Recruiting?… and Other Things.

All’s quiet on the Western PA’s front, which isn’t a good thing like it was in WWI.  Here are the recruits that we have grabbed so far in the all-important month of January, which in recruiting terms is the most important time period. recruitiung-jan-17 That is because top-shelf recruits with the most really good offers usually wait until this month to commit to a university’s football program.  

You see above we have  three 3* kids with one coming in as a re-commit from a community college after being kicked off the Penn State team in 2015. Actually though, he may turn out to be the biggest ‘get’ in this class.

These players are fine I suppose, as are the other players we have verballed to Pitt, but right now is when Pat Narduzzi is supposed to be reeling in the big fish and not have he and his staff traveling throughout the country visiting important recruits and hearing “Thanks, but we’ll call you if …“.

Right now our recruiting class sits at 22 players with room for at least five more (I believe) and are ranked 37th nationally.  That ranking is down a few slots from last week and if we don’t get some decent players in the next two days it will slide a bit more.

I don’t put a whole lot of stock in class rankings because there are so many variables – but it is one way of comparison and a point of discussion among fans.

To say this is disconcerting is pretty mild, at least in my opinion.  Yes, there are some solid players with good offers in this group and some will be stars.  I wrote the other day that upon reflection it was a good class but in my last paragraph I also said that changes unless we get some real prospective high-end talent in the last week of the recruiting season.

At this point that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Now – one thing for fans to remember is that Letter Of Intent Day (LOI Day) is just the first and earliest day that recruits can sign letters of commitment to a school.  We can keep recruiting players and get signed commitments after LOI Day up until sometime in April I believe.  But that rarely happens.

Last year DE Rashad Weaver and DT Keyshon Camp both committed and signed to Pitt on LOI Day itself and that is more common than someone waiting until after LOI Day to make a choice of where to play ball.  Back in 2011 WR Josh Brinson signed on with us on April 4th but he was a JUCO transfer.

Basically what this boils down to is by the time the coaching staff is doing their dog and pony show for us fans at Heinz field the evening of signing day it will be ‘what you see is what you get’ for that recruiting class.

titus-howard-6 ◄This is what a verbal commitment looks like. It means almost nothing until we see this – signing the LOI. image  ▼

From one to the other used to be a smooth road for the coaching staff.  Recruits rarely backed off verbal commitments – mostly because their parents and grandparents would kick their ass if they did.  Now it is almost like a bidding auction where the recruits shop around for better offers up to, and sometimes including, LOI Day itself.

It wasn’t necessarily better back in the day – I believe these young men should play the ‘risk / reward’ game for as long as possible to get the best chance at the best future they can, whether that be on the football field or off it. 

But there is the chance that a recruit gets an offer in his JR high school year let’s say and then in his SR year decides that instead of verballing right away he’ll wait until better offers come in – and sometimes they do.

But sometimes they don’t and by the time the school has filled their recruiting quota at that kid’s position he’ll get a phone call rescinding that offer. Not too problematic if it happens early enough – but if it happens late in the recruiting season that recruit may find that all his good schools are filled up.  When that happens he gets stuck somewhere he really didn’t want to be or, in the case of a marginal 3* or a 2* kid, may even be looking at D2 football.

I’ll not sit and wait by the phone to see if Pitt gets any great recruits at this late hour, it could happen but the truth to this point is that Pat Narduzzi has struck out big time in PA this year. 

Here is a PA Top 10 list for 2017 compiled by Panther’s Prey Chris Dokish who is very knowledgeable in the recruiting game:

2017

1.  D’Andre Swift, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) RB- Solidly built at 5’10” 208, very fast, great feet and vision, and he even has very good hands. He’s the total package and that’s why his top five  right now is Penn State, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, and Florida State.  GEORGIA

2.  Lamont Wade, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) CB- At 5’9″ and 185 pounds, he doesn’t have ideal size for the position, but he’s very strong, fast, and quick. He also has the fire necessary for the position. Ohio State and Penn State seem like the most obvious leaders, and Pitt is a bit of a sleeper. PENN STATE

3.  Paris Ford, Steel Valley HS (Munhall) FS- Thin, but has room to grow at 6’1″ and 175 pounds. Excellent speed and athleticism. Plays with a lot of emotion. Projects just as well at wide receiver. Has committed to PITTSBURGH.

4.  David Adams, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) LB- Typical rugged western PA kid that was born to play linebacker. Good speed and athleticism. Has the range to make tackles all over the field. Committed to NOTRE DAME.

5.  Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls Area HS (Beaver Falls) DE- Big, strong, and athletic at 6’4″ and 265 pounds. Shed some weight so that he can play defensive end, but he could also be just as good at defensive tackle. Pittsburgh appears to be the leader with Penn State probably second. Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Notre Dame are some of his other offers. MICHIGAN

6.  Mark Webb, Archbishop Wood Catholic HS (Warminster) WR- Good size at 6’2″ and 195 pounds with the frame to add more size. Has steadily been on the rise with impressive camp performances. At one point he seemed like he was destined for Penn State, but Georgia may lead now. Alabama and North Carolina are also heavily involved. GEORGIA

7. C.J. Thorpe, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) OG- Short and stocky at 6’3″ and 320 pounds, but has good feet for his size. He could also move over to DT if he doesn’t pan out on offense. Has committed to PENN STATE.

