Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers

We have talked many times about the need for highly rated recruits to build a high-quality nucleus for a successful team.  There is no doubt that the longer a HC stays at a school, especially during his first contract, he gets better recruiting opportunities.  We saw that with Dave Wannstedt when his recruiting took off after the 13-9 win in Morgantown during the 2007 season.

But recruiting young players isn’t enough and is truly just the beginning.  With all the standards, rules and regulations, both internal of the university and external of the NCAA and ACC, it makes a college career into a minefield for a lot of student/athletes.  Some thrive at Pitt to become the star players they were projected to be and some fall by the wayside due to either inattention to responsibilities, bad actions, injuries or by just plain being recruited over so they feel they must look for playing time elsewhere.

Just to show how this player attrition works let’s look at who of the 4* and 5* blue-chip players Pitt has landed over the years either left on their own accord or were forced out before their eligibility expired (those who departed the program are in bold): 

This is also a good point to review what the lead recruiting site Rivals.com states is their awarding criteria for four and five stars.

Five Stars = 6.1  Franchise Player; considered one of the elite prospects in the country, generally among the nation’s top 25 players overall; deemed to have excellent pro potential; high-major prospect.

Four Stars = 6.0 – 5.8  All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation’s top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

Recruiting Class

* * * * *

  * * * *

2005 Collins
2006 Berry,  Dickerson,  AA Smith,  Malecki, Byham, Collier, Otah
2007 Bostick, Wright, Jacobsen, DuhartMcCoy, Tucker
2008 Baldwin  Saddler, Chris Burns, Hale, Holley, Nix
2009 Thomas, Graham, Mason, Lippert
2010 Clemmings, Murphy, Myers
2011 Mosley-Smith, Grigsby
2012 Bisnowaty, Voytik, Shell, Rippy
2013 Johnson ChapmanBoyd
2014 Bookser, James, Jennings, Grimm
2015 Whitehead, Hall (PC Recruits)
Totals    

1 of 2 five* left early

19 of 40 four* left early

So in just that small sample we see we lost 48% of those recruits before they expended their full eligibility… and from my research that number holds consistent with just about every recruiting class. 

Now, sometimes a player has done so well in college that they can leave the program early for the NFL draft happens as it did with Jon Baldwin, LeSean McCoy and Tyler Boyd. But they are only three players of 20 Pitt kids (out of 42 total recruits) who didn’t give us a full four years and were actually worth the star ranking awarded to them.

The other 17 departures were either academic casualties, disciplinary dismissals, transfers because of lack of playing time or were asked to leave in their 4th year of eligibility as a rsSR.

So that’s who departed the program early therefore cheating us out of the four full years of play.

Now let’s look at the 4* and 5* kids who, in my opinion, didn’t live up to near their  recruiting site’s billing after they played at Pitt:

My list of “not 4* producers” would be Collins, Collier, Aaron Smith, Bostick, Tucker, Saddler, Wright, Myers, Murphy, Hale, Lippert, Voytik, Shell, Grisgby, James, and Jennings.  That is 16 players right there who, while most did contribute to the team in varying degrees of success, never truly lived up to the 4* hype.

At least I don’t think you can point to any of these listed players in the paragraph above and say they were legitimate “All-American candidates” while at Pitt. Can you?

Which takes us back around to Pat Narduzzi’s recruiting and the players he has landed since he has been the head coach at Pitt.

In the nine years before he came here Pitt averaged 4.7 four and five-star recruits per year (noting that both Hall and Whitehead had committed under Chryst).  Since Narduzzi has been recruiting as a HC he has averaged 4.0 which is right in line on average but we hope will get better.

Rivals 4-17.pngRivals 4-16.png

We see that even in this short period of two years of Narduzzi’s recruiting we have already lost one 4* recruit in ATH George Hill , who is out of football for medical reasons,  and 4* DB Damar Hamlin – a kid we were counting on for providing immediate help in our defensive secondary who has been sidelined also… and we have no idea if and when he’ll return.

The key then is for Narduzzi to get his staff and position coaches able to wring every last ounce of talent and production out of those prime recruits.  Part of that is on the kids themselves – it isn’t enough to want to live up to that lofty billing, they have to do the hard work to make it happen.

