POV Sunday Podcast

The graphic below is exactly how recruiting works in college football today.  The “offers” we see listed early on in a player’s JR year are often either based on phone calls by a recruiting staff or the 1st canned recruiting letter that goes out to a player.


But here is that first ‘canned’ letter which a lot of recruits consider an offer to play football at that school… when in reality a school sends out hundreds of these type letters every year to HS juniors. They mean almost nothing.


See the difference here – the letter above is the very bottom rung of the recruiting process and is at least eight steps away from actually getting a formal offer.  But HS juniors who receive that see it as a school asking them (offering them) to play ball in their program.

Here is an actual formal scholarship offer by letter… Pitt’s offer to Conner Dintino (note the “I would like to officially offer you a full athletic scholarship...”  Until a player gets one of those he doesn’t really have an offer from a school.  He has interest, maybe serious, maybe not, from a school and that’s it.


Here are the players in this year’s recruiting class so far.

2018 class

Here is what I mentioned last week about the problem of getting transfer QB (good for a season) and then trying to recruit better QBs…  It’s a fine line I think but when you don’t have any real D1 starting talent in the QBs roster, and for this season I don’t think we do, that’s the strategy a HC has to employ these days. 

We saw that with Savage, Peterman and now Browne.

Virginia Tech added two transfer quarterbacks this offseason, and Justin Fuente says transfer QB’s have become their own market.

When Jerod Evans left early for the NFL Draft, it left the Hokies with only two scholarship QB’s — a true freshman and redshirt freshman. So Fuente added A.J. Bush from Iowa Western CC and Ryan Willis from Kansas, who will have to sit out a year. QB’s want to play, so when they can’t or they see an opportunity, they look to move.

There’s a secondary market essentially, the transfer market,” Fuente said this week on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “The kids want to play. Those quarterbacks want to play. It’s the only position on the field that there’s only one of. The one’s that don’t play, it’s a lot of work.

“You can hardly blame them for wanting to get on the field and play the game they love. It has kind of created a secondary market.”

Both Bush and Willis joined the Hokies in January. Fuente admitted you always have staff keep an eye on potential transfers. And when Virginia Tech was in the market, they let people know.

Which is exactly what Pat Narduzzi did now in replacing Peterman.  But we had to get a transfer in for ’17 and let there be no doubt Browne was brought into start – just like Peterman was.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that we are having a hard time recruiting blue chip QBs when we have rolled over on every single QB recruit we have had, save one single year with Voytik, since 2012  Now we have five seasons with only one starting QB having been recruited by Pitt sends a huge message to the better 4* and 5* QB recruits out there.


88 thoughts on “POV Sunday Podcast

  1. Guys – I have decided to not show ads for awhile – it was driving me crazy and the revenue just wasn’t there for me to keep the distractions to the content up.

    I hope this is now better for you readers.


  2. Right Reed, no Pen’s game Wednesday night.

    Just to make one thing clear. I absolutely wanted PITT to win the bowl game and was 100% disappointed with the results. I just saw a different game than some others.

    The VT game would be the one away game I would/could attend. ??

    What adds?

    Up until now I’m not really that sold on this recruiting class with a long ways to go. I do feel optimistic though that the class will be PITT strong. By that I mean as far as it can be considering we are PITT. < You see some negativity there?

    This years schedule is funny in a way that every-time I look at it, I see different results. Yet every-time I look at it I see PITT beating OSU at home third game.

    Love the Sunday morning podcast with our friend Reed pontificating all things PITT… ike

    We All We Got
    We All We need


    1. None. I’m a big advocate of him transferring to Pitt, but I don’t think it is happening. The defense could sure use his experience, intensity and smarts.


      1. Besides a LB grad transfer, I’d like to see Pitt add another DT from a JUCO or as a grad transfer that can play right away. I think the guys we have for the 1st team units at LB and DL are very good, but the depth needs help.

        If we don’t have the scholarship room, then we surely will see a lot of young, inexperienced guys cutting their teeth this year, which could be a ton of fun to watch.



  3. Was in a grocery store in Charlotte yesterday wearing a Pitt shirt. Saw another guy wearing a Pitt shirt. We pointed at eachother and smiled knowingly.
    I love seeing Pitt fans outside of PA.
    The best was when I saw an old timer wearing a collared Pitt shirt at the Big Texan in Ammerillo.


