POV: Go or Stay? Stay or Go?

(Ever so often we have a POV submission by a guest writer.  Dan72 did a nice BB piece and let’s hope there is more of that.  But today our fellow POV’er Eric (aka MissingWlat) has contributed a lengthy and very interesting points to consider when we discuss James Conner’s future… here it is and thanks!)

As our Pitt Panthers begin preparation for the Pinstripe Bowl match-up against Northwestern, there are many thoughts on the minds of us diehard fans. Can we pick up that elusive win number nine, which will allow us to progress in year two of the Pat Narduzzi era?

Will a win in the Pinstripe help us to land Lamont Wade or perhaps other recruits, to fill the cupboard that will be emptied by the departure of a large group of graduating seniors?

Do I need to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothing on December 28 in Yankee Stadium, where with my luck it will be 15 degrees with a minus wind chill factor?

 

OK, so while all of the above are important, there is one other subject that has been dominating my thinking as we await the final game of the year. What will RB James Conner do? Will he stay or will he go? And which will be the “right” decision?

Let me first say this; James Conner has given so much of himself as both a player and as a person to the entire city of Pittsburgh. Whatever he decides, the entire Pitt community should not only support him, but applaud him. He is as fine as a young scholar athlete as there is in this country.

Image resultMy favorite moment of this season was immediately after Chris Blewitt drilled the winning 48 yard field goal against Clemson. As the bulk of the team celebrated the kick and the anticipated victory, James Conner made his way over to the bench. He put his arm around his teammate, Jordan Whitehead, who had been injured earlier in the game, and whispered something into his ear.

Only the two of them know what was said, but I have no doubt that it was something inspiring. What a teammate he is.

While he is a great ambassador for our fine University, he is a darn good football player also in case you haven’t noticed. The question is, will his skill set translate well to the NFL? If so, is he better served testing the waters after this year, or alternatively if he’s not a high pick projection, wait and give his knee and body one more year to heal after his injury and cancer.

History is full of good and bad decisions made by Pitt players who have left early for the NFL, as well as one particularly bad decision one player made to stay for his senior year. Here is a brief review…..

THE NO-BRAINERS: Larry Fitzgerald, Darelle Revis and LeSean McCoy.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (Third overall to Arizona in 2004) and DB Darrell Revis (14th overall to the Jets in 2007) have had Hall of Fame caliber NFL careers, while RB LeSean McCoy (2nd round to Eagles in 2009) is not far behind. All three of these players have made many, many millions to further justify their early departures from Pitt. Certainly their decisions to leave early have been rewarded handsomely both on and off the field.

THE SOLID DECISIONS: Antonio Bryant, T.J. Clemmings, Jon Baldwin and Tyler Boyd

WR Antonio Bryant went from being the last recruit in his freshman class (and a two star recruit if memory serves me correctly), to a Biletnikoff award winner after his junior year at Pitt. After being drafted in the second round by the Cowboys, he played seven seasons in the NFL. His best year was in 2012 when he had 83 receptions for 1248 yards and 7 TDs for the Buccaneers.

LT  T.J. Clemmings was projected to be a late first or early second round pick when he decided to forgo his Senior year and enter the draft. A poor showing at the Senior bowl practices and a rumor of a stress fracture in his foot dropped his draft stock. He was selected in the fourth round by the Vikings.

Had he known that he would be taken in the fourth round, he may have stayed at Pitt for his final year. But with the information he had at his disposal at the time, he made the right decision to go. He started all 16 games for the Vikings in his rookie season, and barring injury, looks to have a prosperous NFL career ahead of him.

WR Jon Baldwin was the 26th overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2011 NFL draft. His NFL career was over before it really ever got started, and his total stat line reads 44 receptions for 607 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was traded to the 49ers in 2013 and waived in 2014.

Obviously his NFL career was a disappointment, but he got paid handsomely for the four years that he was in the league. Perhaps another year at Pitt would have helped him to mature, but perhaps not. Can’t blame him for leaving when he got picked in the first round.

WR Tyler Boyd, thus far, has had a very solid rookie year for the Cincinnati Bengals (sorry Upittbaseball, but its true). While it may be a little early to make the call on this one, it does appear that Tyler Boyd has the skill set and ability to succeed in the NFL. With 5 games to play, he has 42 receptions for 477 yards. His decision to leave early really cannot be faulted at this juncture.