8.  Josh Lugg, North Allegheny HS (Wexford) OT- At 6’7″ and 290 pounds he has great length, and he also moves very well. However he appears to be this year’s candidate for overrated PA lineman that national recruiting services do every year. At least for now since Lugg has yet to perform at a high level. He does have great natural attributes, though, so that still may come. Has committed to NOTRE DAME.

9.  Kurt Hinish, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) DT- Probably the biggest surprise prospect of the season because nobody expected him to get the attention that he has. But he’s a solid 6’2″ and 285 pounds, and he moves well for his size. Has already committed to NOTRE DAME.

10.  Kenny Robinson, University Prep HS (Pittsburgh) LB- Maybe the most under recruited prospect in the state, but that’s often the case when you play in Pittsburgh’s City League. At 6’3″ and 205 pounds he has a strong, athletic frame to go with his good speed and quickness. When it all comes together for him he could be a special player. It’s believed that Pittsburgh is the strong leader.  WVU

Folks – read that and weep.  Of those Top 10 recruits in PA  eight (8!) are from the Pittsburgh area and Narduzzi has landed only one. In his now third year at Pitt, and finishing his second full recruiting class, I don’t think we can point back to Paul Chryst or the past state of the football program and make excuses for this.

Again, this 2017 class is a good class, looks solid and when things unfold we’ll most probably have a star or two and a bunch of starters – but every class produces those.  We need to get above and beyond at Pitt.

However, over the past two full recruiting classes, especially this one with all those talent rich players in western PA, Narduzzi’s not lived up to his great recruiter billing he brought with him from MSU.  Hard to say why – we are winning more games.  But I also think that losing his two bowls games impacts this, especially with the Pinstripe bowl breakdown.  We had a real shot at 9 wins and a Top 15 ranking and blew it… well, for a lot of star recruits it is a case of “what have you done lately”.

sports-picture-thing-ja-web-900x601

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some surprise additions over the next 48 hours – late commitments do happen all the time and HC Pat Narduzzi can still strike it rich with a Big Dog or three – which is really what you need to win championships. C’mon Pat!

 

Here is an excellent Washington Post article regarding how well certain recruiting classes fare.  It is “Following the Signs” and details what a recruiting class’ history is ten years later.

“Everyone is a star on National Signing Day. A look back at 2007’s top recruits shows anything can happen from there.”

Hey – only two days until we get together for Pitt’s LOI Day event and have our own meet and greet at Bettis’ Grille.  I have about 15 people counted so far – everyone is welcome even if you aren’t a regular on here.  as stated earlier drinks are on me until 5;00 or so – then we’ll troop over to the North Club to see Pitt’s Magical Mystery Show.

Note: Some of you wonderful guys said “The check is in the mail” and they sure were, as were some Patreon donations – so yesterday morning some thank you gifts went out from here to you all.  Let me know what you think, and they should be getting to you by tomorrow or the next day.

BTW – one of the first things your money did was replace an old decrepit printer with one that has all the bells and whistles and can do fancy print newsletters – so stay tuned on that count (I got 50% off and a military discount on that!!)

If you enjoy what you read in the articles and the comment discussions on the POV then please consider being a supporting patron through our donation site on Patreon to offset travel and associated expenses that this blog requires.  Click on the image below to get started and THANK YOU!   If you prefer to donate by check just send it to my my home address listed on the upper left side of the “Home” page..

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86 thoughts on “Recruiting?… and Other Things.

  1. Reed, I just tried to pledge and submitted my credit card but got some sort of “CRsf…blah blah..” error. I will try again later today.

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  2. Well it looks as though we could get left empty-handed tomorrow. Proctor and Garbutt off the table (which was expected by most) and Bryan now off as well. I don’t have a good feeling about getting Thomas or Davis at this point. Hope I’m wrong. If we would get Twyman, Thomas and Davis that would be a pretty strong ending to the class.

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  3. I am fully committed to the attendance at the Duke game as the killer to any recruit making a decision and the blame is not on PN but on Pitt fans. You can not expect a kid to turn on the tv after winning at Clemson, see that pathetic excuse for s crowd and say “gee I want to go there”. The fact that PN is getting recruits at all should be admired let alone the ones he is getting. Bottom line, you want 4 and 5* recruits you need 4 and 5* star fans, right now Pitt is a low 2* in the fan category.

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    1. FYI Avg attendance 2015 (source – NCAA)
      Pitt – 48,150

      Arizona 51k
      ASU 52k
      Baylor 46k
      Boise 33k
      BC 30k
      Cal 48k
      Colorado 39k
      Duke 26k
      GT 50k
      Houston 34k
      Illinois 41k
      Indiana 44k
      Louisville 49k
      Maryland 44k
      Miami (FL) 47k
      Minnesota 52k
      UNC 49k
      Oregon St 36k
      Purdue 37k
      Rutgers 47k
      Stanford 49k
      Syracuse 32k
      TCU 46k
      Utah 46k
      Virginia 43k
      Wake Forest 26k
      Washington St 29k
      WVU 54k

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      1. with the exception Baylor, TCU and Miami,all located in much better recruiting areas than WPa, … what teams on that list outrecruit Pitt on a consistent basis? Stanford and maybe WVU

        And, except for Baylor, WVU and Stanford, I don’t see any consistent Top 20 teams.

