POV Lunchtime Reading Library; 5/20/17

Here’s a piece from Sports Illustrated about our (almost) hometown hero Jame Conner and his fight against cancer. From its SI Vault dated September 14 2016

“He (Conner) refuses to name a favorite, but one has earned special attention: a plaque from a team of Navy SEALs. The inscription opens by imploring Conner to never quit. He flicks at his 2014 ACC player of the year trophy on the desk. “This,” he says of the plaque, “is better than any of that.”

A few hours later, in the hospital room of Ian Malesiewski, Conner turns over his left arm, where he has had the rest of the inscription from the SEALs tattooed. He reads it to Ian, who was wrestling in the Greco-Roman nationals on June 3 when he fell to the mat forehead-first and fractured his C4 vertebra. “Persevere and thrive on adversity,” Conner says. “Strive to always be physically harder and mentally stronger than your opposition. If knocked down, get back up. Every time. Draw on every remaining ounce of strength to accomplish your life’s mission. You are never out of the fight.”

Please read on friends – it’s a story we Pitt fans know well but I’m sure never get tired of reviewing for many reasons – especially for lessons learned for our own lives.

Here is a great Sporting News piece about our 2009 freshman phenom Dion Lewis  – written before his 2010 sophomore season started:

“… The uncommon combination of aphorisms is fitting because out of the weight room  comes Dion Lewis, perhaps the most uncommon player in college football. No other player packs so much skill—and wallop—into such a small package. He’s 5-8 with shoes on and is listed at 195 pounds, but from the looks of him that would be true only if he stashed bricks in his pockets.

Yet when Lewis, a sophomore who will turn 20 this month, first walked into Pitt’s weight room a year and a half ago, he already could bench-press 360 pounds and squat 500. That he wields so much power in such a little body leads his friends, family, teammates and coaches to come up with colorful descriptions of him. Among those suitable for  publication: He can squat a house, he’s a horse, he’s a bowling hall, he’s a nightmare.

Here’s another: He’s a Heisman Trophy candidate…”

If we remember Dion Lewis left right after the 2010 season when he was eligible to declare for the NFL draft because he had spent a year in Prep School in New Jersey prior to enrolling at Pitt.  Here are his two season stats totals – especially impressive is his 30 rushing TDs in two years – on pace to top Dorsett’s record at the time.

lewis 2009.png

Hope you enjoy these two articles which look not so far into the past.  I’ll try to do this once a week of so, on Friday’s maybe, to get you all primed up to skip out of work early, go get a beer or three and talk Pitt football with your friends.

38 thoughts on “POV Lunchtime Reading Library; 5/20/17

  1. Don’t know what to make of this latest QB recruit. Didn’t seem to be much in demand. Also, this latest DE Palmer- no Power 5 offers. Am I missing something, or is Narduzzi reaching for these recruits? Shouldn’t be taking just anybody at this stage.

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    1. https://www.hudl.com/profile/5397191/nick-patti

      He’s 6’3” , has a cannon-arm with a lightning-quick release — and led his team to a State Title in a very high New Jersey classification…

      Pat Bostick was a 5 star recruit with a ton of offers, and no offense but Tyler Palko was also a highly ranked recruit. Chad Voytik was a high 4 star with tons of offers….

      Joe Flacco was a 6’5”, low 3 star. Aaron Rodgers was a Junior College Kid with only a Cal offer. Marcus Marriota was a 3 star ranked identically to Thomas MacVittie with only an Oregon Power 5 offer.

      WATCH THE TAPE, then make a personal call if a kid is talented or not, is the way to go.

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  2. ^^ On “Football Money” Stuff….. Didn’t really read a single post that “Got It” the entire last thread.

    Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell —- freakin’ Columbia in Manhattan … (etc. lol) — theoretically could pull 30 million per/year for football outta their tushes with sneeze with their alums if somehow motivated.

    They have donors, who if they just got a dozen or so top-earners and big Football fans to buy-in —-> “*
    Sure* I’ll throw some cash in the pot to pay our coach ten-mil a year, and pay his assistants like SEC head-ball coaches, why not, I love football and want us to thrive! Bro, it’s pennies to me!”

    That’s not how things work, just pure money determining Football Success —- and look at Baylor Football (minus Art Baylor ignoring blatant Sexual Assualts from his players), U-Dub (Washington) etc. —- don’t be SENSATIONALIST-NEGATIVE things evolve.

    Pitt never, ever, in the recent-era had a Coach WORTH making a huge-commitment to, or who really made Pitt Rise.