THE MISTAKES: WR Greg Lee and DE Greg Romeus

WR Greg Lee had two solid seasons at Pitt as a receiver. As a Sophomore in 2004, he was fifth in the country with 1297 receiving yards, earning him pre-season All American status going into his Junior year. His numbers slipped in 2005, though he still had 962 yards and seven touchdowns.

He had prototypical NFL size (6-2, 200 lbs), yet his best draft grade at the time had him going in the fourth round. Unfortunately, shortly before his Pro Day at Pitt, he pulled a hamstring. He ran a poor 40 time, and was not invited to the NFL combine. He went undrafted. He never played a down in the NFL.

DE Greg Romeus’ story is a sad one. Having played only one year of organized football before enrolling at Pitt, he evolved into a star performer at Pitt. He was Big East co-defensive player of the year in 2009, recording 8 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.  He was projected to be a first or second round selection in the 2010 NFL draft had he chosen to enter.

He was plagued by injuries to his back and knees and missed the bulk of his Senior year at Pitt. His draft stock plummeted, and he was selected in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He spent his rookie season on the Injured Reserve and was released by the Saints in 2013.

So, what do I think about the decision that lies before James Conner? It is a complex decision. It really depends on his draft projection, and whether one more year of college will help improve that projection. I’m hearing that he has a 4th or 5th round projection.

I’m not sure that another year in school bumps him up much further than round three, unless maybe if he has a Heisman caliber season next year.  Of course with James Conner, where he is drafted means nothing. He can and likely will prove people who doubt him wrong.

I do think that if he stays, he’ll be a better player next year than he was this season. It took him a little while for him to get going this year, and justifiably so. One more year of healing to his knee will help him. However, there is always risk of injury, and his offense will not likely be as strong next year as it has been this year.

The graduation of Dorian Johnson and Adam Bisnowaty will certainly affect the quality of the offensive line. And while I expect Thomas MacVittie to eventually be a solid producer at quarterback, I don’t expect him to come out of the gate as an asset next year.

Selfishly, I think we’d all love to see James Conner stay at Pitt for his final year. But whatever he decides will undoubtedly be supported by all of Panther Nation. In the event that the Pinstripe Bowl is his final game I’m not going to miss it. My tickets are purchased.

I suggest that anyone who can afford the time and money to get to NYC  try to figure out a way to make it happen.

Eric –

90 thoughts on “POV: Go or Stay? Stay or Go?

  1. Eric—Well done. I think that Conner has to go. The risk of playing another year in college is not worth the possibility of being drafted sooner next year.

    BigB—I get confused by the rules. So, if Schneider leaves Pitt, does he have to sit out another year?

    H2P

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  2. If Conner comes back, he is in the top 5 for the Heisman. That is worth huge $$$ down the road. This year he is 5th round at best. Running backs are a dime a dozen and have a very short life span in NFL

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  3. If Conner decides to stay for his RS Senior year, then make more room for another retired jersey number, right next to Aaron Donald’s reserved space.

    Call me pessimistic but that ain’t happening. Good luck James!

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  4. Running back careers are short so I don’t see him staying.

    Either way Conner has made his mark on Pitt Football History.

    Would be nice to see him add to his records but money talks and you know the rest.

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  5. Great write up Eric—-I read that that his mother is currently working two jobs. There is no way in he** that James is going to stick around for another year at Pitt. Too many things can go wrong and he’d never get a chance to cash an NFL check. He’ll get drafted and cash at least one check. After that he will just have to show the winner what he’s made of.

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  6. Nice read Eric! Thanks for the contribution. I also have my tickets and it is because of James Conner that I will be there. The Disney Spirit Award that was given yesterday to James was one of the most emotionally inspiring events I have ever witnessed. Well done and well deserved. Having someone like James representing my beloved University fills me with pride and is so much more important to me than wins, losses, or championships (but I’ll take the championship’s when they come). HTP and HTJC!

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  7. That’s nice work Eric and thanks.