In my opinion just as large a part of their success or failure lay on the coaches’ shoulder in being able to put these young kids in a position to succeed to the best of their ability.

We can look at some past Pitt players to see that we has been able to do that and sometimes with outstanding success.  For instance Dickerson went from RB to LB to, finally, TE where he thrived; Clemmings from DE to LT;  Malecki from DT to OG; Conner from DE to RB;  O’Neill from TE to LT, etc…  And aren’t we hoping that Elijah Zeise will do the same in his switch from WR to OLB?

That too is part and parcel of good coaching but still all of that only garnered us a 57% winning record in that full decade.

So what is the upshot here?  Well, it is evident that a program has to recruit Blue-Chip kids to grab as much talent per scholarship they can.  “Per scholarship” is the key here.  Regardless of true math two 2* players do not always equal one successful 4* stud.  The more 4* and 5* players you have on roster the more room you have for other lesser rated kids.

Keep doing that and the more chance Pitt will have at winning games.

Contrary to a lot of football fan’s belief the more 4* and 5* choirboys you have on roster the better chance you have at keeping their superior talent at hand. We just saw that in the table above.  What real good did recruiting Rushel Shell and Tra’von Chapman do for us when we had to cut them loose later on?

Those kids have to have the character and the coaching to 1) be able to stay in school and 2) be surrounded by  the leadership and positive peer pressure to stay at Pitt and thrive.

Pat Narduzzi may have that part of the recruiting process well in hand. His players have kept their noses clean and we haven’t heard any negative things arise with the players who committed to Pitt while he has been our HC.  He’s had to discipline some players – Boyd, Blair and Taleni are the three he’s had to deal with in terms of off the field issues, but his is an excellent track record so far.

Get the blue chippers and then work your ass off to keep them ready and able to contribute.  That way we’ll see those seven 4* kids listed above bring us wins in the near future and for their full four years of play with the Panthers.

FOR WEDNESDAY’S ROUNDTABLE CALL-IN…

I’ve had to switch our regular Tuesday evening Roundtable Call-In show to Wednesday evenings for the next month or so due to an obligation I just incurred which will take up my Tuesday evenings.  I hope we’ll still get the great participation we’ve had in the past.

So on Wednesday, 5/3/17, we’ll take the first three or four callers starting at 7:50 pm (make it about 5 minutes early to login) for the recording to start at 8:00.

Here is the info to get into the Bluejeans Roundtable meeting…

Meeting URL
https://bluejeans.com/???????

Meeting ID
?????????  (this changes for each meeting – I’ll have the real one in a posted comment around 7:45 tonight.)

Phone Call-in:

+1.408.740.7256
Enter audio code on your phone
XXXXXXX – (this changes for each meeting – I’ll have the real one in a comment around 7:45 tonight.)

SEE YOU IN TWO DAYS AT AROUND 7:45 OR SO….  Here are some items we’ll discuss:

Some Round Table Questions

  1. Where did you grow up and what HS did you attend?
  2. How did you first become interested in Pitt Football?
  3. What is your strongest Pitt football memory – positive and negative
  4. those that did not attend the university, but reside in Pittsburgh are a big part of Pitt’s support. I think attendance would improve if they could reel in others like that also. So how is this best done?   Well, winning is one thing and possibly the only thing. What else?
  5. If the defense gets off to a real bad start, would you fire Conklin mid-season or before?
  6. How much do uniforms matter to you?
  7. Do you visit the Oakland campus at all and what changes would you make there?
  8. Do you miss PITT stadium at all?
  9. How would you improve the student participation?
  10. Who are your 5 or 3 all-time PITT favorite players?
  11. What three (3) BIG items of discussion will we be having after the season ends about what transpired during the 2017 season?
  12. Ask Callers to show off their best Pitt souvenirs and memorabilia…

pittpovlogo_arrival

 

81 thoughts on “Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers

  1. The higher your avg star rating, the better off you generally are. But then it comes down to coaching, luck and circumstance. Because 25% of all the guys drafted this past weekend were 2 stars out of high school. So some guys get good coaching and reach their potential. Others just peak later in life. If Pitt gets solid 3 and 4 stars, and gets good coaching, and knows how to best utilize their talents, Pitt will do just fine.

