POV’s Post-Season Profiles

In what will be a continuing series from now until the bowl game, wherever and whenever that is, we’ll be reviewing some articles written during fall camp about some of the Panthers leading into the just-finished 2016 regular season.

Let’s take a look at our wonderful fullback rsSO George Aston.   The article written about him earlier can be found here.  So take a minute and review his history over the 2015 season, his first taste of D1 college ball.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Aston is that he has two more years of eligibility for us.  With the distinct possibility of Conner departing for the NFL I think you have to look at Aston’s return as a key point in our future offense going into the 2017 season.

It isn’t that he blocks so well for other running backs, although he certainly does that.  It is more that he is an integral part of the offense on his own as his stats will bear out.  If you remember his break-out game was against Louisville last year where he scored two TDs. That was the last game we won last year and it was a hard-fought win to get.

He didn’t get any carries but had two receptions – both that went for TDs.

This year he’s hit the trifecta for a FB in his blocking (superb) his rushing (effective) and his receiving (surprisingly great).  Let’s take a look at what he did out on the field of play:

aston-stats

His yards per carry average isn’t that great at 3.5 however scoring five TDs on 21 carries is very productive. But it is his receiving skills that our OC Matt Canada has used so well in putting points on the scoreboard.

Twenty catches for 162 yards and 4 TDs  – an average of 8.1 ypc is effective as hell.  Most of those came on swing out passes to the flat as you would suspect but we saw the shovel-pass twist put into the offense and Aston, along with our TE Scott Orndoff, have been the main targets for that successful play.

His nine TDs on the year so far ties him for 2nd place with WR Jester Weah… of course both trail RB James Conner’s 20.

Folks – if you want to see the real dynamic change to our offense Matt Canada brings then look no further that what he has done in leveraging George Aston’s talents into points.

A real startling comparison for Aston’s production is to look at our other heralded FBs at Pitt.  Henry Hynoski scored a total of two (2) TDs while a Panther; Lousaka Polite had a total of six.  So far in his short two-year career span Aston has 11 with six through the air and five on the ground.

That will rise and may even make huge jumps if we see him in a Conner-less backfield. The kid is a true player.  He does the unheralded tasks with no complaints and shares in the glory with his scores without arrogance.

The future is bright with  Pitt football overall I think, and this is one position I won’t worry one bit about over the next two seasons.

60 thoughts on “POV’s Post-Season Profiles

  1. Reed – nice article about a really good former walk-on player. You say we don’t need to worry – “this is one position I won’t worry one bit about over the next two seasons.” Unless he decides to turn pro like Henry Hynoski…

    Henry was a special talent on a really good team – I think the chances of George leaving early are very slim.

    James “the beast” Conner with his 3rd (I believe) post-season award – Brian Piccolo Award for the ACC’s most courageous athlete.

    http://www.espn.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/97050/james-conner-ryan-janvion-take-home-brian-piccolo-jim-tatum-honors

    HTP!

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  2. I agree that Aston will be an even more essential part of redzone offense without Conner.

    He always fights for the needed yard, has great hands and is a superb blocker.

    Still wonder what role Ollison will play next year, will he be the power back in the redzone, or will he continue at the bottom of the depth chart?

    Conner’s TD production is impossible to replace with one guy, kind of like replacing Donald on the line.

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  3. Hynoski leaving had more to do with Wanny being fired as I recall. Aston is a fine example of coaches finding the gem in the rough and the player’s desire to prove all the scouting services wrong. I also believe he will be even more integral next year in the red zone.

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  4. Aston gets my award for “best quote” on the UPMC Livewire videos produced after every game.

    Early in the Penn State game video, after his score for a TD, he comes out with, “it’s a good day to punch somebody in the mouth”!

    Now that’s the kind of attitude I’m loving, coming from this Panther squad. Narduzzi Ball!

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  5. His parents knew what they were doing when the named the boy at birth. I can hear Billy screaming, There goes Georgie around the left end for another Panther Touchdown!

                                           Run Georgie Run.
    

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  6. George stopped at our tailgate after the Duke game and I told him some on the blogs refer to him as the Legendary George Aston. He just smiled sheepishly. Hell of a nice kid.

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  7. Great choice for the first profile! Love what George brings to the Panther offense.

    He does a little bit of everything…inside running, sweeps, shovel passes, traditional passes. Aston is a microcosm of the whole Canada offense.

    Not bad for a “preferred walk-on”.