    As far as JC goes, there really isn’t much to talk about in my mind, I believe he’s already got one foot out the door like he did at the beginning of last season. Is it possible for him to improve his draft status? Yes I think he could but I don’t think he cares at this point. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and those of you who know, it changes all life’s perspectives. Many people pass away because of what that disease does to the mind as much as to the body. James Conner is truly remarkable and I wish him the best and he will attain the best because of his attitude. Run JC run……..ike

    H2P

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  8. James Conner is gone, as he should be.
    And while everyone gushes about him after he beat cancer, it was his actions before that, before he was a star and everyone was patting him on the back, that really stood out. Being a solid and gracious human trumps what he did on the field.

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  9. As a lot of you are saying, JC will leave. It’s the right thing for him to do. Playing running back takes such a hard toll on your body, which explains why RBs have short NFL careers. And James plays a physical brand of football, so the toll has to be even harder on him. Not to mention everything else physically that he has been through. Let him make some money for himself playing the sport he loves while he can.

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  10. Huh – I just heard that same thing about Schneider last night and immediately started drafting an article titled “Trolling for QBs” I’ll post that tomorrow or late tonight.

    What about Eric’s piece above? It’s great and thanks Eric!

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  11. gc – Hmmmm, that isn’t the answer. The staff is scrambling around to get someone instead of MacVitte for ’17. This is the same thing Paul Chryst did back in 2013 when Voytik was a rsFR and nowhere near ready to play D1 ball. MacVitte is, from accounts, in about the same boat.

    Chryst went out and got Savage for the one and done deal. That is what Narduzzi and Conklin are doing now. Schneider leaving isn’t because he won’t get PT with MacVitte – but due to the staff trolling for QBs for next season (Hey sounds like an article!)

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  12. A 5th year bruising RB’s with as much wear and tear as Conner will have gone through will override any success he has on the field. It’s best that he leaves now. With the de-emphasis on RB’s in general in the NFL, he’ll marginally, if at all ,improve his stock. No matter what year he comes out, it’s going to come down to the combine numbers. If he wants to be in the first four rounds he’ll have to run 4.5ish. If he’s looking at his professional career, it’s a no brainer. Now if his heartstrings pull at him and he wants to play college for another year for the love of the game and the love of Pitt, then good for him. I can’t argue that because it’s no guarantee he’ll get much run professionally. The NFL is cold dark place.

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  13. Upitt says Connor after this game in the frozen tundra of a baseball stadium should immediately go to the defensive side of the ball and practice all year as a linebacker. His God-given natural abilities on the defensive side of The ball. I just don’t see him playing offense in the NFL or being drafted at a point where he makes more than a couple hundred thousand dollars. I hate saying that but I’m afraid it’s true in my opinion. Great article Eric I really enjoyed it!

    I also believe it’s debatable to say Tyler Boyd has had a successful NFL season for a second round draft pick. 400 yards and I think no TD’s is weak especially with AJ Green out.

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  14. C’mon upittbaseball….. this kid from Latrobe calls it as I see it. The Bengals and Andy Dalton have been bad this season. If he finishes with about 60 grabs for around 700 yards, that is solid production from a second round pick. If memory serves, you projected him as a 4th rounder and may have lost a bet because of it. Give him his due. I am in agreement with some of your prior thoughts on him. I do not think that he was the leader that he needed to be in his final season and had some disappointing moments.But in the end, he probably made the correct choice to leave. Time will tell. MissingWlat (aka Eric)

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  15. @Upitt I know I’ve disagreed with you before about Conner and the NFL. However I may be coming around a bit. I think Conner will do some research after the season including talking to Narduzzi. He may come to the conclusion that his shot at the NFL as a career will most likely be on defense. If that happens I think he’ll talk to Narduzzi about more defensive snaps next year and choose to return. I mean seriously what does Narduzzi have to lose? It’s not like with Price gone that the defense has a lot of accomplished options.

    If Conner is able to play DE the way he’s played RB he will surely receive a tremendous amount of recognition.

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  16. i too think D is Conners future position. i can see him coming back and playing linebacker. he’s a 5th or 6th rounder as a rb. could be a solid 2nd rounder as a lb or end

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  17. his pounding style at rb will shorten his career. he’s got more than enough hops for the D though. and he’s built for it with the right attitude. D is your future young padawan.