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  2. And in a given game, it is generally 3-4 plays on each side of the ball that determine the outcome. Your best players normally make those plays. They could be 2 stars or 5 stars.

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  3. When a school does land one of these “high elite, major” prospects, the coaching staff still has to develop that player into a productive member of the team.

    Pitt is currently developing four special players that, if they remain healthy could help get us over the 8 win mark. Three of those players were originally committed to other schools and the 4th is a Pittsburgh area native.

    I’ll start with J.Whitehead – a 4 star recruit who chose to stay and play for his hometown school. The talent is there and his freshman year proves he can play at an elite level. Jordan is a quiet leader, not real vocal. Pitt needs JW to lead with his play on the field.

    Max Browne was a 5 star, top rated QB out of HS who stayed on the west coast to play for USC. He needs to develop into a game managing leader on and off the field in his short stay at Pitt. The change in OC from Canada to Watson has no negative effect on Max. He has aspirationations of following Savage & Peterman to the next level.

    Chris Clark was a 5 star, top rated TE out of HS who chose to go from the east to the west coast. Ultimately, he re-started his college career at Pitt and has been in the program one full year with two years of eligibility left. If development goes as planned, the combination of Browne to Clark could raise the bar at Pitt – all (Browne, Clark & Pitt) could and should benefit from this developing, coming together.

    Lastly, Dwayne Hendrix was a 4 star DE who chose Tennessee and played as a freshman. He has been developing in the Pitt system for two years now and unfortunately was injured early in game one last year. All Pitt fans are hoping for a huge coming out party in early September. This guy could and should be a difference maker.

    Other “high major” talent that is in the early development stage is Ruben Flowers, Kazon Pugh, Amir Watts and D.Hamlin.

    If the development goes well, so will the season and the W totals.

    HTP!

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  4. FWIW, this is a tweet from yesterday:

    Jerry DiPaola‏Verified account @JDiPaola_Trib 17h17 hours ago

    My favorite NFL draft stat: 25 percent of the 253 players chosen were 2-stars or unranked coming out of high school, according to @247Sports

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    1. of course, that means 75% were 3, 4 & 5 stars …. but as we have seen, rating a 16 & 17 year old is not an exact science. Some mature earlier than others, both physically and mentally

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  5. I don’t consider transfers “recruits” although I’m certainly grateful they are at Pitt. I think of actual recruits as kids coming directly out of HS, not JUCO or other schools.

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  6. Good article Reed

    So 25% drafted were two star recruits. Anyone know the percentage 0, 1, 3, 4, and 5 star recruits for this years draft? Just curious if all the number have been published.

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  7. 25% were two or unranked. There arent many 5 star recruits to begin with but I’d say a good percentage do get drafted. I’m thinking 4 stars are probably the highest in the league. But I’d like to see the breakdown as well. It is an inexact science since many of these kids are still developing mentally and physically, havent experienced really good coaching yet and depends on the level of competition. But the top teams in any conference typically have the highest avg star rating. Talent breeds success. But need good coaching, stability and those recruits to stay in school and be effectively utilized on the field. Many factors. Talent just one.

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  8. No wonder why there was so little depth on the 2009 and 2010 Pitt teams. When you add four-star players you hope to get contributions from them. Pitt didn’t get much bang for its buck in the 2007 and 2008 classes sans McCoy and Baldwin.

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  9. TX_Panther mentioned something… I wonder how the quality of coaching in high schools affects the rankings kids get. Clearly, better coaching will produce more football players vs. just athletes. However, lower ranked kids, especially those in smaller schools, may have simply suffered from poor coaching such as when the volleyball coach takes over football because there is no one else. What I’m getting at is if there was a method of tracking this, we might find that 2 and 3 stars might actually improve more at the college level than 4 and 5 stars who might have reached a performance level more in line with their actual talent.

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  10. Good point VOR.
    It’s also interesting how recruiters are saying that the Florida *3 players are more like *4 players in other states because the amount of FL talent is so deep right now.

