SORRY, BUT I HAVE TO CANCEL MY TRIP TO PGH. PA TURNPIKE IS CLOSED AND WE ARE ICED IN DOWN HERE IN MARYLAND… I’ll  keep this thread updated with any signing news.

Signing day is upon us. As of 8:30 pm we have 18 3* recruits.  Nice and consistent.  The race isn’t over until tomorrow evening as, with other LOI Days the faxes stop in early evening.

Be aware though that even though the NCAA allows recruits to wait until April 1st as the final deadline,  rarely do any ranked kids wait past the Feb LOI Day because just about every college’s quota is filled by then.  Every so often a big 5* recruit will string a couple schools along on an ego trip.

Let’s keep our eyes on two uncommitted recruits:

MYCHALE. SALAHUDDIN, a 4* RB from Washington, DC,. and rated the #5 RB nationally.

HABAKKUK  BALDONADO, a 3* DE from Florida. Unranked but took an official visit.
These two commits need to sign today:
ERICK HALLETT, a late verbal who is a 3* CB out of Texas and apparently a result of our new DC Randy Bates and:
KAYMAR MIMES, a Floridian who plays DE and who is also a 3* recruit with the 2nd most interesting name behind our new WR Shocky Jacques-Louise.
Baldonado will be making his announcement  at 10:00 am. Salahuddin will follow suit at 11:00 and as said above we need these two kids, Salahuddin especially if for no other reason that we need to show we can land at least one 4* recruit.
Other than those two the only other name being bandied about is the Preferred walk-on HS QB from Missouri Derek Green. He is unranked and unrated but Rivals gave him a page anyway. That doesn’t mean we won’t see a newcomer or two on the last minute scene.
All are welcome to the pre-event festivities at Bettie Grill. If I don’t slide down a mountainside while  driving the Turnpike I should be there at 4-4:30.
Let’s hope we close this class out with a bang!!
HTP!

 

198 thoughts on “LOI Day Thread…Fingers Crossed

  1. All the drama of oatmeal cooling.

    Is it really all that difficult to put together a program that generates excitement and unity?

    Why must Pitt be Groundog’s Day?

    In other news, I hope Stallings stays. At least his presence is something upon which we can all agree.

    H2P

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  2. Reed, as of 4:30am the turnpike is still closed from New Stanton to Breezewood. Check as your journey begins later today. Be safe brother.

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      1. …or the importance of looking like a second rate school by not signing one. You have to go back 15 years to see the last time we were shut out of 4* or 5* recruits.

        15 years!!

        You can joke as much as you want but this is another negative thing for the program. You know the saying that recruits want to play with the best? Well, we fell flat on our face in that, didn’t we?

        I really hope we get Salahuddin today, if for no other reason then the above.

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        1. OK, I went back 15 years to 2003 https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/commitments/football/2003

          and you will note that among the 3-stars were Clint Session, HB Blades, Mike McGlynn and Joe Flacco … every one of them had lengthy NFL careers

          Also included in the class that contributed well to the Pitt program was Clermond, Thatcher, Grassle, McKillop, Cox and Greg Lee

          That’s one class … only hope this year’s group can come close

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  3. great idea to cancel your trip. Certainly the correct decision.

    Although I heard Narduzzi had plans for a Matt House look-alike to sit next to you, as retribution for all of the negative PR.

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  4. Cancelling trip is a pro move Reed…looks like Duzz presser is 1:00. Agree with Reed on Sallahuddin. Really need his breakaway speed.

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  5. I remember when Session and Blades were freshman in camp and Bill Hillgrove said we had more speed on defense then we had since the 80’s.

    I don’t hear anyone saying that right now with the batch of 3 stars we have.

    However I will say this Florida 3 star > than PA 4 star

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  6. Interesting side note on Sessions- he showed up at my fraternity (Pi Kappa Alpha) for our purple passion party ( not sure if that was around when u guys were at Pitt, but it was pretty sweet) and broke one of the fraternity brothers jaws for not letting him in- it was crazy and he was a total dick

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  7. Only at Pitt can you have Blades, Sessions, Revis, and Josh Lay who I thought was a very good football player on the same defense and still not win 10 games or even snuff an outright conference championship.

    These guys were together for one year 2005 but we had a coaching change.