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  18. Maybe it’s just me but I see James as being successful in life regardless of how long of an NFL career he may have. The move next year begins the next chapter in his life and there will be money to be made for sure, even if it’s not setting him up for life. People just love this young man and tend to gravitate towards him. I know people with zero affiliation with Pitt who have continued to follow his story and just root for him. I see a bit of the Tebow effect but in a real human element kind of way. If you saw the sincere comments from Shelly Rowe last night, you’ll see what I mean. H2P! H2JC!

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  19. Eric, nice job. The Jon Baldwin story is sad for Pitt. Physically, he had all the tools. Mentally, he could not invest in the physicalness of the sport and stayed away from contact, especially blocking. It just never clicked. If he could change.

    On Conner, his ace in the hole is his ability to catch the ball. He will get a shot as a runner. The problem with not being a top flight runner is that the third string back makes the squad by excelling on special teams. We have no film of him in that role but his mindset may be a great strength in that regard. If the NFL thinks he has a better chance as a DL, they will put him on the developmental squad for a year.

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  20. I think the way Conner gets into the endzone will be very valuable in the NFL.

    Lots of teams struggle and settle for Field Goals. I think the ship has sailed on Conner being a defensive player.

    So which players exceeded expectations this year? Very important to a team’s success to have a few.

    Here is my list, Jarrett, Soto, Weah, Henderson, Peterman with Taleni sneaking in for the last three games.

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  21. Another random though that I had was that as good as our freshman class was supposed to be, they had very little impact this year. Moss had a few good runs as did FFrench, who also played some d-back.
    Watt saw limited action as did Hamlin. We will need a lot more of them to have an impact next year.

    Hopefully these bowl practices are valuable to them as the weight room will be this winter, spring and summer.

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  22. Also Matthews played a few downs caught a pass or two.

    The Sophomore/Redshirt freshmen class contributed a little more.

    Henderson passing Whitehead as the home run hitter of the class last year, although Whitehead still played well until his injury. Hall the third true soph had less of an impact.

    RS/Fr that made an impact include Dane Jackson, Saleem Brightwell, Jay Stocker, Tre Tipton when healthy.

    It will be interesting to see who steps up and exceeds expectations next year.

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  23. Huff, I never thought Baldwin had the coordination and body control to be great. He had the size and speed but don’t remember any circus catches.

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  24. Huff I agree with Conner and the catches, add him to the list of exceeds expectations because of the great receptions this year, he really showed some good hands.

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  25. Very nice article Eric (WLAT). Enjoyed reading it and the review of Pitt players who left early. some wise and some not so wise. Greg Lee was a sad case. Romeus too.

    Now with Conner, how about he comes back and plays DE. Edge rushers that can sack the QB in the NFL seem to be more valued these days than RB’s are. Plus they probably have longer careers.

    Haven’t seen JC on many Top 10 RB lists for 2017 draft(although he should be). So he has an interesting decision to make, since
    4th or 5th Round money isn’t that much and much of it is not guaranteed, other than maybe the signing bonus. I don’t really follow the money aspect much if at all.

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  26. Saw this on this fake news site, I think they call it the Washington (com)Post. 🙂

    One of my occasional subjects : ESPN

    For the second year in a row, Disney is poised to have another “Star Wars” megahit on its hands with the company on track to sell $130 million in U.S. pre-release tickets for next week’s “Rogue One.”

    But no matter how well it performs at the box office, the film’s success may be overshadowed by Disney investors’ rising alarm about another part of the Magic Kingdom: ESPN, which is shedding viewers in record numbers.

    ESPN was thrust into the spotlight in November when the ratings company Nielsen predicted the sports juggernaut would lose 621,000 cable subscribers that month. Nielsen estimated the sports network would lose another 555,000 subscribers in December.

    The staggering losses have led to calls by analysts for Disney to spin off or sell the beleaguered network, which has lost 9 million subscribers in three years, according to company filings.

    ESPN has become a drag on Cable TV lineups.. Times are indeed a changing.

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  27. ESPN could learn something from our very own Reed:
    Keep politics out of sports!!!!!!!
    Reed’s advise would have saved their sorry butts. Oh well, you know what they say: “easy come, espn go!”