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  11. So many variables. The rating is a measure of where they stand coming out of high school and not always a good predictor of future development. Can’t measure heart or work ethic. Most athletes are coddled and can’t adjust to the new level. When you add in school work, intense commitment to football and injuries, many fall out.

    We all have known great athletes who peak in high school or even junior high, they just don’t get any better. Then you have the guys that were naturally good, bigger stronger faster, didn’t have to work for it, find out they don’t want to work for it.

    Then there all the distractions of being on your own without mom and dad. Many kids can’t handle the stress of college life, without the added demands of a sport. Look at the overall freshman drop out rate.

    The challenge of the college coach is to find the kids with the potential to finish as an elite player, not necessarily to start out as one. This is made more difficult at Pitt because we no longer own a strong recruiting base, and the elite schools get first pick of the elite players in their areas, have bigger budgets, stronger fans, routinely play in the major bowls, have established records as winners.

    Hopefully Narduzzi can keep the trendline going upward, because you need great players to have a great team.

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  12. The new logo stands for “aboriginal Hawaiian pride” and Reed is probably sporting this new tattoo as we sit here.

    imo, I’m not worried a minute about Narduzzi’s recruiting as I do think it’s on the upswing. PITT will continue to have problems getting the five and top end 4 star players. The competition for these type of kids is really intense and what PITT has to offer student athletes is more in line with academics. I think that is why this past NFL draft is a big boost for PITT football.

    Conner being selected by the Steelers is also a really big time help for PITT. Not only can a recruit see the Steelers practicing but a (former) PITT player practicing at the same time. Impressive!

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  13. The best receiver in pro football was a late round draft pick. Pretty much shows how difficult it is to project future success.

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  14. Well said, gc. With all those variables, I wonder how much of a player’s success is natural ability vs. how much is training, development and heart. I know you can’t teach speed, but the pros are filled with players with heart that learned their trade and have natural instincts for the game that make up for some lack of raw skills.

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  15. …..I guess what we’re saying, to summarize, are those words of wisdom spoken by Forest Gump: ” my momma always said life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until you bite into them.” :>)

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  16. …and Tom Brady was a 6th round pick.

    gc – The Rivals.com rating system (as are others) is based on how they feel the player will do in college – not how well he played in HS. So yeah, there are tons of variables. They take into account the HS competition he faced, what different position the kid may play in college, etc…

    Also, and we see this with the football factory schools – kids who get recruited by the really big dog schools get bumped up after their commitment a lot.

    Also, most of the websites star ratings are given during the player’s JR year in HS so if the blow up in their SR year it may not be reflected in how many stars they were already awarded.

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  17. Brown and Brady taken in the sixth round doesn’t have anything to do with star rankings.

    What were the star ratings of Brown and Brady in high school is the question?

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  18. Since Brady was offered by and ended up at Michigan one would have to assume that his star rating exceeded Brown’s rated by quite a bit.

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  19. you may recall that Pitt was the only P5 team to offer Maurice Ffrench after his junior year, and he wasn’t even rated at that time. After his senior year, a handful of P5 schools went after him including PSU. He apparently is so talented, he is practicing on both offense and defense. IMO the only reason he doesn’t play more on offense is Quadree Henderson.

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  20. Ike, it shows how difficult it is to evaluate players at any level.

    There have been Number 1 overall picks that have failed miserably.

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  21. Oh yeah gc, I get that part and no offense intended. Considering the topic, it’s apples and oranges to me though. I’m guessing Brady was a four or five star and Brown may have been ad 2 or 3 star recruit. Now there is the proof of how difficult it is to accurately evaluate talent.

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  22. Reed, well he might not have been highly sought after, but choosing from Cal Berkley, USC, UCLA, Illinois and Michigan(his final 5) tells me he wasn’t exactly pulled from under a rug when he made his decision to go to Michigan.

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  23. Tx_Panther commented “25% were two or unranked. There arent many 5 star recruits to begin with but I’d say a good percentage do get drafted.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is the intriguing debate. I don’t agree that 4 stars are most in quantity. I think it’s the 3 star recruits. The five star recruits are much smaller in numbers but more concentrated in which college team they choose.