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    1. note that not any of them was a lineman. As I remember, Walt left some pretty good skill positions player but bothe OL and DL were lacking. I remember that in Wanny’s first game vs ND, the game experience for the Irish OL was something like 125 games in total …. while the Pitt DL started Wanny’s last recruit of his shortened class … 2-star Gus Mustakas.

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  8. The Duzz is probably breathing a sigh of relief that he won’t have to answer(ignore) tough questions from the real tall guy! 😂

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  9. Here are Reed and Jim (Pittman4ever) at Lenny’s Deli in Maryland. Jim and his wife were visiting their daughter and were flying back to Texas yesterday morning. I picked them up, we went out for breakfast, them I dropped them off at BWI for their flight home.

    Jim’s wife is a stunning blonde who looks like she about 35. As soon as I saw her I asked him if she was his second wife. Who would have thought, eh?

    Will post photo whenI get to a real computer.

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  10. Salahuddin could be a real game changer for the Panthers. Might be the guy to add to that great list of star Pitt running backs. Fingers crossed sums it up pretty well.

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    1. We thought A J Smith our late 4 star running back addition last year might be a game changer also. He still might be since he had so few opportunities last season. But right now I don’t think he will be called a “game changer” for Pitt.

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  11. Safe journey everyone. I have posted a mid 35 rated class with the two signings. I think Pitt will land both. Pretty good with 20 recruits. Pitt is now competing the full third year of Narduzzi recruiting and now have the numbers to provide some real honest competition for PT.

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  12. The kid is from Rome and the way I figure is that UCF didn’t have much of a chance …. being the other 2 choices were Narduzzi and Dantonio

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  13. just watched the video of “Baldo” signing at his school gym…….actually brought tears to my eyes and made me proud to be a life long die-hard Pitt fan!!!!!

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  14. the announcing ceremony hasn’t started yet, he has a Pitt and Syracuse hats in front of him. Samantha Pell of the Washingon Post is covering on twitter.

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  15. As I remember Cuse had many great running backs in the 50/60s. They also play on fake grass that makes a player look faster. We are closer to D.C. so maybe…

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        1. and BTW, I mentioned it only in response to others who think it is so important. Again, I think it’s great to have 4-stars .. but there are also many 3-star commits this year who can be very productive, and certainly wouldn’t have discounted this class had there not been any

          Liked by 1 person

    1. yea, no doubt that if he didn’t sign … people at the airport would be mocking you behind your back … whispering “that’s the school that didn’t sign a 4-star… No, Really!”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pitt got the two recruits who I thought they were going to get. Nice ending to a LOI day. Program is heading up and get on board. Sometimes it pays to be optimistic. Still think they add the Grad safety as well. He is a player. Only issue is is availability in his career. He stays healthy and no more flag football at Heinz. The program is going to surprise going forward, get on board.

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  17. Just need to reel in Kiy Hester, graduate transfer from Rutgers. Originally a 4-star that signed with Miami, but got out of his letter of intent and ended up at Rutgers.

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  18. As a side note. this class is better than many are thinking. Pitt has some real studs here. Danielson is the best player in PA. He is a stud and the best DT recruit in years. Great get. Davis at LB is a hitting machine. kids a beast. Really solid class here. Patti would be the best recruit if not for Picket being here. Secondary has nice talent and the DE after he spends time actually being in the program for a year or two will be special. He just explodes off the ball. RB will see the field this year. Big time explosiveness. Don;t kid yourself, Pitt got some studs this year.

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  19. Good deal and not one 2*, progress being made at PITT!… ..

    Haba with 30 1/2 sacks just last year. How is that even possible?

    Mimes’s half brother a 3* from MSU under Narduzzi who was all Big Ten or something like that?

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    1. Ike, it wasn’t HS football. It was some other lower classification. The tape of him is comical because of the players he was going against. That said, he does look like he is a true athlete but it will take a couple of years until we see him.

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  20. Good stuff UPitt.
    When I worked on the road all over Ok,TX, and LA, I would always wear my Pitt tshirt at dinner.
    The best was when I was at the big Texan in Ammerillo and an old timer walked in with his family, wearing a Pitt script hat. Of all places. Was neat to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. @Chethejet — I agree. 10 kids rated 5.7…a tenth of a point away from being 4-stars. Not saying they are 4-stars, but they are the highest 3-star rating possible. If any one of them signed with Alabama, Pedo Sate, or another blueblood, and I bet they would have been moved up to 4 stars.