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  28. Nice article, Eric. THANKS! Just wondering , are there any POVers going on the Pitt Panther Fanatics One Day Bus Trip to the Pinstripe Bowl ?

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  29. gc, that’s why they’re called Freshmen. Very hard for a kid straight out of HS to have a major impact at a D1 school.

    One of the unsung heros of this Freshmen class, Aaron Matthews. Not as a WR but as a gunner on KO & punt special teams. The kid shed many a block and was like a heat seeking guided missile in making that lead initial tackle more times than not.

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  30. ^^^ *Hope he goes to the NFL this year, and is a 4th round pick or-so of a Great Team ( Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts with Andrew Luck, Oakland (Vegas?) Raiders with Derrick Car —- James Conner can be the Runningback that pushes a great team up over-the-top 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

    #HailToPitt !!!! James Conner is a PITT LEGENDAll Time GREAT, and a ONCE in a Lifetime quality Human 🙂

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  31. Well, as is often the case I was totally wrong and off-base in my prediction on transfer QB’s lol —- Matt Canada awhile ago flew out to Los Angeles to visit Max Browne at USC and Browne has been at Pitt all weekend and in all likelihood will be committing this weekend or at least very soon.

    I thought Matt Canada would have wanted Malik Zaire — but clearly Canada decided he wants to bring in the 6’5”, 220 Max Browne instead!

    Max Browne is a really low-key type like Tom Savage, and he just really did not gel with his offensive teammates at USC. Then again look at Nathan Peterman and poorly his 3 attempts at playing turned out at Tennessee — and at Pitt he found His True Place.

    In Matt Canada I trust —- At this point I truly think Matt Canada can Squeeze-Magic outta any QB he has lol.

    Max Browne about transferring:

    Max Browne in a little Pre-Season Interview before his short USC stint as starter all went down-hill:

    Every single account PERIOD says that Max Browne is a total-&-true Class Act and Quality Person (He graduated after 3 years and is in a Graduate Program at USC now) and he will be ready to enroll at Pitt in just a few weeks and practice with the team NOW essentially should he decide to come — we’ll see! 🙂

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  32. 😦 😦 😦 😦 ———— Oh..My….GOODNESS… :

    This is the same thing Paul Chryst did back in 2013 when Voytik was a rsFR and nowhere near ready to play D1 ball. MacVitte is, from accounts, in about the same boat.

    @Reed Shame On You For EVER…EVER…comparing Thomas MacVittie to …..urgh, ‘Chad Voytik’ — Freakin’ Future Heisman Winner, QB who will take Pitt to the Pinnacle (Ohio Marcus Mariota: Thomas MacVittie!) vs. a Glorified Tino Sunseri with a tiny bit more Character yikes. — Sometimes you lose ‘Context’ —> Chad Voytik got Benched at Arkansas State and they won immediately dude was like a disease to winning .

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  33. I’ve thought about where James Conner goes from here? First off of course is his one more opportunity to put on his Panther uniform for 2016 in our Pinstripe Bowl. With Conner recently being honored by receiving the Disney Spirit Award, he will, no doubt, be a featured human interest subject during the bowl game’s broadcast. Hopefully both Conner & Pitt can tie up this fairy tale story with one more win. If so, what more is left for Conner to accomplish at Pitt?

    If he has, over his four years at Pitt, stayed on his acedemic schedule to graduate come Spring, then it is time for James to move on.

    Unlike many others, who doubt his ability to be a force as a running back in the NFL, I have complete confidence in his ability to perform as a pro RB. I envision Conner as following in the footsteps of RBs in the style of a Jerome Bettis. The key to Conner’s success in such a role will be getting drafted by a team that has built their OL with an intent to run the ball effectively.

    If Conner is afforded that opportunity to play for such a team, his career will be a successful one. He will have no problem with his running style if he consistently is given the chance to get through the first line of defenses unscathed. Conner matches up well with pro LBs & DBs. He’ll be dishing it out more than taking it with those guys. However if he has to find his own way through opposing DLs, then his future may not shine so bright.

    Therefore, I’m not concerned if his NFL stock predicts say a third or fourth round draft status in 2017. In fact, this may actually be in his best interest since he’ll get picked by a team that is looking for just that type of RB to accomplish that ground game goal after more essential priorities have been satisfied with their early draft selections.

