LOI Day Travel & POV’ers Festivities

I’m on the road early this morning – have some things to do in Pittsburgh before we meet at Bettis’ Grille around 3:30 or so.  As I said I’ll be down there then or maybe even earlier and if I tip the staff there early enough maybe they will let me fly the beautiful Pitt POV flag Bernie B. bought us.pov-flag-1

I’m bringing along some nice Pitt POV gifts for all who attend so please make it a stop before you go over to Heinz Field – in the East Club, when the doors open at 5:00 for the Fans & Staff Meet and Greet and then the Position Coaches take the stage for player introductions and that begin at 6:00 .bettis

As I said earlier I’ll take care of the bar bill – you guys bring yourselves and buy dinner or whatever.  I’m really looking forward to see old faces and meeting new ones.

Also – and for you Facebook readers – even if you don’t comment on here much, or at all, please stop by and have a drink on me and talk about Pitt football with our group.  As the say “The first one’s free…”.  But in this case so is the 2nd and 3rd….

As for the event itself, here is some important info from Pitt which I have paraphrased:

We’re excited that you will be joining us for the 2017 National Letter of Intent Event on Wednesday inside the UPMC Club (formerly the East Club) at Heinz Field. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. with the program beginning at 6:00 p.m.

This year’s event will again feature a pre-event Cocktail Hour courtesy of PGT Trucking beginning when doors open at 5:00 p.m.  (Note – we understand The Pitt POV is having their own pre-event cocktail at Bettis’ and would much rather be over there having real fun but we need to keep our jobs.)

Parking is available in Gold Lot 1 at an event rate. Please enter through the Suite Doors next to Gate B. For directions and parking map, please click here.

Please note we are going green for this year’s event – all Signing Day information, including recruit recaps and videos will be available via our “Signing Day Central” page on www.pittsburghpanthers.com

As a reminder, some guests are not permitted to attend the event regardless of your relationship with them. Family members of recruits or signees from that day are not allowed to attend as your guest.

Any guest in grades 9-12 must be an immediate family member. Additionally, high school and junior college coaches are not permitted to attend as your guest unless they are immediate family. These rules are mandated by the NCAA and enforced by Pitt.

If you are at work and want to follow each of the recruits who send in their signed LOIs and the staff’s reactions this is the website to follow…  and here is some info for more behind the scenes stuff…

National Letters of Intent may be faxed/e-mailed on Wednesday beginning at 7:00 a.m. (ET). Pitt will announce its signings as they occur via the following platforms:

Twitter: @CoachDuzzPittFB / @Pitt_FB
• “Signing Day Central” on PittsburghPanthers.com

The ACC Digital Network, in partnership with the Pitt Panthers, revealed its plans to provide exclusive, all-access coverage of National Letter of Intent Signing Day across its multiple digital and social platforms in a unique collaboration between the conference’s official digital network and the school. Additional insider access will be granted on social media beginning at 6:00am ET, including:

Facebook (facebook.com/theACC): Live with ACCDN Host Jeff Fischel and coaches, plus exclusive video behind the scenes of the day.
• Twitter (@theACCDN): Emotional videos, funny moments, detailed inside info from within the walls of the War Room.
• SnapChat (theACCDN): A Pitt Football Player takes over and snaps us throughout the day.
• Instagram (@theACCDN): An exclusive story of the images of a day with unprecedented access.


Fax Machine Starts: 7:00 a.m.
Coach Narduzzi Presser: 3:00 p.m. (Facebook Live)

Here is something to get the juices flowing before the event…  bit videos on each of the recruits with some recorded interviews – like this one:

Note: We picked up another recruit on the 30th apparently – Kicker Grant Kersh from Ohio.  His last gig was a leprechaun in Finians Rainbow.


Last note – I’ll be staying overnight here: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown;  250 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222, USA TEL: +1-412-281-5557.  (Courtesy of UPitt by the way, very generous of him). The hotel sits right at Market Square.


