Tonight is another edition of our Roundtable.  We had a great time last week with Matt and Mark… and let’s get one or two more callers this evening.  Always more fun to discuss a win than a loss.  Details at the end of this article.

RECRUITING:

In yesterday’s comments a readers posted the following in regards to a quote Pat Narduzzi made during this last offseason:

Narduzzi was quick to point to freshman defensive backs who were either redshirted or used sparingly this season (2016), but could be key contributors in 2017.

“Damar Hamlin, (Therran) Coleman. (Jay) Stocker is going to continue to get better,” he said. “Bricen Garner is a good football player already. Henry Miller, across the board.”

He also threw out the names of three other freshmen: linebacker Chase Pine, defensive tackle Keyshon Camp and wide receiver Ruben Flowers. Then, he added, “Wait until you get a glimpse of (quarterback) Thomas MacVittie.”

I add this to show just how predictions – even from as close to the team as you can get – are often either way overblown or said with wishful thinking. Looking at those singled out you have to laugh a bit because aside from Damar Hamlin – who is having a nice comeback year and Bricen Garner who is doing OK – the rest of those players listed by Narduzzi can’t really be called a “key contributor” for this season’s team.

Here what the defenders listed  have done so far.  Henry Miller hasn’t played on defense yet.

D2D2.png

Of course we know that now Thomas MacVittie is out of the QB picture completely barring injury to either DiNucci and Pickett and WR Flowers hasn’t touched the ball at all.

Ruben Flowers is an interesting case here – a 4* recruit who had everyone slobbering over him during camp but so far he’s done nada on the field.  Now unless I missed it Flowers hasn’t been injured so something has kept him on the bench and that is the staff’s call.

My point with all this is, and I do know that recruiting is an inexact science that usually doesn’t show results for two or three years, Narduzzi’s recruits from 2015 on have not played to expectations yet – nor have his transfers… but those are another story.

Narduzzi has relied on transfers and he’s relied on switching kids’ positions. He hit a gold mine with Nate Peterman but in camp the jury was out on Chris Clark, Mike Flanagan, Max Browne, Dewayne Hendrix and some other players to supplement the returning Panthers for this ’17 season. 

Browne was a complete bust – and yes he was even considering his Rice game.  Hendrix has played average at best ball and has been sat down for cause more than a few times this season. Clark is a non-factor at TE and Flanagan has been OK but really should have been moved to FB or H-Back as was discussed in camp. A mistake by the staff in my opinion since Watson ignores the TEs anyway.

Right now our 2018 recruiting class is ranked number 58th in the country and that is not going to get us to championship football games in the future… and neither are the fruits last two recruiting classes.  Obviously no one is happy with Pitt being almost smack in the middle of the nation in recruiting, but to top it off the chances of us landing any game changing, high value target recruits to fill out the class is rapidly dwindling with every loss we pile up.

I have written many times that I’m surprised that with the hype surrounding Narduzzi’s hire back in 2015, combined with his personal energy and attitude, we have pretty much underperformed in recruiting since he got here.

Up until this year I saw Pitt fans point to any and every bit of good news in recruiting to pin their hopes on  future players – mostly because Narduzzi’s recruits had more Power Five school offers than the previous regime’s recruits had.  But something to remember about that isthat Pitt is also a Power Five school and other team’s fans are pointing to their recruits getting a Pitt offer as a plus.

At this point would you say that means anything?  Does a HS player getting a Pitt offer seperate him from someone not getting one?

Yet we continue to over-estimate kids with other marginal P5 schools’ offers just because they have them listed on the internet (which in itself is a question mark).

I’m not sure that we understand what kind of recruits we are getting from Pat Narduzzi so far.  From everything I can see, and I look at these kids now from every different angle because we get in these recruiting conversations all the time, I really don’t see any of them being sure standout star players which is what we’re going to need to have to have championship football teams.

Right now every one of our 2018 class are three star players. Every single one. And this is after two straight eight win seasons and with that energy he supposedly brought with him.  Now, three years into the program, we’re seeing the same type, actually in my opinion a lower quality type of recruits, than we have seen over the last eight years of Pitt if not lower quality.

Since 2015 Narduzzi has had 76 recruits (counting the 2018 class). 56 have been 3* players with 10 4*s and 10 2*s.  That means that 87% of his recruits are basically average, or a bit above, HS recruits.

I have written and said many times that if you recruit 3* players you’ll get 3* results and we are starting to see that this year.  you do not win championships when only 13% of your players are 4* recruits.

I have to say that looking at that and the players he landed in his first two classes  I’m not all that shocked we are sitting at 3 wins against 5 losses.  I do hope and will keep my fingers crossed that another year of experience will turn these average-now players into solid and good starters but that doesn’t happen in every case.

What is the upshot of all this?  Well I think it points strongly to the shortcomings in our position coaches and thus our coordinators.  First they haven’t been getting the blue-chip top quality recruits we need and secondly they aren’t all that great at getting these 3* players to contribute at an early stage of their careers.  That entails real teaching abilities and I’m not sure we have that on staff at present.

It seems to me that in the three years under Narduzzi so far we have seen recruits who have outstanding talent play well – Safety Jordan Whitehead (who actually committed to the previous staff) and Returner Q. Henderson are great examples of this.  But have we seen any recent recruits who don’t have those inherent very special skill sets really shine for us?

To be honest  the only impact this staff has had to push kids to great success have been on non-Narduzzi recruits in Brian O’Neill being moved from TE to OL and being coached well there and with  George Aston – a walk-on FB who the staff used perfectly to get great production out of the backfield. At least those are all I can think of right now…

I guess you can throw WR Rafael Araujo-Lopes in that list also as he’s turned it up a notch this year but again – he wasnt a HS recruit as he came to Pitt from a JUCO.

Offensive Linemen, Tight Ends and Quarterbacks are really the only positions where it is almost a necessity to have a couple of years of playing under your belt before you really start producing at a high level.  But the other eight positions?  You can’t say that they should play as true freshmen – but all over the country players in those positions produce and contribute at a high levels as either redshirt Freshmen and Sophomores all the time.

Two full years in a program is more than enough in this day and age.  It doesn’t work for every recruit but you can’t make the ‘too young’ excuse for players who have been in the program that long (or even shorter sometimes).

I believe we are lagging behind in both the recruiting HS players and also in coaching/teaching them and it makes me wonder just what we’ll see from these kids in 2018’s season.  I’m sure we’ll get better play, some outstanding I’m sure, out of some of these young Panthers next year. But overall will they be older and better… or will they just be a year older?

Notes:  here are the links to the recruiting classes described above.  2015201620172018.

