Let’s get back to some Pitt football talk.  All the issues surrounding the MSU scandal aren’t going away and we can talk that to death if left unchecked.  Pitt BB should be shot and put out of its misery.

First though I want to mention this – I deleted some posts today due to political content. I’ll do that a few times then let the poster(s) know I’ll ban them if it keeps happening… along with any racist posts that are encoded. This blog has an extremely low tolerance for that bullcrap.

So – 2018…  We have questions galore in this offseason and especially because we just came off an extremely disappointing 2017 season where we went 5-7 without a bowl bid. Let’s look at the talent on hand and see if it makes us feel any better about the possibilities of turning that record around to seven wins at least.

Here is the final two-deep found in the  Game Notes published prior to the Miami game.

Miami1

Here is my verrrry early prediction of the 2018 two-deep. Note: I edited it because I was rushed and forgot about Aston, Wirginis and Ford.20184.pngThe bare-bones table above is what I figure, at this very early date, what may be the two-deep coming out of fall camp.  Let’s not bet on this holding especially the lineman on both sides of the ball. It is always hard for any fans not actually at the practices to tell which OL are doing what.

And, truth be told, even when I attend the practices and watch the OL and DL go at it out there it just looks like a bunch of water buffaloes beating the crap out of each other.

But I think the skill positions on offense might be pretty accurate as could be the LBs and DBs on defense.

Does what you see there fill you with anticipation? If so what sort – joyful toward a winnings season or more like looking at the same problems we had last year and thinking it will be tough to get back to winning regular season.

I have to say at this point I’m not jumping up and down about this. We’ll know a lot more going into the last two weeks of August when the staff sets their two-deep and the others fall by the practices’ wayside.

Let’s talk about the offense first and then in a later article I’ll post the same graphics and we’ll discuss the prospective defensive players.

For one thing a quick glance tells me we are replacing eight offensive starters right off the bat with only WR Araujo-Lopes, Center Morrissey and OL Bookser as returning full-time starters. That is worrisome in itself but I just haven’t been satisfied with Pat Narduzzi’s recruiting enough to feel comfortable with the replacements of departed starters (off a rather poor offense).

TE Chris Clark is still a question mark to me but may play better now that the stronger blocking Flanagan is gone. As I’ll talk about later I think the TEs may play a much bigger role in the offense this season.

WRs are where we may see a true FR step up. I know fans are excited about the Florida kid Shocky Jacques-Louis (pronounced “Shocky Jack Louie”) but aside from a cool name and his being the 25th ranked WR in the ’18 class I know nothing about him. Supposed to be very fast though – maybe we’ll finally have a QB who can really stretch the field.

I’d like to see a change at running back though.  Hall became the go-to back toward the second half of the season but I still think that if you give Ollison the starting job and feed him the ball continuously he’d produce more than Hall. Those two great runs Hall had for long TDs (79 and 92 yards) against Duke were nice and helped us win the game but the problem with Hall is that he really doesn’t move the ball forward on a continual and consistent basis like Ollison tends to do.

If you take away those two runs mentioned Hall’s ypc average drops from 4.9 (respectable) to 3.9 (poor) and that is with 126 carries.  Ollison on the other hand had limited duty with 90 carries and still carved out a 4.4 ypc with five TDs.

But the career numbers tell the bigger story to me: Hall has 1,045 yards for a 4.5 ypc with 11 TDs and Ollison has 1,645 yards for a 4.9 with 18 TDs. That is a big difference right there.  I can’t help but think given the right attention Ollison could replicate his very good 20165 year when he rushed for 1,121 yards on a 5.3 ypc with 11 TDs.

It will be interesting to see what SO A. J. Davis can do in the backfield again. So far he was totally ineffective rushing for only 40 yards on 16 carries (2.5 ypc) and one TD. He didn’t have any games where he had more than a 4.0 ypc average.  Maybe rsFR Todd Sibley can surprise but I’m not holding my breath on him either.

We haven’t recruited any RBs in the 2018 class so far and only Sibley and Davis last year and I can’t help but feel that if Narduzzi and Watson feel like the stable of backs we have now suffices, and really as average-at-best that they are, that is a big mistake.

The reality is our run game was pretty bad last year and that was with an experienced OL.  We were 84th in the nation with a paltry 148.5 ypg.  We did score some TDs on the ground but that was mostly because Watson didn’t trust any of our QBs to throw passes in the Red Zone.

I have a real worry that our OL is actually going to be worse than last year – and maybe a lot worse. If so that cripples our already poor running game and puts undue pressure on the new QB to execute.

At QB Pickett is going to be a good one, but I worry that fans are expecting stardom from him in ’18 and that might not be the case.  I do expect good play from him but the nagging fact that he threw 66 passes last season with only one TD – a shovel pass at that keeps popping up when I think about his play last season.  Then again he only threw one INT so that’s on the plus side.

One aspect of his game, and he looks like a gunslinger so far, is that he’s going to have to develop a quicker release instead of using his legs to buy time.  I wish Watson used the TEs more because I think that, especially in the first half of the year, Pickett is going to need shorter passing patterns to move the ball.  I just don’t think he’s going to get the pocket time needed to go through full progressions like Peterman did in 2016.

I firmly believe that if Pickett goes down for any length of time and Town has to fleet up to be the starter we will be screwed and tank on offense. I truly believe this mainly because 10 I’m not at all impressed with town’s history and 20 I don’t think we have a supporting cast to cover inadequacies at QB.

Here is a good Cardiac Hill article breaking down the two-deep for Pitt going into the Oklahoma State game last season…

Next article we’ll look at the 2018 verrrrry early Defensive two-deep.

 

229 thoughts on “Real Early 2018 Starting lineup

  1. Lot of questions on the O side of the ball. Hope the new OL coach is a good one who knows which horses to start by game to or three not 6 or 7 games into the season like we witnessed in 17. TE position is a concern both blocking and receiving. Clarke was soft in his debut season- Edwards remains to be seen.
    RBs are an area of concern. I like Ollie over Hall especially if he gets s managed properly and gets a lot of carries. Hall has break away speed but is a straight ahead runner with little lateral movement . Hopefully, George is back and leading Pickett’s charge!

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  2. So that’s not the two deep on defense?

    Hmmm? No Wirginis? You have been saying he’s not coming back, I’m thinking he will. No Reeves either?

    and this just in, I like Hall… Thinking on my two deep ……….

    No golf outing this year? You guys had such great fun last year, would be a shame not to…

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  3. I always look forward to your detailed analysis and position breakdown comparison from the previous season to the upcoming one Reed. I think what gets overlooked is how Pitt’s schedule and opponents compare from one year to the next.

    Off the top of my head involving three divisional losses opponents this year, I would think Miami will be improved and this year it’s a road game and they won’t take Pitt lightly again. Virginia Tech should also be improved but they’ll be visiting Heinz Field. UNC can’t be as bad as they were last year and Pitt finds ways to lose to the Tar Heels and this year it’s in Chapel Hill.

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    1. Not only will I not mention SOS, I will even commend Reed for his projected 2-deep above. It’s as good as anyone can do at this point in time IMO.

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  4. Agree that Wirginis and Ford should be there.

    Also think Tipton has a great chance if he stays healthy. Should have put on some muscle by now, he has the other skills.

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  5. Is Dave Andrews still the strength and conditioning coach?

    The way we got pushed around on both sides of the ball last year makes you wonder.

    This is the time of year to get bigger stronger and more agile.

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  6. Not sure if we are doing defense just now. but Ford would be on my two deep for sure.

    Reed put a good two deep out there on offense and makes it easy for me. I would just throw in Georgie and Reeves while agreeing that Herndon stays on the O-Line with a young and upcoming D-Line. I’ll just add that this O-Line will be very good if not this year but next year and beyond.

    Also agree we should be a little cautious about Pickett this coming year. He’s still a young man with little experience who may have struggle adjusting to college life last year. Hope we all show patience with him as he grows into the next great PITT QB. Thinking he’s going to be a really good one.

    Running back will start a new era of a PITT strength for this unit. I see youth but not to the degree of the BB team and I see see future depth beaucoup. The pieces are coming together slowly but just remember, 2 steps forward, even if there may be one step backwards at times gets you ahead of the game…. ike

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  7. Great call on Tipton gc. I can attest to Reed firing out this article el pronto which btw was great timing and well done. With LOI day coming up PITT football should be moved back up onto the front burner..