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  22. Pitt probably finishes 36 in rivals ranking which I posted would be the case. Narduzzi last three classes average 34.not bad. Maybe not as high as some want, but still pretty good for a program that is under the radar. Washington went to the playoffs with classes in the thirties. They have a top 15 class this year. Pitt will get there. All the concern over losing talent? Not one of those transfers went to a P5 program but Miller is still pending I believe. They left due to not good enough period. Moss was a issue and was dismissed. that happens in every program.

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  23. Crap, No 4*s in the 2019 class so far. What a poor job!!! Seriously though, better than going in, but he will have to upgrade to compete. Running back is explosive, but if you look closely at highlights he gets caught from behind more than you would like. Now question is who leaves to make room for these guys?

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  24. On Miller yes I check that and that is the case. Thanks. Keep in mind those players went to programs that they can play now. That is a consideration. But still they were dropping on the depth chart and kids want to play.

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  25. CBS sports ranks Pitt’s 2018 class as #45 (currently).

    Other programs that are near us in ranking include: Iowa at #38 with 0 – 4 stars and 21 – 3 stars. Utah and Wisky at #42 and #43, respectively, with 1 – 4 star each and 18 – 3 stars each. Purdue, Syracuse and Colorado with 1 – 4 star each and 23, 18 and 19 3 stars, respectively.

    A solid class. Like all of you, I’d like to see us in the top 25, but this is solid.

    As Chet said above, Danielson the DT will likely earn some playing time if not in 2018 then definitely in 2019. I like the other 300# DT (forget his name) as well.

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  26. PITT FOOTBALL FEBRUARY 2018 NLI DAY SIGNEES

    Habakkuk Baldonado (haba-kuk), DL, 6-5, 230, Clearwater, FL/Clearwater Academy International
    Gained significant FBS recruiting interest despite playing just one season of high school football in the United States…played three years of American football in his native Italy (Rome) before moving to Florida in 2017…played defensive end and receiver at Clearwater Academy International under Coach Jesse Chinchar…totaled 83 tackles, a whopping 30.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries on defense…as a receiver, averaged 24.4 yards per reception (nine catches for 220 yards) and scored two touchdowns.

    Erick Hallett, DB, 5-11, 175, Cypress, TX/Cy-Fair
    One of the Houston area’s top prospects who helped lead Cy-Fair to the Texas Class 6A Division II championship with a 15-0 record…totaled 38 tackles, six interceptions and eight passes defended as a senior…returned an interception (34 yards) and a fumble (19 yards) for touchdowns…also contributed as a return specialist, averaging 27.6 yards on kickoffs (five for 138) and 11.2 on punts (21 for 235)…compiled 10 total INTs over his junior and senior seasons…Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston…two-time first team All-District 17-6A…played under Coach Ed Pustejovsky.

    Stefano Millin, OL, 6-5, 305, Massillon, OH/Perry H.S./Kent State
    Will join Pitt as a graduate transfer after starting on the offensive line the past two seasons at Kent State…played in 35 career games, making 30 starts for the Golden Flashes…made 27 consecutive starts dating back to the 2015 season…started all 12 contests at left tackle in 2017…also started all 12 games in 2016, making eight starts at center and four at right tackle…in 2015, his first active collegiate season, played in 11 games with six starts (four at center and two at left tackle)…was a standout two-way lineman at Perry High School under Coach Keith Wakefield…finished his prep career with 18 sacks and 25 tackles for loss…also an exceptional wrestler at Perry, twice qualifying for the state tournament.

    Kaymar Mimes (mymes), DL, 6-5, 235, Long Branch, NJ/Long Branch
    One of New Jersey’s top defensive end prospects…compiled 87 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a senior…led Long Branch to a 9-3 record and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Group IV championship…played under Coach Dan George…All-Shore…All-Class B North…a well-rounded athlete who also played basketball and was a versatile track and field standout, participating in the discus, shot put, high jump and on the 400-meter relay team…rated the No. 26 overall prospect in New Jersey by 247Sports, No. 28 by ESPN and No. 33 by Rivals…is the brother of Oakland Raiders linebacker Shilique Calhoun, who Pat Narduzzi coached while they were both at Michigan State…Calhoun played at Michigan State from 2011-15, earning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.

