During the offseason we fans tend to look backward over the history of Pitt football and start talking about teams and players we were familiar with. Some of them we liked, some disappointed. A few months ago I compiled a list of 2* and 3* recruits (Rivals.com) whom I though played above those star ratings.
It encompasses the last 13 years and there are some names on there that shocked me to see that they were rated so low coming out of high school. Here is the list:
|‘03||G. Lee @Pitt
|’08||Dion Lewis @Pitt||RB||3*|
The kids didn’t elicit this sort of reaction from the college’s Recruiting War Rooms – the 4* and 5* “gets” do that. But you can bet that a lot of these 2*-3* kids were very much wanted by their prospective teams because the truth is that college football staffs don’t care a bit about recruiting starts. But we fans do because that’s mostly what we look at to debate the merits of the recruits.
From this we can see that although these players were not highly rated recruits as far as the “star system” goes almost all of them came to Pitt and became eventual starters. Not an easy thing to do and sounds great, yeah?
But hold on… The real meat of the matter is what quality of Pitt teams did these young men become starters for? I’ve highlighted in red which players I think could have started for Top 25 teams. But most of those players would have had a tough time starting for the better Power 5 conference programs.
And some of the earlier and later recruits would have had a tough time being starters in the years 2008-2010 when we were having the better winning seasons under Dave Wannstedt.
This leads me to something I have wondered for some time – which lowly ranked Pitt recruit went on to have the best career at Pitt in your opinion? You’ll have to rely on your memories as the recruiting sites only keep records back to around 2003 or so.
Some of you older guys can probably chip in with local players who were somewhat overlooked but came to Pitt and blossomed. I was overseas for much of the time in the years 1978 to1998 so I don’t have that memory database since it was before the Internet
Here is a poll to see which player in the above listing do you feel was the most underrated going into their freshman year at Pitt.
Here is an interesting take on the prospective movement of head coaches at one school fleeting up to bigger and better programs. This guy, Rich Cirminiello of Campus Insiders thinks that three major coaching changes, where the HCs will move to bigger programs will take place after this season. The first HC he talks about is Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi as you can see in the video here.
Before you panic understand anyone can say anything they want on the Internet (I know! Weird huh?) and because we are reading, or seeing the content in the ‘media’ we tend to take it more seriously than if a guy slid up to the urinal next to us at Bettis’ Bar before the Villanova game and whispered :”Hey, between you and me – Narduzzi to Nebraska – take that to the bank” then disappeared.
In other words, take it with a grain of salt. But I’ll say this; I have a draft piece in the works that addresses just this issue of retaining Narduzzi and will publish that soon. I don’t think this guy is a nut case by any means.
Note in that video the shot of Narduzzi screaming at Jim Chaney. No love lost between those two by the end of last season.
BTW – for our new readers here on Pitt POV be advised that I always use Rivals.com as the baseline when discussing recruiting ratings and rankings. I do that not because they are the most accurate but because I want us all to be using the same info when we talk about this aspect of Pitt football.
That said I just got an idea for another article – which site has been most on target with recruiting stars (*) and points awarded? Stay tuned for that.
Who wrote it?
“I saw the best players of my generation destroyed by the no-huddle, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the Southside streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
helmeted athletes burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the dynamo offense in the machinery of practice,
who bared their brains to PITT across Panther Hollow and saw soot covered freshman angels staggering on dormitory roofs illuminated,
who passed through university with radiant eyes hallucinating Wannstedt’s and Graham’s -light tragedy among the traditions of PITT,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the Dirty O and on plate glass doors
who cowered unshaven in lockers rooms in underwear because of missed assignments and listening to the coaches’ frenzy through the wall,
and incomparable fields of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards the end zones of Fifth and Forbes, illuminating all the motionless world of Football… frozen.”
Editors Note: The Pitt POV has almost reached the level of viewership that the Pitt Blather has been averaging over the last year. The Blather is still the most popular but the fact that this site has been so warmly received makes me very happy that I did it.
You’ll be seeing advertisements on here – some are already showing up. As I mentioned earlier one of the reasons I started The Pitt POV is to raise money for charity and to do that I have to advertise. I don’t think they intrude much so I’m OK with the arrangement so far.