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  8. I can see anywhere between another 5 win season or topping out at 8.

    Not much experience and depth. Many of these guys are talented but I dont see us competing for Division titles for at least another year or two.

    Hopefully Pitt can close on some recruits still out there.

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  9. Do we have a two deep on our OL Coach candidates yet?

    We don’t even know who is going to be around in the spring yet. My sense is that we are going to lose a couple more guys. Who knows!

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  10. well, the seven guys who were rumored to have gotten in trouble after the Miami game are gone… i don’t see any rising 5th year SRs we don’t need except for except Brian Popp and Kellen McAlone. So maybe two spots open up.

    Maybe rsSR Jalen williams if the staff feels good about the other LBs on roster.

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  11. It, and it’s a big if, Aston is fully healthy I think he can make a big time difference. Biggest concern is right tackle. If they have to play Pilato we’re-screwed. He’s a stiff. Really need a steady hand as line coach. He could make them average, if wrong hire that line will be a disaster.

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  12. Good point on Aston, he can make the O-Line better by just being healthy and playing.

    Don’t know a thing about Pilato but he’s from Greensburg so I’m rooting for him but surely want the best man to play. Morgan may beat him out. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dintino gets a lot of playing time.

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    1. Pilato was a decent basketball player at Hempfield and I have heard that he is fairly nimble . I heard that they needed to get him meaner.

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  13. Reed. For someone who values star rankings, i would think you would see potential in our running backs? Hall, sibley, and davis were all four stars. Running back has been a position we have had success recruiting if u you judge by star rankings.

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  14. If Wirginis makes it back to the starting lineup, meaning he comes back this next year, he will be a possibility for all ACC. imo. If not, watch out for Reynolds. Pine is going to be a good one as well…

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      1. Well his position has changed. When Wirginis was suspended and Aston was injured before last season he didn’t think it would be a problem.

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  15. The problem at RB is that none of our guys have demonstrated any real elusiveness.

    We have some guys with Stars, but I think what happens a lot is that good high school RBs just run past people while in HS. They are such better athletes that they don’t need to be “elusive”in HS. College is another story.

    We need to find – like Wanny did – guys like Dion and Ray, who were rarely tackled by one guy. If you look at the highlight vids, you can see right away whether the kid is a star because of speed or elusiveness or both… We’ve had speed guys with Conner, more of a mailer /bruiser, being the exception.

    The success Wanny had at Pitt was largely due to him signing Shady and finding Dion and Ray… We need to find some RBs who plant the foot — it seems to be an instinct versus a skill that can be taught…

    Go Pitt.

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  16. Right, PITT should have found a way to bring back Jeff Hafley. He liked PITT and could recruit the east coach like a mad man. Met his folks and they like PITT as well.

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  17. Saw Reeves play x 2. He is the real deal at TE. I picture him as an Eric Green type from the Steelers, without the drug problems. I wouldn’t move him to OL and if I was him, I wouldn’t go. His future is as a TE unless he has knee problems.

    At RB, I would rather have quickness and great vision/anticipation versus straight ahead speed like Hall has. Hall did change directions a couple of times in the last few games last year. That is what Shady, Dion, Ray and TD had in common….except TD also had speed.

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  18. Could be gc but Wirginis is hands down the best athlete PITT has had at middle LB in a long while. Yes, better than Brightwell because he’s much bigger and just as fast. << His attitude or brain maybe a different matter? Not saying I know any of that to be fact though. I like the kid’s abilities, hope he doesn’t blow his chance which he’s probably out of. I think he can play in the Pro’s. but what do I know? ike

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    1. He’s also injury prone. If he starts at MLB, Brightwell has to start at one of the other LB spots. He’s been miscast in the middle and is too good of an athlete/player to not be starting IMO.

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    2. I hope you are right, but we’ll have to wait and see. I saw him make some plays and not make enough to get on the field more. He should help the D. How much remains to be seen. If he is an above average middle linebacker, it will make the D much better. Like I said,I hope you are right.

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    3. ike – as you elude to, I sure hope Wirginis, and all the Panthers, can survive the dog days of June and July without any dismissals or suspensions.

      The players should realize that under the present climate in college sports, not much in the way of shenanigans is going to be tolerated…

      I agree that Wirginis could be very good at MLB -thought Brightwell lacked enough size for the middle but will help on the outside…

      Go Pitt.

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  19. Huff, you maybe able to each a kid to see holes and cut but it’s more about natural vision. Then again, there is no way to teach natural speed and quickness. Hall will be serviceable at worst really good at best.

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  20. A funny moment from an old Wanny LOI event. Coach Hafley had recruited a DE named TJ Clemmings out of NJ. Coach Gattuso was going to be T J’s position coach.

    After the short presentation about the highly-ranked TJ, Coach Gattuso made it a point to walk across the stage and give Coach Hafley a big hug… Got a good laugh…

    Go Pitt.

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  21. Clemmings was thought to be a first round pick, but dropped due to speculation regarding a serious injury.

    Looking quickly at Reed’s projected two-deep, we have a lot more experience than we had starting the year last season. Plus a better QB. If we can somehow cobble together an offensive line, we could be dangerous.

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  22. Pitt has had a wealth of running backs. Finesse and speed in Dorsett and McCoy, power guys in Heywood and McMillan. Martin, Lewis, Graham and so many others. Once they had 5 at one time, two left and starred at WVU.

    Hopefully one of the four incumbents will be added to the list of stars.

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  23. AB Brown left for wvu and later played for the Jets. Gladman, Heyward and Washington and I think you’re right, one other. PITT will be just fine in the coming years. The PITT football ship has been steadied like Reed has steadied the POV. Just watch… . . .. . …. ike

    H2P!

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    1. It was Brian Davis from Washington Pa and Eugene Napoleon who also transfered to WVU and played well. Davis could have been a superstar but never got his head on straight. Gladman and Heyward were great at Pitt.

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  24. Elusiveness is an instinct learned through one skill: that it’s possible. Once you realize you can do anything possible to avoid and evade people, whether in two hand tag or football, you can naturally do it instinctively.

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    1. It’s surprising to me how many of these RBs just seem to have no concept of how effective the quick change of direction is. Look at how often Tyler Boyd used to “juke-out” people with just the simple plant the foot and change direction. But I have yet to see Hall or Ollison or the departed Moss, or the freshman who played last season do that.

      It’s puzzling to me – I remember doing this as a young kid when playing tag football in the playgound – it just seemed like an instinctive thing to do to evade getting tagged. As I posted above, I think it’s because the running backs with speed don’t “have to” be elusive to be successful in high school…

      Go Pitt.

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  25. I would have like to see Pitt give Pugh a shot at RB. I always thought he reminded me a bit of Conner in HS…. raw, powerful and full of potential. I thought Tipton immediately as well. Funny every time someone comments about Tre them mention that he’s had time to put on some muscle. The kid it talented but a fragile twig. I have high hopes for whatever part of the season he can stay healthy. I also expect that we’ll see some of Paris Ford on offense in an attempt to compensate for a shortage of weapons. Agree with Reed that Ollison has more potential as an every down back and wouldn’t have stayed if he didn’t fully believe he could win that job. The guy I’m pulling for, my dark horse is Michael Smith the kid from Vero Beach. He didn’t get much experience in HS so this is a LOOONG shot but he’s got plenty of talent.

    Finally, I never got a chance to give Reed props on his Kenny Pickett call. So many on here including myself were high on MacVittie. Reed trusted his eyes.

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    1. MacVittie was a disappointment to many here no doubt. While we were quite aware of his lack of experience, he did play QB very well in his senior senior at a high level of competition. (speaking of SOS). And there were a handful of write-ups praising his progress as that year went on.

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    2. Pugh played running back one week on the scout team when he was redshirting and couldn’t hold onto the football on the college level. It was written about in the paper and even Narduzzi made a joke about Pugh’s inability to hang onto the ball.

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  26. MajorMajors is right on the money about the lack of elusiveness with our current crop of backs. I believe Sibley is of the same mold as Ollison and Hall. AJ I’m not sure yet if he can develop some of those elusive traits so desired at this level. He really had too few chances to qualify his ability on that front IMO. Sometimes freshman are too fearful of not running into the gap/hole that the play calls for and as such don’t break off their run as they should have. Dorsett didn’t have that problem on his first game for Pitt at Georgia.