If anyone wants to stop by after the event I’ll probably be at the bar or getting dinner there – we can continue the festivities and conversations if you like.  If not… any good jazz clubs downtown someone can recommend?

Enjoy the day folks – we have a nice class coming in and it will be good to hear the staff talk about some of the kids’ backstories as they do their position recruits  presentations.





158 thoughts on “LOI Day Travel & POV’ers Festivities

  1. FYI – If anyone is interested … the key times are

    -4* DE Guy Thomas: 9 AM
    -3* DT Jaylen Twyman: 10 AM
    -4* RB AJ Davis: 1:20 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


  2. Good call on the new kicker. Kickers are certainly a different breed.

    Here’s hoping we finish the class out strong with the law firm of Thomas, Twyman and Davis

    Safe trip to you Reed. (For proper perspective, we need a photo of Reed standing next to each of the recruits…)

    Go Pitt.


  3. Chris Peak, Rivals/Pantherlair .. is publishing 2 of the 3 finalists known to him for Pitt OC job. Can’t get to it.

    Not sure if it means that no hire yet, it is just the 2 names that he found out about


  4. Thomas to Nebraska was always obvious — never eben brought him up because he was such a long-shot there was never any point.

    But A.J. Davis at RB to Pitt could (should!) be special . He’s a LeSean McCoy level talent. Fast, Agile, and just makes people Miss . That’s not something any RB’s at Pitt have done since McCoy + Dion Lewis + a Healthy, pre-injury Ray Graham. Davis would be tremendous.

    But FIRST —- a commit from Washington D.C. D-tackle Jaylen Twyman ( http://247sports.com/Player/Jaylen-Twyman-80204 ) would be HUGE (pun, lol)!!!! He’s a Stocky-Beast and he will be a Huge contributor for Pitt at DT if he commits!!

    Twyman at DT + A.J. Davis at RB in this class (along with all of the commited-guys Signing the dotted-line for Pitt) and it’s a Tremendous Success, no matter what @Reed says 🙂 haha.



  5. All Pitt commits have signed except for FL WR Dontavius Butler who is supposed having technical issues.

    That leaves the unconfirmed .. like Twyman and Davis


  6. #MessedUpPriorities

    😦 😦 😦 10X more glued to my seat for Pitt Football commits than I was for any past Presidential Election. 😦 😦 😦 yikes lol


  7. I’m getting on with my day now that Paris Ford has sign d on a He dotted line. I still think Narduzzi has on more surprise that he’s working on b sides Twyman, who I suspect is as the “silent commit” back a week or so ago. I hope Coach pulls a rabbit out of his hat with one more DT or LB, but I wouldn’t be pissed if AJ Davis was s that rabbit either.


  8. Once at a PITT game I did see a guy in a hospital gown wondering about with an IV pole. This was in the red lot. A little while later he had a PITT shirt on and a beer in his hand eating chicken wings……


  9. LOL @ Upittbaseball I would make a straight-up bet with you over A.J. Davis going to South Florida or Pitt…. and I bet I win!


  10. Solid class. More speed than prior classes. More football IQ for sure. AJ Davis would be a nice pick up. There was a 2 star DE that is like 6’4″ 210 that is supposedly fairly gifted. It’s time to take a couple of fliers at this point.

    We must have been close with Thomas! Would have been a great flip, especially bringing in another FL top prospect!


      1. I’m not a PL member but I’ll make a lunchtime prediction – the two could be:

        TE coach Tim Salem (ikr)
        RB coach Andre Powell

        They get promoted to Co-OC’s and Powell is anointed the play caller since Salem had his chance vs Navy and whiffed…


  11. Even Stallings got a nice physical SF yesterday. He said he doesn’t care that Pitt stinks now….all these guys will be gone and he’ll get to play early and win with Stallings’ guys.


  12. That’s a perfect attitude and sales pitch if you ask me Jack. Draining the Pete. I am good with that because to me, once a player or player quits on his teammates, they are done and should ride the pine until such time as their attitude readjustment period ends. That is what coach K has done with his troops. Bummer about McWilliams. The name sounds familiar Ike – thanks!