  4. Glad you liked it. I think Pitt can be a championship program and get to that 10-12 win level but a lot of things have to fall in place – and more importantly – stay in place for that to happen.

    Recruiting is absolutely necessary for that to happen – we didn’t see those 9 and 10 win seasons by accident under DW. he recruited a ton of 4* players and most stayed around for 3-4 years


  5. Justin Tallander 6 3 248lbs lb commits to Pitt from Dematha in DC. He had 21 offers including State Penn, VA Tech and MD. That says all I need to know. Nard dog on the right track!


  6. I warned you negative people yesterday to prepare yourselves to be disappointed as good recruits are lining up.. As they say….. incoming….

    Morgan is legit..


  7. Morgan paraphrased:

    I’m telling you right now and can promise you this, the classes of 2017 and our class of 2018 will dominate the ACC and there won’t be one team that can stop us.

    That’s some big talk and I love it…


  8. Not only is Morgan legit but, more importantly, Dematha is legit. That’s two this week from that school. I live in the Beltway region and a Dematha pipeline would be an incredible achievement by Pitt. I think even Reed would agree with that statement. Dematha is a powerhouse in the region and D1 fire hose.


  9. I’m in Columbia right now as daughter/son in law are off celebrating their 20’th wedding anniversary. Bored to death as teens/near teens don’t want anything to do with there grandparents.

    Finally had time to investigate why Reed’s podcasts volume was so bad that I never listened to more than a minute or two. (I strained to hear.)

    Reed – your podcasts, once I got volume problem fixed, was a good listen. Will listen to more in the future.

    Looking forward to Wednesday’s round table. Please join in the discussion. Nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m not and I have (according to BigB) a discernible southern tinged yinzer accent after 43 years.


  10. I didn’t notice any Ads. Another solid recruit as he has a high 3 star. 5.7 ranking and some nice offers.Was thinking if TJBanks commits, do we still take our current commit at TE or do we start to back off and lessen the communications, etc., hoping he looks elsewhere and opens another schollie.

    That is when you know you are recruiting really well. And those are the things that have benefited Pitt in the last few recruiting classes (think Sibley) from other institutions that do the exact same thing. I do think Narduzzi wouldn’t pull an offer and verbal off the table on purpose..


  11. Huff – the current commit is more of a HB/FB than a TE. He’s being groomed to replace Aston. They can take a true TE.


  12. BTW, this is what Huff is talking about when he says a “high 3 star”.

    “A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation’s top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.

    Rivals also assigns each player a number in their evaluation. Here’s what they mean.

    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
    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
    5.7-5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region’s top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team
    5.4-5.0 Division I prospect; considered a mid-major prospect; deemed to have limited pro potential but definite Division I prospect; may be more of a role player
    4.9 Sleeper; no Rivals.com expert knew much, if anything, about this player; a prospect that only a college coach really knew about”

    This is the article that I pulled it from. Covers all the recruiting sites and how they rank players. http://www.cougcenter.com/wsu-football-recruiting/2013/2/5/3956800/rivals-scout-espn-247-star-rating-system-national-signing-day

    Regarding Pitt, they have three 5.7’s who are .1 from becoming four stars. The two Dematha recruits, Morgan and Tallandier, and Jake Kradel. The last week has given Pitt potentially three 4 stars by the end of the year. That’s a good week.

    Additionally, Noah Palmer is a 5.6. Two others are 5.5’s. Only one, the most likely converted TE to FB is a 5.4 and mid-major prospect.

    That means that all but one player in the class is “deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team” and that one player, like I said, will be not be playing the position he’s graded at plus he’s also .1 away from being a 3 star.

    It’s why it’s important to look at who else is recruiting these kids rather than just looking at stars. Duzz and company are starting to get better recruits. It may not show up in the stars but if you dig deeper you can see it. They’re close to turning a corner.


  13. All good points. I have to say though. All this depends on which recruiting service you tend to follow or believe more strongly in as Reed has definitively explained to us all.

    Instead of star ratings I like the break down in point system. Like the 5.7 for example. It’s the designated cut-off of the 3 to 4 to 5 stars. Don’t think for a moment that recruiting coaches do not influence much of this.