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    1. You’re absolutely right about our RB’s. Ollison and Hall are pretty much straight ahead, hit the hole guys. They have decent straight line speed but absolutely no elusiveness. Not sure about AJ Davis, since his carries were so limited and there were zero holes when he did get the ball. Sibley is a question mark too, but based on his HS tape, he’s cut from the same type of mold as Hall. RB is one position that it’s relatively easy to see if a guy has “it”. You watch the tape on so many of these HS RB’s and it’s all the same….the line opens up a gaping hole, the RB blasts through it untouched and simply outruns the defense. That doesn’t happen much at the college level. If a guy isn’t elusive at the high school level he sure as heck isn’t going to be elusive at the college level. Right now, we’ve got a bunch of OK, solid guys, but no one who really scares a defense. No Shady, Dion, or even Ray Graham for that matter in the current crop based on what we’ve seen.

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  27. Wbb, you can trust those media write-ups as far as you can throw them.

    I have yet to see a mainstream media reporter go to any of these practices and come back and say anything realistic about any of the players. Every single report is optimistic. Every single report is glowing about the kids potential.

    But it was pretty obvious to me, and I have to say to others, watching MacVittie during practices and scrimmages that he just was not going to be a D1 quarterback at all…but those guys who spoke that way about him on the sidelines with mel went back and wrote puff pieces about him.

    These reporters are scared of Narduzzi and won’t write a single negative truth…mainly because they want to schmooze with him.

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    1. In fairness to the newspaper media … I’m not sure it’s their job to comment on everything they see in practice, and especially talking negatively about anything … unless it’s a behavioral thing. IMO it’s more appropriate in blogs like these.

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  28. Guys about recruiting. I really don’t think we’re going to see any big time surprises from now until LOI Day on the 7th.

    Almost all the blue chippers are all gone by this point; most of them signed in the early signing period and the other ones left are holding out because they know that the big schools are still going to be pursuing them right up until February 7th. So at this late point of the game with only 8 days left I believe we can pretty much think this is what we’re going to see in our 2018 recruiting class.

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  29. Wirginis has no history that shows he will be an impact player. In fact, his history shows he will be unreliable.

    TE will be stronger this year. Clarke will be better this year. 16 receptions aren’t bad for a guy that was basically starting over. Don’t forget about Sear, he played this past year.

    RB and OL are a major concern. Guys need to step up on the OL.

    Changes are coming to the offense. Making Watson use Canada’s offense was idiotic.

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  30. It is somewhat dumbfounding that we beat PSU a year ago and they recruit many 4 and 5’s and we don’t get any. We also beat Clemson and Miami. Something just doesn’t seem right.

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  31. “Every single report is optimistic. Every single report is glowing about the kids potential.”..

    If that’s the case, we’ve got some budding journalists on here!

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  32. gc..

    What’s “dumfounding” about it? Some times, less “talented” teams pull the upset. But, over the long haul, talent prevails.

    In your examples above, Clemson won 13 games (and ACC & National Championships) in ’16. PeeSU won 11 (and Big 10 Championship).. Pitt won 7. Miami won 10 games (and ACC Coastal Championship) in ’17, Pitt won 5.

    I’ll give you another. Appalachian State beat Michigan in 2007. Yet, Michigan finished with 9 wins. (App. St. was 13-2 and FCS champion) If you were coaching in the Big10, who’s roster would you take? Michigan’s or App. States?

    What’s so hard to understand? Talent wins. Maybe not EVERY time but most. There’s a reason Rudy wasn’t a 2-year starter at Notre Dame.

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    1. The dumbfounding part is that those wins didn’t seem to help our recruiting the way 13-9 did. Narduzzi didn’t seem to leverage those wins to get any 4 or 5 star guys to sign.

      I don’t think I inferred that talent isn’t the most important thing. In fact I inferred that we need more.

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      1. It didn’t help our recruiting like before because we don’t we don’t have recruiters like before. I know there are some big DW detractors on here but, the dude could recruit (even if he couldn’t coach special teams, LOL!)

        Also, can we please stop with terms like “mercenary” when describing DW recruits? It’s simply not true. Were his players any worse than those under Sherrill and Foge? They simply weren’t. They just weren’t. (If only you knew some of the things Pitt’s football players were doing back then)..One snippet in SI and some people lost their minds– and those people weren’t too keen on DW to begin with. Firing DW was the worst decision regarding Pitt football since letting Sherrill walk (with tearing down Pitt Stadium a close second.)

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  33. Very funny Jay, very funny. Remember this though. It takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile. So I say give your muscles a rest know and again and smile more.. 🙂

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  34. Dorsett, Lewis, McCoy, and Graham all had great hips, lateral quickness and the ability to break a tackle.
    Heyward, McMillan and Gladman, had the power to run over people but also the ability to run around them.

    I haven’t seen Hall or Ollison exhibit much in the way of elusiveness or power to break tackles or carry people down the field. Have not seen enough of AJ or Sibley.

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  35. Obviously need to add Conner, Curvin Richards, Billy West and Elliot Walker to the list of Great Pitt Backs.

    We have been very fortunate to have had all these guys. Hard to understand why we didn’t win more games.

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    1. Martin #10 career rushing, but doesn’t make the top ten in single season or single game.
      Really under-performed compared to his Pro career.

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  36. while Pitt can (and has) beaten the likes PSU, Clemson and Miami …. there is a big difference between a great program and an individual game. And the big difference is consistency …. great programs are consistently good throughout almost every season in almost every year.

    On the other hand … programs like Pitt can lose to bottom feeder UNC and then almost beat VT at their place and dominate the then #2 and undefeated Miami.

    We are at present slightly-above average program trying to be a good program. IMO to reach this level requires consistency … and in this decade alone, Pitt would have to get the title of the most inconsistent program in the NCAA — 5 different HCs and 3 different ADs.

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  37. I think the offense will be:

    QB Pickett (STAR POTENTIAL)
    RB Ollison
    FB Aston (STAR POTENTIAL)
    WR Aruajo-Lopes (STAR POTENTIAL)
    WR Tipton (SLEEPER)
    TE Clark
    LT Bookser
    LG Herndon
    C Morrisey
    RG Dintino
    RT Drake

    I think Hargrove, Ford, Warren and Morgan can all develop into decent players on the OL

    have high hopes for Brown, Zubovic and Kradel coming in as well

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  38. Great article Reed. Thank you.

    I’ll add to others and say, barring any freshman impact at WR, I like Tipton. He was good enough to start last year before the injury. Also, Clark, a 5 star, did not show starter potential lady year. That position should be up for grabs, hopefully Reeves claims it.

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  39. First.. WELCOME BACK, ike!

    But geez, we’re hoping that grad transfers from Rutgers and Rice will be our OL saviors?! RUTGERS and RICE???!!!

    Nope, no recruiting issues here.

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  40. Not sure OL at this point. Brown, and the red shirts certainly will push things. I see Drake, Hargrove as potential starters and they brought in Brown for LT as a primary need. Pitt will need a surprise or two this year. Early thinking is Brown, Hargrove, Morrissey, Bookser, Drake left to right.

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  41. The recruiting conundrum we have after all the hype and excitement of hiring Narduzzi, beating great teams and having two 8 win seasons, and then not being able to recruit well has been written about on here more that once.

    Let me remind you of what I wrote mid-season a few months ago. An ex-star player’s parent and long time good friend of mine called me to discuss Pitt football and told me he had just spent a long lunch hour with a important staff member and the discussion turned to this coaching staffs’ recruiting.

    My friend was told point blank that Pitt’s recruiting was a ‘mess’ and was ‘the worse he had seen in over 20 years’. Apparently the administrative side of recruiting has had major and ongoing problems with recruits and their parents not having phone calls returned, recruits being passed from one coach to another then being dropped by accident with the receiving recruiter not following up on calls, visits etc.

    Recruits and their parents arranging visits with Pitt from far away and then not being met at the airport. on and on (I heard that happened a few times) – administrative mistakes like that are really hurting us.

    Also, and Pttt fans may not want to hear this, but we have a reputation as being heavily negative in recruiting – The QB who went to ND mentioned that specifically and in public but others have said the same – last year a parent of a recruit who did sign with us two years ago told me he was surprised at the extent of it, but they had wanted to come to Pitt for years anyway.