 

 

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153 thoughts on “POV: Recruiting Thoughts

  1. Waaaay too early to judge most of these recruits. Narduzzi’s 1st class (2015) was ranked 65th per Rivals due to late start. These guys will be juniors or redshirt sophomores. The 2016 class would be sophomores or RS freshmen.

    As previously discussed …. Pitt is a program that does not get the blue chips that can add immediate help, and must depend on 3rd, 4th and 5th year players. And with a few exceptions, Pitt is not getting much help from the 4th and 5th players …. what little there are of them.

    Thus, many of the current players are being thrown into the fire with little experience .. against, in most cases so far .. much more experienced and talented teams.

    Waaay too early

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But didn’t everyone say that Narduzzi WAS going to be able to pull in those needed Blue Chippers when he was hired. We read that many times on here… that because he was such a great coordinator, coach, personality, etc… high value recruits would want to play for him. But we’ve seen the opposite happen really.

      Yes – these young kids on roster could turn out well and some will – but he’s missed out on so many 4* and 5* targets I wonder if he can get any at all. Remember signing 2, 3 or 4 isn’t targeting them.

      He’s not lived up to fan’s expectations in this area IMO.

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      1. Shame on those people for thinking that Narduzzi was going to walk in and just reel in four- or five-star recruits. There is a bigger issue. It’s a Pitt problem. Yellow seats and more.

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  2. Regarding Flowers – you actually need a QB to throw the ball to him. The other Pitt WR’s haven’t excited the fanbase either.

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    1. It’s surely true that it takes a QB to deliver the ball. However I don’t remember seeing Flowers in the game for the past few games. The regulars have been Weah, Henderson, Lopes, Mathews and Ffrench. Regardless of QB, no receiver can be productive if they’re not playing.

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  3. Right EE, can’t blame the WR’s when they are just not being thrown the ball. Another reason to get your #1 QB and stick with him for the experience and playbook factors.

    Whitehead is a great example of a 4* player staying home and becoming a star very early on in their playing career.

    imo. Narduzzi has done a good job recruiting locally this year. These kids shouldn’t be looked down on as not being top of the line players. They are by in large.

    Back to PITT final record. if by some chance they can beat Virginia and UNC it would also mean that the QB of choice has gained valuable confidence and experience, which could translate over to better play against VT and Miami.

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  4. Ike, if you think the QB of choice being DiNucci currently can gain enough confidence and experience over the next two weeks to pose a threat to either VT or Miami then I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

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  5. lol jrn I thought the Cleveland Indians already bought it?

    I did mention the QB of choice. So I left that door open a wee bit.

    VT doesn’t strike almighty fear in me. Being a road game makes it a tall task however.

    Miami hasn’t really been all that dominant, Should have lost to GT and Syracuse played them tough at home. Beating FSU was not the great task it would have been if their QB hadn’t got hurt.

    Listen, I’m not saying PITT wins one more game or wins all 4, jus saying anything is possible when you have a confident football team.. Virginia will be a very tough tough game.

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  6. When Reed used to comment on Pitt relying too much on Boyd, my first thought was the reason Boyd got all of those passes his way was because he was open a lot of the time. I submit to you that one of the reasons our QB’s are struggling is because our receivers often struggle to get open (run good routes, create separation). If you doubt this, come to the game on Saturday. Spend some time just watching our WR’s and see how often they are not open. Route running and creating separation are skills a WR must perfect. With the exception of Lopes, I don’t see much improvement in our WR play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally Agree. It is why I am ticked every-time Lopes comes off the field cuz he is the only one that gets open consistently.

      Jester needs to use his body and push off every time. The refs very rarely call this on the offensive guy.

      Again and example of coaching to in my opinion.

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    2. Also agree with you Frank about the receivers not being able to get open, running good routes and getting good separation from the DBs. The receivers for the most part are young and inexperienced; the quarterbacking has been shaky as well just as the line and running game have been. The defense has its problems as well. This team has to count on a multitude of young inexperience players to help win games. The team has won 3 games and may struggle to get to 5. The only silver lining for me is these players are getting experience for next year.

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  7. Recruiting is sub par
    Coaching is sub par
    You need very good assistants to recruit with an eye for talent
    Very good assistants at developing talent to reach its full potential
    Need a head coach with the vision and strategy and with the ability to seal the deal
    We have none of this
    Need to average close to 3.7 stars in order to compete and have a chance
    Frankelstein is reeling in avg 4 stars. He tells 3 stars to go to Pitt

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    1. Franklin is now making > $5m, his two coordinators probably make within a few hundred thousand of what Narduzzi does. Narduzzi did ask Franklin if he could borrow his helicopter for a few recruiting trips, but was turned down.

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      1. LOL…yes, Moorhead & Pry are making Franklinstein look pretty good right about now. Word out there is that Moorhead is a prime candidate for the HC job somewhere.

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  8. In the context of past and future recruiting, I find it curious that PN decided to burn the red shirts early of the following true freshmen (except Pickett) in very limited roles:

    Pickett
    Sear
    Mathis
    Pinnock
    Davis

    It will be interesting to see whether Mathis or Pinnock play more this weekend with Maddox out.

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  9. Let’s blame the Duzz for the 4-Stars not coming to Pitt after they see a half-full stadium when they make their visit.

    Surely having a full-house adoring crowd doesn’t affect a 4 or 5-star recruit’s decision not to come to Pitt when he can have all the boxes checked at schools not so far away to the west, south, and east.

    Coach Duzz is competing for recruits with an enormous, built-in disadvantage…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Pitt isn’t the only program with half full stadiums as I post these pics every so often. In fact Pitt is more near the norm than it isn’t.

      Homecoming for undefeated and #8 Miami.

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  10. As far as Davis goes, I think Narduzzi had a good idea that Moss would be suspended. There isn’t much depth at RB so it was a good idea to get him some playing time early in case of injury.

    Playing young kids that you’re recruiting that position again this year is also not a bad idea. Early playing time sells recruits.

    HCPN does need to upgrade his asst’s to some degree. .. but blame Watson all you want, one year with this QB dilemma and a high turnover of players is not enough to justify conclusions. Although I’m not so sure of Watson either. Who you gonna get to replace him?……….

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  11. Hey MajorMajors, you got it. The lack of any continuity, winning and fan support isn’t going to help make the 4 and 5* kids stay home in general. << Which is at times, bad for them..

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    1. And how many of the schools reeling in 4 and 5 star recruits are throwing in extra under the table benefits? Narduzzi made a comment that football had its issues like the basketball programs under investigation by the FBI.

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  12. PSU 16 times more 4 star recruits. They also have 16 times the money.

    That being said, there are many teams that recruit on the same exact level as Pitt and they have good teams.
    Wisconsin and Utah off the top of my head. Look up the ranking from the last 5 years.