  13. All in all – a good day. Struck out on Thomas but it can’t be Pitt if we got everyone.

    Davis and Sibley both are 3 / 4 star RBs depending on the scouting service. There are a few other 3 stars who are 4 stars on other sites. (i.e. OTs Drake and Warren are 4-star on ESPN.com)

    Not sure of the overall rating but much potential. .


  14. Un-official ACC class rankings according to CBSSports:

    FSU #6
    Miami #11
    Clem’s Son #15
    VT #25
    NC #27
    Louisville #30
    Pitt #35

    Looks like Georgia will have a top five class – wouldn’t have guessed that they’d do so well.


  15. Just got to the hotel and will be going over to Bettis’ at 3:00 if anybody wants to skip out of work and start celebrating.

    This a solid class and that’s fine

    This is the year we start to see if HCPN’S 1st and 2nd classes begin to really contribute as starters.

    I’ll continue the series of who replaces the departing players once the dust settles from LOI Day.

    So… get you assets over to Bettis’ for gifts and Pitt trivia go-round.

    See you there.


  16. Guess the OC may not yet be hired:

    Chris Peak ‏@PantherLair 19m19 minutes ago
    Pat Narduzzi says there is “no rush” for #Pitt’s OC hire, but he added “Be ready for the end of the week.”

    According to tweets I read from PSN and Pantherlair, there are 3 prime candidates … 2 of which are known to them (but not revealed)


  17. Hey guys, have a great time down on the north shore tonight. Meanwhile I received a very nice surprise from my UPS man today. Really really cool! Thank you thank you Reed! …… and watch out for this recruiting class, much better than average. imo… ….ike



  18. I don,t know how to cut and paste on here but check out Duzz’s comment on today’s PSN article “Recruiting with the Big Boys.” He speaks from the heart…very encouraging to hear his perspective. Great class!! Hopefully he picks up a couple of transfers to fill out the class at DE.
    Have fun POVerts attending tonight’s festivities..we will all be there in spirit.


  19. Excerpt from an a summary (free) article in PantherLiar:

    Of course, the staff didn’t settle down after Browne and Pickett enrolled in January. They continued pursuing some of their top targets. Some of those signed with Pitt (four-star running back Anthony Davis and defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman committed on Signing Day) and some got away (four-star defensive end Guy Thomas opted to stick with Nebraska on Wednesday), but Narduzzi and company were able to go into Signing Day feeling relatively confident in the guys they had on board.

    “To me, we’re going to take the guys that want to be here, and the ones that want to be here, we’re going to play with and throw a good football team on the field,” Narduzzi said.


  20. The song of my time at Pitt

    Hail to Pitt, hail to Pitt every loyal son
    Hail to Pitt, hail to Pitt ’til the victory is won
    The gold and blue shall wave forever
    On high through fair and stormy weather
    We’ll sing her praises far and wide
    Until the end of time
    Hooperay, hooperay for dear old U-N-I
    We’ll give a grand old alleghenee, genac, genac, genac
    We’ll wave and cheer for many a year
    And sing our songs out loud and clear
    For our university.

    I bet that Uppitt has some alternate lyrics. 🙂



  21. @ Dark Knight, I’m still waiting to get together with Upittbaseball to collect on my Steak, bourbon & cigars nite winnings when he shows up in Savannah, so get to in line for collecting on your Wings & Beer bet. BTW, it’s been so long since I won, I can’t even remember what the bet was about!🤣🤣🤣

    Great finish with both AJ Davis & Twyman. So happy we’re harvesting talent from Florida once again. Hail to Pitt!


  22. BigB, here you go ………… http://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2017/02/01/narduzzi-oc-coming-soon-plus-scholarship-recruiting-update/

    and here’s an excerpt I believe you are referring to


    I asked Narduzzi about how much he tried to balance going after top-level talent and really highly ranked recruits versus spending more time and getting in early on players Pitt has a better chance of landing.