    Where ever he ends up, Conner will make the most of his opportunity. His time at Pitt has prepared him well for whatever life has to offer him, in the NFL & beyond, another great University of Pittsburgh player story that will continue to be written for many years to come.

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  34. ^^^ @ Dr. Tom the only people who doubt his ability as a Pro is “Upitt” —-

    Any other passionate and /or even slightly knowledgeable Football Fan knows that James Conner is the epitome of the NFL “Slasher” Power Back — a la Frank Gore (5’9”, 220, 4.6 40) , Arian Foster (6’1”, 220, 4.7 40), LeGarrette Blount (5’11”, 245, 4.8 40) etc. etc. —- James Conner could very well be drafted in round 3 or 4 with a solid combine and end up a Starter on a Playoff level team.

    LOL PS — James Conner wants to be a running back and DOES NOT WANT TO PLAY DEFENSE hahaha

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  35. John, if you’re on Facebook , go to the Pitt Panther Fanatics group and join The info is there . Basically, $100 round trip Leaving from Miracle mile in Monroeville 3:30 am and one other site before , and heading back after the game. Bus has enough signed up that it is a go. If interested I could go you the phone # of one of the organizers .

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  36. ^ vs. a freakin’ playoff team.

    almost 5 yards a carry rushing this year in the ACC and vs. 6+ ranked teams (1,060 yards on like 220 carries) and 300 yards receiving and 4+ touchdowns averaging 10+ yards a catch —- Go run a 4.5 in Indianapolis, and bench 225 20+ times you BEAST — and get drafted by a Top Team and Get Some Superbowl Rings young man!!!

    LOL on future highest-paid defensive NFL player Aaron Donald “Upitt” would say, “How is a freakin’ 5’11’ , 285 pound guy ever gonna be an NFL Tackle?? He’s too small!!! He’s gonna be sellin’ insurance in 2 months!!!” lol

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  37. Fact: we DON’T KNOW what James Conner is going to do so why are we writing like hot shot know it alls about next year? Sure, let’s all guess, that’s great. But let’s not act like we know what he’s going to do because we simply don’t.
    Now, in my mind I know for sure he’s going to …………. :>)

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  38. ^^^^ IGHT MAX BROWNE — Brown + an extra “E” —- it seems Matt Canada wants YOU! —- one total “Cast-Off Transfer QB” in Nathan Peterman made it happen — so let’s see what a 6’5”, 220 pound Rocket Armed Cast Off from a small town in Washington State can do at Pitt….

    ACC — Big Time Power 5 Ball — Tutor the Heck Outta Young Thomas MacVittie and BEAT penn state!!! lol

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  39. Jester Weah = 10X better Pro WR than (prissy spiled-a$$) Juju Smith Schuster —-> and Max Browne will SHOW THAT and make Jester Weah + Chris Clark + Quadree Henderson PLUS Quadree Ollison and Darren Clark into STARS 🙂 🙂

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  40. Dr Tom,good call on Aaron Mathews special teams play

    Right, freshman should not have to play, when you have a good team not many do.

    Four years ago Chryst played these freshmen:

    Boyd, Blewitt, Conner, Galambos Howard, Soto,Johnson, Moody, Orndoff, Coles, Webb, Parrish,Ibrahim, Lewis and Jarrett.

    Fifteen freshman, some who made a splash right away, some who became all-time greats, some that left, but in any case quite a contrast to this year’s results.

    So to those that say Chryst made no contribution, I’d say from where he started to where we are now, he did extremely well. He helped put the program on solid footing. That was a pretty impactful freshman class.

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  41. ^^ @ Ike you really don’t know “Darren Clark” ??? Chris Clark (5 Star NJ Tight End) and Darren Hall (4 Star Youngstown underachieving RB) were FORGED in a deep-underground UPMC experiment in an attempt to make two high ranked recruits who haven’t accomplished much into one perfect player ….

    Okay sorry I typo’ed you got me!!! hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  42. “Boyd, Blewitt, Conner, Galambos Howard, Soto,Johnson, Moody, Orndoff, Coles, Webb, Parrish,Ibrahim, Lewis and Jarrett.”