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  8. Don’t ya just love these guys who come out of nowhere and force you to take notice?
    He’s fun to watch and I’m certainly a fan.

    Reed- I’m 2/3 of the way through the Aliquippa book – the Ty Law years. A very interesting read and much more of a history book than anything else. A very rich football history as well.

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  9. George is from Virginia, don’t know if it’s close to where Heath Miller grew up but they remind me of each other in toughness.

    I posted this on the last topic/article thought I would swing it by over here:

    About the O-Line recruiting. 4 all 3 star recruits as of now and could be a few good players in no particular order:

    G Houy 6’6″ 270 Guard
    C Van Lynn 6’7″ 255 OT
    O Drexel 6’21/2″ 270 Center
    C Warren 6’6′ 320 OT

    Also 3 commits at TE
    1. C Reeves..4 Stars 6’6″ 240
    2. G Carrigan.3 stars 6’7″ 250
    3. T Sear……..2 stars 6’5″ 255

    There looks like there may be some help in that bunch.

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  10. George Aston seemed to come out of nowhere last season. He caught my eye with his excellent blocking and with the fact that he beat out Jaymar Parrish, who is no slough himself (remember, for example, Jaymar’s finger-tip catch against Clemson…).

    My concern now is for who will backup George A. next season and who will be groomed for his position down the line.

    Go Pitt.

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  11. It seems “George the Animal Aston” may best describe this guy, as he looks like he would have been a natural on Chilly Bills “Studio Wrestling”. (Which by the way I often watched with my Polish grandma, “Bubba” from the Southside on Josephine Street).

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  12. Love George Aston. Nothing over the top when he scores, just solid, no-frills resolve and determination. He’s a throw-back and a credit to Pitt.

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  13. pittman4ever

    Studio Wrestling was great. Ringside Rosie, Ace Friedman(ikr), Jumpin Johnny DeFazio (i think his brother became County Sheriff after Gene Coon), Dominic DiNucci, Bruno and so many more, like Baron Sicluna and local wrestler Hurricane Hunt.

    That was a staple of viewing in Pgh. TV viewing thru the ’60’s and into the ’70’s on every Saturday evening

    Great memories, thanks pittman !

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  14. When I called GA “the Animal” on the POV , I was referencing George “the Animal” Steele of studio wrestling fame…of course our George the Animal Aston is an ass kicker
    Compared to the studio wrestling version who was brought in so Bruno Samartino could kick his ass!!
    What was the Indian chiefs name who wrestled on studio wrestling… Sad we lost “Chilly Billy ” this year…I remember how the frat brothers who weren’t from Pittsburgh thought he was the “coolest” thing

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  15. Emel… thanks for the Prince-Bucco video… watched the game in my 3rd grade classroom… teacher brought a TV in … black n white with rabbit ear antenna… life was good

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  16. Love the video, had the great pleasure of playing golf with Skinner and Maz on separate occasions. Very special days. Also had the pleasure of sitting at a table with Bob Prince, Weeb Ewbank, and Ray Mansfield, drinking all afternoon and listening as they tried to outdo each other with stories. What an experience.

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  17. I was 10 years old when we experienced the first of many Pittsburgh Championships. The first was still the best, followed by the Steelers, the Panthers, and the Penquins, chronologically What a City to live in!

    The Blair/Young Basketball team could have made it a sweep, too bad..

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  18. Prince was unbelievable, have no idea how many drinks the man had in a day. He also went on to emcee the event that evening. His language while drinking was incredibly foul, but never slipped when working.

    He was a giant.

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  19. Prince told a story that day of playing golf with Grace Kelly’s father at Merion Country Club. He said that Mr. Kelly got so mad that he threw each of his clubs in a lake, then his bag, then his caddie, he embellished the story and we all howled. A few years later, I watched an old WC Fields movie, where he did the same thing.

    Prince got one over on all of us that day.

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  20. I wish I could remember the stories Weeb told about coaching Namath, and Mansfield told about his days with the Steelers, they were equally as good at the time, but the Gunner’s phony story was the only one that stuck.

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  21. gc, I’m thinking you played gold with Maz and the Skinner at Champion Lakes? I think Maz was in on that deal at the very beginning along with Dick Groat and Jerry Lynch?

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  22. Any guesses on the most likely bowl destination for Pitt??? Would like to attend as long as it’s a short flight or drive, so hoping for no El Paso.