    So you don’t have to have the high recruiting rank to do well.

    I guarantee, Wisconsin and Utah have bigger football budgets than Pitt.

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    1. 1st year coaches at Indiana, Purdue, Iowa St, Minnesota, and Cincy all making more than Duzz. And except for 1st year of WF (by $250k), he is lowest paid coach in ACC

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  13. Right you are NRS and PITT did win 8 regular season games past two years. 3* recruiting is more of the cyclical variety in college football. PITT is very young this and BTW, Michigan State started out the same way when Narduzzi went there with same recruiting rankings.

    Only difference Narduzzi has won more games at PITT then there his first 2 years.

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    1. Ike – DW had 5-6 and 6-6 seasons and his recruiting took off right away after that.

      You kind of make my point here – with those 8-5 season and two wins last year you would think recruits would be beating down the door to play for Narduzzi but that isn’t happening.

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  14. Wonder if there are any studies showing how many of each of Rivals 0 – 5 stars were ever drafted or played in the NFL. Bet we would be surprised at the breakdown. How about the NFL HOF.

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  15. Ike, Iwill give you this. All schools go thru a cycle when they are left with an abundance of young players. The difference is that the upper echelon teams have very,very good freshman and sophomores, while we have kids that are not as talented and must spend several,years in the program to develop physically to compete with these more talented, younger kids. It’s much like the b-ball program under Jamie, older ,more mature can successfully compete. Which means that until you can recruit that type of player you will have one or two “up” years for 3-4 down years.

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  16. I agree with most of what’s been said above. What I can’t completely buy in to is the statement that the coaches can’t identify talent. Brian Asamoah is the first example that comes to mind. Pitt was the first to offer him….then a few more schools similar to Pitt jump in and then he takes off and ends up with over 20 offers with the likes of MSU, ND and Oklahoma. Someone please tell me how we are supposed to win head to head recruiting battles with ND and Oklahoma? Seriously. We can sell playing time and that’s about it. The whole “experience” factor that a lot of kids are looking for isn’t happening at Pitt. And it’s hard to overcome that obstacle. Heck with countless examples of local kids who have left Pitt on the curb and left the area thinking they had better opportunities elsewhere and found out that they made a big mistake – you would think a lot of these local kids would see that and it would resonate and make them think about it. But it doesn’t seem to happen. And unfortunately there are so many people in a lot of these kids ears these days as they are looking for something out of it themselves. Think about it a little bit. PN has a really tough sell.

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    1. Gee – maybe these kids who go elsewhere just don’t want to be coached by the current staff at Pitt… anyone ever think about that?

      We always assume we ‘lose’ kids to other schools when in reality it is the player and his parents who make the final decision. Sometimes it just boils down to who is the HC and who are the staff coaches.

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  17. It’s not like we have a bevy of overperforming WR’s that has kept Flowers off the field.

    Little Q has 11 receptions with an 11 ypc and Ffrenchy has 18 catches with a 8.6 ypc.
    Jester Jester has been inconsistent and only Lopes has overachieved, imo

    Flowers is turning into another Adonis ( in name only)

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  18. Gentlemen,
    Will not be available for tonight’s Round Table. Living in Houston, I am enjoying the Astros march to being World Series Champions.
    Frankly, it’s a breath of fresh air away from our hapless Panthers, whom currently I am very disgusted with because this below average football program is light years away from any kind of champion capability.
    Sometimes the truth hurts and the truth of our football team saddens and hurts me at this time.

    P.S. A Texas hunter (maybe UPitt) shot all of my unicorns that were grazing in my rainbow filled backyard.

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  19. With all that has been said, Pitt’s AD would be in a pretty deep trouble if Duzz were to get frustrated at lack of recruiting success and leave. He clearly isn’t at Pitt for the money, and Heather should understand that lack of at least middle ACC salary and recruiting budgets are putting Pitt’s football program in a risky situation. If Duzz were to leave after this year, it would set the program back at least 5 years, and maybe forever…

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    1. No it wouldn’t. We’d have just as good an opportunity to get another HC who would be might be better than him. Narduzzi isn’t top shelf coaching material which is why he had only one other HC offer while at MSU and that was Cincy. And please don’t tell me he ‘”waited for the right job’ .

      Coaches are in the game to make money. Narduzzi more than doubled his salary when he took the Pitt offer..as seen here.

      “Narduzzi had a contract that called for him to make over $900,000 annually, with a base salary at $835,000. With new defensive assistant Mark Snyder coming in with the pay of a position coach at $276,925, money was freed up to spread around among other assistants.”

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  20. Pittman, hapless? PITT is on a one game win streak about to embark on a 3 game win steak. Maybe more?

    Enjoy your World Series and beat the Dodgers.

    FWIW. I won’t be joining the guys tonight on the round-table either. Feeling under the weather lately…. Hope to be at the round-table and the BigB / UNC tailgate next week.

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  21. All due respect, this post seems a tad melodramatic.

    I think this team bottomed out against OK St. Ive seen a lot of improvement on defense. The following Defensive players have at least 1 year eligibility left (True frosh or RS Frosh):

    DL

    3 years – Weaver, Camp, Jones, Wheeler, Pugh, Twyman*, Alexandre*, Van Lynn* – I see at least Camp and Weaver developing into solid starters. Jones looks the part and I haven’t heard a bad word about Twyman’s work.
    2 years – Carter, Watts – both have shown flashes and should develop
    1 year – Hendrix, Roy, Folston

    LB
    3 years – Pine, Reynolds, Miller, Bright*, Tucker*, Nunn* – The first two have contributed and look the part
    2 years – Brightwell, McKee – I think Brightwell will end up being a solid player
    1 year – Wirginis, Idowu, Zeise, Williams

    DB
    3 years – Garner, Coleman, Campbell, Pinnock, Mathis, Ford* – more than a few future contributors in here
    2 years – Jackson, Hamlin, Stocker, Henderson – Jackson and Hamlin should be solid multi year starters
    1 year – Whitehead, Motley, Briggs

    The only losses next year are Maddox and Edwards. I predict this defense will be good to very good by the end of next season.

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    1. These guys you are mentioning are playing on a current 3-5 team. I did say they could get better – but the point of the post was to address shortcomings in the overall recruiting we have been doing.

      BTW – “solid many year starters” doesn’t really mean much – you need better than that for championship play. If we want the current state of play with a ceiling of 7-8 wins then sure – these kids are fine. But fans want more, right?

      We;ll see what happens next season, but I have a idea that we won’t stop seeing Narduzzi keep bringing in transfers even when ‘his’ kids are playing.

