POV: Recruiting vs Transfer Signing

Right now there is a good discussion here on the POV regarding what is going on with  Pitt’s recruiting.  I’ll add to that today in looking at what it took, in modern Pitt football history, to get to double-digit wins and how recruiting was a huge part of that.

We all know that the primary task of a college head coach is to win football games, preferably more than he loses and most desired enough to win championships.  So far Pat Narduzzi has fulfilled the first part of that with consecutive eight win seasons and a two-year record of 16-10.  Not an easy thing to do at Pitt for sure, especially for a rookie HC.

Next on his agenda is the 2nd part of the equation; championship football, and to do that a lot of things have to fall in line, most importantly in my opinion high quality players to put out onto the field.  The head coach does that in three basic ways.

First and foremost he recruits the best he can get high school football players to fit his needs.  Secondly he attracts transfer students who can fill in immediate holes in the lineup, as we have seen Narduzzi do with great success so far.

Third he needs to look at Junior (or Community) College players with an eye toward the same as above – fill gaps left by recruiting failures by either himself or his predecessor.

I suppose you can throw walk-ons in there somewhere but those are usually individually driven by a kid wanting to play college ball at all cost – most notably tuition, room and board – which the scholarship players have awarded to them.

Those transfers, walk-ons and hell, add greyshirt players to that as rare as they are, would be considered ‘others‘ when discussing recruiting and recruiting classes who have signed Letters of Intent to play football at Pitt.

There was a comment on the POV the other day stating that I “totally discount” those ‘other’ players , meaning transfers and walk-ons, when discussing Pat Narduzzi’s recruiting. That isn’t true at all – I certainly give Narduzzi credit for bringing in those guys and I have written that many times.

However to attract incoming transfers is a whole different, and much, much easier, task  then it is to get highly ranked HS recruits to sign a LOI for four years of play at your school.

Believe me the different in competition for the HS SRs who are highly ranked and have numerous offers is like night and day from convincing a QB or other position who has perhaps two or three schools asking him to transfer in after he didn’t do well at his original college.

In essence there was a reason why guys like Peterman, Browne, Hendrix and Chris Clark chose other colleges out of high school rather than sign with Pitt back then. They chose to play at schools who might have had better football programs than Pitt had at the time. Or maybe not, as we see below:

1st ranked 5* Max Browne went into a 10-4 USC program in the Pac-10.  His best offers included; USC, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin…etc.  He was ranked #7 nationally.

Continue reading “POV: Recruiting vs Transfer Signing”

Tyler Boyd’s Free Camp Notes

Boyd Camp

Local NFL Star Tyler Boyd to Host Youth Football Camp in Clairton

 (Clairton, PA – June 30, 2017) Tyler Boyd of the Cincinnati Bengals will host a Football Camp, locally for the first time, on Saturday, July 15th.  The camp, will take place at Boyd’s alma mater, Clairton High School (501 Waddell Avenue – Clairton, PA 15025).    

The Football Camp will run from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Registration Begins at 9am), and is open to youth ages 8 to 15.  Youth athletes will participate in comprehensive speed and agility drills used by professional and college teams to improve player coordination and skills.  Registration for the one-day camp is free.

“It’s a special feeling to be able to come home to the community that molded me, and teach young athletes the necessary skills to be successful at a game I’m most passionate about,” said Boyd.  “Sharing my craft and talents to inspire the youth in Clairton and surrounding cities, and to excel at their dreams is what I want to do, like my mentors did for me.”

Boyd will bring along special NFL guests to assist as coaches for the day. 

Boyd’s camp will teach youth participants, important life lessons on becoming well-rounded individuals and giving back to the community.  All participants will receive a free t-shirt, lunch, and an autographed photo of Boyd.

You’re the First to Know…

I just now received a call from Tyler Boyd’s press agent specifically requesting that The Pitt POV run a piece about a free one-day Football Camp our alumni Tyler Boyd is hosting for under privileged youth in the Pittsburgh-Clariton area.

That will be on July 15th – the full press release will be published as soon as I get it in email.

So here is an early heads-up on what is a very generous gesture and sure to be great day for the local youths who most probably could use a jolt of fun and hobnobbing with an NFL player and his NFL friends.