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        1. Whether people have come to grips with it or not, the WPIAL is not what it used to be. GT (Atlanta), Stanford/Cal (NoCal), Maryland (DC), Rutgers (NJ), Illinois (Chicago), UNC (Charlotte), in addition to the ones you mentioned all have solid recruiting bases. Virginia, ASU, and Arizona all have fairly fertile recruiting grounds as well, esp when you throw in SoCal for the Arizona schools

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      2. Tickets sold or rears in seats? I think we report tickets sold. Giving the full information is always helpful. OCS or bust! 45k stadium can’t sell 47k tickets. Start getting rid of the folks that don’t attend.

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        1. There is no excuse for having an empty paid seat. Pitt needs to encourage unused ticket donations & fill the seats with Boy Scouts, Big Brothers/Sisters or whomever. Maybe give Panther Club points to those that donate.

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  4. Strongly agree that keeping the 412 crew home to represent Pitt during their playing career in college is woefully lacking with this class. In fact, losing a couple really fine recruits to ND and that douchbag Kelly, stings more than the commitments that the dairy college reaped from our own backyard. ND at 4-8, with how Kelly conducted himself last season, created for me a real WTF moment with these guys choosing the Irish!?!?

    Wanny was successful in building a fence around the WPIAL, it would be sweet if Narduzzi could duplicate those results going forward. 2018 is going to be another talented crew coming out of western PA. Narduzzi has to do better!

    That being said, He is harvesting the southeast much better than anybody else has at Pitt for decades. He snagged three from the sunshine state in last year’s class and in this one a half dozen more, (so far). Seems to me that Pitt’s reputation across the nation may actually be viewed more favorably from afar than it is with the local kids, at least with the individuals in this class. Perplexing, to say the least.

    I strongly disagree with your take on who the sleeper star in this class might be, especially when you tap Kam Carter, a JUCO transfer, as that guy. IMO, that makes eligible our graduate transfer, Max Browne, as a candidate to consider in this class as the best of the bunch, even though he’s only going to be around for one season, just like both Savage & Peterman before him.

    I think Carter fills a real need down the road but Max Browne fills an obvious huge void right now that spells the difference between a 7-6 season or potentially winning the ACC Coastal at the opposite end of that same spectrum. Max Browne is that important to this team in 2017. Thank God we got him and luckily he’s already on campus and will be working with the team in the Spring. He will be a difference maker.

    Behind him, the #2 most important future star, hands down, is Paris Ford! That’s pretty obvious isn’t it? A loyal Pitt recruit that committed way back when and has decided to stay home as another future hometown hero representing the 412 Crew. So I’m giving my props to Ford. That being said, I’ll be very surprised if he gets his freshman RS burned this season. Why? Because there are just too many talented DBs ahead of him who have had a year of training in the program getting ready to spread their wings in the Panthers defensive secondary come 2017. The only way I see him getting on the field is if we’re devastated by multiple injuries. So if Paris Ford is making headlines this season it might actually be a bad thing for the team as a whole.

    I’m still holding out hope for a surprise LB recruit. I don’t know where that guy will be coming from, or who it is but Narduzzi has been a magician at filling voids in the roster at the last minute and that’s a position that still needs one more body in this class. We’ll see tomorrow.

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    1. From PSN last night –

      “I’m being told that Florida DE Guy Thomas will decide tomorrow between Pitt and Louisville.”

      Doc – if Thomas signs with Pitt, he is being projected as a LB by some recruiting sites. Current 3* who has been committed to Nebraska and is projected to flip today. He is 6’2″ 205lbs from Miami, FL and he made an official visit to Pitt January 21, 2017.

      Go Dawg! Haul in the Husker…

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  5. I see no reason for the rumpus concerning recruiting this year. I to, did not like losing a few of the local young men this year but Pat went about his business looking elsewhere. I think this years class will be better than just OK. PN has quietly gone out and recruited the proverbial Graham like spreed he talked about. I put up an article yesterday explaining Narduzzi’s philosophies with his defense and it did give me understanding on what he has done and what he will do. The type of kids he is getting, no matter where they are from, are players with a little better size and speed. HCPN will live or die with HIS defense, I suspect he will eventually live by it. This is a solid PITT recruiting class imo……ike

    Twyman, Thomas and Davis will round it out with one surprise.

    H2P

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  6. BTW, IMO, John above speaks the truth. The Pitt fan base tends to be a very critical bipolar type bunch. That has to change before this program really catapults itself into that next level, like that us old timers witnessed back in the 70s & 80s. Attendance is one issue for sure but even more so, IMO, is the loyalty issue, or the lack thereof, that Pittsburghers in general as well as true Pitt alumni have with this program.

    Say what you’d like about that cult out east in creepy valley, but any Pitt fan that deep down isn’t just a little bit envious of the rabid dedication that those people have with their team is just fooling themselves.

    In PSU’s case it has actually taken on a brainwashed mindset that has created a pathological aura of denial that those on the outside see so clearly evident. But still, wouldn’t it be great to see Heinz Field every week charged up like it was at the Pitt vs. PSU game for every home opponent? As a fan base, we can do better.