    Mychale Salahuddin (michael sa-la-who-deen), RB, 5-11, 190, Washington, D.C./H.D. Woodson
    Earned praise as one of the nation’s top all-purpose backs and was widely considered the top overall prospect in Washington D.C….rushed for 1,274 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior at H.D. Woodson…averaged better than 10 yards per carry…Washington Post first team All-Met…first team All-D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA)…first team All-DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia)…led H.D. Woodson to a 9-3 record and the DCIAA championship game as a senior…rated Washington D.C.’s No. 1 prospect by Rivals and 247Sports…rated the country’s No. 5 all-purpose back by Rivals and 247Sports…rated the No. 9 prospect in Washington D.C. and the nation’s No. 33 running back by ESPN…played under Coach Greg Fuller.

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  27. HEY, PittFan28,
    That guy @ The Big Texan may have been ME!
    I lived in Amarillo from 1991 to 2002. I took my family there often and often wore my Pitt gear. Let me know pal!
    Jim Pittman4ever

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  28. BigB, Still may land a couple grad transfers. The safety from Rutgers, Hester, I believe who was very highly rated coming out of high school. Demens as well. << A rangy LB that de-committed from UCLA

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  29. Narduzzi said in his presser that he would name the Ol coach soon. My guess is Patton but he is interviewing candidates. Once finalized, the work begins for all of the staff to get er done.

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  30. “Still may land a couple of grad transfers.” But, are there any scholarships left? Or, do they just sign people and figure it out later?

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  31. Pitt has the 30th ranked class if you look at the average star rating of 3.04. Reed, I know you loyally follow rivals, so I thought this was worth noting. Not too shabby. Plus if we add the previous 4 star safety from Rutgers, this class looks a lot better.

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  32. Right now with those that committed today they have some figuring out to do now. As I believe they are over the 85 scholarship limit as we post.

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  33. I really like that we got two defensive ends that put up good numbers in High School.
    Bodes well for the future pass rush. They both look like they have the frames to put on
    20-30 lbs of muscle in the next couple years.

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  34. A few more kids will have to go, that’s just the way it is in Division 1 these days.

    Narduzzi seems to have the knack for improving his classes on signing day.

    Let’s hope these guys stay healthy and out of trouble.

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  35. The departures continue. Will see more leave after the spring game when it becomes apparent that the particular player hasn’t hit the “two deep”. Much easier to have that conversation. Many disapprove of that conversation “to move on with a player” , but I don’t. It is in the best interest of the player and the school.

    UPitt- you will still be able to follow our favorite player, Cam Karter. He transferred to Duquesne.He will be dominant.

    Staying at 3.0 is critical for overall rankings in my opinion. Some of the previous higher ranked teams took fliers on some 2 stars which diminish their overall rankings. They loaded up on preferred players and then took the 2 stars to round out their class. It makes them drop in overall ranking, but they still get more impactful players if we believe that 4 and 5 star players are just that.

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  36. IMO, Hall progressed/improved from 2016 to 2017. Not sure if he has a lot more upside…

    I like the way Ollison ran the ball late in the Miami game as well as early in the PSU game last year. He seems to wait for the hole to open.

    I believe that Ollison, Hall, and Davis were all 4 star recruits. And now Salah…

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  37. They were both 4 stars. The problem will be the OL. You can have a 5 star back with a 2 star line and struggle. That is why I keep preaching for great trench help!!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. We’ve had some 5 star transfers that didn’t pan out either, and a lot of “3 star” players that were obviously a lot better than their supposed ratings. This is where Chryst did well in my opinion, identifying “3 star” OL that were obviously a lot better than their ratings. And the OL is the I like best about this class, we have 3 incoming OL players (excluding the senior grad transfer) that I have high hopes for, and I’d take 3-4 guys like that every year.

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  39. 7th best in ACC. Need to recruit more like Va Tech. Decent class for Pitt but not good enough…3.05 avg stars. Need to get that up to 3.4
    Will take 4 stars…several and not just 1

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  40. The Nard Dog always seems to come up with some late surprises for us every year I believe.

