college can’t contribute to that year at all.  To do so is a clear violation of NCAA regulations.

We have seen a few Pitt players do this, attend a prep school and as a matter of fact some of our biggest stars have done it; Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy (Milford Academy again) and Dion Lewis all attended prep schools after their SR years in high school…. and what else do those three players have in common?

It is that they all left the Panthers for the NFL after being in school, and on the team, for only two years.  We all know that the NCAA and the NFL have a bilateral policy that college players can declare for the draft after their third year in school.  But the actual rule is that college players can leave in the fourth year after their 9th grade class graduates from HS.  Since all three of the Pitt players mentioned had that extra HS year they could bolt early.

Personally I wish all the Pitt players eligible to leave after two years would stay for at least that third year and it has little to do with football.  At three full years it is much easier to either graduate early or to go back and attend college and graduate after they are finished in the NFL – and a lot of NFL players do just that after they end their professional careers.

Sometimes there is an alternative high school football experience for a recruit – our DB Dane Jackson attended a high school that didn’t have a football program so his family worked out a deal where he could  “play football for Quaker Valley through a cooperative agreement but graduated from Cornell High School  because Cornell does not field a football program)”…

All this is pretty interesting to me and aside from the prestige and money a prep school gains from these arrangement it gives these young men not only a shot at playing more football but also to become full student/athletes at the colleges they choose to attend.  It really is a win-win-win situation.

Here – speaking of McCoy this is always nice to see again… his interview after “13-9” (my next tattoo).

9 thoughts on “Recruit: “I’m here!” Pitt: “Thank God!”

  1. Off the record – Reed I need to do a Q&A with our Owner and it will take about 1 hour. What is the best way to record this and then drop
    In or create a link to it or is making a podcast smart. I have no clue and need advice. Easiest way possible and doesnt have to be fancy. Thanks! UPITT


  2. Coach Narduzzi tweeted out a photo of 25 players who just showed up on campus, with the caption, “they’re here”!
    Show it doesn’t look like we have much of an issue with other players potentially being academically ineligible.


  3. PSU and Auburn agrees to a 2 year pact for the 21 and 22 seasons .. this would seemingly put an end to any chance of the Pitt-PSU extendig past the current 4 year term


  4. Lets beat them four in a row, then. Give them good reason to not want to come back for more.

    Auburn Tigers will be my second favorite college team in ’21 and ’22.


  5. wbb, you are more than likely correct because they have 3 OCC games. 2 are usually cupcakes (not a shot at PSU actually, we all have them), but it seems they’ve been doing 2 cupcakes and 1 P5 team.

    However, technically, they only have two OOC games scheduled in 2021, Ball St. and Auburn.
    Only one OCC game in 2022, Auburn.

    So, there technically is still room. Doubt they will do Auburn and Pitt with 9 conf. games though in the same year, so I would agree with you.


  6. Thinking about Upitt and his conversation with his boss that conjeurs up words that read and sound something like ” we need a new hr guy because the last one we had was a skunky haired micro manager living off the guy before him that can’t recruit talent. Now that would be a funny training video.

    Heya Reed – I hope this isn’t a duplicate, but when I sent in my comment from my work computer earlier today, it apparently didn’t make it. The cookies would be different as I have a different location/server than my home laptop, but my email and moniker was the same. That would be a bummer if we can’t comment off of different computers. Hopefully all the kinks get worked out for you! Thanks for a new outlet.


  7. Dan and wwb I think you are both correct and would explain their AD’s non-committal statements in the past year about extending the series. It took the Florida legislature to put and end to the FSU/Florida non-playing but here we have the Pennsylvania legislature, nuf said.


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