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  7. Ike – no rumpus – just a feeling on my part that this class isn’t going to finish as we should. Two 8 win seasons and this is what we have so far. Doesn’t really add up in my opinion. When you have WPA kids flocking elsewhere as we have seen this season and some last class also means the HS coaches are not all that impressed with Pitt at this point.

    Those HS coaches talk to each other all the time – Pitt invites a bunch of different coaches to view the (whole!) practices and then have a meet and greet with the coaching staff either before or after. I believe they still do that – I see them at every practice and have some very interesting conversations with some of them each time.

    Plus they have conferences, awards dinners, etc.. so there is a lot of interaction. I know that DW leaned heavily on going to those functions and making friends with them – thus his great success with the local kids when he was here.

    Now I wonder. You would think that with Narduzzi’s energy, excitement, etc… he’d be winning these local coaches and players over but hasn’t happened yet.

    And before anyone starts talking about recruiting more heavily in Florida or elsewhere – those local kids listed above are as good or better than anyone we’ll pull out of far away states… it isn’t like we go down to FL and get their Top 25 players.

    Dr Tom – I don’t really consider Max Browne a recruit per se as the rest of the class is. More of a transfer and he only had two offers to transfer to I believe – maybe a few.

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    1. I get that, but you do consider Carter a JUCO recruit coming in with 3 years of eligibility remaining as a member of this class. Which was my point. The impact of any new guy coming in for 2017 will have to be significant to surpass the contributions that Browne will make in his final year here. Just my prediction, what do I know anyhow?

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  8. Barnes, the idiot, overplayed his hand with the PSU fans. They bought season tickets and threw the rest of games tickets in the trash.
    Walk up sales are worthless is sports, therefore the Clemson win really had zero impact on attendance the next week.
    Again, the stadium sucks. That is why Pitt plays well on the road. Pitt needs more fans before they can expect top recruits to come.
    It sux but that is just the way it is.

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  9. I’ll guarantee that Pitt’s lack of success for the top PA players isn’t due to a lack of effort.

    Pitt is losing these recruits to Georgia, Notre Dame, PSU and Michigan. What can these schools offer that Pitt can’t? A large campus not interspersed with businesses and hospitals, a large and avid fanbase, national publicity and exposure, attractive bowls

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  10. Let’s be honest, this is an average at best recruiting class. Needed to do much better, especially locally.

    Losing the chance to finish strong like last year. Too many missed opportunities.

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  11. Reed I don’t buy that argument at all. That Narduzzi isn’t building the right relationships in the local area and that the coaches aren’t impressed with Pitt. Are you serious? And yet they are with ND who sucked and has the biggest jerk of a HC in the country??? That makes zero sense. Plus, while a coach may have some influence, he certainly isn’t going to ultimately determine where a kid goes to school – with the extreme exception of maybe somehow influencing a scholarship offer being made.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying all the local coaches are buddies with PN and that they are all enamored by him. That’s not what my point is. But to categorize the opposite by the fact that we didn’t get x number of local recruits is ridiculous in my opinion.

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  12. gc, I disagree somewhat. With a class ranked in the 30s – possibly better depending on what happens tomorrow – that is not average at best. I’m not saying that we should be super excited about a class in the 30s – just that it isn’t average.

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  13. JJ. . You read too much into that statement ot I didn’t clearly say what I meant.

    What I meant wasn’t negative, just that if he really grabbed their attention I think we’d see more local interest.

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  14. some news about a 2-star recruit and a 5th round draft pick

    Gil Brandt ‏@Gil_Brandt 6m
    Since 2015, Patriots are 16-0 when Dion Lewis plays, 13-7 without him. (and scoring 7 fewer ppg).

    and BTW, Brady was a 6th rounder

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  15. either Dokish reads POV or he is responding to someone who does. 3 most recent tweets:

    Chris Dokish ‏@ChrisDokish 11m11 minutes ago
    More than ever, kids want to go away for college. Not just in Pittsburgh, but everywhere.

    Chris Dokish ‏@ChrisDokish 12m12 minutes ago
    Obviously it’s nice to have local players, but if they go elsewhere, and you’re replacing them with equal players from elsewhere, so be it.

    Chris Dokish ‏@ChrisDokish 17m17 minutes ago
    Who cares where Pitt gets their players from? If they’re good they’re good.