    We also got this 6’5″ 230 Italian Sack Machine, Garibaldi or something.

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  41. And we got another 6’5″ 230 DE from Jersey last week named Kmart Mimes. No kidding 🙂

    Wonder if any of these 6’5″ inches can play hoops ? Cause we are short and skinny on that front.

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  42. Maybe rushing to judgment with Narduzzi’s recruiting of the O-Line since he’s been at PITT, just like this years recruiting class. It’s a wait and see game.

    Bookser—– Sr.
    Herndon—– Sr

    Pilato——— RS jr

    Ford———- RS Soph
    Morgan—— RS Soph
    Morrissey— Soph

    Drake——– RS Freshman
    Houy——— RS Freshman
    Drexel——- RS Freshman
    Warren—— RS Freshman
    Rainey——- RS Freshman — walk-on

    Kradel——- Freshman
    Zubovic—– Freshman

    Hillion——- Grad transfer

    Brown——- Jr college transfer .. jr eligibility
    Davis——– Jr college transfer … jr eligibility

    Take a look at that returning group and tell me PITT didn’t need some older players to come into either start or back up. Maybe we should wait until the start of the season before judging this unit. See who starts and see who plays then see how they play… It’s how I watch football.

    It seems like I missed some upper class-men?? The one player that left the program hurt the team’s depth, Paulina. ike

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  43. All the talk about who is a better recruiter and Narduzzi and Chryst have two classes that are identical. Hard to believe.

    It seems we have to many secondary players but I like Hester, I hope we get him.

    I think we are two over the limit right now. Not to hard to find two or three guys who are currently on the team that have virtually no chance of playing.

    I would still like to add Applegate from Rutgers.

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  44. EDR I think it’s Applefield and he signed with Virginia. Narduzzi will never say it but I think that’s how PITT ended up with Millon.

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  45. Looks good. Now, how many can get on the field and where next year! Hope this class contributes what it appears to be able.Roll Duz lets get an ace P: coach and go spring ball.

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  46. Players I think play this coming season?

    Millin … finally spelled his name right I think
    Brown …
    Town..
    Danielson
    Shocky or
    O’Neil
    Sala Hudini

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  47. It was Pitt Script that got us our only 4-star (from PSN):

    It’s been speculated for the last week that Salahuddin was leaning towards Pitt but I asked him when he knew and made his final decision that Pitt would be it for him.

    “Definitely when my little sister told me that she wanted to see me wearing that Pitt uniform. That sealed it up for me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Colors, branding, TV games, winning trajectory…perception matters

    That’s why I’m worried about basketball

    Bald guy with Rockport’s, empty Pete, being blown out, bad play and no inspiring wins.

    My sister wouldn’t want me selecting Pitt after seeing or hearing all that.

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    1. I don’t worry about it much as the program was somewhat of a train wreck with JD leaving. Last year’s
      team had people on it who were selfish and most likely did not have much affinity for KS. When you have
      a multitude of true freshman playing you cannot expect them to overpower established ACC teams. It would be unrealistic to think otherwise. These freshmen are truly learning on the job, one that will reap some dividends for them and the team in the future. When they start to win and/or if they start to win progress will be seen as a plus. Only time will tell though.

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  49. We missed you Reed, but wise decision on your part. My wife and I met up with Richman and Fran at Bettis’. A good time was had.

    Enjoyed the LOI event, but still would like to hear the coaches talk a bit more personally about the recruits (like in the Walt days…). Found it interesting, e.g. that an Italian Professor come in on the weekend to meet with the kid Baldonado kid (a native of Italy) during his visit. A nice touch…

    Got to talk to Coach Bates for a while. He seemed like he’ll be pretty fiery and intense. In answer to a couple questions, said he’s looking forward to calling plays – said he was involved with calls for the front seven while at NW. Said he’ll be in the booth, and said he will handle coaching the safeties (yes!).

    Oh, and I caught Richman talking it up with Heather L.

    Go Pitt.

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  50. Saw this today on Cbs Sports about NCAAB Coaches on the Hot Seat.

