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.
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…