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      1. see Reed, this is where you are a hypocrite. You base your presentation on the fact that the team is currently 3 and 5 ….. yet, if this team played the 2014 schedule they would currently be 5-3. at worse … that’s how easy that schedule was until the 8th game (remember, the 2014 team lost a home to Akron in the 5th game)

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      2. sure the team hasn’t been great. But the core of the team is 19-20 year olds and that makes a difference.

        I should have said “above average multi-year starters.” Forgive me. I believe Hamlin and Jackson will develop into above average multi year starters. Same with Brightwell, Camp, Weaver, Garner.

        As far as the transfers go… I like what he’s done on the whole to sure up positions of need. Peterman was one of the better QBs to play at Pitt. Aruajo-Lopes is our steadiest receiver and a really nice college player. Hendrix is a starter with upside. Flannigan is a weak starter, who’s better than what we had. Edwards is a starter. Hodges is a depth guy. Carter is a depth guy with upside. Clark is a depth guy with upside. I think Chase Brown will probably compete for a job next year. All in all not a bad haul of transfers.

        I also like what he’s done with the walkon program. Aston, Idowu, Kessman, Morrissey, Adomitis, etc can all play in the ACC. They will all return next year.

        I really believe that ok st was a decade low point for this program and that pitt is on its way up for the next 3-4 years.

        My hope is that they take care of business against UVA, UNC, compete at VT and shock the world against an undefeated, overconfident Miami, propelling pitt to a strong recruiting finish and much needed extra practice and bowl gibs.

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  22. Whitehead will be gone after this season to the NFL. And as for as our defensive front 7 coming back, what makes you think we will get any pressure on next years opposition QB’s from this group come next season?

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    1. I think Carter and Camp will develop and learn to be more disruptive. I mean just learn from Aaron Donald film. Watts is a wild card and Twyman is going to be a load in a couple years. Roy is like a dan Stephens guy.

      Weaver and Hendrix are close to being good players and inproving. They both need to learn to finish plays but they are getting more disruptive.

      Brightwell is an athletic dude and he’s starting to get the hang of it. Idowu is better than last year and should be better next year. Zeise is really athletic and needs to find a way to translate that into TFLs, FF, INTs, SACKs. Time will tell if that happens. Wirginis returns and he has made plays like that. Others get bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, more aware…

      Hopefully Whitehead returns. He’s a playmaker for sure. Not sure where he really goes in the draft tho…

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  23. As someone has already noted, you can win with 3 star recruits… Wisconsin does it, to some degree Michigan State is sort of in that category, Navy, others…. To expect Narduzzi (because of energy??) to do it early in his career without a breakout winning season is a bit much. Let’s see, little support from management, no on field stadium that is sized right to the Pitt situation, two nearby competitors that draw most of the oxygen (PSU and OSU), and a recent semi-chaotic history with respect to coaches (and by extension, the football program).

    What we can expect (or stated more realistically), what we might hope for is to get lucky with coaching hires that lead to a breakout season that might be self-perpetuating. Narduzzi’s chip on shoulder, his penchant for hiring friends and his willingness to stick with (what appears to be) losing strategies and poor assistant coaches should be beyond concerning. Since UPitt isn’t here right now, let me guess what he might offer, the AD needs to step up and kick PN’s butt. I feel like he could become a very good coach if he could leave these bad traits behind. In other words, he needs to grow into the job and the AD can’t whisper sweet nothings in his ear if he is going to reach the heights we would all like.

    If we do get a breakout season either through a lucky recruit or two (for instance, I was around campus when Majors latched onto Dorsett) or learning to be a full spectrum coach without so many warts, then maybe the trickle of four star recruits will become a flood.

    Recruiting is important but what comes first, the recruiting or the breakout season….

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  24. Letting Narduzzi walk without making a good faith effort to keep him (i.e., up the dollars we are paying him) would be a problem from a perception standpoint. Pitt looks cheap as is and letting him walk would reinforce that … why would a real quality coach want to come to (and stay at long enough to take to the next level) a school that doesn’t even try to appear willing to make a financial commitment?

    I would love to know the inside scoop behind the efforts to keep Matt Canada here. How much money was offered?

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    1. I think Pitt head football coaches get a pass…Pitt’s reputation as cheap and not fully supportive of football and all the other negatives work to their benefit when they’re job hunting

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  25. Reed, I agree with Newbk. Regarding the shaky tenure of Duzz, I’m looking at the pattern of coaching hires and fires over many years, no one staying for very long, and wondering who would take the job if Duzz leaves. People may start thinking that Pitt is a graveyard for coaches after the past 20 yeas or so. Wouldn’t be better to just give the man the money he needs to do a first class job and then let the chips fall where they may?

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  26. Sorry, no way any of you can properly evaluate Narduzzi’s potential yet (good or bad), and I think the commentaries only prove that. A lot will depend on what happens with the offense, or the OC position, and the development (or lack thereof) of the QB position. That said, good discussion.

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  27. My prior post postulates that recruiting will improve if PN can get to a breakout season. Is that even remotely possible? Channeling the optimism of Ike, lets suppose the following for next year:

    We pick a QB in spring practice and its Pickett. As many have noted, he actually leads his passes to the receivers. That means he instinctively understands geometry and has a vision of the field. If Watson can exploit and encourage that, then maybe we have a D1 QB.

    We pick an Off Line in spring practice. Lots of pieces available – some with a great pedigree. I assume O’Neill will be back because of the disastrous season the line has had this year. With Warren, Drake, Drexel, Houy and others, there must be two or three solid players to plug in with the vets. Then pick a line and stay with it…. The past game or two, the musical chairs on the OL has subsided and the performance has improved.

    With better OL performance, the running game improves.

    PN finally gets that Henderson is a one trick pony and uses Matthews, Tipton, Lopes, and Ffrench.

    Paris Ford turns out to be a star…. And the kid from Florida finds his way into the mix at DB because he is just that good…

    Everyone else is a year older, a year more experienced and a year better.

    That should equal at least a 7-5 season (where I have not even looked at the opponents for next year).

    Then, PN gets into a comfort zone, is less arrogant, and frees playmakers like Pickett and Ford to be great. That equals a breakout season of nine wins….

    Sure, everything could go wrong…. Pickett might stink. Ford might be totally over-rated (but if that is the case, why worry about recruiting four stars anyways)… But it could happen…. A lot depends on Narduzzi growing up and into the job….

    Its fun to dream anyways…..

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    1. Non-conference schedule is PSU, ND and at UCF. The fourth team should be a home game scrub school. That is one tough schedule. Typical Pitt playing hard teams in the nonconference and making it difficult to reach eight wins.

      Wisconsin sure doesn’t feel bad about its pathetic nonconference schedule in 2017. Wins are all that count and all anyone remembers.

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  28. Pitts and T Webb are NFLers… who woulda thunk.. shows you POVerts how much I know..