    Team PITTSBURGH
    Coach: Kevin Stallings

    The Panthers are terrible . At 8-16, and 0-11 in the ACC, Stallings’ program is moving in the wrong direction. (Pitt was 16-17 last season in Stallings’ first year.) Few would balk if Pitt AD Heather Lyke opted to pull the ripcord. It was former AD Scott Barnes who hired Stallings, so a change here is on the table, but I’ll remind readers that power-conference schools bailing on a hire after only two years and without any type of scandal is uncommon. Stallings probably gets a third year.

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/college-basketball-coaches-on-the-hot-seat-who-has-work-to-do-to-keep-their-jobs/

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      1. All right, look at my shoes (Rockports?),

        Can’t fight the running blues (tar holes, dukies?),

        Too much to lose,

        Don’t fight the running blues.

        Maybe if the shoes were Nike or Adidas, Pitt could…never mind.

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  51. A fine finish for the coaches for this class. Like what I see on here about coach bates. A new line coach and bring on spring ball.H2P!

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  52. Just my take, and of course the coaches talk glowingly about all the recruits, but I sensed a bit of eexcitement from Coach Partridge for DE John Morgan and DT Devin Danielson.

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  53. Coach Partridge also made the inevitable mention of Greg Romeus in relation to relatively-new-to-football recruit Baldonado. Actually Coach, who also recruited Greg Romeus, said that at this point in their development, Baldonado is ahead of Romeus in the mental side of the game.

    This kid is definitely way raw, but you can’t teach 6’5” and 235 pounds with some jump. Be interesting to see what becomes of our Italian Stallion…

    Go Pitt

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Source tells FootballScoop –

    Harvard (FCS – MA): Andy Marino, who coached the offensive line at Lehigh last season, has now been announced as the new offensive line coach for the Crimson.

    San Diego (FCS): Receivers coach Christian Taylor is moving to co-OC / quarterbacks and offensive line coach Jim Jackson is also adding co-OC title source tells FootballScoop.

    Texas Tech: Washington State offensive line coach Clay McGuire is leaving to go back to his alma mater Texas Tech as running backs coach.

    Three fewer options available to fill Pitt’s Oline coaching position, making the in-house promotion of Offensive Quality Control assistant James Patton more obvious. Patton previously worked with OC Watson at Indiana as the Special Teams coach and also the Defensive Line coach.

    In what could possibly be Pitt’s most important unit and concern for 2018, an experienced and veteran coach would be preferred by the Pitt fan base, hungry for a team that can compete for the ACC Coastal division and an ACC championship.

    The Oline has the potential to be good – the Pitt administration has even more potential to go cheap on this important hire.

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  55. Thanks Major for the update…spot on. I was too tired to type last night. Reed, we got a photo of me and Richman with Inoke Brechterfield.

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  56. Next year Pitt’s non-conference schedule will feature UC Riverside, Dartmouth, Delaware State, San Jose St, Incarnate Word, Northwestern St and Chicago St.

    I’m an optimist 4-3

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  57. Pitt is now the only major conference team without a conference win.

    But take heart … St John’s was 0-11 in BE, but after beating #4 Duke on Sat, they upset #1 Villanova in Philly last night

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  58. WPIAL represents 10 Western PA counties and well over 100 schools. Yet, according to Mike White (PG), only 21 seniors this year signed with FBS schools … 21?

    Pitt got 5, WVU got 3. But what was at one time (just 30 some years ago) known as THE place to recruit high school football, has become a joke.

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    1. The 2019 class in Western PA and the state is really bad. Better land the O-linemen from Pine Richland and everyone else out of state.

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  59. Narduzzi closed strong again with this recruiting class. His two OL recruits, both with experience will reinforce a glaring weakness in this team for 2018. H2P.

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  60. wwb..many years ago steel and mining ruled the local economy-” things” change.

    Back when Wanny was coaching he and Paterno were interviewed and pushing for local high schools to begin “spring ball” and said it was a major reason Pa kids lagged in development behind other states who had a spring FB practice. Their collective wish never came to fruition.

    In the ole days when western PA ruled our all-stars would play Texas in the Big 33 game where numerous ass whoopings were administered by the Longhorn state until the series was stopped by PA. If my memory is correct one of the reasons PA gave for ending the series – Texas had spring ball and they were further ahead in terms of development. We couldn’t compete.

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    1. obviously the closing of steel mills and associated industries had a profound effect on the population in WPa beginning in the mid 70s. And we could not expect anything near to what it was back in the 70s when it comes to quantity and quality of high school football.