    The questions was asked due to some of Pitt’s high-profile misses, including Donovan Jeter, Lamont Wade, Nathan Proctor, Tyjuan Garbutt and others. Narduzzi’s answer was simple: you do both, but you have to go after the top talent if you ever want to land them.
    While that answers the question, Narduzzi gave a long and passionate answer to the question that I thought Pitt fans would appreciate. Here it is:

    “It all depends on what you want to be. You can settle for less, but we can do it all. We want to be on the top recruits whether it would be the guys in the area or anywhere else. We’re going to offer those guys. If you get a feel from a kid that he’s interested in your school and your program, what are you going to do, say you can’t compete? We can compete with anybody. If you can go beat the National Champions, you can beat anybody in recruiting, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.

    “In the end, you can’t get them all. If we got everybody we offered … It’s just like [was] a stretch [to get A.J. Davis]. We [were] in the game. We [were] one of three or four. If you don’t put your hat into the ring, you aren’t going to win.

    “You can talk about wasting time, but I don’t think we wasted time. There wasn’t a wasted minute out there. I have no regrets like, ‘Man, we shouldn’t have wasted our time on that guy and we didn’t get him.’ If you aren’t trying, you aren’t getting them.


      1. It’s not that hard to understand. Basically, Narduzzi is saying PITT beat the #1 team in the country this year and he plans on recruiting right there with them and everyone else all down the line. Recruit who he thinks are PITT material, then offer, they will never be a waste of time, win or lose. Pat don’t back down from no one. We got ourselves a winner here…


  23. Thanks wwb. I like Duzz. We need to keep him.

    In some ways, I am glad that Notre Dame had a good recruiting class. If they continue to struggle and start to look for a new coach, Duzz would have to be high on the list. So, even though I hate ND, I am wishing them a bunch of 6 and 7 win seasons.



  24. Great that none of our verbals flipped. Class may not be a home run but not a step back either.

    Two strong last minute pick ups.

    Running back should be a strong competition.

    Ford may help right away. D- backs should be a lot stronger, starting this year. Hopefully Whitehead and Hamlin are getting healthy.


  25. anyways. The USA today suggesting that PITT has one on the top 5 most surprising recruiting classes. I get it that it’s all subjective but in one man’s opinion at least…. and I’ll second that!


  26. ROC2, no. But, I just Googled him. Looks like he just joined his brother’s staff at USC. Was OC at Western Kentucky and had great teams there.



  27. ROC, you may be right about Helton as our next OC. He’s the younger brother of the USC head coach and was the quarterback coach at USC this past year. The previous two years he was the Western Kentucky OC. He did a great job at Western Kentucky and may be interested in getting another OC position. Following Browne to Pitt seems like something he just might be very interested in IMO.


  28. Biggest concern with Pitt personnel overall is the lack of pass rushers.

    Need a fifth year senior end. Hopefully we have some creative blitz packages.


    1. Hopefully Hendrix is 100% and Allen Edwards steps up. Also have some great rs freshmen in Patrick Jones and Rashad Weaver, both at 6’5 and 260. Great future potential with Deslin Alexander and Carson Van Lynn, Lynn already 6’6 255 and Alexander is list at 6’3 230 but also saw somewhere that he’s really 6’5 250


  29. AJ Davis’ offer sheet is certainly impressive, but am I the only one who watched that little video posted by Coach ‘Duzz to twitter and thought he looked a little slow? I mean…I don’t mean to rag on the kid or anything; I’m sure he’ll do fine, just that that little hi-light clip didn’t make him look super fast. Then again, he was still blowing by people.


    1. when Pitt goes to the ACC Tourney with a 13 and 18 record (2 and 16 in the league), and then wins it all, and then goes to the NCAA on a roll, and then wins that …. those Rockports will be worth something.


  30. Great day at the Bettis Grille and then the event at Heinz. Reed, thank you for the drinks and hospitality ! Great bunch of guys…Sorry that Dr. Tom, Upitt, Darkie, Big B, Ike, and the rest of the gang couldn’t make it.