    Me n Mrs BigB are sitting here enjoying a libation talking about our Star Wars costume for the Thursday night Carolina game.

    She says she isn’t dressing up…

    Like

  29. OK – my comment wasn’t that I want Narduzzi gone – that is some other fans’ opinion, not mine. I say give him at least a full 4 years as long as no scandals, etc… off the field deem it necessary to let him go.

    But after four years if we don’t turn a corner then you have to look at what he actually brings to the table.

    As far as these current players go – sorry but I see no real ‘carry the team’ players like we had with Boyd or Conner – to name some recent ones. Again, we’ll see how things turn out but as of today we are seeing flashes of some good play from the individual kids but not a whole lot of steady and good production play.

    Then on the other hand if we don’t get settled in at the QB position in a very good way next season we’ll see more of the same as we see now. A poor offense that can’t rely on a (probably) decent defense to hold the other team down for wins.

    Like

    1. Four years isn’t nearly enough time to judge Narduzzi. We can’t expect to win a lot of games with these nonconference games and his pathetic budget. Pitt needs to work on continuity, not on searching the country for the next assistant to hire who we later find out is stubborn and has no balls on game day.

      Define scandal (and don’t give an example like the SI article from 2010).

      Like

  30. Conner was a 2* DE by some scouting services and Boyd was a local recruit that wanted to stay home. << Much like Whitehead. See how this works?

    Give last years recruits before conclusions. PITT has a ton of young kids playing this year.

    Like

    1. You named 3 guys who started and/or were significant contributors as true freshman. However I infer that your point is that “kids” have to have time to develop?

      Most of the “kids”, who are actually 20-21 years old, have been in the program for at least the better part of 2 seasons.

      Like

  31. I have to laugh at the talk of Narduzzi leaving or being fired. Two 8-5 seasons and then he loses 16 starters. We have losses to 4 ranked teams with numerous players suspended or injured. He’s certainly not being fired, nor should he be. And if we finish 5-7, nobody will be beating down the door to get him either. But how he cannot be viewed by everyone to be better than Paul Chryst is baffling to me. Chryst lost to nobodies and never beat anyone of consequence. Beating Clemson AND the Nitters last year bought Narduzzi a fair amount of good will from me. Its really only just to make the evaluation after 4 or 5 years. We’re not there yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen. Pat showed he can win eight games already with veteran teams. His veteran teams in the future, especially in 2019, will actually have his defensive recruitsamd not Chryst’s. Give the guy 10 years and more money to hire better assistants.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Reed — Wanny went on a recruiting tear??? Come now.

    I will list the 4 and 5-star players Wanny brought in (based on Rivals rankings):

    2005 — Conredge Collinns
    2006 — Aaron Berry, Kevin Collier Aaron Smith, Nate Byham, Dorin Dickerson, John Malecki, Jeff Otah.
    2007 — Shady McCoy, Tony Tucker, Aundre Wright, Tommie Duhart, Pat Bostick, Chris Jacobson
    2008 — Jarred Holly, Shayne Hale, Jon Baldwin (5-star), Cam Saddler, Lucas Nix, Chris Burns
    2009 — Dan Mason, Ray Graham, Jack Lippert
    2010 — Mark Myers, Todd Thomas, TJ Cemmings, Bryan Murphy

    Not exactly a Pitt hall of fame bunch.

    IMHO, only maybe 3 players in that entire group of 4 and 5 star recruits had exceptional careers at Pitt — Shady McCoy, Ray Graham, and TJ Clemmings. Others were good, like Berry, Byham, Dickerson, Malecki, Jacobson?, Holly?, Baldwin, Nix, and Mason – but except for flashes, did not have 4-star careers.

    Wanny’s recruiting was way over-ranked. But, Wanny knew his DEs and his RBs. And exceptional DEs and RBs can make you a good team — even with the oh so mediocre QB play that Wanny had…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. What a shame Donald was surrounded by such crap at defensive end due to all the coaching changes. Wanny would have had a much better group of guys rushing the QB, making Donald even better in 2013.

      Like

    2. Sorry Reed is right. Wanny’s (ON FIELD…I added this REED LOL) Results do all the talking: (good recruits stay and play a lot of snaps. They don’t have to be college HOF’s). However, Wanny did send a lot to the pro’s.

      2005:

      Collins went Pro

      Rashard Jennings was in that class too (although he transferred out because of family matters) and he went Pro

      J Town Jet was in that class (Originally offered by Walt) He went Pro

      2006:

      Collier and Smith under-preformed but the other four all went pro!

      2007:

      Tucker never did much. Wright was a regular returning kicks and punts. Duhart was a solid contributor.

      Bostick contributed

      Jacobson was a four year starter

      McCoy went pro

      You forgot about Hyno…..oh yeah he went pro

      2008:

      Burns didn’t last all four years (under performer)

      Hale started his senior year (under performer)

      The rest of the group were 3 or 4 year contributors/starters

      2009:
      Mason played as a true freshman and was special but the leg injury happened. Then he came back (played at a high level as a starter) when he wasn’t supposed to walk and was still special but was a knuckle head and got kicked off the team by Chryst.

      Graham was special (best back in college football until the injury against uconn)

      Lippert played his fair share

      How about the less than four and five stars that planned out for Wanny:

      Deon Lewis???remember him
      Donald???remember him
      J Sheard???remember him
      G Romeus???remember him
      T. Cambell???remember him
      All 5 went pro and 3 of four are still playing
      and on and on.

      The reason why Duzz doesn’t get these type of recruits and the blue chips want to play where they can be put in a position to go PRO.

      Wanny had the NFL pedigree. Duzz does not.

      NFL pedigree was a selling point Pitt had with Wanny that they don’t have with Duzz.

      The firing of Wanny still makes me sick.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Of course, we are Pitt, where strange things happen. I see Dantonio resigning at year’s end and MSU taking Nard Dog. Then much to Reed’s chagrin, Narduzzi becomes the next Nick Saban. We then hire some hot coordinator from the MAC, who resigns in disgrace three months into his tenure, due to a fake resume or a sexual harassment allegation.

    Like

  34. Emel – nice job on the photos, but surely you are not comparing Pitt’s ability to recruit with UCLA and Miami, who are both located in states which are true hot-beds for elite football talent.

    Just as Pitt gets an exceptional local kid like Marino, Dorsett, and Fralic in the old days, and Donald and Boyd in the new days; a lot of high-ranked recruits are going to stay home and play for UCLA and Miami…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. What I was suggesting that, not having a full to capacity stadium shouldn’t affect recruiting to the degree some people like to suggest it does. Pitt has a lot more to offer kids than most of these state universities, in other areas. And the fact we’re in the city should be a plus, since we’re recruiting mostly city-urban type kids.