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  16. I totally agree with Dokish, my sentiments exactly. PITT usually ends up with a few of the kids going away to play anyways. Now, I’m not saying I don’t want the local players but I like the way Pat has dealt with this….and BTW…. A few of these guys were down at PITT practices and campus on a regular basis. Jeter constantly used his social media to hype Narduzzi. Personally? I think the check was in the mail.. lol

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  17. Pitt has a lot to offer these recruits but has been under poor management for soooooo long… best hope to re-corral WPA is have an AD who ” gets it” the whole big picture not just the front porch , I vote Tressle, a coaching staff the is consistent for the foreseeable future- these guys appear to be busting ass- hopefully in another year or two of winning and not shitting the bed I.e. Northwestern.. the team will be better supported by old and new fans growing interest and attendance.. gone are the days where 10 white kids who want a FB schollie all want to become dentists and sign on with PITT.. maybe next year is the year but we have work to do to get our house in order

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  18. Assuming Twyman is in, this class will be close to last years. Davis and Thomas move them up a notch but really this is a 35ish class. That is still a good class. Ford is hands down the best player and the only player in PA who rivals him is Swift. Everyone else has issues as to size, motor speed ect. No issue with not getting the ND guys this year. Jurkovec is a tough one but Doyle is really good. Pitt didn;t miss much is not getting the locals. Both Lugg and Adams looked over matched in the all star games. Jeter is facing 6 other DL recruits who are rated as high or higher. This class has some outstanding studs folks. Ford, Reeves, Warren, Drake, Twyman?, Bright, Sibley, Mathis, Smith are great additions.

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  19. Recruiting is the lifeblood of every college football program. That’s an undeniable fact. Just look at the top recruiting schools: Ohio State and Alabama and that translates on to the field provided you have quality coaching.

    You can also recruit well but if you can’t coach then you’ve underachieved. Case in point, Notre Dame and Michigan till Harbaugh came along. Harbaugh’s success and recruiting will impact Dantonio at Michigan State.

    I would be willing to wager that Clemson’s recruiting has improved the past few years and it’s translated on to the field. Penn State’s recruiting has improved under Franklin and they won the Big 10 Conference. Coincidence? Hardly.

    You can talk all you want about coaching them up, and you can also train a donkey 24/7 365 days a year and it’s not going to win the Kentucky Derby. You have to have the horses.

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  20. Maybe Pitt isn’t landing local kids because they read the constant negativity of SOP fans…..at first, I typed that as a smart ass sarcastic remark but now that I think about it, it could be true.

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  21. Is it just me or, for those of you who check out the Pittsburgh Sports Now site, does it seem like PSN has really lost some of its value since Mike V left KDKA? Maybe he is now spending most of his time trying to find advertisers. Good thing that Reed has not gone that route.

    And, on recruiting, who was it on here that said a 3 star from Florida may actually be as good (or better) than a 4 start from the WPIAL? I agree with that—and, I guess we are about to find out.

    H2P

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    1. history has shown us that our 3-star Florida recruits have a higher percentage of success. No, I don’t have the numbers; it may not be true …. just conjecture.

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  22. So far, the class is solid. If we keep our focus on the rivals site and their recruiting stars, we have made great progress. Here’s why. To garner a 3 star rating, the player has to be rated between a 5.5 and a 5.7. At 5.8 the player becomes a four star. Now compare how many 5.6’s and 5.7’s we got this year, compared to 5.5’s in years past.

    Same as 2 stars. A 5.4 is very close to a 3 star low tier at 5.5. Pitt used to get most all 3 stars at 5.5 and 2 stars at 5.2 and 5.3. There is a difference in players this year. Just my two cents on this, but I can see the overall class improvement. So to answer, there is a difference between a 5.5 and a 5.7. I like the 5.7’s more than the 5.5’s of years gone by.

    Again, this is for those that are married to stars. I am not. I am more attached to evaluations and rankings within those stars. Even more than that, I like to see them in a couple of years after being coached. Desire you cannot teach! Ask our basketball coach. I would bench the ones that don’t. Narduzzi is just fine fellas!

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  23. Lots of fun discussing recruiting. It is truly subjective while results are long forgotten over the life span of a recruit. Yeah, maybe we as individual remember but sure as hell most others don’t….but that’s why I’m calling..

    What the beautiful thing is… A few months before Pat Narduzzi was named head coach at PITT, the prospects were a lot in doubt. The new coach comes in and he’s being treated like he’s been here for years. Yes, we are all discussing about what he does well and what not so well. Which is my point. Narduzzi has already made us all feel comfortable with the direction of the PITT football program. Who expected this? It’s a good thing that he’s being scrutinized like we have a right to demand more. I agree with this. Especially when I look back only a short time ago and remember what a shambles the program was in. Color me happy… ike

    H2P

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  24. A coach, when recruiting, is only as good as the program that he is trying to sell. If we were losing the top WPIAL players to Rutgers, Maryland or Purdue instead of Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame, I’d be more concerned. Some kids want to stay home, some kids want to get away from home. Some want to play in front of 100,000 fans. Others don’t care, and go to where they will have an earlier chance to play. Maybe bowl opportunities or the chance to play in for a Championship matter to some kids. Truth is that right NOW, Pat Narduzzi has less to sell kids on than some other coaches do. Hopefully that will change over time. Given his limitations, I think he and his staff are doing a commendable job recruiting.

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  25. Basketball note of interest, this from Dejan Kovacevic: ” Word is filtering this way that the frustration with Kevin Stallings at Pitt has reached all the way up the university ladder, and there are folks up there already trying to find a way out of the final five years of his contract. Problem No. 1 with that: It’s a lot of money to eat for a state-supported school. We don’t know how much because, for some reason, the basketball coach’s salary doesn’t fall under public records laws at a state-supported school. But we can safely presume it’s a lot.”

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  26. Trying to avoid a site taboo, but Sen Chuck Schumer’s spokesperson is named Matt House. Suddenly I don’t like Schumer’s chances of defending anything in the next 2-4 years.