    Narduzzi is not at all a good ‘closer’. Almost every blue chip recruit who has been heavily recruited by us has chosen to go elsewhere – there are exceptions but they are almost all local recruits who had Pitt pencilled in anyway.

    Of all the 4* kids Narduzzi has landed only two have been from outside the tri-state area in Amir Watts from Chicago and AJ Davis from Florida. All the other national 4* and 5* recruits we have been pursuing have gone elsewhere.

    No doubt some of that at first was due to the previous coaching instability at Pitt before Narduzzi – but with an extension two years ago and and then this latest one that really shouldn’t be a problem. But I do believe that recruits and parents are looking at last year’s W/L record and thinking Narduzzi won at first with inherited players and things might not get better right away. Recruits and their families all want to be a part of successful programs and play on successful teams that have shots at championships and big bowl games… and there are real questions about that going forward..

    I am absolutely not surprised at all regarding the rather low quality level of the last two recruiting classes (and they really are). With all those positive things mentioned in the first sentence above we should be cleaning up – but if anything we are falling farther behind.

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    1. IDK about all that… especially the “forgot to pick up a recruit at the airport.” Doesn’t pass the smell test

      Virtually every single recruit that has visited pitt (officially) has signed a letter of intent to play at Pitt.

      People can have issues with recruiting (although I think judging a kid before he steps foot on Heinz Field is short-sighted) but the fact is this staff closes on recruits at an extremely high percentage once they get them on an official visit. I can probably count on both hands the total number of official visitors from 2015-2018 who had commitable offers but didn’t end up committing to Pitt

      if the recruits aren’t getting picked up at the airport, they don’t seem to mind it that much because the vast majority end up enrolling at PITT anyway

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      1. “Virtually every single recruit that has visited pitt (officially) has signed a letter of intent to play at Pitt.”

        That is one of the most “untrue” statements ever posted on POV.

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        1. One of the most “untrue” statements ever posted, huh?

          Hopefully you’re not a detective or a small claims court judge or anything like that where others rely on you being able to separate fact from fiction

          Any response to my post below that just got “approved” for others to view or just content to call people out for “untruths” and move on

          Like

      2. “Virtually every single recruit that has visited pitt (officially) has signed a letter of intent to play at Pitt.”

        That is so far from the truth it is funny – Jay below is correct – many, many recruits who made official visits have gone to other schools – the majority have actually. We have up tons kids on official visits some years upward of 50+… recruits can take five official visits per recruiting cycle and they do – some just for the vacation aspect of it.

        Never been to Pittsburgh? Hey, Lets take an official visit and get wined and dined for two days for free – parents included!

        Where did you get that thought from – it truly is ridiculous. Hell, under DW he would take 10-15 kids on official visits to the Pitt BB games and do that a few times a year.

        As to you belief and your smell test – I stand by what I write… and honestly this is no great secret out of the Southside – otherwise why does our recruiting suck when all those positive things I mention are in place?

        Because we are bad at the actual recruiting mechanics…

        Like

        1. I apologize if I’ve upset you. I might have been misinformed but I’ll walk you through my sources and findings. You’ve indicated your preference for Rivals, so we will go with them

          Here are the visit date sources according to Rivals starting with Narduzzi’s full class

          https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/visits/football/2016
          https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/visits/football/2017
          https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/visits/football/2018

          2016 – We had 27 total official visitors (visits paid by the school, of which recruits can take only 5). Twenty three (23) signed with Pitt. Three definitely had commitable offers (Winfree, Hudson, and Alexander). The staff was after all of these guys very hard. They brought Tyrone Hill in for an official visit but I always thought of him as more of a backup plan type guy, who had a highly conditional offer (if any) and ended up signing with Buffalo. So I would call that 23/26. In 2016 almost 90% of recruits who took an official visit to Pitt signed with Pitt.

          2017 – The staff held 31 official visits, 23 of which signed with Pitt. The staff swung and missed on RB Bryan, DE Thomas, DE Debose, DE Wardlow, DE Garbutt, DE Dimukeje, and OLB Proctor. I think they brought in LB McWilliams as a backup plan. I would call this 23/30 or 77%

          2018 – This year (out of the guys who’ve signed somewhere so far), Pitt was 16/19 on official visitors. One was Ajayi, who was kind of a backup plan, but the staff really wanted Jatavious Harris and Jeshuan Jones. We will almost certainly lose Alaimo at this point, though. This is more of an incomplete as the situation will clearly change, but so far my count is 16/20 (including Alaimo). 80%.

          Perhaps you have a different standard for success at signing the kids who take an official visit or perhaps different sources, but feel free to share!

          Thanks

          Anon

          Like

          1. The facts are on my side.

            Ask reed why he won’t let the facts be released. The response i wrote explaining my sources and findings is still “awaiting moderation”

            The man asks a question and then censors the response

            Like

          1. I didn’t hold your post, WordPress flags any “Anon” submitted posts with more than 3 paragraphs then sends it to me via Email for approval…which I just saw and just approved.

            I check my email every morning and, believe it or not, I’m not tethered to the blog 24/7. Note timestamp on this comment…just woke up and checked my email.

            And you certainly didn’t “upset” me either, I don’t mind being enlightened if I’m mistaken…which I appear to be.

            Learn something new every day, thanks. However….

            Saying this: “The man asks a question and then censors the response.” is personally insulting and appeared you were just dying to say that before YOU knew certain facts. I have never “censored” content about Pitt football on here unless there is swearing in it.

            Again, I was mistaken and corrected. Let’s see – that has happened about 500K times in my life so it really is no big deal.

            Don’t confuse me with Dokish who bans people at the drop of a hat.

            Like

            1. “So far from the truth it is funny” “Truly Ridiculous”

              That was you in response to my 100% true and accurate statements. In my experience, people who say those things about the truth are often upset with having their false preconceptions challenged. People who react to the truth in that manner are more often than not unable to process new information in an effective manner and tightly cling to their misconceptions. My reply correcting your provably false statements, written at 1 PM on Monday, wasn’t “approved” until after I had left for work this morning… and long after others would likely see it. Not sure what I was supposed to think other than that you were upset at being proven wrong and trying to shut it down. Glad you can still keep an open mind. I do apologize if you felt insulted.

              Bottom line – I guess all those kids the staff leaves at the airport don’t really care after all, because this staff DOES sign nearly every recruit they get on campus for an official visit 😉

              Like

    2. Reed why don’t you forward that recruiting assessment to Narduzzi and Lyke. Bring it to their attention and see if in the future any changes occur on that front.

      Like

  42. So Reed to summarize…Recruiting is a “TEAM SPORT” and our team does not have it’s act together. Sounds like TEAM PITT lacks leadership !

    Like

    1. Well Biggie – i think it is more like Narduzzi isn’t the best HC when it comes to administration of the overall football program. He’s strong in some things and weak in others.

      That’s why i wrote a while back that Pitt should save the $$ budgeted for a staff coach and hire a professional and successful college recruiting coordinator. Right now that is Rob Harley – and really, he should be concentrating on his LBs.

      Admit your weaknesses and pay $$ up front to fix them. Right now our recruiting is pretty bad and I don’t see it getting any better without major changes.

      Like

      1. Absolutely, if getting the best players possible to come to Pitt is your primary goal, why wouldn’t you spend as much as you can possibly afford on that effort. Shouldn’t leading that effort be a full time job?

        Like

      2. Seems like Mario Cristobal, Oregon’s new FBHC, agrees with Reed:
        “What’s happening nowadays is college football is so competitive that you can’t have a guy that’s 90 percent coach and 10 percent recruiter, or the vice versa. You’ve got to hit home runs and there’s got to be a balance.”

        Like

  43. Rutgers Safety Kia Hester seems to have Pitt at the top of his list for transfer. Narduzzi recruited him as a 4* out of Florida for MSU but he went to Miami, never played there, then ended up at RU where he started 19 games.

    https://www.onthebanks.com/2017/12/22/16812768/kiy-hester-announces-departure-from-rutgers-football-kyle-flood-chris-ash-big-ten

    Interesting that we may get him from Rutgers but lose our TE recruit Matt Alaimo to Rutgers… Alaimo’s one of those 5.7 kids fans like and didn’t sign early with us. I think he’ll flip to RU. He’s been getting late offers from Texas A&M and UCLA among others…

    https://twitter.com/matt_alaimo?lang=en

    https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2018/matt-alaimo-182010

    I think he’ll leave us at the alter.