      Not having sell out crowds in the late ’70’s did no affect Jackie Sherrill’s recruiting, did it ?

      Like

  35. I have to admit I do not know a whole lot about football recruiting. But I am not sure stars are have anything to do with Pitt. What I mean by that is, we are a 3-star school, period…along with probably 40 other schools just like us. So isn’t it about evaluating talent to best assess which 3-star kids will a) blossom, and b) excel in your system?

    I actually thought Chyst was pretty good at both a) and b) above. People (including me) complained that the ranking of his classes were so-so. But a good number of those kids ended up as pretty good players. Haven’t basically all post 1980s Pitt recruiting classes been ranked between 40 and 70? I am sure people will point out classes we have had that are better (I don’t know the numbers) but the point is, you can have a 50th-ranked class and end up ranked as a team 15th or so 3 years later. But only if you are great at evaluating talent and great at picking the right kids for your program.

    Yes? Or disagree?

    If yes, my conclusion is…you cant blame Nards for netting tons of 3 stars….that is as other posters have said, what Pitt is…a 3 star program…the real problem is so few of them rising above their H.S. rating…its talent evaluation. Which will always be hit or miss, sure…but the goal is, hit more than Pitt has in the past and things would take a turn for the better.

    Like

  36. It seems lyke every third or fourth year we have the youngest team in D1… I love it like I love my rotator cuff repair and my ACL deficient left knee when I have a crappy round of gold… a genuine bona fida built in excuse… when Pickett gets in there we trend upwards…..Russ Grimm, Hugh Green, Ralph Cindrich, Bob Kuziel, Glenn Hyde, Arnie Weatherington, Denny Ferris… the list goes on n on- how many stars were they???

    Like

  37. Emel, PittPT and Ike… love the look of that Princess.. if I can find that costume in a XXL I am getting it.. I will be a fan favorite in Club section 211 on 11/9:2017… as far as my wife goes .. when we were at the frat house at the Georgia Yech game I told her she would look great in one of those short revealing sundresses the co-eds were wearing.. she promptly informed me that she wasn’t 18.. we were old!! I don’t get it, dammit !

    Like

  38. I’m shocked to see that Pitt’s Narduzzi ranks 61st in salary, and ND’s Kelly ranks 64th at $1,645,867. Notre Dame with all those funds? What’s up with that?
    Anyways, what I am about to say, will probably not be anything that you yourselves have not realized before, so forgive me for the redundancy of thought. I fear that Pitt’s climb to the elite-osphere of the college rankings will have to trod a hard won path–meaning it will have to be built on the foundation of success won on the playing field. We need to establish a winning TRADITION, sort of like Boise State did a few years ago in Idaho (of all places). The more we win, the greater the exposure, the less our recruits are lured by the likes of PSU, OSU, ND, WVa, etc. If we can begin to create the excitement that is born of winning, the more Narduzzi (who I imagine is a coach that players like) can be a magnet for prospective 4-5 star players, in and out of state. But to achieve this, we as fans need to be patient–and how can we not have that capacity after 30+ years of mediocrity?–and give young recruits an image of stability, sort of like the Steelers. I really don’t think there is a more viable course, without a huge infusion of capital invested in the program. If all this comes to pass, and if it results in an ever greater infusion of capital and support, only then can the often bandied about question of an OCS be legitimately considered. We can’t talk about an OCS with a program that cannot generate revenue.
    This year still may be salvageable. But next year is determinant. I believe it will BEGIN to tell us a lot about Narduzzi and his coaching staff and the general direction of our program.

    Like

    1. On the salary of Pitt & Notre Dame head coaches: USA Today used the calendar year 2015 tax returns filed for PITT, Temple & up to 20 other Private colleges. All other FBS schools are public schools and a Freedom of Information request was filed with each school. I believe, USA Today requested information for the Period from June 2016 through May 2017.

      Somewhere in the article is a link to “Methodology” used by the writer.

      Like

    2. there has to be something for ND .. they make as much from their FB program than anyone. Always soldout and NBC contract.

      It could be that Kelly doesn’t pay any housing costs and/or he gets fees directly from TV ad radio stations for his weekly shows, etc.

      Like

  39. Pitts revenues are dependent on ACC money, attendance and merchandise sales. The ACC money is the same whether Pitt wins or loses form what I understand so there’s no incentive to get to top dollar bowl games if monies are evenly divided among teams.

    Having an OCs wont increase attendance. Pitt will continue to draw average crowds of 40-45k unless we play WVU, Penn State and Notre Dame each year…then half the stadium is filled with their fans. Merchandise is branding and Pitt cant seem to agree on colors but at least script is back.

    The elite schools generate the revenue since they have their own TV networks, are part of more lucrative conferences, they are national and not regional brands, and they have 80k stadiums that do sell out since they are the only game in town or the entire state, and have student enrollments over 50k.

    If we’re waiting for revenues to justify an OCS, that day will never happen. What will justify an OCS is a ROI both tangible in dollars and with intangible aspects. An OCS would need to generate revenue streams to justify the investment or payback before the debt retires. That probably is possible if such a venue is used by more than 1 program, 1 school, and 1 purpose.

    I hate the term OCS. I prefer multi purpose rec and entertainment center. (MPREC). But yes – it needs to be on-campus.

    Like

    1. Let’s get real… Pitt’s average crowds are 25,000 – 38,000. I’ve been there 5 of the last 7 games.
      Supposedly we had 48,000paid for homecoming. I saw 38,000in the stands.

      Like

  40. BigB, proof reading is for sissies and young people.

    Reed does such a great and underrated job on the round-table. Mike, Matt and just a little bit of Wlat makes for a good time.

    Sorry I’ll miss you guys this week at Fran’s and friends great tailgate yet my plan is to be at the UNC game tailgate come hell or high water.. ike

    H2P!

    Like

  41. Reed, two honest questions for you here.

    1-Do you grow a vegatable garden in the Spring?

    And if so, the related question,,,,,

    2-Do you lament the lack of your harvest after all of your early work of cultivation, fertilizing, planting, watering and weeding by the beginning of June?

    This analogy speaks for itself. Just like wwb correctly commented first in reply to this thread, this article is waaay premature to be valid food for thought.

    Now Reed if you want to talk about Narduzzi’s recruiting that impacts us as of today, analysis of his transfers, JC recruits and 4 Star gets over his last couple of recruiting classes would be fair to do. Those guys are the ones brought in to fill immediate needs in the roster or are newbies that should be talented enough to be fighting for immediate playing time on a team lacking depth & athletes.

    That being said, this year’s squad lived & died with the fortunes of our most important Grad Transfer, Max Browne. His failures spelled the 3-5 record that Pitt currently touts more so than any other player on the roster.