      We have known for years about how Ohio despite less population, producing nearly twice the amount of D1 recruits than PA. And further, how Eastern PA and NJ have long surpassed WPa in high school prospects.

      But still … 21 FBS signings from >100 schools? That’s pathetic!

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  61. No doubt the WPIAL was down this year. But the major population change took place years ago.
    Maybe we are seeing the effect of 700,000 fewer kids playing football each year nationally because of head trauma and other interests. Or maybe just a bad year. We will never be what we were, and that is why we have to recruit the whole east coast if not the nation.
    We will still see some great players out of the WPIAL in the future, just not as many.

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  62. Great High School players seems also to be a function of great coaches and programs. Seems we never see any coming out of PPS any more and fewer from the Beaver Valley and other perennial winners like Woodland Hills, Penn Hills, Gateway, West Allegheny, TJ, McKeesport, Upper St Clair, Mt Lebanon etc. Pine Richland is a new contender, NA also. Gone are the days of powerful Mon Valley, and Allegheny Valley teams.

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  63. Breaking: another coaching vacancy to fill

    Chris Peak@PantherLair
    Breaking news: Renaldo Hill is leaving #Pitt for a position with the Miami Dolphins

    So, in addition to OL, Pitt needs to hire a secondary coach. Initial thought is Poteat or Thatcher but I’m sure Bates and PN has many contacts for this

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    1. Not sure this is a great loss. I was at the Signing Day event last night, and of all the assistant coached who spoke, he impressed me the least—by a significant amount. Just blah…although maybe that was because he already had one foot out the door. That plus his record on developing our DB is not stellar to say the least. Duzz and Bates should be able to bring in someone better.

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  64. The ACC is situated in the richest sports markets. All it needs to do is add NYC somehow with or without ND. Maybe CT and Temple.. MD going to B10 was big loss.

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  65. How does Clairton manage to produce so many D1 players from their small area? I think that the reasons Western PA doesn’t produce as many D1 FB players has nothing to do with population. It is about a tradition of hard work and getting out of the mines, steel mills, etc and escaping to a new life. I think it is more that the kids from some traditional areas where players used to come from have lost the drive to become great football players. They no longer see FB as a way out of poverty to a new life. Clairton still has the tradition and the results are obvious.

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  66. So PITT is back to being two coaches short. Read that Archie may be promoted already up to secondary coach. Still need an O-Line and 10th coach if that happens.

    Sure seems like Hill had one foot out the door and they had him wait until after LOI day. Looks like that’s why AC was brought in.

    Lots of calls for coaching changes the past couple years so here you are. Hope this will be an improvement?

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  67. So Clairton kids have a tradition of hard work driven by the incentive to succeed in football to escape to a new life and that explains why they produce D1 talent? Why don’t kids from other downtrodden Mon Valley towns have the same incentive? What about kids from certain neighborhoods with the Pittsburgh city limits?

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    1. It is all about pee wee football through good high school coaching. Football is a huge part of Clairton’s culture. But you have to have the coaching. Seen it many times. Andy Urbanic at Penn Hills, Gateway had Antimarino, then nothing until Smith, now a new team seems to have them back. Look at the teams that always win, like TJ, Jeannette, Upper St Clair, West Allegheny, Woodland Hills. It is about the coaches.

      Also the star players are cyclical and you certainly have great years when you have them, but they appear more often when you have a strong program.

      Why has Butler, a giant district never had good football, its because of coaching. They have great athletes in other sports. NA finally got good coaching and they are very competitive. Mt Lebanon always had great coaches.

      Coaching is crucial for young athletes, that’s why the areas that have good peewee programs develop better players. Terry Smith made sure the middle school coaches used the same system so the kids were better prepared when they got to high school.

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      1. Not quite never for Butler, had some powerhouse teams in the 60s and 70s, but nothing in the last 30+ years. Too many coaches to keep track of…

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  68. My daughter played soccer. I watched how the kids that got the best coaching and learned the foot skills became the best players. It was less about athleticism and more about skills. Also the coaches with the best systems had a big advantage. Especially with kids that could execute the system.

    I can’t watch baseball anymore because the players don’t know the fundamentals, plus it is too slow and boring.

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