Friday POV Roundup, 7/8/16

Another work week is almost in the books so here is the serial Friday POV Roundup article. There wasn’t a ton of Pitt football news.  The lead story of the week is this one and it has to do with the whole of the athletic department rather than an individual team or player.

It deals with a great idea and long overdue issue.  Published this morning in the Post-Gazette, the article’s thoughts makes the valid point that we need to reinforce to the players and, perhaps more importantly their coaching staffs, that the “Student/Athlete” designation is alive and well at the University of Pittsburgh.

It isn’t any coincidence that the label “Student” comes first in that title BTW, especially at Pitt.

Earlier this summer, Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes ran into one of the school’s men’s soccer players at a donor event for the university. The student-athlete, there as part of a student ambassador group, was quick to tell Barnes about why he was spending his summer break doing extra-curricular activities.

“As we talked, he said, ‘Mr. Barnes, the whole time I wanted to do this. It’s great for me to get involved in this. It’ll be great for my resume. It’ll be great for networking and, just overall, my development,’ ” Barnes said. “He said, ‘But the only way that I could do it is to get my hours that I have to commit to it in the summer.’ Because once fall starts, between the demands of his particular sport … and the academic rigor, there was no way he could get the hours of commitment in.”

Mike Vukovcan at Pittsburgh Sports Now has his Pitt Crystal Ball Predictions

1) 3* Dontavius Butler, WR, Plantation (FL):  I’ve watched a lot of tape on Butler and I really think he’s eventually going to be a big-time player for Pitt. He’s a big (6-2, 200), physical receiver but is also a play-maker. Panther fans are going to like Butler.

2) 3* Connor Heyward, WR, Suwanee, GA: Unlike his brother Cam, I believe Pitt is going to be successful in landing this talented athlete. I get the sense that Pitt hopes Heyward commits soon but from what I hear, he’s not totally ready yet. Coach Narduzzi and Coach Sherman have done a great job recruiting Heyward and also have made a huge impression with his family. The Heyward’s TRUST Pitt and Pat Narduzzi.

3) 3* Gabe Houy, OT, Upper St. Clair: Like his former teammate Brandon Ford last year, I believe this local product will commit to the hometown school. Last time I spoke with Houy, he was deciding between Pitt and Maryland. I wouldn’t be surprised if he selected Pitt fairly soon.

4) 4* & 12th ranked nationally Donovan Jeter, DT, Beaver Falls: Although he’s being recruited by every major program in the country, in the end, I just see Jeter staying home and being a leader of this Pitt defense. The biggest factor in Jeter staying home is his relationship with Narduzzi. The talented defensive lineman knows that Narduzzi and his defensive scheme can get him to the next level.

5)3*  Johnny Jordan, C, Washington DC: Jordan is a player that could be a future leader of John Peterson’s offensive line. He’s big, physical and nasty. Pitt has made recruiting DC and Virginia a priority and it will result in a commitment.

6) 4* & 11th ranked TyJuan Garbutt, DE, Fredericksburg, VA: Pitt was the first school to offer Garbutt a scholarship and because of that and his relationship with Narduzzi and Rob Harley, I’m predicting this big time talent says “Pitt is It.”

It would be nice to get those 4* kids and that Center.  I think having a center with HS experience in that position is a good thing. One thing, and this is a positiove trend with this staff, all these recruits have major offers from Power 5 schools.

Tim Benz on the same website chips in with an articles about the ACC Coastal QBs and how important Peterman is for us. He leads off with this statement:

Maybe you don’t at all. Maybe you think with Jim Chaney gone, Peterman will regress, fall out of favor, or eventually lose his job.

You shouldn’t. The quarterback position should still belong to Peterman in 2016. Peterman’s first year as the Panther quarterback was definitely more good than bad.

Thanks Tim.

Others get into this subject as well. ESPN has a piece on some position battles in the ACC:

This article talks about the receiving by committee approach which I do think we’ll see in lieu of one go-to receiver.

For quarterback Nathan Peterman to excel in the passing game, the Panthers will need several players to emerge at receiver and tight end. Tyler Boyd caught 43 percent of all passes in 2015, 65 more than second-leading receiver Dontez Ford (26 for 505 yards, 19.4 yards per catch). Zach Challingsworth and Quadree Henderson will also compete for catches, but sophomore Tre Tipton, a running quarterback and wide receiver in high school, might be best suited to replicate Boyd’s all-purpose style.

Readers – we are going to hear this same thing over and over  as the season approaches – Peterman 2nd year progression and Boyd’s being gone.

Another ESPN offering about Matt Canada’s biggets challange going into 2016. BTW – this was ranked #2 biggest out of five.  here is an interesting point about Canada’s approach.