    Like

  44. Reed, I won’t comment on the validity or lack thereof of any recruiting specifics, but in a general sense, it makes me wonder if we need to invest big time in a new recruiting coordinator, or add a guy with the “extra position” for administration purposes. A head coach cannot do it all, but it is up to him to put together the proper support structures. One speculation of yours that you throw out for consideration, that recruits may decide that Narduzzi won 8 games his first 2 seasons then had an off year because these are now his players, would not be a concern of mine. Not to say an opposing coach may throw something like that out there to see what sticks, but I think most recruits are smarter than that.

    Like

  45. 1618 – I believe that the dramatic drop in play from 2016 to 2017 is a big deal to recruits and their parents. There is no guarantee that we’ll bounce back to that right away and as I said above the people we are trying to convince to come to Pitt, especially the blue-chip kids, don’t want to get stuck on a losing, or mediocre, team.

    And right now that is what we are – please note I said “team” and not “program”.

    Look – Narduzzi’s recruiting has been going downhill since his first year here and now, in Power Five schools, there are only a handful of teams without 4* or 5* recruits and we are one of them.

    In the ACC only Virginia and Wake Forest are without Blue-Chippers…

    SEC only Vanderbilt and Missouri don’t have them.

    Big 12 only Kansas State

    Big Ten only Rutgers

    PAC 10 – Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State

    So we are one of only nine P5 schools with no Blue-Chip recruits… that truly sucks. Look at our neighbors in that list… Kansas State, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, …. sad company to keep. BTW – 24/7 who compiled this list has us at the 52nd recruiting class… Rivals has us at 46th and we go with Rivals on here.

    https://247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/CompositeTeamRankings?Conference=ACC

    Our recruiting classes have gone from 29th to 36th to 46th in Narduzzi’s full three years as HC… again a downward trend even after two 8 win seasons, beating Clemson, PSU and Miami, etc…

    That is bad and a trend Narduzzi can’t afford.

    Others will disagree but when you are on nationally televised bowl games and lose them both, and then don’t get selected in your 3rd year – than sends messages to prospective recruits. A school like Pitt needs to get into bowl games and win them to get every single advantage we can in the tough recruiting competition.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. With recruiting, keep in mind that post-Wanny recruiting has University established limitations in place that did not exist for Dave back then.
    Chryst and now Narduzzi had to work even harder because of this.
    Not every recruit is fortunate enough to come from a good upbringing. This is one of the reasons that some recruits end up in trouble with the law at some point in their teenage years.
    Pitt coaches arnt allowed to recruit kids with certain prior transgressions.
    Additionally, there is a strict 3 strikes and you’re out policy if you are caught smoking or in possession of marijuana while at Pitt.
    Marijuana has become much more liberal, throughout the nation, between Dave’s time at Pitt and the present.
    It’s likely more athletes are doing it and that may also play a part in who Pitt tries to recruit.
    I’m not taking anything away from what Reed stated about Narduzzi’s recruiting, merely pointing out some additional factors in play that were not present to the extent that they are now.
    The University greatly reduces the amount of potential recruits Pitt can go after.

    Like

    1. Wrong.. We’ve recruited a number of kids over the last (3) years that are ANYTHING but model citizens.. we just didn’t land any of them.

      Like

  47. Reed, For future reference, what is the distance we consider local for Pitt recruiting? Is a 200 mile radius i.e. Pittsburgh to Harrisburg?

    Like

    1. Not sure, but that sounds about right. I’ve always thought of PA, WV and Ohio as the Tri-state area being local… regardless, I do know we have major competition for recruiting from the Big Dog schools that recruit the same areas we do…

      Like

  48. Back to BB for a second – here is a depressing article from the Post-Gazette:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/ron-cook/2018/01/28/Ron-Cook-Apathy-growing-at-an-alarming-rate-for-the-Pitt-men-s-basketball-program-Kevin-Stallings-Syracuse-Petersen-Events-Center-ACC-Big-East-Conference/stories/201801290019

    “The surprise wasn’t that Pitt hung in against Syracuse Saturday and could have won its first ACC game of the season. It is playing slightly better basketball, although that’s damning it with praise because it still is playing lousy basketball. The game Saturday was so bad that it was a shame either team had to win.

    The surprise was that Pitt announced its attendance at 7,033. That is a long way from its glory days of the not-so-distance past when it always jammed 12,508 fans into a sold-out Petersen Events Center, but it’s double or even almost triple what it is attracting these days. Of course, the cynic in me credits Pitt’s retro uniforms — not the team — for the jump in attendance. No fan base in sports cares more about uniforms than Pitt fans. They care more about the uniforms than they do about the players wearing them. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    So true about the uniforms…..

    Sounds like Pitt stretches the truth about BB attendance like they do FB.

    Like

    1. Cook is absolutely correct here..

      My issues?

      -“No fan base in sports cares more about uniforms than Pitt fans. They care more about the uniforms than they do about the players wearing them. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Other than the fact that Cook’s a jackass PSU apologist, what’s the point of this jab?

      -“I used to go to every home league game and routinely would drive to see games in Syracuse or Philadelphia or Washington or Hartford or Boston. I loved every minute.” And yet, I don’t remember reading articles at the time about how much he “loved” Pitt basketball.

      Cook’s bias is as noxious as it is obvious.

      Like

  49. no doubt recruiting has dropped off a bit … but 2 caveats

    1) many of the 4-stars Pitt gets are local. This past season, there were only two local 4-stars

    2) most recruiting classes are about 25 in total (I believe we had 27 in 2013). This year due to being at the max limit of 85, currently we only have about 17.

    Like

    1. i’m defining local as WPIAL and City …. the WPIAL includes Allegheny, Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland, Beaver, Lawrence and most of Butler counties

      Like

  50. Fair enough Reed, but I disagree that one 5 win season is that impactful, like I said most athletes (or at least their parents) are smarter that. The bigger concern, which you pointed out, is the recruiting trend. This very issue could be Narduzzi’s downfall unless he rights the ship.

    And you can count me in the group of apathetic hoops fans. I went to bed last week when they were up 10 on NC State midway through the second half; not long ago Pitt basketball was my favorite sport to watch, with Pitt football a distant second. The loss of ticket sales will hurt Pitt where it counts, in the wallet. This trend, like it or now, will not be turned around significantly without a new coach.

    Like

  51. Every team has young men that don’t live up to and follow all the rules. Some on here didn’t want to believe Reed when he mentioned a serious situation involving somewhere around 7 different players. The fact that they are all gone is proof positive that he has control of what it is he can control.

    Funny thing is, we all touch on and almost to every man and woman on the POV agree that Narduzzi’s hands are tied with a big lack of support and finances. Then we turn around and blame Narduzzi anyways. There is something wrong with that sentence. Well here’s the thing, I will blame Narduzzi if his team doesn’t show considerable improvement this coming year.

    He needs to show some life and the football program needs to as well. Now as always, wins and losses are paramount but not the way I’ll judge this coming season altogether. It’s not always where one ends up but how they got there. Is it possible for PITT to lose 6 games this coming season with that tough schedule they are facing? I guess it is. Is it possible that good things can happen and the foundation of a good football team will continue to be established even while losing 6 games? I guess it could.

    Grey Matter matters and there is also circumstances that are in the gray area. Things are not always black and white. So use your Grey Matter while figuring out the gray area that matters . . . ike

    You All You Got
    You Need More

    H2P!.

    Like

  52. Not as many 4 stars in WPA as the area has lost and is losing population. When most of the old timers on here were in high school there were over 2000 high schools in the state that has been reduced to about 500. My class at Apollo-Ridge graduated close to 200 in 1970. They graduated 75 last year. Ford City (Gus Ferrotte) and Kittanning (Mitch Ferrotte) have merged. Leechburg needs to merge. Freeport (Eric Ravotti/Bud Carson/Jeff Christy) is holding it’s own. Only other school is West Shamokin, comprised of Dayton, Shannock Valley and Elderton all kids from small farming communities or defunct coal mining towns.

    TRIVIA QUESTION..”Who was the Shannock Valley Linebacker who starred for the U of Louisville and went on to a long career as a LB for the Monsters of the Midway playing alongside Dick Butkus ?”