    Hence the argument of why big stars bust in college, competition. AKA Robert Foster. Think about that for a moment. These high school kids are pampered throughout their childhood and all of a sudden, they find out they are not the big man on campus. Many of these types continue to persevere but many fall by the way side due to distractions and lack of attention.

    Considering the numbers alone, that would cause a distinct but hidden statistic on who, what and where stars are drafted. I wonder what the % was for 3 stars and under drafted? This is more in line with PITT and the players they recruit.

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    1. how is Foster a bust? He began the 2015 season as a starter in his redshirt sophomore year for a team that went on to win the national title. And he lost his starting job because of an injury that was so severe that he not only missed 3 months of the season but was restricted last spring.

      I call that bad luck

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  24. Perhaps Pitt should just recruit all 5 stars and not worry about it! 🙂 I wish it were that easy, but perhaps the best way to success is to have a network of retired players and alums that scour the smaller high schools all over the country and find the hidden gems. Everyone takes 3 stars, but the trick is having someone with eyes on them throughout their high school careers so that you take the right ones. And give them the same recruiting attention as the higher ranked kids. Schools like Alabama act like they are doing the 3 star kid a favor by letting him walk on..

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  25. I have always relied on a coach’s knowledge as to whether a player is right for a team. Stars may be important but there are other factors – smarts, compatibility, work ethic, etc. HCPN is the leader and based on his record and drive, he is fine by me.

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  26. OT: Looks like Pitt still in the QB hunt for next season as PSN reported another offer to a youngster from the Bronx. I think that’s number 6 on the QB offer sheet for Pitt. One of these days one of the 6 might actually commit. I can’t see Pitt taking 2 QB’s for next season but one never knows if one or more on the present roster decides to move on.

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  27. Tonight, Tuesday May 2nd, on ESPN @ 8:30 pm, “Hello Rookie, Welcome to the NFL”. James Conner gets some fact time with Big Ben.

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  28. wwb, call it what you like. Foster’s numbers speak for themselves. He sat on the bench last year and did start the first game his sophomore year, then getting hurt isn’t the resume builder his handlers were expecting.

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    1. ike, if you want to claim that Foster made the wrong decision …. fine. When he went Bama, he had to beat out Amari Cooper while Boyd had to beat out Kevin Weatherspoon. But anyone good enough to start for a national championship team as a redshirt sophomore is not a bust … just because he got injured.

      Was Dustin Picotti a bust? He was the best player in the state back in the late 90s, starring for state champs Central Bucks West (PSU territory) but decided to come to Pitt. But he he had concussion issues and never made got much PT.

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  29. Foster isn’t a bust until his final season is played. He could blow up … and is on top of the depth chart heading into the summer. He’s supposed to graduate soon so it will be interesting if he decides to stay or leave.

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  30. Frank 2nd – I agree. I prefer the coaches evaluation of a HS player to the star system. Stars may be a general guide, but the coach can better research/decide which players have the best chance to help his team. One man’s poison is another man’s….? Whatever that old saying is!

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  31. Again where do most NFL players come from these days? It isnt PA anymore. But Pitt has a solid pipeline. Its from the South. Is it something in the water? No. Its a culture thing. For instance, Texas is crazy about football. Plus they have very good high school coaches… they pay them a ton. And the weather is good 12 months long. Same goes for FL and CA. So your 5 stars are mainly found here. Along with future NFLers. Those are the big population states. Football is religion. Coaches are good. Weather allows more practice. So Pitt is at a disadvantage unless it recruits beyond its region, it finds those diamonds in the rough, and it has excellent coaching and a support system for these athletes. Really very simple but very hard to put into practice.

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  32. As “Erie Express” already pointed-out, with HC Pat Narduzzi @Reed you have to account for his new game-changing aggressiveness towards going out and grabbing talented transfers who aren’t happy in their programs.

    “Erie Express” already said how Narduzzi reeled-in two former top 50 overall ranked 5 Star recruits who will start this year in:

    1) Max Browne: 1 year left, but enrolled Early and has been here all spring with Shawn Watson, so he’s as ready to rock for 2017 campaign as he could possibly be, if he was already in the program.