  31. Here are the two names being mentioned as possible OC for PITT, sorry if this has already been posted.

    Zach Azzanni and Shawn Watson, both are ok in my book but I kinda of like the idea of Tyson Helton.


  32. Pulled this from the P-G –

    (Narduzzi) On graduate transfer quarterback Max Browne: “He’s tough in the weight room, and that’s what you’re looking at right now. He’s a leader, I think. Voted captain by his peers at USC, not here yet. He’s a guy that’s got a lot of experience. He gives some maturity to our group. You take Max out of there, you’re looking at a redshirt sophomore, redshirt freshman and a freshman in that quarterback room. We’re awful young there. We’ve got to build that up. Thank God for Nathan Peterman.”

    In other words, former HC Chryst left the QB cupboard bare.

    Browne’s replacement at USC was heralded yesterday morning on XM Radio 84 as being a serious Heisman candidate in 2017.



  33. PittPT … hope you POVerts had a great time last night and I meet more of you soon…working on our 2017 road trip schedule that has me and me wife traveling to Ga Tech, Duke, Va Tech, and home games for Carolina and Miami… looks like something to look forward to !!


  34. I like Shawn Watson’s bio, much OC experience. Zach Azzanni does not have much OC experience but is a fast riser so he must be pretty bright.


  35. Looking over this list of new Panthers this morning. One stat that jumped out at me, height! Out of the 24 recruits on my list, 21 are at least six feet tall, many 6’3″ or taller. That’s a class full of redwoods & these kids aren’t done growing yet at 17 & 18 yrs old.

    Two of the three recruits under six feet are Davis & Sibley, our two 4 star RBs, where height at that position could be argued to be a deficit rather than an asset.


  36. Reed-
    Missed you at Bettis yesterday-somehow I didn’t see you, but thanks for organizing. Pitt did a great job with the program and it was great to see so many fans there. Kudos to PN and all the coaches for mingling with myself and the fans. Solid class with a ton of potential- I’m ready for September!!


  37. I heard Narduzzi say it won’t be long for OC and QB coach to be hired. Two hires or one? I say two and he goes with the co-coordinator thing.

    No west coast guys, they always puss out and want to go back west.


  38. Reed. Had a great time at Bettis Grille. Thanks for the beer and gifts…And a venue to meet a great group of POV’ers. Getting psyched for the Spring Game / golf outing.


    1. Georgia, as did fellow Eastern PA blue chip, Mark Webb. PSU tried to flip both of them … but maybe they just wanted to get away and/or go South and/or play in SEC


  39. CBSSports recruiting class rankings for 2017, 2016 and 2015:

    Pitt # 33, 30, 40

    WVU # nr*, 39, 35 (nr = not ranked in top 50 according to CBSSports)

    OK St # 38, 44, 39 (doing more with less?)

    Maryland # 18, nr, 49 (big improvement for the Terps. This could impact schools that recruit DC/Maryland in the future)


  40. I thought Swift signed with Georgia.
    I was looking this morning and saw that one time heavy Pitt target DT Derrius Mullins didn’t sign yet. He was committed to Indiana but now Rivals shows Undecided. Anyone know what’s up with him? I wonder about DeBose as well. It almost sounds as if the book closed on this class but I thought Pitt was really high on him too and he’s supposed to announce tomorrow I think.
    I saw somewhere someone mentioned something about Kane Taylor. I had no idea Pitt was involved with him and can’t imagine they still are. But he’s a big time recruit. That would qualify as a surprise.


  41. Chas mentioned Kane Taylor on the Blather; I too was unaware of him. Per Rivals, he is still undecided and Pitt has not offered but 247 does list a Pitt offer. 3 star DT

    My understanding is DeBose is to announce tomorrow among Pitt, VT and Illinois. 3 star DE


  42. No rest for Narduzzi it would seem since yesterday he’s already made offers to two Pittsburgh locals, Danielson a DT from Thomas Jefferson and Zubovic a OL from Belle Vernon.


  43. Mullins didn’t qualify academically, Prop 48 for you older guys. He will attend Prep School and be ready in January.

    Taylor, i got nothin!