    Only taking a certain amount of players (30) who can be 5 stars is actually very stupid. Are they flipping a coin to see who is 30 compared to 31 all the way up to 40 to 50 to 60, 70….?? Or is it who the team is the player is leaning towards? Plain dumb scoring young football players like this and unreasonably unfair to them.

    BTW, Banks is a big time player but he’s been told there is one spot open for his position. Which I don’t totally believe is true. Still look for him to pull the PITT trigger fairly soon..

    Jump in on the round-table discussions for Wednesday night you bunch of chickens.. There’s more room than Reed lets on. The more the merrier… ike


  14. We are making progress in all aspects of the football program. You have to walk before you can run. These are not the early 70s when Johnny Majors had unlimited scholarships. 8 wins is better than 6. So we are improving there. Schedule sometimes dictates that you step back record-wise in a given year. Maybe we only win 7 this year due to the schedule. I still see progress almost everywhere. Also, I’m with Ike regarding the bowl game last year. There were a lot of bad breaks that contributed to us losing that game. Many important players were injured. Orndorff drops a TD. Aston trips going into end zone. It’s very difficult to recover from a disaster like we had with the sequence of Wanny-Haywood-Graham. Even Chryst. While Potato Paul did stabilize things, his inability to recruit defensive players is still being felt. Things are not perfect and may never be (I still say that the empty yellow seats keep some high level recruits away, and I’m not sure if that ever changes). But given the state of our Basketball program, and where our football program was recently, I’m happy with what Coach Narduzzi has done to rebuild.


  15. Bowl games are dead outside of the playoff. They’re glorified spring games. Players don’t care and see them as a risk. Coaches don’t care and take extra precautions with players. Players like them because of the bonus vacation. Coaches like them because of the extra practice time, especially with younger players stepping into bigger roles the following season … part of the reason red-shirts may start to be safe with bowl games. Networks and cable like them because they are cheap programming and guaranteed ad dollars. They’re dead and meaningless. They don’t help recruiting. They don’t create momentum into the next season. They don’t do anything.

    Having said that, the one thing I’m concerned about with Narduzzi is that Pitt has not played well coming out of bye weeks or extended time off like the bowl games. He does need to sure up that aspect of the program. Bye weeks are supposed to help not hinder.


  16. I’m light years ahead of our BB program, and I’m overweight, have a slight tear in my mcl on my right knee and live in Cleveland

    A commit that may even impress Reed and UPitt has narrowed his choices to Pitt and MSU. He is a 4-star ILB from Florida who also has offers from LSU, PSU,Oregon and Wisc among others. We’ll see if Partridge can spin his magic.


  17. Aliquippa 4-star Kwantel Raines who has been offered by just about everyone just received one from Harvard. He is wearing a Pitt do-rag on his large twitter picture but is allegedly is heavily considering PSU


  18. Raines has family ties to PITT. For his sake, if it’s not PITT then please go to Harvard. You’ll still play in the NFL and have a way better education either way.


    1. was does uber-talented mean? See No. 5 Blake Barnett.

      Note that many of these are regular transfers, not grad transfers … but transfers in both FB and BB has become quite prevalent


  19. This transfer thing is the new thing. But Pitt needs to get away from it.

    I just wish KS could find warp speed before the ACC competition blasts us to oblivion.


    1. Starting in 2018 Pitt will begin with stability at QB, whether it is MacVittie for three seasons or the New Jersey kid who could be the man for four. Good timing as the roster is getting strong and having a QB under center with more than one season of eligibility left will help.


  20. Narduzzi has recruited some very talented defenders. Upgrades and talent at all positions will be evident this year. Maybe not starting out, but by the ACC schedule, look for a rapidly improved D. Sibley and Davis at Rb will push for PT, they are really good., Oklahoma St will be big. Beating Clemson moved the needle. Recruits simply don’t see a limited series with the nits a a big deal. Every recruit outside the burg speak to that win. Pitt goes 3-1 with wins over GTech and Oklahoma st will be big.


  21. Maybe it’s me, but I’m still worried about the 2018 recruiting class. Players like Morgan are an example. Sufficient potential for upside, but I just don’t know about him. I believe that the true test is early offers from top power 5 schools rather than stars, but recruiting services follow the stars, which gets the most attention, and I’m still looking for a few 4 stars that are on Ohio State, Michigan or SEC lists that come to Pitt, at least to visit. Pitt is still not taking any Florida players away from Florida State, Florida or even Miami. With Pitt it’s always about the “potential”.