    2) Former #1 Tight End, 5* Chris Clarke (6’5”, 250, unquestioned starter this year) who has 3 full seasons of eligibility left at Pitt (frankly with how athletic he is, if he stays healthy, I fully expect him to leave for the NFL early).

    — also Narduzzi previously aggressively grabbed 2 former high 4 star recruits who had multiple years of eligiblity in:
    Nathan Peterman and Dewayne Hendrix at DE .

    Pat Narduzzi has shown that along with the high school recruiting, he is going to be a Big-Time “Free Agency Player” as well and go after former 4 and 5 star transferring players who can help the squad.

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    1. Honestly, it’s sad what has happened to Michigan State once Pat Narduzzi left:

      https://www.fanragsports.com/cfb/michigan-and-michigan-state-are-headed-in-very-different-directions/

      3-9 last year, total team disfunction, and it’s only looking more-and-more disfunctional without Pat Narduzzi — #HailToPitt that Paul Chryst left right when he did at that perfect time so that Pat Narduzzi was available for his perfect fit here.

      Also with some perspective, being a few years removed from the last ‘coaching transition’ from Chryst-to-Nard Dawg —> I really look back with so much greater appreciation for Paul Chryst, and I now strongly appreciate and root for him up at Wisconsin!

      Chryst did so much right by-Pitt we can only appreciate and comprehend now that’s it’s been a couple years and we’ve established ourselves in the ACC — Chryst made sure Steve Pederson was Fired + Sacked + Ran Outta Town as a final act for goodness sakes!!! Pitt should build him a glorious bronze statue on campus—> the Warrior Paul Chryst with his sword vanquishing & destroying the vile, evil, horrific Demon Steve Pederson , trying to poison and sabotage his own sports program to death!!!

      Chryst really left Pitt pretty solid for Narduzzi to at least have enough talent to build off of, and Chryst was an all-around solid A$$ dude while at Pitt. Hindsight is 20-10 and Paul Chryst really helped build Pitt, and he gave Pat Narduzzi a decent foundation to turn Pitt into a Powerhouse in a few years.

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      1. I agree with all you have said about former HC Paul Chryst. As HCs go he is a little on the introverted side, but his character is rock solid…salt of the earth type. I, too, root for his BIG team weekly.

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    2. Chris Clark hasn’t done a thing.

      He was the last pick of the draft, after Sean Gilbert and George Hill.

      While I’ve been guilty of writing off players too soon, I’m taking a wait and see approach.

      At least the Rutgers transfer has started a full season in the Big 10 after earning a ship. I’ve got a soft spot for the walk-ons so i’ll be pulling for him. He’s known as a nasty blocker too.

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  33. Pat Kugler and Shai McKenzie are two local players who chose to go elsewhere but did not distinguish themselves on the field.

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  34. Hey DK, that’s a great comment right there. Hit the nail on the head in all aspects. That should be pinned in my opinion!

    I have a challenge for you. Go on the POV round table tomorrow night with Upitt and let’s hear how you guys really feel?? Let’s get with it men!! ike

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  35. Yes Tx_Panther, the challenge has been laid out to Upitt and the infamous Dark Knight to appear and talk on the POV round-table tomorrow night. Walk the walk and talk the talk!! (let’s all for at least one)

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  36. Good points by both DK and Gasman. Pitt Athletics: The good ( Chryst/Narduzzi), the bad (Barnes/Herman), and the ugly …(Stallings?)

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  37. Nuts, Posted on last topic instead of this. Too long to do over, but has my 2017 predictions as I’m going to Japan and Korea and wanted them in just in case I don’t make it back! Only semi lol.

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  38. @Tex – The number of players come from the states with increasing demographics. Demographics show that the number of potential college age kids in the next 5 years will be drying up in the rust and midwest states. For the big10, the main reason that they wanted rutgers and maryland was just not tv sets. It was population. The midwest teams get more exposure on the east coast with ruttgers and maryland in the fold. It was a strategic move, covered by the big discussion of tv sets. It wasn’t tv’s as much as many think.