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  23. Champion Lakes is a beautiful course for sure. Bedford springs is a nice place to spend a weekend although I’ve never golfed there. gc you sound like a Westmoreland County neighbor?

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  24. So when did the “Possum” (i.e., Jim Woods) join up with Bob Prince in the broadcasting booth?

    Prince had nicknames for everyone. He was the absolute best announcer. Granted, I am prejudiced by him being a “homer.”

    H2P

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  25. kman ..that name of the studio wrestling indian Chief did not ring a bell ..luckily found it on wikipedia with a list of “wrastlers” Chief White Owl…like the cigar

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  26. BigB,
    From what I remember about Chief White Owl is that he always got smoked when he wrestled on Studio Wrestling! :>)
    Also, Chief Strong Bow does sound familiar. Wasn’t he a straight shooter?

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  27. gc: also met Mr Groat a few years ago at Champion Lakes. He told stories about his baseball days for about an hour while standing at the bar in his boxer shorts. He had a dinner program with Hillgrove later that night and didn’t want to wrinkle his pants. Anyone going to the hoop game and has time for a drink I will take care of a round at the 5th Ave Cafe. 5-6:30.

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  28. The Chiefs timeline was :

    Chief White Owl was first.
    then later came along:

    Chief Jay Strongbow

    There was also Wahoo McDaniel in the Southern Based AWA, but once in a while he would venture north.

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  29. A lot of old timer’s were very lucky to grow up with local TV programming..from studio wrestling, Chilly Billy, Paul Shannon’s adventure time..(you guys remember Mr Wrinkle going to the North Pole),, Hank Stohl, Rodney and Knish…like living in a Norman Rockwell painting…

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  30. Thinking of Norman Rockwell and local TV programming, any interesting facts on local TV guy Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?

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  31. Ike – Aston is from the Winchester area about 75 miles west of DC. Heath was from a few hours SW of there. Winchester is out there but also kinda/sorta part of the urban sprawl from DC. It’s winery country for us that live Northern VA Lot’s of commuters out there because you can actually own a house for a reasonable price and have a yard. Heath lived out in very rural VA along the WV border.

    I have co-worker from the same school so I enjoy texting him a “Chestah!” every time Aston scores. Aston was the VA DPOY that had hoped to play for JMU. He’s a workout warrior but not necessarily the traditional D1 recruit.

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  32. Maz had his own course at Raylon, Ohio. Went down to play with my dad and brothers as teenager. Course was along a river.
    Played Champion Lakes once and shot the round of my life, which means I only sucked a little. haha
    In Boy Scouts I sold Halloween Candy to the Gunner who came to the door in a tartan bathrobe and a drink in hand. Gave me the money and told be to enjoy the candy. He was classic. Prince nicknamed Stargell “Pops” bc he had a kid in every city.

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  33. Anon @ 12/1/16 10:26pm – Press Maravich is indeed noted as is his son. There are all kinds of names that pop up. Joe Walton gets a mention as an opponent. Henry Mancini as well – you will learn the inspiration for “Moon River”.

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  34. RE; Studio Wrestling – what about Nikolai Volkof(sp?), Dominic DeNucci (sp) or the Carnegie Cop?!

    I loved the little old lady outside the ropes who always banged on the mat.
    2-3 rows of real people, followed by painted heads on the wall.

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  35. I used to watch Studio Wrestling every Saturday morning. Great fun. BTW, Chief Jay Strongbow was an Italian fellow named Joe Scarpa…lol.

    http://www.postandcourier.com/staff/mike_mooneyham/pro-wrestling-great-chief-jay-strongbow-dead-at/article_b06f3d0f-35a9-543c-8d71-cbfe2483842b.html

    I was 11 when the Bucs won in 1960. Great memories. They played of course during the day and I had to rush home from school to watch the end of the game. Tony Kubec was the Yankee shortstop who tried to field a sure double play ball that hit a rock or something and hit him in the throat. Next guy up was Hal Smith, and the rest was history.

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  36. I met Bobby Richardson(2’nd basement for the Yankees) two or so years ago at a funeral of a friend of my wife. After intros discussed the 60 series. Since I was only 9 at the time, my memories are slim. Spent more time discussing the lost 7’th game film found in Bing Crosby’s archives. He was a panelist (or at least in the audience) when Bob Costa did that show in Pittsburgh. Great guy to talk with.

    Dokish has put up an article on PITT’s recruiting:

    http://panthersprey.blogspot.com/2016/12/where-pitt-recruiting-stands.html#comment-form

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