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  27. Does anyone know ho to fix a long-running script error on my computer? It has really slowed down my computer. I googled “long-running script” and got a few microsoft fixes but none of them worked. Please help if you can. Thanks

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    1. You mean,a slowed down computer or while on the internet only? If the internet you could clear your history & cache. If it’s your computer and it’s a recent problem, do a virus search and maybe do a Recovery in Control Panel as a last resort. Always go back the minimum amount of time and backup before doing it.

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  28. Pitt Football is, and will ALWAYS be tied to Florida and have many of it’s stars will be Young Men from Florida.

    Antonio Bryant, Jabaal Sheard, Greg Romeus, Hugh Green! , — (yerp) Nathan Peterman! (same Jacksonville HS as Tim Tebow and Nate will have 10X the NFL career how bout that!) —- Pitt Football cosmically or whatever just always had, and always will, have a Special Pipeline with Florida.

    And that is as it should be for Pitt Football to Flourish.

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  29. A.J. Davis (6 foot, 185) at RB would be a tremendous commit for Pitt.

    He has Straight Center-Field Home-Run speed, great hands, and is crazy-elusive. A much taller, shiftier (but not nearly as strong) Dion Lewis who would an All-American level talent.

    The other RB from Florida Davis was just Another Guy and not even as good as Todd Sibley so it’s no loss at all.

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  30. The wpial and pa talent this year stinks. There are only 3 strong players in PA and that is Ford, Swift, and Tyler Sear. Wade is to small and all the other players are 2 or 3 star level recruits, not 4 star worthy. All those PA recruits headed to Notre Dame and Penn State got killed in the title games and all star games. None of them are even good. David Adams has regressed big time. Central lost like 56-0. They suck. It was smart of Pitt to recruit Florida and Ohio this year because if we landed those PA recruits this year we would be in major trouble because they are not good at all.

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  31. BTW – I added an very interesting article by the Washington Post where the author takes a look at what the Top 100 of the class of 2007 recruits are doing now and how their careers went – I added it after the comments got going so if you didn’t see it I suggest reading it.

    I’ll post it again in tomorrow morning’s article.

    No other recruits listed on Rivals since 1/21 yet.

    Like

    1. if this Blustein guy isn’t just some Florida windbag that consistently blows smoke up everybody’s skirt just to create lots of warm fuzzies on that school’s recruits, then we might just have a whole bunch of talent coming in from Florida tomorrow!

      Like

  32. Hi Reed, as a patron, I give you two more cents…

    Not sure why you think the following:

    “…right now is when Pat Narduzzi is supposed to be reeling in the big fish…”

    “…Narduzzi’s not lived up to his great recruiter billing he brought with him from MSU.”

    “Right now our recruiting class…are ranked 37th nationally. That ranking is down a few slots from last week and if we don’t get some decent players in the next two days it will slide a bit more…I don’t put a whole lot of stock in class rankings because there are so many variables…To say this is disconcerting is pretty mild, at least in my opinion.”

    Because as I see it, the current situation is not disconcerting. Its right where one would expect it.

    Narduzzi was never really a “big fish” recruiter at MSU. He built his defense with a lot of 3 star players. He’s doing that at Pitt as well. Landing Nicholson was a nice get, but he certainly wasn’t a typical recruit.

    And we just discussed – ad infinitum – the concept of “Averageness” on Jan 11th. And you and I touched on it briefly while breaking bread at Rosy O’Grady’s as well and if the alcohol didn’t cloud my memory too badly, I think we both accepted that the program would never be elite – perhaps an occasional big season, but generally a middle of the road program.

    We have an undependable fanbase, many of whom are spoiled by what they see on Sundays and at the PPG Paints Arena. Even in this very site, we have people who claim they are either dropping their season tickets or curtailing their given after a loss like the Pinstripe.

    Further we have had a total lack of passionate, competent leadership at the AD position for years. The cumulative impact of that damage is hard to fathom, much less guess how long a good one will take to help the football program improve.

    And then there are the kids. They are 17 and 18 yr olds. They make all kinds of crazy decisions. A lot of kids just want to get away from home. Some are sick of the gray winters.Some grew up watchinfgg ND because their dad or granddad always did and it became their dream. Some have relatives in other areas like Georgia. So, the fact that we didn’t ring it up in the PIAA top ten list

    We are an average program and no matter who the coach is, we will remain average with recruits. It takes much more than a good sales pitch. What HCPN is supposed to be able to do is get them to play above expectations. The jury is still out on that, but if he succeed there, perhaps we will win over a top-rated kid or two from time to time. But not before.

    Like

    1. JoeL, I feel your pain. Pitt was a below average program back just a few years ago when Tino was the “never come from behind kid” for the Panthers. How we even managed to survive all of the BS that transpired with the Haywood/Graham fiasco is actually pretty amazing. That should have resulted in at least one 2-10 season, especially when we started out in Chryst Era that first season with that ass kicking fdelivered by YSU in opening home game. but that’s not what I’m replying to.