    Like

  53. One more TRIVIA QUESTION…This player was a graduate of Washington Township high school which later merged with Kiski area . Played for Witchita State and then receiver for the Green Bay Packers. He played in the last NFL championship and Superbowl 1 and 2 winning all three- the only time in the history of the NFL that a team was crowned champions 3 years in a row.

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  54. Ike, we can blame the admin for certain things…but as far as the play on the field itself that is all the HC.

    For instance if we want to blame the Adim for the NC loss then they get credit for Miami.

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  55. I still think all the yellow seats makes it real tough for Coach Duzz to recruit the elite players. Especially elite players who are not local.

    In fact, I wonder if Pitt has done better lately getting players who have not been to a home game.

    Another thing – for most teams, probably 80 percent of the players are completely interchangeable. It’s those Shady McCoys, Antonio Bryants, Donalds, Sheards, Romeus’, and McKillops that make the difference…

    Go Pitt

    Like

    1. Major Majors..

      Attendance. is it chicken or egg? While Pitt was never a guaranteed sell out, attendance is much higher when we’re winning. You can’t continue to put out a mediocre product in an area with THREE pro teams and TWO other largely popular college teams (PeeSU, WVCC) and expect locals to show. And we have already discussed how much Pitt “cares” about its alumni. (Unless they’re calling/emailing for donations.)

      Like

  56. Pay your coach 65th in his peer group, expect 65th results. We recruit better than 65th, he over-performed. We finish better than 65th with wins and losses, he over-performed.

    I don’t understand why so many struggle with a very short and concrete analysis. Probably the shortest analysis I have written since the immaculate inception of the POV.

    Why do you think that a bball coach gets big offers when he takes his cinderella team to the sweet sixteen? It’s because the coach is being paid #200 money and he is now in the final 16, ala Andy Enfield and Florida Gulf Coast. He parlayed a top 200 salary of 250k into $2M pretty quickly. He over-performed based on salary.

    Let the free market decide. That is the measuring stick. Economics and Results.

    Same with Lyke – If we pay her lower than all AD’s, we should expect terrible programs. AS you raise her pay, you better raise the result expectations. Conversely, if she is paid in the 50% of her peers, she better perform at that level or see ya!

    Like

  57. We are not getting enough 4* kids, there is no question. We lost some local kids, especially two years ago that were thought to be locks but like others have stated most of the 4* kids that go to PITT are local and there were very few this year and the same is true for next year. We need to do better though.

    One thing that is not said. When was the last time PITT had a class with no 2* kids? None in the class. 2017 had only 2 – 2* kids. 2016 only had 3. That’s only 5 – 2* kids over three classes. I think you have to go a fair way back to see that over a three year period.

    Last year we won 5 games. This is true. But I simply cannot understand how some people can then not look at our recruiting classes from 2013 to 2015 and see where SOME of the issues come from. These were the kids that would make up our 5 year starters to juniors, basically our upper classman.

    2013/2014 recruiting class:

    13 – 2‘s.
    20 – 3
    ‘s with the minimum grade to be a 3* player.

    33/50 kids were either 2* or barely 3* players over those two classes. Then you add in the lost class of 2015 due to the coaching change and it is obvious that a big factor in the 5 win season rests on the events of 2013 to 2015.

    I also enjoy how some of the same people who have stated that schedule should not be commented on when discussing Narduzzi will say in different threads that we should play an easier schedule OOC because wins are all that matter.

    Like

  58. These idiots just don’t get it..

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  59. Question Bernie, Long’s bio comes up he’s from McKeesport. Did he move there later on or did he come from there as a smaller child?

    Like

  60. ^^ Huff @ 3:03. Good post as you have been explaining all along and I agree 100%. I ask politely. Why doesn’t the same rules apply to Stallings?

    Again I feel the need to explain I’m not a fan of KS and especially the way he was hired but it seems to me there maybe a double standard here?

    Like

    1. Same does apply to Stallings Ike. I just didn’t want to write about bball and make you mad! 🙂 Calipari and Kryzewski get paid the most because they win. If cal would have 3 seasons of 10-20, he would be gone. They pay too much for that type of record. Realistic expectations follow the $$$$.

      It should be pretty simple to see how much coaches make and then look at the corresponding w-l scale.

      If Saban went three years in a row at 5-7, he would get canned. They don’t pay coaches $7M per year to finish under .500. Same with Herban Meyer. If Pitt paid their HC $6M and they went 5-7, people would start wondering.

      Like

  61. Sorry apologists, but I must disagree here. You pay based on PAST performance. So, like Enfield, he was paid little, showed success and was rewarded. You don’t pay a top 10% salary and ASSUME top 10% performance. If you hire a career assistant, you pay them less than an established coach. If/when they succeed, you adjust accordingly.

    Lyke isn’t bad because she gets paid less. But maybe because we pay less, that’s the best we could find with the poor decision makers in our administration. To your point, FGU found Enfield despite offering a low salary. Using your logic, he should have been poor, as he was paid so poorly.

    All of these excuses have me thinking of Lloyd McClendon. As some of you might remember, McClendon was fired while managing a team with “below average” resources. And yet, he refused to use that as an excuse.

    “As a manager, you’re judged by results — W’s and L’s. It’s a result-oriented business,” said McClendon. He also added that he would not use a substandard payroll as an excuse, noting that he knew what he was getting when he agreed to take the job. He said it was his job to win within the framework he was given, not to use it as an excuse for failure. He said if he felt he couldn’t win with that payroll he shouldn’t have taken the job..

    If Narduzzi believes he can win here– with these facilities, with this budget, with our urban setting, with our admissions standards, with our player conduct standards- than he should do so, as he said he could. And be judged by nothing else. Otherwise, he shouldn’t have taken the job- seeing as he was so sought after as some of you profess.

    Like

    1. Not an apologist, but a realist. Why does a top salesperson make the most money? Because they outperform. To get that salesperson to change firms, you pay more to get him. When that person doesn’t perform in accordance with what you are paying him for, you can him.

      Do you think a coach goes to an interview and says “we can’t win here”? That was really silly. Of course the coaches say they can win. They have to say that. Or, you can say to the AD or chancellor, “you know Chance, I don’t think I can win here. How about just giving me $1.5M”. That just doesn’t happen. Who said he was sought after? Crickets!

      My logic is that Enfield overperformed at FGC. Now USC has paid him big bucks. If he doesn’t win, he will get canned. You pay for performance, not promises to perform. The promises of winning (Enfield) get you in the door. Keeping you in the house means you win like you are paid. Our coaches are paid 65th, so 65th results is what you should expect. If he outperforms 65th by a lot, a bigger program will come get him.

      Same with Lyke. She is in the best position of any AD in the country. Pitt loses at everything except volleyball. How can she not improve the overall picture of Pitt athletics? She is trying.

      Like

  62. I can’t see how Whitehead can be counted as a Lumpy recruit. He’s a local kid that committed to the University of Pittsburgh and remained committed when Narduzzi was brought in. Not to mention, he’s listed in Narduzzi first recruiting class…. C’mon Reed, you make your own rules as we go along here.

    Like

    1. Ike, almost every recruit stays committed. Recruiting started a year or two before the recruit’s LOI Day. Chryst and his staff made initial contact and worked hard over that period to convince him to come to Pitt even with all his valid and numerous national offers.

      All Narduzzi had to do was…well nothing actually because Whitehead said that he didn’t think about leaving.

      Look, Chryst’s going back to Wisconsin was not a grand surprise and it wasn’t like what happened with the 2010 class after DW got fired.

      I consider the HC who won the big competition over the kid’s JR and SR year inHS and who got the commitment to be the coach who recruited him. And that fits in with any recruiting conversations fans have because we discuss just those issues about competitive recruiting, not who stood next to him on stage.

      Like

  63. Iek… I would guess the family moved from McKeesport.. next time you bdrive Rt 66 to Apollo to eat at our world famous Flavio’ s gourmet Italian restaurant , you will pass the old Washington Township HS on the left about 2 miles before you reach the Apollo bridge ( now defunct and part of Kiski Area) . Township had no football field except for a small area dug out from the hill-side behind their building. The Red Raiders rented our Apollo High Tigers field for their home games which were originally played on Thursdays then shifted to Saturday night when legendary Coach Don Early became head coach. Both school were class B in the old Allegheny Interscholastic Conference. That rivalry ranked right up there with the best of ‘em.

    For all you POVerts who love great Italian.. give Flavio’s in Apollo a try.