    Debose a heavy VT lean.


  44. The Horns and Buff fans out this way that I’ve talked with (a total of 3) don’t care much for Watson. But, his experience is solid and it sounds like he is good at developing QBs.

    Jay Johnson – sounds like he runs an offense that can put lots of points on the board…


  45. The OC is Watson. Just read about him on the pittpanther.com. He has a TON of experience. He seemed pretty old but win I read the bio I’m 5 years older than the guy. Sheeze!


  46. Charlie Strong thought enough of him to bring Watson to Texas but then let him go after 2 years. The good news is he appears to be more adept with pro style offense than a spread style. Certainly has enough experience but not consistently productive.


  47. Texas struggled offensively in the two years Watson was there. IMO, Texas didn’t have a great option at QB during those two years.

    Watson has experience. Time will tell if his offense can put points on the board.


  48. last line of PSN story … Watson has recruited 4-star QBs 4 of the last 8 years and coached with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. If true, pretty impressive


  49. Pitt: Indiana quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson has joined the Pitt staff as offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach. Watson spent last year as a quality control assistant at Indiana and was previously offensive coordinator at Texas, Louisville, Nebraska and Colorado.

    And this guy won’t bring his own playbook – he’ll submit to the Canadian way?


    I guess a quality control assistant probably doesn’t pay too well unless you are employed by Alabama.

    Welcome Mr. Shawn Watson to the Pitt family. We’re glad to have you.


  50. Pulled this from a 2014 article of the Barking Carnival – Texas Longhorn FB –

    “Why Watson? Why () an offensive coordinator only four years out from an unceremonious dumping in Lincoln, Nebraska who coordinated Colorado offenses so boring that they were approved by the FDA as a non-pharmacological sedative?”


  51. Good experienced hand who Narduzzi trusts. With a new QB and new backs should be the guy to get them on the same page quickly. Has to, to have any chance vs PSU and OKST.


  52. Wisconsin: The Badgers have promoted defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard to defensive coordinator. He has one year of coaching experience — total.

    Pittsburgh: Pitt has hired veteran offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to replace Matt Canada, the school has announced.


  53. I liked the Chaney hire and his offense and creativity were average at best. I didn’t like the Canada hire and he turned out to be great. I don’t like the Watson hire based on the opinions of the Colorado and Texas grads that I work with. Hopefully that means that Watson will be great. We’ll know more in September.


  54. I like Watson because of his QB expertise. It will help a lot with the guys we have now and developing new one’s Pitt recruits. Unless of course another team poaches him in 2018…..


  55. Watson is a non splash hire. Good QB coach. We know what a good QB can do for the O. Frankly, it was Nate and not Canada that made the O go. Once D’s got used to those jet sweeps, there were no surprises. Not to diminish Canada, but he was made good by the QB and line. He’s no 1.5 MILLION dollar coach.


  56. Chethejet posted this”

    He is close to Doyle the QB Pitt really wants for 2018. He is experienced enough to keep the Canada offense but will still have to deal with some losses on offense.”

    Kevin Doyle is a 6’4″ Qb from Malvern Pa a 4 star QB that PITT has had their eyes on for awhile now. Not saying Watson will be able to reel him in or not but he is suppose to be a good QB evaluate-r and recruiter. Doyle apparently has a good rapport with the young man already….Just saying …. ike



    1. Nice! 👍

      It is Ground Hog Day – funny guy you are Yeti…

      FB prediction for 2017 – the O’s average score per game drops to 32, but the D drops it’s average to 24 and the team wins 10 games (one of the ten is in creepy valley).



    1. rkb- remember that babble was from 2014 – turned out to be very insightful babble. The Texas crowd was not impressed with the Watson hire at that time – results of course were much less than impressive.

      I’ll hold back my judgement for now and trust HCPN and watch the results on the field in September.



  57. I like the hire, McV needs a good QB coach. Watson did wonders with Teddy BW. Pitt has the offensive players to make almost any OC look good this in 2017.


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