      I replying to referring to Pitt as an average team right now. I beg to differ. In the eyes of people in the know, Pitt is on the verge of something very good. Last season, although marred by that Pinstripe
      Bowl loss, it still did not destroy an otherwise successful campaign. yep we screwed the pooch with the last game but it was just a series of misfortunes that all fell into place that spelled the loss. Yep, we lost that game, no excuses, it happens.

      Next season could be a breakout season for this team. Next year’s pivitol game is on September 9th. Huge non conference game. Pitt wins that one at Beaver Stadium and the respect that Pitt got at season’s end, ranked 23 going into 2017, will be shown to be very warranted.

      No need to be so serious. Pitt football is fun to watch again. Still enjoy watching Pitt’s 2016 highlights compilation video. That ain’t no “average” team. When they get that defense filled up with some more Narduzzi kids, watch out, we’ll have a legit ACC Coastal contender on our hands.

      Like

    2. JoeL – I remember that conversation at Rosie O’Grady’s very well. it is a fine memory from that time in New York.

      And I did agree with you on the State of the Union as far as Pitt football goes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope or wish that the recruiting expectations are met and exceeded. The state of Pitt football was exactly the same if not worse back when DW was hired. It was the same way when Paul chryst was hired if not worse.

      But the recruiting happens with on cleats on the ground as they say and that is all on the staff, the head coach and the recruiting scouting Department. Now the big difference in the administrations would be how much money is allocated to that recruiting cause and if we are to believe what Pitt and the media wants us to believe that purse string was opened two years ago when Pat narduzzi was hired.

      I am on record as saying I wasn’t convinced that the ACC money that we got which was so much higher than the Big East money was going directly to the football program. But I do tend to believe what people say in public for the most part and we have heard time and time again from the chancellor on down that things are different now and that more money will be expended.

      That in itself should show a bump in the recruiting quality of the classes because their opportunity for travel is expanded from the past staff’s over the last 2 years .

      But what the recruits look at, and maybe more importantly the recruits parents look at, are results on the field and the school and the staff’s reputation among people that know them meaning, as I stated above, the high School coaches in the local area and other people they might know who have a pulse on Pitt Athletics.

      When the recruits start to winnow down their choices to two or three you can bet that the recruit, parents, in some cases the grandparents and HS football coach’s… and maybe even family advisors have started to do their homework. Again it isn’t always just football that these recruits are looking at it is also the University itself.

      So with all that, and with the extra ACC money supposedly being spent on the football program, I would expect that Narduzzi’s results after his second year here to be up there on par, or close to, Dave Wannstedt. Now DW had the advantage of being a local guy but if this head coach and his staff are really out there greasing the rails, shaking the hands, doing the meet and greets at all the bars, and in the Lodges and all the Alumni Association functions and all those other things they should be doing on their off time then they’re going to build a reputation with the local football people in Western Pennsylvania.

      Two years is a long time in football years and I think that the results we see now indicate that people are not 100% sold on the University of Pittsburgh’s future 4 years. And that is what it means for recruits… they want to know what’s going to happen in the 4 years ahead when they are attending the school they’re going to choose. That and their education; I think the educational side is set because of Pitt itself so the variables are the coaching staff’s results on the field and what the recruits and their parents feel like the school has to offer them.

      Like

      1. Reed – the locals (players, parents and coaches) know Pitt through the local media and yes, wins & losses.

        The local media does Pitt NO favors and exploits the negatives and ignores most positives. Until we win, cause the media won’t change, the locals will shy away.

        I’m heading to the office to fax in my commitment to Pitt FB as my wife gave me the “ok” last night to renew our season tickets. She likes Heinz Field (ikr) and is ready to return for another season.

        Enjoy your day – I’ve got a busy one at the office – hope we hook a few “flippers”. Reel them in Dawg!

        Like

        1. And Jerry D of the Trib gets from HCPN what he should because of how Jerry has written about Pitt in the past (pre-Duzz). And our CEO knows about the negative media bias – he’s no dummy. He played it to get Nicholson to MSU.

          Like

  33. Concerning computer problems, we signed up for Best Buy Geek squad. Well worth the money for our computer problems and ipads, etc.

    Like

  34. Big B – I have become won over to Tressel
    Darkie off meds Reed strikes like a scorpion.
    Joe – I dont think you can equate Pitt’s fan base to the Steeler groupies who are groupies in the true sense of the word. Did anyone see Stiegerwald’s column about Tomlin/Porter behavior at North Catholic games – disgraceful (read in Wash Co Observer Sunday), Noll is rolling in his grave. Therapist Ben. Pitt fans are classier and smarter, just not as many right now. WADR equating the two bases is an insult to Pitt, though I’m sure there is some overlap. No doubt the media are STiller groupies, Wow am I off subject.

    Like

  35. Virginia Tech: The Hokies have hired former West Liberty University All American and Tolsia HS (WV) Offensive Coordinator Derrick Evans to a position on their offensive staff as an offensive assistant.

    Now the Hokies have two OC’s to Pitt’s none.

    Like

  36. rkb posted:

    “Therapist Ben. Pitt fans are classier and smarter, just not as many right now. WADR equating the two bases is an insult to Pitt ”

    Maybe that’s the reason the PITT fan is base is smaller than psu’s right now. We are lacking the classless and dumb-asses in masses!