    On another note, good to see that some PSU executives are headed for the slammer. If alive, JoePa would have been right in there with them, maybe even deserving more time in lockup..


  22. Pitt’s in the ACC and recruiting regionally, not nationally. Most of the competition will be with ACC schools. That’s just the nature of who and where they’re recruiting. Because of scheme, I’d expect to see Michigan St. pretty often. When recruiting Ohio, I’d expect to see some Big 10 schools as well. Other than that, it will be predominantly ACC competition and PSU (PA) for kids.


  23. You guys are commenting on and posting stuff that is right above the comments in my articles. That ‘How rankings are figured ‘ link was in my last recruiting piece.

    I’ll say again – we are getting recruits that are the same type of recruits we have had in the past. Morgan looks fine but those offers he has don’t thrill me – and if we Pitt fans keep comparing these 3* kids to other 3* kids from a few years ago then this program will be spinning its wheels for some time.

    Narduzzi is stockpiling somewhat average ballplayers guys, some a bit above and some a bit below but none of the kids so far stand out as recruits on the national scene.

    If we say they are better than Todd Graham’s and Paul Chryst’s then fine – but those HCs’ recruits gave us .500 seasons.

    Wake me up when we start landing kids who are truly pursued by teams that ARE BETTER THAN US, not at the same level. Big deal if a kid was offered by VT or PSU – we have beaten both those programs within in the last two years. Are their current players any better than ours?

    RU, SYR and Temple??? – Just because they are Power Five schools doesn’t reflect on how good that recruit is… unless you are comparing them to the past classes in 2010-2014.

    Narduzzi better start landing some game changers because that is what is going to get us up another level.


  24. These seem like pretty good guys with potential that we are getting. Keep them coming.

    Only time will tell.

    They need to get better, they need to stay healthy, and they need to stay out of trouble.

    If they do, they may help in two to three years.

    A solid football program keeps filling the pipeline with quality guys and develops depth.

    Not many places where young guys can start early. We will be young on the D-line thanks to Taleni. Probably not a good situation, caused by a lack of upper class depth.

    Otherwise we should have some new starters, but most have been in the system and they just lack game experience.


  25. Tossing – I’ll disagree about bowl games and Ike and I go around on this.

    If we had won last year against NW we would have been 9-4 and ranked #15… and thus probably ranked pretty decently, Top 20 probably, going into this season.

    That is the type of national pub Pitt needs because then we stay in the national conversation much longer and so are more attractive to recruits.

    To look at a program that went from 6 wins to 8 wins to 9 wins and nationally ranked into the top 20 in two seasons is a real achievement. Two 8 win seasons aren’t chopped liver of course but progression is the key – recruits want to feel they are getting in on a team that is going upward, not sideways.

    Half the battle in college ball is to be ranked as high as possible in the beginning of the year… not try to claw your way up from a #40 or so position. Start off at – let’s say #15 – and win the first 2 or 3 games and you are in the Top 10 and in the conversation for that bowl playoff series.

    Start off at #40 and do that and you may be at #25 or so.


  26. No doubt Reed that you always need to get bigger, stronger and faster.

    I agree that Narduzzi needs to get more elite guys, but beating out Alabama, tOSU, FL ST, Clemson, and even PSU for guys is an uphill climb. They have a lot more to offer, most of all winning track records and great fan bases.

    I think Narduzzi is heading in the right direction, but he is finding out how challenging the job is. We have not been a consistent top twenty team for a long, long time. The top kids want to go to the top teams, not one that has a half empty stadium. Kids today don’t remember Marino or Dorsett.

    We beat PSU and Clemson last year, then played the last two in a half empty stadium. That makes it a hard sell for the elite guys.


  27. I agree that losing the last two bowl games took a lot of luster of the seasons ending them with a bad taste in the mouth. Getting absolutely crushed by Navy and doing a belly flop vs NW were psychologically damaging. The great coaches always have their teams ready for the bowl games. How you finish is crucial.
    Saying Bowl games don’t matter is just sour grapes.


  28. If you look at the recent recruiting classes, we won’t get most of our 4-stars until January. These won’t be the upper echelon blue chips but they are still talented. Sure, HCPN and staff would love to pull in the blue-chips, (what staff wouldn’t) but it certainly doesn’t appear that it’s going to happen, and it’s not due to a lack of effort.