The carrot dangled to the POV is that I’ll get a nice block of time for an one-on-one interview with young Mr. Boyd.  I’ll try not to hit him up for a loan no matter how deep his pockets are.  The camp will be on a Saturday so let’s make a POV dinner somewhere out of it… eh?

So – a round of applause for a Pitt man giving back some of what he has to kids in the position he found himself growing up in.


POV: Uniforms Redux (Again)

I’m not going to write a lot about this as I have put up a few articles related to Pitt’s musical chair theory when it comes to our football uniforms already.

But now our new AD Heather Lykes has done what seems to be required of each new Pitt AD in that she is revisiting, yet again, how they should look.

Could old school become the new normal? For now, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke wouldn’t rule it out.


In an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh media, Lyke was asked about the possibility of the athletic department returning to its royal-blue-and-yellow color scheme and said, “I’m not going to say the conversation has not happened.”

Lyke cautioned nothing was imminent, but the news of a potential return to the program’s historic colors is welcomed with open arms by many Pitt fans.

The chorus of voices calling for Pitt to scrap its current palette of navy blue and gold has intensified since August, when the athletic department first released images of the retro uniforms the football team wore on Oct. 8 against Georgia Tech and Nov. 19 against Duke.

Of course this is all crap to the nth degree. 

Remember just ten months ago in August when we jumped on this merry-go-round and ended up with the uniforms we have now? And remember how these were the ones the Pitt administration stated were going to be the uniforms of the future so that Pitt could create the all-important “brand” and eye recognition that the most successful programs have? 

Think of Alabama, Penn State, Nebraska, Oklahoma’s brands to name a few – one look and you knew right off the bat who those teams you were watching when flipping through your TV channels. Continue reading “POV: Uniforms Redux (Again)”

The Transfer Craze

witnessingAs we have discussed on here in the past, we college football fans are witnessing a sea change in the fundamental make-up of college ball.  That is the prevalence of players transferring for convenience.

I say ‘convenience’ as opposed to a situation where a player has been dismissed from one progrm and thus having to go elsewhere to continue his college career.  We see this happening more and more and even the NCAA has lightened restrictions regarding transfer with the institution of a “Graduate Transfer” not have to sit out a full season before he can suit up and play at another D1 school.

Like it or not this is the new normal in college ball now and we need to get used to it.  Every fan will have their own opinion on this issue and we’ll discuss mine later on, but as we see happened at Pitt especially in recent years, there has been a real trend to search for and grab hired hands to start in place of younger and less experienced (and in many cases less talented) players extent on the roster.

There are a myriad of reasons players transfer but the majority see the handwriting on the wall as far as being a starter or two-deep player at their original university.  But that isn’t the only factor involved – many times it is homesickness and/or dissatisfaction with the way the player feels he has been handled by the school’s coaching staff.

Those aren’t the only reasons but are, in my research, the top three motivating factors.

Right off the bat we Pitt fans can look at our last two above the average successful transfer QBs in Tom Savage and Nate Peterman and see pretty clearly that our coaching staffs recognized the need to replace the guy in the batter’s box.

In both cases that guy was recruited 4* QB Chad Voytik out of the state of Tennessee.  Back in 2013 Paul Chryst knew that as a rsFR Voytik wasn’t ready to lead a D1 offense and so he brought in Tom Savage to take the reins for a single year.

Savage Year.png

That worked OK for us in that Savage had pretty good numbers as shown here.  That allowed our Panthers to get to a 7-6 season with a win over Bowling Green in the Little Caesar’s Bowl.  Which unfortunately was the last bowl game we have won.

Since that year we have had two more QBs come in to start in Peterman (from Tennessee) and now Max Browne (USC).  Peterman’s success at Pitt was solid in his first year and star worthy his second.