    However, there are a bunch of other guys who needed to make an immediate impact as a supporting cast that just haven’t contributed up to their preseason press releases. That is a long list:
    Clark TE
    Hendrix DE
    Watts DL
    Hamlin DB
    Hodges OL
    Ford DB
    Carter DL
    Flowers WR

    Only a couple of guys in that category have risen to the occasion, Flanagan & Lopes (pronounced LOOPS😉) IMO.

    Now that’s not saying that Narduzzi’s efforts went bust with these guys, because they still may come around to be solid players but we needed them to shine early to avoid where we’re sitting today at 3-5.

    That’s the reality of the situation right now. Don’t be crying over your garden in June just because your corn stalks haven’t produced yet. Time my friend will be your ally in this regard.

    True, the few highly ranked 4 stars that we’ve snagged have been less than the impressive players hoped for by Coach Duzz at this point but we’ve been unlucky. Hill never was going to play with his diagnosed heart condition, Hamlin arrived as damaged goods, Ford was MIA during the essential summer into fall camp period while he took care of his admission issues & AJ Davis has been kinda lost in the shuffle of a deep roster position @ RB while Coach Duzz sorts out who his productive RBs are. So the jury is still out on Davis at this point.

    I think we will see a real maturation occur over the next year with all of these guys. Their time is coming.

    Lastly, you can’t grow that garden in clay & expect a bountiful harvest. Narduzzi is plowing new more fertile plots right now. In HCPC’s last two recruiting classes he brought in one recruit from Florida. In HCPN’s last two classes, he has brought in nine recruitS from the Deep South. 7 from Florida & 2 from Alabama. He is probing the ACC footprint for recruits in those areas much more effectively than Chryst ever did. That endeavor also takes TIME to develop.

    I agree with you Reed that Duzz should get a minimum of four years to prove that he has the program going in a healthy direction. So this “recruiting subject” should have been tabled until next year when all of these newbies that are getting their first playing opportunities this season mature and bear fruit in 2018.

    Like

    1. Motley was to start the season in place of Jackson. So far, Dane Jackson has been pretty good this year.

      I’m willing to see what Phillipie Motley can do in place of the injured Captain Maddox.

      HTP!

      Like

  42. Recruiting is obviously paramount to success on the field.

    The better players usually win more games.

    It really is that simple.

    Look at the difference between Whitehead, a bonafide elite player and everyone else on the team.

    Imagine if you had a whole team of Whiteheads.

    You are looking at Alabama.

    PSU has 16 Whiteheads on their team.

    Narduzzi has several built in disadvantages in recruiting. The first is geography. Pitt’s home base is smaller than most schools and WPA is still shrinking in terms of yearly Elite players available. State schools have the advantage in that they represent the whole state.

    Second is our fan base and attendance which is smaller than most successful programs. Third is academics and off the field issues. For a number of reasons Pitt has set a higher bar than some programs.

    Fourth is financial and administrative support. Pitt has never been all in with sports. Pitt’s alums aren’t as large a group and don’t have the deep pockets of many others.

    Fifth, Pitt’s National Rep as a contender is not good, recent history is average. Even local image is not great with lots of competition. Revolving coaching door has hurt relationships with local high schools.

    Obviously there is a lot of work to do. Heather needs to work on the BOT, the Alumni, the media, and marketing to improve Pitt’s image and support.

    Narduzzi has to keep fighting the good fight for the best players that want to come to Pitt, he needs to coach them up and keep winning more games.

    Most of all Pitt needs stability, a coaching change is the last thing we need.

    Like

  43. Agree with Dr Tom, we were counting on the transfers to come in and be great plus a lot of young guys.

    It didn’t happen, largely because we started against really good senior laden teams. Our young guys are improving, hopefully the need for transfers will lessen now that Narduzzi recruits are maturing. Next year should be better as long as we get decent quarterbacking.

    I personally think a coach needs five years not four, especially at Pitt. Look at Franklin at PSU, Kelly at ND, or the coach at NCST. All were under pressure, now looking fine. All have significant recruiting advantages over Pitt. You need to give Narduzzi time to get better players. You need seniors to be good. It takes time.

    Look at Chryst, many thought he was bad, but look at him now with a better supporting cast. The problem was not Chryst nor is it Narduzzi, it is PITT. Its history, its administration, its fan base, with its ridiculous expectations and poor support. These are things that only commitment and time can overcome.

    Things were looking up until this year, and now many are ready to jump ship, PSU had the worst scandal in history, but their fans remained commited That is what winning programs are made of and what separates us from them. The fact that we upset Clemson and had 30,000 fans show up for each of our last two games is the problem. It is not Narduzzi.

    Like

  44. I’m seeing too many posts on here making sense. What’s up?

    I agree we need to keep the Duzz – stability will pay dividends.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  45. I said this long ago, that it takes 10 years of stability for an average program to become really above average, including no major coaching change, slowly improving recruiting classes and a growing fan base that fills the stadium. Pitt hasn’t had that kind of stability. Pitt’s coaches need to cultivate long term relationships with high school coaches in their major recruiting areas so that occasionally they get that star 5 or 4 star athlete that was supposed to go elsewhere. As I said before, think what improvement there would be if Pitt just landed 3 or 4 additional 4 stars in their recruiting classes each year. This comes with building lasting relationships and slowly improving the overall winning reputation that other top programs have.

    Like

    1. VT is presently 6-1 in year 2 under Justin Fuente. They have 2 interesting road games left with Miami and GT. They can control their own destiny and possibly capture another division championship.

      VT finished 10-4 in year 1 under Fuente including a 7 point loss to Clemson in the ACC championship.

      VT had been 7-6 in 3 of the last 4 years under Beamer. 8-5 the other year. Seems fairly average to me. I didn’t look at SoS or check how many year-end ranked teams they played each year.

      VT’s 2018 class is currently ranked #23 according to 24×7. Their 2017 class was ranked #26. Their 2016 class was ranked #46. Their 2015 class was ranked #29. Their 2014 class was ranked #28.

      VT currently has 6 FR or SO starters including the QB and 2 DL. VT currently has 14 FR or SO second stringers (7 and 7).

      VT is what Pitt, and its fans, should aspire to be in football.

      Like

  46. If you really want to get your blood flowing read the article in today’s PG about Pitt BB and Stallings. Looking forward to opinions about that one. (Sorry, know it’s a football thread)

    Like

  47. This past week, Michigan took its Top 5 defense into Ped State and gave up more points and yardage than Pitt did.

    A couple of weeks ago, Alabama played Vanderbilt, and Vandy had the higher rated defense of the two. Bama scored 59.