    Like

  64. same old, same old …. glass half empty vs glass half full

    HCPN dipped to only 5 wins in his 3rd year and missed bowl game for first time in a decade … vs … HCPN took over a .500 program and is now 4 games over .500 while playing a much harder schedule

    Like

  65. Bookser is NOT playing left tackle. He can’t even play right tackle. When ever has a college kid gone from right guard to left tackle? It’ll be Chase Brown at left tackle since Moose’s recruit, Pilato, apparently won’t be the guy.

    Like

  66. With all the raves by ESPN’s McShay and Kiper projecting him as a first rounder, Brian O’Neill apparently didn’t do so well in the senior bowl

    Like

  67. As to ough at rb posted way above – isnt he at Howard now.
    Huff if someone pays me, a nobody, 2 million as pitt ad does that make me great? Just bustbustingun stones.🤣

    Like

  68. Breaking News …. Pitt is going to join the Big 10

    Heather Lyke@Pitt_LykeAD

    I look forward to seeing all of our @Pitt_ATHLETICS student-athletes at 8:30pm tomorrow night for this important presentation! #H2P

    Like

  69. Where did all those emojis or whatever they’re called go? Pitt stadium and the Cathedral. Thats says Pitt right? Not Heinz and the North Shore.

    Like

  70. Reality isn’t excuses. There are currently very few elite football players in our recruiting area. That is a fact. Convincing 4-5 star recruits to come to Pitt from outside the recruiting area without breaking the rules is a monster of a job. Why would a 4 star kid from Philly choose Pitt over Penn St based on game day atmosphere? I keep asking this because I can’t think of an answer. What would any of you say to that kid with an Ohio St offer as to why he should go to Pitt instead?
    I would love to see a list of all the schools that we view as below Pitt that landed 4+ star recruits this year and where those recruits were from. I would wager that 95% of those that are attending non traditional powers are from their backyard.
    Chicken and egg? We had back to back 8 wins seasons and our announced attendance (which we all know is padded substantially) was 2/3 full for games 1 and 2 this season. I predict that will be the same figure for Albany this year meaning whether they win 5 or 8 the general apathy by the fans (or lack there of) remains.

    Like

    1. They chose for a variety of reasons. So Pitt has to make sure they check the boxes and don’t let any recruit fall through. They aren’t organized.

      Checks
      Chance to play soon
      Chance to develop
      Chance to go pro
      Chance for titles and bowls
      Chance to play against good competition
      Chance to play in good conference
      Chance to get good education
      Chance for parents to see play
      Chance to be on tv
      Chance to play in front of large crowds
      Chance to be big man on campus

      And Pitt isn’t cheating or blowing smoke as much as most schools.

      You really think franklin is recruiting fairly.

      Like

      1. I didn’t say he was but Penn St checks all those boxes and plays in front of a packed house and the kids are treated like gods. I find it horrifying. You could argue Pitt checks all these but the promise of early play time to an 18 year old 4 star recruit is empty as these kids think they will start as freshman at Alabama too. And the parents see you play is why the dearth of Western PA talent is the real thing hurting Pitt as much as anything.

        Like

      2. Tex – when Pitt goes after a 4-Star, all Pitt’s competitors for that recruit check all those boxes (and maybe even more, cough, cough $), while Pitt is missing a big box — that being the full house.

        I seriously don’t see how the best recruiting coordinator in the universe is going to get a 4-Star to come to Pitt after seeing a game at Ohio State, or Michigan, or ND, or PSU, or VT – or for the Florida kids, FSU, Florida, or a bunch of other SEC schools…

        You guys are just not being realistic. I actually feel bad for the coaches and the players every time they run out of the tunnel for a home game. They spend so much of their lives preparing for that moment – they get all fired up – and then they come out to a dud of a welcome.

        Do you think that visiting recruits don’t see that???

        We need fannies in the seats…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  71. Today’s PITT attendance has a lot to do with a lost generation of students and lifetime fans. Same problem during the heydays of the later 70’s and early 80’s. There was no commitment to the football program in the 60’s, therefor attendance sucked as it does today. So it’s like Doris said…. Que Sera Sera

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  72. We have attendance. There are 33’853 of the most avid college football fans anywhere, most of which show up for every Pitt Game. Some of us travel 600round trip miles to make it.

    The number above has only gone down every year for all the years at Heinz.

    Again, we should start a policy of NOT bringing recruits to games or on campus.Take em to South Side and send em home. We can’t do any worse! Or…we could leave them standing at the airport as we have done recently. Who is running this recruiting clown show?????

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  73. They used to take them to the Pete. Now it’s a crypt.

    Heinz is a dull atmosphere with screaming yellow seats.

    Might as well take them to a lecture hall in the cathedral. Sell them on the education they’ll receive.

    Pitt needs a highly paid recruiting director with a large staff and budget.

    Pitt is cheap and half arse.

    You get what you pay for.

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  74. I had a thought about those yellow seats. It would be very expensive to install completely new seats but what it PITT could talk the Rooney’s into exchanging the north upper deck and the upper seats near the top on both sides to black? They would have their black and gold seating and it just might help take away some of the dreadful view of a stadium half full? I know, this will never happen…..

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  75. Yes Tex, I would agree with your question about future attendance and it being Heather’s job 1,000,000%. Did you expect her to do in in 9 months? It took PITT years and years along with steve while tearing down the only possibility of an on campus stadium. It was a systematic death of a football program that didn’t succeed. PITT football will rise again…

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    1. I would expect to hear her plan. How to connect Pitt back to the community and campus. How to create lifetime fans. How to engage youth. How to bring back lost fans. How to create supporters both students, alumni, young and old, causual and hard core. Pitt has a core of loyal fans who are dieing off. Pitt needs to create a new generation. Sow the seeds and nurture it. Heather doesn’t have a plan. Many of us have some great ideas and you can look at what other schools have done.

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  76. Tx, I think your name is Mike if I remember correctly. We don’t know if Heather has a plan or not right at this minute. How can you determined that?

    Listen, I understand there are some good ideas on the drawing board. When and if the time comes maybe we will hear about them. Everyone laughed the front porch idea off like a joke. There is a time and place to present plans. Personally, I have already experienced a better rapport with the PITT ticket office. It’s going to take time.

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  77. A deep thought about basketball.
    More than most, I have taken many new jobs in management, sometimes with a very hostile environment as I arrive. From minute 1 day 1 I understand that my success is selling myself.

    Where has Stallings been visiting with students, profs, frats etc building up good will??? He comes off as an aloof oaf. You reap what you sow

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    1. To illustrate Stallings’s (lack of) commitment to the university community, he moved here by himself; his family is still in Tennessee.

      Like

  78. I’m surprised that no mention has been made of Heather Lyke’s statement regarding KS and the future of the Men’s Bball program. Not exactly a ringing endorsement . I appreciated it’s candor.

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    1. She had to say something and I fear she is going to make a move instead of giving it another year. Since Pitt doesn’t have $10 million to payout Stallings then pay the buyout of the coach it hires, then pay that coach and his new staff, I hope buys Stallings one more season.

      I can see how it all unfolds: Stallings is fired, Heather thinks coaches will be jumping on top of one another to be the Pitt coach, players transfer out then we learn the new guy is an absolute boob and stinks.

      Like

      1. Sounds remarkably similar to the current situation and how it transpired. However Stallings had 4 seniors who were very unlikely to go anywhere. He also had the opportunity to allow 3 recruits to walk that he ultimately dumped anyway.

        Perhaps it turns out to be more like Howland. I believe that Ralph Willard had a few years left on his contract when he “resigned” leading to Howland. Glass half full!

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  79. Mark, I felt the same way regarding Heather’s statement regarding Stallings…and that nothing will be announced while the team is still playing this year. Agree with Dan regarding selling yourself…and it should be a constant mission if you have any drive.

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  80. To have a master plan of expansion, you need:

    — support of your boss and the board
    — money from donors

    Without the support of both, it is not going to happen. Now, it’s up to Heather to rattle the chains of both … that’s her job. However, it’s not going to happen overnight at a place that doesn’t seem to prioritize athletics at all.

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  81. One thing for sure Heather needs to be developing a plan and evaluating future coaches. She needs to develop a team with the expertise to do this in house, since the consulting team absolutely screwed us over.

    I don’t think anything happens this year unless Stallings volunteers to leave and compromises on a settlement. He has to know he is up against severe head winds and can’t be having much fun. But only he really knows.