NP at Pitt.pngBoth of Peterman’s years led to eight win seasons and so Browne is now tasked with carrying that forward. Continue reading “The Transfer Craze”

POV Sunday Podcast; June 25th, 2017

4. Pittsburgh
Sept. 9 at Penn State, Sept. 16 vs. Oklahoma State, Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech

There won’t be any easing into the 2017 schedule for Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. In Week 2, they hit the road to face No. 5 Penn State. You think the Nittany Lions will be motivated after losing at Pitt a year ago? Then comes a home game against No. 6 Oklahoma State, which throws the ball all over the park with the returning combo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington, and the Panthers open ACC play a week later by going on the road and having to deal with Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

Name Pos Location Ht Wt Stars Rating
Matt Alaimo TE Montvale, NJ 6’5″ 235 3 5.7
Blake Zubovic OL Belle Vernon, PA 6’3″ 308 3 5.7
Chase Brown OL Scranton, PA 6’6″ 310 3 5.6
John Morgan DE Hyattsville, MD 6’3″ 235 3 5.7
Judson Tallandier DB Hyattsville, MD 6’2″ 180 3 5.7
Wendell Davis LB Richmond, VA 6’2″ 215 3 5.5
Jake Kradel OL Butler, PA 6’4″ 270 3 5.7
Noah Palmer DE Jefferson Hills, PA 6’4″ 225 3 5.6
Nick Patti QB Montvale, NJ 6’3″ 190 3 5.5
Jay Symonds TE Cambridge, MA 6’4″ 248 2 5.4

Steel Valley safety Paris Ford will not start classes on Monday with the rest of the incoming freshmen, multiple sources told Panther-Lair.com. Details of the situation are unclear, although it appears Ford could have an opportunity to qualify this summer and enroll closer to training camp.

If he doesn’t qualify this summer, Ford could spend one semester or a full school year at a prep institution like Milford Academy in New Berlin (NY) before enrolling at Pitt.

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center was created to bring academic and amateurism certifications together under one roof. Its purpose is to ensure that college-bound student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, understand the requirements to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics.

All incoming freshman who plan on attending any NCAA Division I or II university MUST register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, meet all academic and amateur requirements and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

What are the NCAA Eligibility Center standards I must meet?

The standards issued by the NCAA Eligibility Center are slightly different for Division I and Division II but are based on the same four principles:

You must graduate from high school.

You must successfully complete all core courses.

You must have a minimum 2.000 GPA in core courses; and

You must have a minimum qualifying score on the ACT or SAT.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD

ESPN, 1:30 pm

Pitt vs. Navy

39. Pitt Panthers

Relative Strengths: Passing Game, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Pass Defense, Linebacker
Why Are They Here? Will the Panthers ever stop a passing game? USC transfer Max Browne will keep the offense going, but against so many good ACC QBs, all that matters is the beleaguered secondary.
2016 Final Season Ranking: 35 (8-5)
2016 CFN Preseason Ranking: 32

Happy Birthday Pitt POV!

I waited a day to write-up a one year anniversary article because the defensive backs are really more important at this point.

But last June 23rd I wrote the first of many POV articles and since have gained a solid and strong readership who is not hesitant to add, inform, criticize and praise all of the work done on here.

And when I say all of the work I consider you commenters to be the mainstay of that.  I have always considered my role as the writer one of  putting info and opinions out so that Pitt fans could have a forum for detailed discussions.

All I have really asked in return for that is that the discussions remain civil (they have) and that we respect each other’s opinions and that we have done also.  I feel that, biased position aside, we have by far the best and most in-depth discussion of Pitt football of any forum in the media.  That includes the papers, media subscription sites, message boards, Facebook and the recruiting sites.

Those are all fun places to visit – but if you want some really detailed an in-depth articles and the detailed and conversant discussions generated by those articles then you are in the right place.

And the numbers prove it.  I won’t go into specific readership counts but it is much, much higher than I imagined and way more diverse globally than I would have thought.

So for your info here are some interesting facts about the Pitt POV blog in its initial year.

In the last 365 days we have written 320 articles or 6.15 articles per week.  That includes podcasts and the Roundtable Call-in pieces.

In response to those articles we have had 27,629 comments written by the readers.  That comes out to an average of 86 comments per article.  In my research that is a huge amount more than our next contender which is the Pitt Blather.  Actually there are a bunch more comments on Facebook but I don’t count those.  That equals out to 2,302  comments per month.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday Pitt POV!”