    I do think Pitt has been getting better at getting their football alumni jobs in k-12 coaching positions. this will help recruiting. For years, west virgina put a lot of their graduates in florida high schools to establish pipelines back north. That is executing a plan fellas. We need to think that way. Imagine how we would look if hugh green established the IMG Academy! We need to get in there or get a competitor school started.

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  39. OK, I decided to repost. First, sorry it’s so off topic, but as I said, traveling to Japan and Korea kinda gives reason to pause, what could possibly go wrong there?
    Season predictions:
    1) we will go 6-6. Young team, lack of depth, and a brutal early schedule would challenge any team, let alone this years unit.
    2) The pass defense will actually be improved. The run defense will be a sieve. Too small and too inexperienced.
    3) the Nitters will wack us like a piñata. Just not our year up there.
    4) The offense will pale but only by comparison. Lots of us were spoiled by last year and we should have all enjoyed how special what they did was.
    5) The new AD will do at least 3 bonehead moves, and one brilliant one. Have no idea what they are.
    6) now for the biggy. HCPN will leave for MSU. Ya, I know 6-6 does not inspire anyone but what was Jackie Sherrils record at WSU before he came back? People remember the ledge day, not recent events.

    OK, I’m on record. I hope this father/son bonding trip works out and as I said prior, that the wacky guy with the funny haircut doesn’t loose his mind in the next 2 weeks.(and the guy in North Korea maintains also, lol) Best to all.

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    1. I’m on record that despite a slow start, Pitt will be in serious running for the Coastal Championship. Yes, the OOC schedule is rough, but on the other hand, Pitt will be the only ACC team not to play Clemson, FSU or Louisville this year

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  40. JoeK: Certainly wishing you safe travels for sure.

    Your predictions I agree with, aside from Narduzzi leaving so soon and PITT will more games as well.

    You have me semi confused a bit Joe. Are going to visit your son or father?? I say semi lol.

    Another one that got me, Which guy has the funny haircut?

    Safe travels JoeK! God Speed! Hear from you soon, … ike

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  41. HCPN and Chris Doleman represented Pitt at an ACC charity golf tourney in Georgia. Narduzzi and Doleman finished 1-over, second to last, but they beat Clemson and still won $20,000 for a Pitt scholarship/cancer research. BTW, Doleman is an NFL HOFer as most of you probably know.

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    1. I think the two best defensive ends all time were Reggie White and Deacon Jones. Doleman might be third and despite being in the HOF, he is grossly underrated. In 1998 at the age of 37, Doleman had 15 sacks for the 49ers. Fifteen! I forgot that in his last season in the NFL when he resigned with the Vikings, Chris still recorded eight sacks while pushing 40.

      In 1989, Doleman had 21 sacks and four of those came in the season finale on MNF versus the Bengals. That’s four sacks against Anthony Munoz, considered the greatest left tackle of all time. The Vikings won the game and placed the Steelers in the Wild Card.

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  42. Ike, My son and I are doing the trip. Met up in San Francisco and leaving in a couple hrs. He actually had to get clearance to go to .Korea. My wife wanted no parts of this trip.

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  43. Pitt is missing out on the PR value of having so many HOFers among its grads. They need to promote this in a way that gets a few more of the very top high school players. Just think if Pitt could land 2 5 stars each year what a way to juice up the roster. If Pitt could target certain premier players and have, say, Dan Marino visit them several times we could land a few more of these players.

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  44. With Pat Narduzzi and the possibility of his leaving….

    I’ve said before, I just do not see him leaving Pitt for another college job. If Pitt keeps the money and support up to his desires , I really just don’t.

    Michigan State is not Pat Narduzzi’s home any-way, any-how. It’s just the most recent school he was D-Coordinator at along his journey. He’s coached many places, and East Lansing was just another step on the journey of career-ascension.

    Narduzzi proudly beams about his young life in Youngstown being a huge part of his Character — one hour away from Pitt. Narduzzi first went off to become a Head Coach here at Pitt and met immediate success — and quickly showed he was a For Real, Big-Time level College Coach pretty quickly and has since become a National Name. Narduzzi Nationally with college football fans is coming-up right behind Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer in name-recognition with his crazy energertic, fire-brand nature.

    —- Notre Dame? Michigan State? I just don’t see any appeal at all.

