I’ll try to do a weekly spot where I answer some lingering questions raised in the comments section that weren’t subsequently answered by myself or other commenters. One of those, for example, was regarding how many returning players the other teams have for this season.
Remember Pitt has only 6 Offensive, 4 Defensive and 1 ST players returning. Here are the others’ returnees numbers.
So you can see that we are at the bottom numerically if we look at just our offense and defense where we have only 10 returnees. What does this mean? Well, we better see the fruits of our expectations for Narduzzi’s recruiting efforts pan out on the field because every other ACC team is reloading at their vacant starting positions also and they all have less spots to fill. Here is who has more than us of our opponents in ’17:
NC State – 18; Miami – 17; GT – 16; Duke & VT – 14; SYR & NC – 13.
I don’t know about you all but when I look at NC State, Miami and GT having so many more returning starters than us I think you have to factor that in when discussing those games in advance – the bookies sure do. Especially when given the fact that Miami and NC State are replacing whoever they lost with much higher rated recruiting classes than ours.
As we discuss below though… the games are not played on paper or on a laptop (yet, I can’t speak for 50 years from now).
As mentioned, let’s look at how our 2017 opponents’ Rivals.com recruit rankings were during Narduzzi’s first two full recruiting years of 2015 and ’16.
Interestingly enough all of these schools are in the top 41% of the whole 128 teams.
So – other schools reload just as Pitt will this season and as much as we want to think our recruits will do well, and some sure will do well for us, other school’s fans are hoping the exact same thing.
Again – it is the age-old question of is it the “Jimmys and Joes” or the “Xs and Os”. In our case let’s hope our coaching staff is better that all our opponents because, apparently, our recruits weren’t better than them on paper.
Of course the games are played out on the field and not on paper thus our last season’s wins over PSU and Clemson refute this premise. Clemson’s previous recruiting classes were ranked 15th in ’13 and 4th in ’14… yet we beat them, didn’t we?
But we can still have fun with this…
Here are those two classes for Pitt as described above. I left out 2014’s class because it was almost completely Paul Chryst’s commitments, so ’14 and ’15 are all Narduzzi’s kids.
Now – here is where you readers come in. You pick how many you think will be starting for the Panthers this season and list them in your comments if you would please.
I made a list of starting positions I think could be filled by players off the two lists above who haven’t already started full-time at Pitt.
For example I listed QB because even thought I’m 100% sure Browne will be the starter it is possible that recruits Tom MacVitte or Ben DiNucci could grab the job.
Or… I listed only one Safety spot because we know that Whitehead will fill one spot there but the other Safety position is up for grabs. Mitchell and Webb graduated out of that position so could Hamlin or Stocker grab that vacant spot?
Keep in mind that Kazeon Pugh is a DE now and not a LB so if you are going to list him it has to be there. Also, you can list Ffrench at DB if you want as it looks like he may go both ways this year… although I doubt he’ll start at WR.
Let’s use only the above recruits and not transfers as that isn’t the thrust of the article – Narduzzi’s actual HS recruiting is – so Browne, Clark and Hendrix are not in the mix here because we are talking about kids off the above lists.
Here is my list, I left out positions which I don’t think will be filled by these two recruiting classes and I’ll post a blank list in a comment so you can copy and paste it for your answers.
QB – ? (don’t think it will happen)
RB – Chawntez Moss
WR -Aaron Mathews
TE – Charles Reeves
DE – Rashad Weaver
DT – Keyshon Camp
DT – Amir Watts
LB – Saleem Brightwell
LB – ?
DB – Therran Coleman
S – Jay Stocker
OK – what are your thoughts on this?