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  82. If KS goes, the only way Pitt could come out of this better is if they hire a known coach.

    That will never happen. They will not spend the money. End of story.

    So get use to KS for at least another year and hope the team gets better and the new recruits are good.

    Like

  83. Change of topic, I was reading an article about implementing PA’s new marijuana law and am wondering about the impact of this and other new laws impact on sports.

    With recreational marijuana legal (not Federally, another interesting issue) in a few states and medicinally in several more, a wave is coming.

    So if you play football at USC, Stanford, Colorado, Oregon etc. do they still test for Marijuana? Since marijuana has efficacy for pain reduction and in states where it is legal opiod deaths are lower, what about future use as an analgesic for football players?

    This seems relevant due to many players being penalized for its use. Is the punishment now worse than the crime?

    I suffer from chronic pain, a lot of it from arthritis in joints probably derived from the sports I played. My doctors tell me that all NSAIDs have really bad potential side effects,stomach liver and kidney damage and dementia.
    Opiods such as Vicodin and Percocet can lead to dependence or worse.

    I am wondering if medical marijuana is an effective safer alternative?

    Like

    1. Medical MJ comes in many different forms, strengths, and chemical make-up.

      Rarely is it just smoked, three of my family members have MMJ cards here in Maryland (myself included) and neither of my kids smoke it.

      My daughter eats MMJ Gummie Bears and my son has a tincture for drops under his tongue but he rarely uses them. But it has done wonders for my daughter’s severe anxiety.

      I used it once for my PTSD but stopped because my spine doctor said their company abides by Federal laws and won’t prescribe pain pills (Oxycodone) if you take MMJ. It worked wonders for me that night though, no nightmares for the first time in years.

      I didn’t get high off the tincture but would use it every night if I could.

      This truly is something that I feel should be both allowed by the feds and every state should have it. Weed is so easily accessible that anyone who wants it now can get it so MMJ really isn’t a gateway.

      It is so much safer than booze also.

      Like

  84. Just because the states have legalized it for medicinal and recreational use, institutions (NCAA, schools, businesses) do not have to comply and can still restrict it.

    I was just talking to someone about this. If I go on vacation to Colorado, smoke legally, and then test positive in PA, can my employer fire me for the positive test? The answer is they absolutely can, and I imagine the same line of thinking applies to football.

    Also, there are medicinal cannabis products that provide pain relief without giving the euphoric effects — so those might be an option — but I’m not sure if you would still test positive for marijuana. I’m guessing you would.

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  85. MD now has medical marijuana with doctors and providers up and running unlike other states that allow it but have none of the facilities to make it work. I assume athlete injuries are included with a valid prescription.

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  86. NRS – I don’t understand your logic insisting that KS firing could only work if we hire a “known coach”. Why would you say that, or what did you mean? Although I’d like to see him fired after this year, and would also be perfectly fine with him staying one more year if I was confident that would be the end, I think the most important thing is to find the right replacement regardless of when it happens. That was our mistake with Dixon, not that we ‘let him go’, but that we inexplicably didn’t have a competent plan in place to acquire his replacement.

    Like

    1. I guess it depends on what the ‘right replacement’ is in your opinion.

      In my opinion, the only way Pitt turns around BB quickly, is if they hire a coach that can bring in some 4 star players immediately. Otherwise, you get another Dixon/Stallings that brings in mostly 3 stars. That will require years of player development. That is the situation Pitt is in now.

      Everyone wants a quick fix. I don’t see Pitt ever pulling that off.

      Like

  87. when I was in college in early/mid 70s, just as many students smoked pot than drank (if not more). I haven’t smoked pot in decades … can’t remember my last joint, but I would argue with anyone that if alcohol is allowed, so should marijuana. If nothing else, I would much rather wake up after a night of being stoned than being drunk.

    Having said that … anything that alters the mind must be done in moderation, although medical conditions may dictate otherwise. While pot is not physically addicting, it certainly leads to mood swings and malaise.

    I take no issue with marijuana being made legal … but at the same time, I take no issue with any school or the NCAA prohibiting it (unless maybe for medicinal purpose under a doctor’s care.)

    Like

  88. Reed/UPITT,

    You guys like to say that Narduzzi won 8 games with Chyrst’s players, but do you really think that Chryst would have won 8 games if he stayed. I don’t, based on the following:

    1) QB – Peterman. Chad Voytik does not win 8 games.

    2) He couldn’t win with two of the softest schedules in PITT history and you think he would have with the schedules Narduzzi has had and continues to have.

    3) He had Wanny recruits which are generally regarded as much better than PC or PN recruits but still only managed 6 wins every year.

    I believe that if PC had stayed he would have never made it to a 6th year and we would have had maybe 8 wins combined for 2015/2016 seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this has become my mantra here on this site. Narduzzi is being criticized for going 5-7 in his 3rd year yet Chryst went 6-7 in his.

      In 2014 — the OOC schedule was Delaware, at FIU, Iowa and Akron. Note that Iowa finished 7-6 that year. The only team Pitt played that finished ranked was GT, which scored 56 points and rang up 612 yards.

      In 2017 — the OOC was YSU, at PSU, Ok State and Rice. In addition to PSU and Ok St, Pitt played 3 ACC teams that finished ranked.

      I don’t remember near the criticism of the 2014 team had than what I read over the past 6 months here. And please spare me the silly notion that schedule doesn’t matter … THE SCHEDULE MATTERS.

      If anything, Narduzzi may be a victim of the 8 wins he achieved the first 2 years.

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      1. Narduzzi was left with much more talent than Chryst, which is one factor. Scheduling is certainly another, when judging wins and losses. The past is the past. What matters now is how well Narduzzi does moving forward. The schedule is still tough and as Reed and I and others have been saying recruiting is a question-mark. Narduzzi is in his fourth year, mostly his own players now. No matter the schedule he will be judged in wins and losses again this year. Does he get a pass if he goes 5-7 again because the schedule is harder than Chryst?

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        1. what was Narduzzi left from Chryst this year?

          On defense — Maddox and Briggs, that’s it.

          On offense — Jones-Smith, Officer, Weah, Henderson, Ollison.

          Here is what Chryst was left with from Fraud, Wanny

          Offense — Clemmings, Rowell. Rotheram, Bennett and Voytik

          Defense — Price, Mosley-Smith, Render, Thomas, Gonzalez, Bradley, Grigzby, L Pitts,

          (all the above started except for Bam)

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          1. Looks like you are only comparing their third years. It appears to be a fair comparison.
            Looks like Chryst’s last recruiting year was a bust.

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            1. I did omit Bookser and O’Neill from my list above of holdovers (although O’Neill was recruited as a TE). But in the end, I think PC left better offensive players while he was left with better defenders … years 1 thru 3. But I don’t see a discernible difference except for the quality of OL Pitt had in 2017

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  89. HCPC honored Voytik’s commitment even though he wasn’t a fit for his offense. But correct the failure to upgrade the QB position would have been a freaken disaster in year four. Peterman changed the dynamic of Narduzzi’s first two years and hopefully Pickett becomes a really good QB starting this coming season. The defensive staff simply wasn’t very good under HCPC. Narduzzi is upgrading as he goes. It is part of the process in building a successful program. Bates is a really good hire as he allows Narduzzi to trouble shoot areas that need attention. Keep in mind the coach QB guru brought in Savage and was by far the best QB of the HCPC era.

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  90. Here’s a fact not an opinion, it’s often said here that Narduzzi won with Chryst recruits and Stallings lost with the all mighty Jamie recruits. You see how this works? That’s realism for you??

    Like

    1. He got rid of Jamie’s guys.

      He did inherit a Tourney Team and proceeded to alienate them.

      So yeah Stalling’s still is atrocious.

      Narduzzi with his guys went 5-7.

      Next year does he win 6? YEAR #4

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      1. Narduzzi went 5-7 with his guys because Chryst left him nothing. Narduzzi guys are at best true juniors. Chryst guys should have been holding the mantle. the seniors would have been Chryst guys.

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    1. we knew this year’s team was going to be bad, But this bad? My issue is that there doesn’t seem to be much improvement as the year goes on.

      and FWIW, that was my issue last year. They went from blowing out Maryland at College Park in the Challenge (that MD team was a 3rd seed in NCAA) … to … finishing 5 and 15 over final 20 games

      Like

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