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.
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).