    LOL — maybe half the young guys who played way before they were ready this year become future All-Pros???

    Lol is the point that Chryst contributed Nothing, or that his recruits helped build the program?

    Besides Tyler Toyd all of those recruits were guys that Pat Narduzzi freakin’ BUILT-UP?

    Lol —- “Galambos??? Who’s Howard??? … Moody??? Trenton Coles??? Terrish Webb??? Lewish??? You’re depressing me — are you making the point of how amazing and Shocking it’s been that somehow, someway, Pitt has gotten to 6-6 each year before Narduzzi with Florida Atlantic level talent????

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  43. Apparently Canada knows what he wants to do for QB next year, maybe Browne. College FB is certainly different from the 60s I knew. Beat PSU today and show dominance. H2P

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  44. DK, you completely lost me again.

    The point is that Chryst started with a bare cupboard and left Narduzzi with enough good players that freshmen did not have to play. That is how you build a program. Chryst set the foundation, now Narduzzi, needs to keep the pipeline going, and recruit better players each year.

    I think he has hit the recruiting wall and hope blasts through. Recruits on campus this weekend, hope some say YES.

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  45. Maybe it was on here but I’m hearing that a bunch of Florida kids are coming in this weekend. Narduzzi isn’t interested in building walls around the WPA kids. They want to come an join the PITT revolution then fine otherwise he will go out and get them from Cali to mainline Florida and all points in between. ……..ike/waltspappy

              H2P
    

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  46. ^^^ All the Stars at Pitt right now Pre-Narduzzi CHOSE PITT for PITT and Schlubby Chryst had nothing to do with it.

    #PITTISIT —- Paul Chryst gets ZERO CREDIT for anything Pitt nor does Todd Graham —– nor does Wannstedt

    HailtoChancellorGallagher and the New Pitt Age .

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  47. Local news, OKC, said an Oklahoma state lineman lost out on the Piesman award to a Pitt lineman. Does anyone know if O’Neal got that recognition?

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  48. Remember back in August, when the question was being asked of Pitt fans, on what they’d rather have occur in the 2016 Pitt Football campaign, a win over PSU or an ACC Coastal Crown? Well I thought, why not be greedy and hope for both? Well, we got the win over the Nitters (which only got sweeter as the season progressed since that win kept them out of the playoff) but we came up short on the Coastal Crown Pursuit. However, when you consider the excitement that the Panthers provided for us fans in that final three game stretch of the regular season, I’m OK with coming up short in that pursuit, for this year.

    This program right now, is light years away from that of HCPC, that got stomped by YSU in his inaugural game as Pitt’s head coach, not that long ago. Some of our Seniors experienced that in person as Freshmen.

    This transformation is not great as the one that occurred 40 years ago with “A Major Change in Pitt Football” but the excitement that I’m feeling is about the same now as it was back then, when I was a student, right before our magical National Championship season. Watching these highlights posted by DK really impressed on me how much fun it is to follow Pitt football again. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Years of frustrations and disappointments are being replaced by my current state of satisfaction that this team is fun to watch again!

    I love Coach Narduzzi’s attitude, I appreciate the current type of student athletes that are on our roster and I enjoy watching the final product that is trotted out on the field each week. Is Pitt football a solid 10 yet and considered an elite program once more? Absolutely not, but it isn’t impossible to imagine them getting there again after this season’s results.

    Five years ago, even the mention of Pitt as having “elite” potential would have gotten you labeled as a Pitt Koolaid drinking, Blue & Gold glasses wearing, “pie in the sky” dreaming idiot. Not anymore!

    Now we concern ourselves with analysis of what kept us from being 10-2, or better, earning a division crown and playing in the ACC Championship grudge match against Clemson.That’s quite a change in just a few years.

    Yeah, so maybe Pittman4ever has a point, maybe what we think is “a given” utilizing common sense logic IS just so much hogwash. Maybe James Conner has one more year of Pitt football left in him. Maybe this team is so focused on “The Pursuit” that he stays & plays. Maybe this team has big dreams that only they share amongst themselves pertaining to unrealized goals from this year? Who knows?

    What I do know is that a year ago when it was announced a surprise Pitt news conference concerning Conner’s current situation, the very last thing that I could have imagined resulting from that pressor was that announcement of his cancer diagnosis. Life is like that, many an unexpected turn.