    Just two more examples where ratings and rankings can be distorted,and Strength of Schedule matters. If not taking into context … then one can make the argument that undefeated USF and UCF are every bit as good as Alabama.

    Like

    1. That Bama/Vandy game was played a month ago, not a couple of weeks. Vandy had played Middle Tennessee, Alabama A&M and 3-4 K-State (at home). Alabama had played 2-4 FSU (who lost their QB and has proven not to be very good otherwise), Fresno State and Colorado State. Neither team’s stats or SoS would have mattered 3 games into the season if it even matters now. Alabama was giving up 20 points in that game. It seems nobody was taking Vandy seriously going in.

      Vandy has lost by at least 2 TDs in every game since that game. They sucked a month ago and suck now. Does that help?

      Not sure what UCF and USF have to do with anything. Is it because they’re ranked (a ridiculous talking point in October)? Alabama is #1 in total defense and #12 in total offense. UCF is #6 is total offense. However UCF has actually beaten Maryland by 28 at College Park. You may recall that Texas lost to Maryland by 10 at Austin and that Ok State beat Texas by 3 in OT in Austin. I assume Ok State is still really, really good and would crush UCF.

      We still don’t know if Penn State is a good team. You have repeatedly pointed to their schedule as deficient yet continue to point to them as a really good team. Is that because they played Pitt? It is becoming clear that Michigan is not a very good team in 2017.

      Like

      1. Come On Man. penn state is a good team. We still don’tknow if they’re a great team yet though, deserving of their #2 ranking. Saturday will clear that up some, one way or the other.

        Like

        1. Agreed.

          Beating OSU in Columbus is a huge determinant.

          I’ve actually been saying this for some time. PSU, Ok State and NC State are hitting the part of their respective schedules that should truly determine whether they are “good” or “great”. PSU jumped one hurdle in soundly beating Michigan at home.

          Like

  48. I read the BB article about the transfer saga with Johnson. I also saw the Ohio HS coach who tweeted out how impressed he was with the Pitt BB staff and how they handle recruiting. I think KS has taken way too much heat and vitriol – most of which was undeserved. I know I’m going to get blasted for saying that but let’s be honest – if PN deserves at least 5 years, then KS does too. I know last year’s team and season was a disappointment, but that’s in the past and those guys are gone. Let’s see what happens in the next couple years. We all know this year is going to be rough.

    Like

  49. What is the big deal about the PG article on the transfer?

    Johnson put the University in a crappy spot being a spoiled entitled brat. Wasn’t Stalling’s fault. He explained the rule to Johnson and his dad.

    If anything, it is the ADs fault.

    Like

  50. Narduzzi’s first year was an abbreviated recruiting season for him, can we forgive him if he was late to the party?

    We can talk won loss records or a small yellowish looking half empty stadium and they are excuses in lot of ways, all we want but what is the real reason that PITT is a middling football team?

    To use a nautical analogy there has been too many admirals and commanders steering the ship where it became top heavy. << (the BOT and steve) Not enough sailors << (Alumni) to buoy the ship when it listed to far right. She almost sank and I’m not sure that wasn’t steve’s intentions?

    So just when stability has come home and it looks like the ship looks like its going in a more positive direction where we can all see land, what happens. Mutiny on board.

    We wonder why the big fish left this small pond? It’s exactly because of the response to this one season of transition hasn’t gone as smoothly a we all like. This is why the big-time recruits fled the ship.

    Until PITT can create an atmosphere of stability and continuity it’s going to be tough recruiting the locals. Narduzzi being a pretty smart cat figured that out and when deep sea diving in Florida and reeled in some big whoppers who are only true freshman right now. How can these young players be judged already? They can’t.

    That said, PITT has landed some really good players from the area this year. Alabama, Ohio State, psu and every school not named Notre Dame couldn’t have landed Jurkovic, his heart was dead set to go there. His dream school.

    I still feel the same way today as when Narduzzi was hired and that is positive that PITT has got the right man for the job. You can think of me as your life-raft.. . . . .ike

    H2P!

    Like

  51. Ike – I hope your raft still has air in it after Raines picks WVU on Monday. I’m with you on the positive side. I feel PN will be fine. But you know the crap that’s going to fly whenever Monday night comes and Raines picks another school.

    Like

  52. JJ, that would sting for sure and it does look that way. The one positive thought I have on Raines is that he’s a very smart young man from a good family. I hear he’s looking for a good education. So if he’s as smart as they say, where would you go?

    Like

  53. Doc – half of what I write is in relation to what was written before and readers comments and thoughts earlier about that. In the case of recruiting now I refer back to this last offseason when you – and almost every other reader here and pitt fan everywhere – were absolutely crowing about the fact that the team will be populated with Narduzzi’s recruits and just because of that, how great a recruiter he is, the level of play would rise accordingly.

    I disagreed vehemently back then and think that I was correct – if you have to rely on FR, rsFR and SO they better be top shelf kids if you want to win games right away.

    But funny this – after we started losing games this season the self-same readers who were stating how great Narduzzi’s players were going to be this year started backpedalling like crazy and switched to the “too young; wait ’till next year” mantra.

    As they say – can’t have it both ways. Crazy optimism in the summer months leads to a slap in the face by reality in the fall in this case.

    And another funny thing – I haven’t read but maybe one or two commenters who have come out and said “I was wrong about this season and how these kids would play“.

    I am consistent in my thoughts – I don’t bend with which way the football winds blow – I said we’d have real problems along the lines of transfers and first year players this year – wrote detailed arguments about that and it is exactly what has come to pass.

    Like

    1. Reed, I just as wrong about Browne, and I’ve been disappointed with our hyped players like Clark & Hendrix among others. But just because our best hopes have been dashed by some lackluster play initially doesn’t mean the jury has returned their verdict on their recruitment values.

      BTW, 7-6 was my realistic prediction, maybe getting to 9-4 if Browne lit it up for us which of course didn’t happen.

      Where I said we’d rally was in the defensive secondary, as the season unfolded. And I stand by that assessment. I like what I’m seeing from Coleman, Garner, Jackson and to a lesser extent, Hamlin. Next year that unit with the addition of Paris Ford really blossoms.

      BTW, this year isn’t over with yet. Still waiting for the win we shouldn’t get, for this season.

      Like

  54. I like gc’s list…pretty much sums it up. Though with geography, I think the issue is not Western PA per se which generates plenty of talent, but that the kids have so many somewhat local choices of major programs. I mean, you grow up great in Wisconsin, who ya gonna play for? The whole state becomes Badgers. We only get half a state, and the NDs, PSUs and Ohio States of the world take 3/4 of the 4 stars away. There is too much competition for a somewhat small pool of kids relative to other schools which either get the lion’s share of their mid-size base, or have a huge base they can share with and still be great (Florida for example).

    Like

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