If Chaney can find a rhythm rotating James Conner, who plans to return now that he finished cancer treatment earlier this year, and Qadree Ollison, it could open the passing game for QB Nate Peterman and Ford. As NC State’s coordinator last season, Canada’s offense rarely hit big plays. The Wolfpack were 52nd in completions of at least 10 yards, but head coach Dave Doeren might have limited Canada’s playbook.

 Don’t worry folks – we’ll see more Big Hitters this year than we have in some time I think.

Saturday Look-Back on Pitt’s football history tomorrow.  Thanks…











23 thoughts on “Friday POV Roundup, 7/8/16

  1. My two cents worth. I don’t think we are going to have top worry about the offense unless Peterman goes down. Assuming Ford and Challingsworth win the two starting jobs, we still have Ibrahim to catch the ball out of the backfield,while Henderson and Tipton would make opposing defenses cringe with the moves and speed. I don’t mention Weah as I have to see him put permanent glue on his hands. Nothing ticks me off more than receivers not catching easy balls or coughing it up.The key to me is to get the OL in sync. We have a lot of returning vets ,but they need reps together to stay on the same page.Somewhere this season Coach has to find way to get the backup offensive linemen some reps also.


  2. Tim Benz offering his usual much ado about nothing opinion. Of course Peterman is very important since there are no experienced back-ups … wow, what a freakin’ genius! And Tim, just who are these people you are referring to who are claiming that Peterman should lose his job?

    Pathetic journalism at its best (worst?) …. whatever!


  3. From what I have personally witnessed in multiple football and basketball power five institutions, the kids are predominately athlete students. It is more uncommon at the traditional powerhouse programs to find student athletes in football or basketball, than common. Additionally, I am more confident than ever in saying that what happened at Louisville is not uncommon and that a lot of “exchanges” are made between athlete/coaches, parents and AAU administrators. We should not kid ourselves nor listen to the folks whose job it is to protect the athletic department image across the US. And yes, that means our team too.

    For non-revenue generating sports, I expect to hear a story as reported about a soccer player and his education being most important. Well done.

    The recruiting looks good. The two DL really look promising and would be great gets. Wade to OSU seems like a lock, especially given the parent influence to go big time. The problem is that OSU has 5 other db’s that run as fast and turn their hips as good as Wade, but are bigger. Parents and players really need to study the two and three deep objectively. Getting to the next level is about game tape. If you are good , the nfl will find you on any roster.


  4. I hope the staff lands some big names from around the country. Good programs recruit the entire country.

    Nothing will be better for recruiting than lots of wins!


    1. That’s great the players like Stallings and his style, but all that matters is how the team performs on the court. I’m not anti Stallings by any means, but I don’t like when players talk about the problems from last season, especially when there is a new coach. It sounds like an excuse and creating a blank slate. Artis also did nothing to push the team past Wisconsin in round one, so he needs to look in the mirror and ask himself what he can do better to help the team do well.

      This became common with the football program last decade. I particularly remember returning players and parents talking about the issues with the guys who left after the underachieving 2003 season. Oh, you mean the QB who threw 37 TDs, the All-World All-Class receiver, the terrific tight end and the classy fullback who played in the NFL. Talk is cheap. Just get it done on game day.


    2. Artist said “What I’ve seen so far, (Stallings) has a lot of trust in his players,” Artis said. “I know he can trust me on the floor. I don’t think I got that same trust with Dixon.

      “(Stallings) trusts me, and he wants me to (be) point guard. I’m ready for that. It’s basically on me to get my teammates open. Having the ball in my hand a lot more than last year, it’s a key to this team.”

      Can’t wait to see this team sans Dixon running up & down the sideline like a nutcase….


  5. Gettin’ done there boys. And gals maybe? Used to have Olivia comment, haven’t seen her in awhile.
    Less than 2 months till opening day. 2 months on Sunday till Penn State!! Woo!!!

    For the basketball peeps.
    I hope you can believe this, because I never say stuff like this. Have a good friend who has been a long time head basketball coach at 6A school in the South Hills. Has won a championship, does very well.

    Ran in to him at Sheetz last night, going out the door, said, “what about Stallings.”

    He answered, “fantastic, like him a lot, took me to lunch to introduce himself”.

    Means nothing, other than, the guy is reaching out to coaches around here, even though we’re not even a hot bed of basketball stars. I think it’s a good sign. Again, FWIW, and probably not much.