    Like

    1. Being married to a PSU alumni from State College – whose entire family are PSU fans, being forced to attend PSU games; the statement above is 100% true. The ‘average’ PSU fan is a horrible person.

      Like

  37. Feels like posting the top 10 PA list is meant as a slight to Pitt’s current class. Let me paint a better picture for Pitt fans –

    4* Todd Sibley is in the same class as Swift at RB
    3* Mathias from FL is 2″ taller than Wade
    4* Paris Ford is committed to Pitt 👌
    3* Cam Bright from AL vs 3* Adams
    3* Alexander from FL vs Jeter
    3* Michael Smith from FL vs Webb
    4* Drake from FL vs Thorpe
    4* Warren from NJ vs Lugg
    4* Kam Carter from MD vs Hinish
    3* Tucker from FL vs Robinson

    Then we have two more I’d like to add that you can’t find this year in WPA.

    4* TE Reeves from OH
    3* WR Butler from FL

    I like this class compared to the top 10 in PA. Other than #2, I call it advantage Pitt or a draw.

    Reed – thanks for bringing light to such a good looking class for Pitt.

    Enjoy LOI tomorrow – wish I could join yinz in da burgh!

    Like

    1. Add 4* AJ Davis RB from FL and 3* Twayman DT from DC

      There was only one 4* RB in PA (Swift) and he committed to Georgia.

      There were NO 4* RB’s from WPA this year, yet Pitt landed TWO from outside PA – one from OH and the other from FL.

      HTP!

      Like

  38. There are many players outside the state that are just as good if not better. I would not get hung up on only getting 1 of PA’s top 10 players. There are 100 players in TX and FL just as good as PA’s top 10. PA is really irrelevant when it comes to recruiting these days. Hate to say it PA but theres better quality out of state.

    Like

  39. Stars are nice, but I will hold my opinion until we have seen what they actually do on the field. Would I like a top 10 class? Sure, but that doesn’t always guarantee success (see Irish, Fighting). Hope for Twyman and a couple other LOI signings, but I also remember past discussions on recruiting asking why we “ignored” places like Ohio and Florida. That doesn’t seem to be an issue any longer. Looking forward to seeing what this class does on the filed in a year or two (for most probably two)

    Like

  40. What you yinzers (and Reed I am lumping you into this group) fail to understand is that football is team sport. Recruiting is just as much about filling holes and developing as it is about landing big fish. The best teams have three-four deep at every position and the reload. A team full of well-developed junior and senior three stars, with a four star sprinkled in will beat younger, more talented and less balanced teams. Narduzzi and co have done a very nice job of filling holes. The year after next will truly tell the tale on the field. …a chain is only as strong as its weakest link…

    #h2p

    Like

  41. All things being equal talent and star wise, one big thing WPIAL recruits bring that others don’t is guaranteed bodies in the seats at home games. Just sayin’

    Like

  42. Doc – I’m really not as serious as the post sounded! You had a nice round the other day on your island – was that Skidaway? Nice place if so.

    rkb – I was referring to Pitt fans who are from or live in Pgh. They see other teams in the Steelers and Pens executing at the very highest levels in front of sellout crowds – always. Most are unlike this crew here. They make a commitment to one of these other teams and it doesn’t leave a lot of time to make Pitt FB a priority or simply not interested because Pitt is not having the same level of success. In that regard, I think it’s a fair comparison.

    Like

    1. the pros team represent the city / area. Not necessarily the college team especially if you attended another school. Yes, more local players would help … but how much? One more thing … women!! How many of them do you know are fans of pro sports but can care less about college sports? Virtually every woman I know who claims to like sports are like that….. even Pitt alums.

      I do believe there is a fair amount in Pitt sports in Pgh area, but just enough to watch them on TV .. but not pay to attend. It just isn’t the thing to do.

      Like

  43. If anyone is interested … the key times are

    -4* DE Guy Thomas: 9 AM
    -3* DT Jaylen Twyman: 10 AM
    -4* RB AJ Davis: 1 PM (ESPNU)

    These are the big fish who have Pitt as a finalist. Thomas and Davis are 4-stars. Twyman is considered a Pitt favorite, while the others are unknown

    Like

  44. Reed:

    Three comments. First, I never got the impression that Pitt worked very hard to get Kenny Robinson, so I don’t think they really lost him. Second, read Chris Dokish’s post about this recruiting class. He is very pleased with it. Third, I used to think of you as a positive reporter, but now I think of you as having a negative side. So Narduzzi only landed one of the local high-level recruits (although the one he landed is arguably the best one) and so he didn’t win the Pinstripe Bowl. But he has had two straight eight-win seasons, he beat both Clemson and the Evil Empire this year, and someone like Dokish thinks this is a good recruiting class. I think you need to give the guy a break.

    Like

  45. Looks like you guys have some pretty big recruits on board. There’s plenty of excellent talent in Pennsylvania this year. I feel like Pennsylvania is starting to become a thick recruiting area (obviously nowhere near Florida and Texas). I can’t get on board with the whole “stars are actually meaningful” deal that coaches try to sell these players. There are plenty of low-rated recruits that end up doing bigger things than 4 and 5 star guys (ex. Hunter Renfrow, Clemson). I don’t make my judgements until I see these guys on field during gameplay!

    Like

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