    Just like that afternoon on November 12th., we just wanted to experience the atmosphere at Death Valley. I just hoped that Pitt wouldn’t embarrass itself and thus allow guys like Upitt the opportunity to resurrect the dead SOP mentality that Narduzzi had been so intently dedicated on burying since getting here. Who could have anticipated what our Panthers pulled off that day, to shock the world? Not me, that’s for sure.

    But that’s the thing, we never know. That’s why they play the game, that’s why we get up every morning, just to see what life has in store for us for today. This year, as a dedicated lifelong Pitt football fan, I feel I got my money’s worth. It sure was fun, now we got one more to get done! On to 9-4! Shut the front door on Northwestern and then on to even bigger and better things in Pitt football for 2017. It’s fun to be a Pitt fan again! Hail to Pitt!

    Like

  49. Hey Darky,
    I want to dialyze some of your blood, filter out what gives u that euphoric mania, and give myself a whack of it Monday mornings.
    More power to you, bro

    Like

  50. JC deserves his payday. We all agree with that. In my opinion he still is not what he was 2 years ago though he might actually be faster this year. He also is a better blocker this year and has shown everyone that he is a threat out of the backfield with a decent pair of hands.

    On the positive (not that JC getting a chance to fill his dream isn’t a good thing) Chawntez Moss in my humble opinion looks to me like a major asset.

    Like

  51. If you want to see O’Neill win the Piesman, go to Narduzzi’s twitter. He has a few links to the award that goes to the best lineman who did something in the most in-lineman like manner. O’neill won because of his long reception/lateral td run against GT and also because of his td run against VT. Funny stuff. There were some awesome linemen plays, but our guy had 2 TD’s.

    GC – The Conner stiff arm is heismanesque. Will never forget the Clempson game where he stiff armed the guy and ran for a td. The better one in my opinion was where he stiff armed the one defender and then beckoned the next DB to “come get him some” with another stiff arm. The DB declined the invite! I think it was the Clempson game too.

    Hopefully we get a signal or two or even three this weekend. Not sure about the talent level of the USC transfer but him or Zaire would be good going into next year and one of our earliest games going into a hostile environment. Pitt better be practicing “the silent counts” because it is going to be a new experience that rattles even the best of qb’s.

    Happy Saturday folks! The South Dakota State will make sportscenter today for a Canada like mis direction. It was sweeeet!

    Like

  52. AP News.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    White Male 28 seen with Hospital Gown on Forbes wearing a Carrick Football 2007 shirt underneath his gown. He is not armed or dangerous but will do anything to use your wifi. Heard saying Bertke for Heisman. Thinks he is batman.

    Like

  53. Let me add my compliments to Dan72 on his truly well-written piece. Nice prose style–a little softer on the edges than Reed’s (not hard)–and so well researched. With the right team, Connor’s skills should serve him well on Sundays, but I think his character will serve him even better in his eventual life’s work, whenever that may come for him.

    That is Eric’s good work above…

    Like

  54. Eric… just a great well thought out article. Thank you!

    So Conner is gone. Think he made a bad decision and also think he’d be much more valuable on defense.
    Wish him great health and great luck in the NFL!

    Pitt by 22 just before the half w PSU.
    Who knows what 2nd half will bring! This is what the Duquesne game should have looked like.

    Like

  55. Hey DK’s therapist. Years ago at a PITT tailgate (red lot) there was a guy walking around in a hospital gown with an IV pole with the IV still in his arm. An hour later or so he had a PITT sweat shirt on and a beer in his hand. This could be your man. I mean the guy from years ago, not the Dark Knight…..or maybe it is?

    Like

  56. Pitt beats dairy college in mens hoops.. Interestingly, I listened to the last 10 minutes with the Dairy College announcers and they said ” Pitt inexplicably stopped playing and trying to score”. Baffling!

    Will check in periodically for signals tonight…..

    Like

  57. Paterno is in the grave and in my opinion why don’t we just leave him there? He’s not worth digging back up at this point in my opinion. He was disgusting!!!
    Now, keeping O Canada is a current big time topic!!!!! Let’s do something unheard of: Spend the money to keep him at Pitt! Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

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