    Wanny???? 2010-11 —- Top-15 start after a 10-3 season, National Hype, Resounding Favorite to DOMINATE the Big East…. —– If Pitt has a great Quarterback, and dominates the Big East then maybe WINS a BCS game vs a Mediocre Oklahoma — Wanny and his crew gets PAID, and Pitt is -BACK!……. not how stuff went down. Garbage Tino and that disaster 7-5 2010 totally ‘Reset’ the program, a la getting annihilated 35-7 by Utah with Walt Harris.

    9-3 in 2017 —- PLUS FINALLY A BOWL WIN —-> then paying Narduzzi is in Mrs. Lyke’s court.

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  3. Dark Knight – If I had a dollar for every time you wrote rocket arm, He is the next Marino I’d be a millionaire.

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    1. And if I had a dollar for every positive or even neutral thing you said about PITT, I would be able to buy myself & my wife a $1 coffee at Harrah’s Gulf Coast (Lobby Coffee shop-“We proudly serve Starbucks” on seniors day.

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  4. Looks like the Lewis article was a little to soon but he did have a really good career at PITT. Graham is another really good RB at that time. Wanny’s recruiting was good and getting better.

    One more PITT player stepping out of line will change the perception of Narduizzi and how he controls his players. Which would be false like it was with Wanny. The coaches can’t babysit these kids 24/7, never could. An honor student using his car as a pinball machine and a coach will get the blame.

    steve ruined the PITT program for years now with his heavy hand and sneaky backstabbing undermining bullschitt. I just don’t like the man …ike

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  5. I watched some tape. I’ll say this….he has a strong arm for sure but what I noticed more than anything is that he hit the receivers in stride on pretty much every pass. I know these are highlights, but there is tape of a ton of passing plays. And he made all different kinds of throws. The kid is a pure passer who can run some. To me, his tape is way more impressive than Pickett’s high school tape from a year ago.

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    1. I think Pickett is your QB at Pitt come next year. I like the Palmer highlights also but I like the Pickett run throw option he gives the offensive. A very difficult QB to defend if he doesn’t force the ball into double coverage.

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    1. Too many grad transfers and you destroy any chance in recruiting any decent QB for the freshman class. Who in the he** would want to commit to a program that is in the market EVERY year for a grad transfer to run the offense?

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  6. @Upitt, when you get your millions, remember me. I have made millionaires out of multi-millionaires.

    @ Dark- I think a lot of people get it. The problem is that we don’t want to believe the reality of our athletic department for the last 30 years because it is mostly embarrassing.

    @ Stars – I think the three in the fold all end up 3 stars. Pitt needs to get them out to camps to get those star increases. Why? Perception is reality unfortunately. When you watch the Noah tape, you can also see Danielson, right? Any thoughts on those highlights?

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  7. Huff, I had a short comment on Palmer last article. I like the pickup.

    Why do I get the feeling that my comments don’t all get read? Sometimes I feel like I’m dancing as a ghost 🙂

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  8. Ike – Dave Wannstedt recruited players who got in trouble numerous times before coming to Pitt and did little to screen problem children out before offering them a scholarship.

    A perfect case in point was Elijah Fields – he had troubles in school and was, how to put it nicely, an ass. Yet DW suspended him twice before he had to cut him loose due to these photos…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/21/elijah-fields-money-pictu_n_470953.html

    SP and Nordenberg then instituted screening procedures to avoid that and then Paul Chryst got the green light to cut loose over 30 players in his first 18 months because the roster was full of kids who were a drain on the rest of the roster.

    I guess you can point to Pederson as the problem – you always do – but the fact is the program was in major turmoil starting in 2009 and culminating in 2010.

    And yes – a Head Coach can absolutely control his players to minimize problems – Pat Narduzzi has done a great job of it in his 2+ years. There are things happening and discipline going on all the time a big school football program. most truly isn’t noteworthy – but then we don’t see but the tip of the iceberg.

    I believe we just saw that with Taleni – I don’t think it was failed drug tests that got him dismissed but something that drove Narduzzi to eliminate him from the locker room.

    Could be fights we never hear of – they happen, could be bad attitudes toward the staff and coaches, etc… any number of things that we never hear about… well, I hear about some of them but if it isn’t public knowledge then I don’t publish it for student privacy issues.

    As we say in the Military – we serve at the pleasure of the President – as the college football players serve at the pleasure of the HC.

    And don’t believe wins mean everything either if that were the case Chryst would have kept some of the players he got rid of.