    Thus, I REPEAT .. we have to pull in 3-stars at this point who will hopefully grow into solid players as they become upperclassmen. This is the way it has t be … like it or not.


  29. I need to go on record one final time.

    I understand the importance of any and all games PITT plays. My beef was two fold.

    I disagree that PITT wasn’t ready to play the Pinstripe bowl game last year. They dominated the first quarter. (the Navy game was a total mismatch and a disaster) PITT stunk that day and that can be on Narduzzi
    Losing last year’s bowl game in my mind was a bummer for sure but it just didn’t take away the luster of a really good season by PITT for me like it did some of you. Especially considering the way the game went down and unfolded. Two players in Reed’s all-time 5 PITT player list ( Peterman, Conner) didn’t play most of the 4th quarter. Along with the missed opportunities in the first quarter. You all know the story by now.

    Also wrong on Morgan. VT, Maryland and psu wanted him and that’s good enough for me. PITT will not beat out any recruit that’s been offered by the really big boys until close to LOI day.


    1. Ike, couldn’t agree more about Pitt being ready to play in the bowl. Alleged body language vs actual results … laughable.


  30. I am glad we are making inroads into areas of recruiting (DC, MD, MD, FL) that have good players. PSU recruits the DC, MD, VA successfully and we needed to slow that down. Our Rivals ranking has increased from the 60s to the 30s in part because of numbers but also because of the high 3 stars.

    Imagine us stuck in the 60s ratings in December.


  31. You have over a month to prepare and get ready for a bowl game. Getting beat by Navy would be OK, getting absolutely dominated is a whole different story.

    Maybe we were ready to play NW but they just wanted that game way more than we did, and that is unacceptable.

    Either game meant a nine win season, much better than eight, but also carries momentum going into the next year, especially in recruiting.

    I am still sick over losing Taleni, a guy that was here for 4 years, was instrumental in the Clemson win, and was finally getting his shot to be a game changer. Seems a lot like the curse of Pitt to me, a day late and a dollar short. It just seems like this happens way to often at Pitt. Maybe it is more noticeable because of our lack of depth and we have so few difference makers.


    1. I think it happens everywhere but Pitt only puts up with it for so long then something has to be done. A kid at Bama and Ohio State would be allow to run unlawful if he can help the team win games. Taleni must have been acting poorly for a long time to have the plug pulled on him this late in his career.

      This whole time I assumed Taleni was a model citizen because he had stuck it out this long being so far from home and he enjoyed blazing his own path. Not even close. He’ll be remembered for the Clemson game and that will be it.


  32. Losing Taleni hurts no doubt. But Watts, Wheeler, Camp, Carter will be playing and gaining needed experience and all were 4 stars on some rating sites. The key to things is the across the board recruiting at DB, LB, DL, RB, WR, TE QB, OL which has a roster that offers talent and depth. No it is not Bama or OSU, but it is ACC coastal good and with narduzzi, things look much better. As to this class. Morgan, Tallandier, Kradel are 5.7 on Rivals which is very close to 4 star which I think all will be by LOI day. Pitt wiil not have a top ten class but consistency of good athletes and player development is what the program is all about.


  33. Reed,
    While I generally agree with you that our recruiting may not look like it’s really changed that much when you look at the star ratings, I personally look at WHO we are competing with to get recruits and I’m pleased to see A LOT less Youngstown State’s & Akron’s in the mix and A LOT more power 5 schools. If there were another star ranking (like 3+), I think the data would show that the vast majority of our recruits are 3+ stars. And many of these 3+ stars will turn out to be 4 star players on the field. In other words, there are probably just as many 3+ star players that turn out superstars as there are 4 star players that end up 3 star performers.


  34. Speaking of last years bowl game one only has to look at the preceding game against Syracuse and realize there in no such thing as a sure win for our team….


  35. Going to stir the pot.. Reed previously stated if we had changed our defensive scheme last year, that we could have probably had a 10 win season.
    That was with the same star recruits that he now says isn’t enough.
    I’m not picking on Reed, just saying it’s all perspective.
    In my opinion, Narduzzi has done more with 2 and 3 stars than Sabin and Sweeny have done with their 5s.
    I didn’t see clemson nor balas 5s playing like 7s. But I sure saw our 2s and 3s playing like 5s in a few games.


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