  6. I only called sports radio shows twice in my life. The 2nd and last time was when Benz was new in 04, and it was the day after the Pitt-UConn FB game, which featured the ‘slide play.’ I called to disagree with a point he made and he immediately hung up on me even though I was anything but disrespectful. He came off as a spoiled brat .. and in the few times I listened to him since, he hadn’t matured one iota.

    I don’t miss him because in the last few years I was in Pgh, I avoided him at all costs.


  7. PITTSBURGH – The Friday release of the watch lists for the prestigious Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy featured a total of three members of the Pitt football team being named as players to watch this season for two of college football’s most coveted individual awards.

    Senior offensive linemen Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson were both placed on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is annually presented to the nation’s top interior lineman; simultaneously, sophomore safety Jordan Whitehead was selected to the Nagurski Trophy watch list as a candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year. The winners of both awards will be chosen at the end of the season by the Football Writers Association of America.

    The Pitt football program is no stranger to either of these notable awards.

    The Outland Trophy and Nagurski Trophy were both won by Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald following his historic 2013 season when he led the nation with 2.2 tackles for loss per game while tallying 59 tackles, 28.5 TFLs and 11 sacks. Legendary Panther offensive lineman Mark May also received the Outland Trophy in 1980 when he was selected as the nation’s top interior lineman at the conclusion of his senior year.

    This season, Pitt seniors Bisnowaty and Johnson will be in contention to repeat May’s feat.

    Offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty returns for his fourth consecutive season as a starter after being named first team All-ACC by the league’s coaches in 2015. Meanwhile, offensive guard Johnson, who was chosen second team All-ACC last season, comes back for his senior year owning a 27-game consecutive start streak for the Panthers dating back to his freshman campaign.

    On the defensive side of the ball, Whitehead was selected as a candidate for college football’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second time this week when the Nagurski Trophy named him to its watch list. The reigning ACC Rookie of the Year led the Panthers with 109 tackles last season, the most by a true freshman in school history, and added six TFLs, six pass breakups, one interception and one fumble recovery. Whitehead was also named as a watch-list selection for the Chuck Bednarik Award earlier this week.

    Pitt was one of just three ACC schools – along with Clemson and Miami – to have multiple Outland Trophy watch-list selections, while Whitehead was one of five defensive backs in the conference selected for the watch list of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.


    1. And Aaron Donald has just continued his stellar play in the NFL. AD needs to get himself an aggressive advertising agent to cash in on his Rookie of the year/Pro Bowler status while his career is in full bloom. Aaron has the face for TV and should be out there pitching “discount double checks” just like that other Aaron does. What does JJ Watt have over AD that gives him the noteriety to be a household NFL name these days? Nothing!
      Go get your piece of that advertising pie Aaron, while the gettin is good.


  8. Ditto squared on AustinTX re Artis. Justified or not JA you were a pouting malcontent – act like you care about the team. Actions speak louder than words.
    Dorian Johnson is quiet but makes very few mistakes.


  9. FWIW, Artis is not the only Pitt player to complain about JD’s tight controls and lack of trust. But nonetheless, I totally agree … JA and everyone else should let bygones be bygones and just look forward instead to a new regime


  10. BTW, I hope the starting hoops lineup is:

    PG – Wilson
    SG – Cam
    SF – Artis
    PF – Young
    C – Luther

    Luther is the guy I want starting at center. I hope he’s bulked up by the start of next season and is on the court 30-plus minutes a game. I’ll give up the lack of size at center to see him pulling defenders outside as Ryan shoots jumpers or fakes and drives to the hoop.

    Spots 2 thru 5 hopefully hold true with those players, but if Kithcart comes in and seizes the point guard job then so be it. I do want to see Wilson though starting and producing.


  11. Guys I wish I liked BB more but here’s a deal. I’ll put up after-game posts on the BB games so that you all can have fun with that sport on here also (but have to say Chas at The Blather is a big fan of BB and writes great articles on the games).


  12. The link below details a really good preseason round up of the running backs that Pitt will be defending against through this season. Looks like our young defense will be tested early and often this season. I hope that our newbies are good enough to add immediate depth to our defensive line. Guys like Watts, Camp, Hendrix & Hamlin are going to be very important reinforcements in giving some breathing time for our veteran starters this season. If these guys are not ready to contribute there are going to be a lot of front line Panthers sucking wind by the fourth quarter after chasing down these opposing RBs all day long.


  13. Why no mention of Wuestner at the WR position? He missed 2 seasons due to injuries (one, life-threatening) but he’s a big target, with better-than -average speed and better hands than most of our receivers. I saw him play 4A high school ball and he was really difficult to defend along the sidelines and in the end zone. Maybe that’s a kid that can help fill the void. Aside from Ford and Challingsworth, I think he’s our best option.


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