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    1. two more examples were Peeler and Knox from the 2010 class. Both had been in trouble before and it was well documented, and sure enough, both were bounced from the team after only a few months. Both were from the DC area .. (and we all know that DC area people aren’t to be trusted … right Reed?)

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    2. You’re so wrong when you say Chryst was given the go ahead to drain some 30 players from the program, Reed. The roster had nowhere near the amount of troubled kids that you want to think, but you just think it because you’re one of those fans who thought Wannstedt was going to deliver BIG for you and since it never happened you wanted him gone. Do I sense betrayal?

      Chryst got rid of a lot of players because they were not fits in his offense because they were Graham recruits from his 2011 patchwork class. Even Saint Paul was inconsistent in how he disciplined kids. KK Smith-Mosley was allowed to stay but two other were dismissed when all three were friends with that small-time drug dealer near campus. One kid dismissed was a linebacker who was from a Philly Charter school. He was another kid who Wannstedt recruited who was deemed a troublemaker later on but he did zero wrong (remember no drugs were found in his body after testing) and he was a terrific student, yet was dismissed.

      And your boy Chryst did the same as Graham, Reed: He left. Doesn’t matter in sports how you go about it when you do it because the bottom line is the bottom line.

      I think you should go back and look at the 2010 and 2011 rosters and look at the great kids who were in the program. The kids who stuck around because your boy Nordy was responsible for setting up a complete mess of instability. Did those kids not deserve stability or because you think their education is free they just need the old school mindset of “Toughen up kid.” Those 6-6 records could have been 2-10 or 3-9 because of the mess Nordy allowed. It was the kids because were certainly know it wasn’t great coaching.

      Pitt was right where it should have been under Wannstedt those final three seasons because of the Pitt-i-ful recruiting budget given to him and the fact Dave offered to pay for the locker room carpet to be replaced because Nordy and Steve didn’t want to pay for it to be done.

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      1. Jason Douglas, Peeler and Knox were bounced from the team by Wanny … those were the 3 big problems in 2010. Sheard received the most publicity but he was obviously provoked .. and turned out very well.

        The incident that involved KK Mosely-Smith occurred well after Wanny was gone.

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        1. Douglas stunk, fumbled a kickoff versus Utah. He did us favor with that DUI. I know about Smith. Reed said Chryst had to get rid of the trash of 30 or so kids (I think it was 28). He implies that Dave left behind a crapload of bad seeds, which is entirely wrong. There was a rough patch of sorts with discipline and only Pitt could make it worse instead of improving the situation with a coach who’d work for peanuts.

          And Sheard should never be included. He stood up for a friend then himself. He was instead supposed to let the guy beat him up? His family paid for the door and Jabal went down twice to apologize to the store owner.

          I never knew we had saints on here who’d instead of doing what Sheard did would not pay for the door but instead pay the store owner’s rent. As for the apology, I guess some on here would send the store owner on a vacation.

          I’m really getting sick of Reed’s All-Holy attitude and painting some in the past as evil. Meanwhile his boy Nordy is a jagoff.

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  9. I absolutely agree that the number of stars means little (something, but little). But what DOES bother me is that there are no other P-5 offers. The other teams coaches can watch these tapes as well. It looks like Fields had something pretty lucrative going on off the field, eh Reed? I wonder if he is in jail now.

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    1. I’m guessing the Sioux Falls team is required to at least pay the minimum wage to all employees including their football players.

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  10. Check this young man’s highlights out. Pretty sure he want to play at PITT next year if they offer. He’s a bit of a rolling stone though.

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  11. We are about 100 days away from the YSU kickoff.

    We know we have a decent QB in Max Browne and an assortment of young talent behind him. Our RB stable is strong again and the WR crew should get even better this year.

    The 3 question marks on offense are 1. at the TE position, where two transfers, Clark and Flanagan will be counted on after never taking a snap yet in a Pitt uniform. 2. The offensive line with O’Neil currently nursing a shoulder injury and Bookser out undefinately with “issues”. We could have four new starters on that line going into our 1st three games, two of which are against top 10 teams. 3. OC Watson is replacing the mega rock star from Canada 🇨🇦, already forgot his name. Can coach Watson push the right buttons to make the Pitt O fly again?