    Recent coaches are totally different cases here: Todd Graham is from Texas, always coached in the South, even sounded like a Twangy West Texas used Car Salesman —– to me it was always an odd, bizarre, forced fit trying to bring him into Pittsburgh.

    C’mon — Paul Chryst was so Wisconsin (Madison especially!) it was ridiculous!!! Born in Madison while his father coached at Wiscy, bled Red and White and worshipped the Badger all-through growing up, then even played QB there! . Not that it ended there! Chryst coached at his alma mater, and this was where as O-Coordinator he earned his opportunity as a head coach here at Pitt …… Then to bring it allll full-circle, the Bucky-Badger Godfather Alvarez himself wants to bring Madison-son Paul Chryst back to be the head coach? — Totally, totally different.

    But I do clearly see THAT opportunity that will perk-up Narduzzi’s ears, all too clearly, and it’s right on the horizon already…. —– the NFL.

    Cincinatti Bengals offering Nard-Dawg 5 million a year to come coach in the pros??? Nard-Dawg thinks he’s gonna lead those Kitty-Kats to the Superbowl.

    NY Jets Owner Woody Johnson would Man-Crush on Pat Narduzzi, woo-him ,and offer him 5-6 mil a year to come to the Big Apple —— “Dark Knight Narduuzzi coaching in Gotham City” — and try to go win that division over Bil Belichick???

    ^^^ Nard-Dawg is that type who always wants to move up to a higher challenge. In his mind, why the heck would he leave a Power 5 school — where he just beat the resounding National Champs at their place, with another coaches slow-a$$ players — to just go to another Power 5 school??? Nard Dawg Would say, “That don’t make no sense guys, why would I do that? C’mon, let’s get on the same page.” haha

    I don’t even want to think about that because I feel like Pat Narduzzi is already dreaming about the idea! 😦

    #HailToPitt

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    1. If the Jets hire him, look for Conklin to be promoted to HC. So to the delight of our POVers, we will have Stallings and Conklin as HCs.

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  45. Could be DK? I feel like Narduzzi has in his head to finish one job at a time. Yet money does have a mouth and speaks very loudly.

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  46. I shared a family moment last week to you all and received great support from you guys. Just wanted to let you know that we lost Gus (our Lab) yesterday evening after a really bad day. Not looking for any condolences. Just saying, thank you all. ike

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Recruiting while still having opportunities in Pa. as Huff said is not what it used to be because of demographics, especially in the western part of the state. My two boys spent one year in Fla. with their mother following our divorce and one after returning to Pa played a lot of football. Both boys still comment about the total difference between Fla. and Pa. ie all PE in elementery school was FOOTBALL,elementery schools competed in football, Fla. college coaches were following kids progress in elementery school and kids got serious coaching at that level so they were way ahead of the kids up in Pa when they returned after one year. My son’s Pa. HS team had a sophomore running back move here from Texas who who was at a knowledge and skills level of the senior backs in Pa. Face it the south and southwest still has a football face while that face is fading with age and population shifts in the rust belt. We will get a share of the locals but the pie is getting smaller. Narduzzie has the right recruiting strategy.H2P

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  48. You make a great point Pitt 60, although I would like to have an idea of what size school district you live in? The depth of really good D-1 type players has gone down over the last 25-30 years imo but I still have a hard time saying that there isn’t enough players in WPA to help make PITT a powerhouse D-1 football team.

    That’s the problem, PITT doesn’t get them all or enough of them. Maybe the answer to the often ask question on the POV. Why is Conklin still here? If we have any expectations of PITT returning to the late 70’s early 80’s greatness it will take out of state recruiting. Conklin knows the south very well.

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  49. I still remember a headline in one of da burg fish wrappers after national signing day that Sherrill had put up a fence around western PA with a Keep Out sign on it. We are miles away from that now!

    The comment before about what two 5* a year would do makes a lot of sense …. maybe just the two best western PA recruits would move us up AND fill a few more seats at Heinz.

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  50. We certainly have a rich past to build off of concerning recruiting. Hopefully Duzz will be able to take FULL advantage of our many national championships and hall of famers. Go Pitt! Go Duzz!

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