    On the defensive side there are too many questions to list. With Taleni gone, possibly the best returning DL player and a complete turnover at the three LB positions (provided we have someone who leaps Idowu), our DB’s may need to be the strength of our D after being the obvious weakness last season. Wait maybe Conklin was the weakness…

    With special teams, we are replacing Blewitt – flip a coin for win or lose – Chris was likeable, but you never knew what you were getting. He did provide some nice victories in his 4 years at Pitt – no doubt. Our AA kick returner should continue to excite if someone like Whitehead joins him as the 2nd man back for the KO to avoid kicking away from QH.

    All in all, I believe HCPN has a plan in place that creates a winning formula. The questions this year, will it be 7 wins, 10 wins and will we beat psu in creepy valley.

    Oh how I hate, penn state!!!

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  12. JRN… that point is completely valid about the transfer QBs.

    I think we’re seeing that now as we are not getting the four or five star quarterbacks in our recruiting and even though that hasn’t happened much as Pitt has never been known as a quarterback school we are going to have to stick with somebody for a few years even if it means a learning curve with somebody.

    I don’t think MacVitte’s the answer there and I have held that opinion for some time. But I do like what Kenny Pickett brings to the future if he can play at least two years as a starter or preferably three years as a starter. Maybe the fact that Peterman did well in the draft will help with this QB recruiting problem.

    But our transfer QB worked out with Nate Peterman. I’m not as optimistic with Max Browne although I think he could be a serviceable or maybe a bit above average quarterback. I do not think he’s going to turn into the quarterback Nate Peterman was, certainly not in his first year of starting football.

    I have written to bloggers over at USC and replies I get are that it was no great loss to have him gone but they like him as a person… well we heard the same thing about Nate Peterman and we saw how that turned out so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    Now that the NCAA has allowed 10 staff coachs it would be a good idea to hire one to being a dedicated QB position coach. Narduzzi doesn’t want to do that for some reason. I think it would help greatly to have somebody shepherd MacVitte and Pickett along in their careers with dedicated coaching.

    Paul Chryst had Brooks Bollinger for Tom Savage and Chad Voytik’s 1st year and they did well so we should do that in ’18.

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  13. This guy is going to make Pitt great in athletics? Gallagher fools plenty with that smile. Just like Nordy with Wanny, Gallagher let his A.D. get rid of a successful coach in Dixon.

    Paco would think is so cool.

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  14. Reed about Elijah Fields, he’s a local kid from the depressed Mon-Valley, he’s not supposed to recruit this kid and hope for the best? He was not only a great athlete but was highly regarded in that area as being some kind of a beast athlete. Which he was.

    However we have to look into what that area would say and feel if PITT never gave him the chance to play. DW was protective of the WPA kids and in order for him to stay on their good side, he had to take the best of the best or someone else would have and a chain reaction may have occurred.

    Some of this stuff is not so obvious to people outside the inside recruiting circle. You may be a little closer than most of us but you sometimes believe everything you come in contact with as far as concerning how the Wannstedt bullschitt went down.

    Those two bullheads, Wanny and steve, were at each others throats for a very long while. During that time steve ran to Nordy and began poisoning his mind. This was a classic case of undermining by an AD completely out of line. Remember the Sports Illustrate article. That was the killer.

    DW took 3 or 4 years to have the college head coaching jazz light bulb go off in his head. If he figure out how to win in college football, he could have figured out how to run a cleaner program as well. He was fired way way way too soon. steve set the PITT football program for a decade or more. Respectfully … ike

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  15. ^^^ Chancellor Patrick Gallagher is best-buds with Barry Alvarez, btw, for those who don’t know.

    If Pitt can become Wisonsin 2.0 down in Western PA (with 10X the recruiting grounds with Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, obviously the state of PA , and the whole South-East right here — no one will complain lol.

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  16. Good mention of Wisconsin. Just saw an article that read Wisconsin, Farmer’s High School and OSU have the easiest schedules in the country this year.

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    1. And to top it off, they play each other in the B1G Joke conference. They play a weak non-conference schedule and then a weak in-concference. Yet the media drools over them so we can watch Clemscum beat tOSU 31-0.

      Yes, give me more please.

      I had lunch with two psu fans/alums after golf this morning, who claim Joe knew and reported Sandusky to the school higher ups – those three (on trial) are the ones that did nothing. They believe Joe is a saint as is the entire Paterno family.

      These psu guys invited me to tailgate with them in creepy valley for the September game vs Pitt. They joked that I should visit a stadium with a tradition of winning to see what it’s like – I reminded them I was at Heinz Field last September when Pitt beat psu 42-39. I told them that stadium was rocking and IT felt & looked real good.

      HTP!

      Like

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