Some 2019 Pitt Recruiting Thoughts

Here’s an article by our good friend Ike on future recruiting by the staff…

Here’s a quick look at PITT’s 2019 recruiting strategy.

In an attempt to get away from some family issues that have cropped up, I went over to PITT’s recruit offer list just to check it out and found a few interesting facts that surprised me and at the same time didn’t take me all that off guard. Seems that HCPN has quickened his recruiting targets from PA to a generally speaking, east of the Mississippi River territory. I think we all realize that WPA has practically fallen off the cherished recruiting hotbed list but, man oh man, I didn’t think 2019 would be this shallow of talent.

Let me back up a moment, my rough count has PITT extending something a little less than 165 total outstanding offers at this point in time. This blows my mind a bit but proves the theory that all the offers are not commit-able at first glance. This is just a rough look at what is going on right now on the PITT recruiting front. “Wasting Time” in other words. I could play the Dave Mathews video but I’ll spare you all that.

(Editor’s note: for the 2018 class we put out 292 offers; for 2017 it was 268… so we will throw out a lot more once the 2018 HS football season starts.)

I considered the WPIAL from the rest of PA as two separate entities as I just don’t think eastern PA is a major target for PITT recruiting. The WPIAL is. Ready for the offer list for WPIAL? Answer … three (3). That’s it for right now.

I feel this is real bad for PITT’s next years recruiting class. Jayvon Thrift, Andrew Kristofic. and Joey Porter Jr are the three offered o far and all three are 3* kids. I do like all three of the players and hope they come on board as I think they are quality recruits. Have to mention that PITT and Narduzzi have to keep up local recruiting ties with the younger players and with the local high school coaches. BTW, I believe Kristofic is a legacy recruit.

That leaves the rest of PA as having a total of 13 more players including Kyri Wright from Farrel HS who, for whatever reason, is not a part of the WPIAL. I do remember going to a high school football game up there and it was quite a ride in the snow back in the Eddie McClusky days. So where that leave PA in numbers across the board in terms of total recruits? Well, PA ranks 3rd. There is really no surprise in the Top 4.

4. New Jersey with 12
3. PA with 16
2. Ohio with 21
1. Ready for this? Florida with 46 That’s right, 46 offers to Florida high school football players. I can’t say what the numbers looked like in years past but that seems real high to me. (Note: in 2017 we offered a total of 70 Florida recruits)

Another surprise to me is Michigan with 12 followed by Maryland with 11 and Georgia with nine. We will see which players commit or not but it looks like Narduzzi has expanded PITT’s recruiting territory to nationwide. This is also punctuated by seven offers to the state of California and four to the DC area. I’ll also spare you guys from the ZZ Top song “Nationwide”.

Finishing up, a look at the star power of these offers. Of the total, two are 5* young men. Devyn Ford from VA and Chris Steele from Cali. Looks like around 70 4* offers are out there around the country with only 4 being from the state of Pa and none from the WPIAL.

The reason I bring up the 4* offers is that last year there was a big uproar on the lack of PITT recruiting a 4* player until the last day and also the question of how many 4* players offer that PITT supposedly “missed on”. It seems at the rate of offers put out compared to scholarships available we should all plan on PITT missing out on a lot more 4*’s this coming year.

The point of this comment is….. ??… Ike

176 thoughts on “Some 2019 Pitt Recruiting Thoughts

  1. Great article, ike. It certainly looks from the numbers like Pitt is stepping up its recruiting efforts. I was always a believer that if you don’t even offer you don’t get a commitment. So Pitt should be expanding its recruiting efforts across the country where it makes sense, and then focus on the players who show an interest. It doesn’t cost much to call and write letters for the 4 and 5 star high school players. But it does take eyes to pick out the unknown up and coming players that maybe haven’t played football for very long. Many times we have heard that a team signed a player they observed while looking at another player. Expanding the reach to get these unknown players requires extending the Panthers network to add “friends” of Pitt around the country.


  2. Nice article, Ike.

    Any chance we could name Aaron Donald the official ambassador for Pitt football?
    No better recruiting tool than meeting him.


  3. Obviously getting an offer is pretty meaningless. Every four star gets many.

    The difficult part is getting any of these four stars to visit.


    1. aside from Paris Ford, I believe the only 4-stars we got in the past few years were late in the year who have not attended a game at Heinz …. IMO not exactly a coincidence


  4. Good job Ike. The 46 FL offers should surprise no one here, especially with the addition of Partridge.

    We holdovers from the Blather have held a long time belief that a 3-star from FL is the equal of a 4-star from PA. It is probably not correct … but it is based on the just how many 2 and 3 stars from FL contributed to Pitt the previous decade, beginning with 2-star Antonio Bryant (who if memory serves was the last commit of his class in the last 90s.)


  5. Pitt Athletics Announces Creation of Student Panther Club

    Membership Includes 2018 Football Season Tickets, the Official Panther Pitt T-Shirt, Exclusive Pitt Athletics Insider Access, Discounts and More!

    Student Panther Club Created | How to Join

    PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh athletic department unveiled Wednesday morning the creation of the brand new Student Panther Club, coinciding with student season tickets for the highly anticipated 2018 Pitt Football campaign going on sale.

    Through the newly formed Student Panther Club, members can enhance their student experience by deepening their connection to the University of Pittsburgh through exclusive athletic events and other membership privileges.

    Student Panther Club membership is available for $50 and includes the following:

    Student Football Season Tickets for 2018 games at Heinz Field
    Be entered to win Personalized, Authentic Retro Pitt Football Jerseys
    Invitations to attend Exclusive Panther Club Events
    Student Panther Club Membership Card with discounts to campus hot spots
    Official 2018 Panther Pitt T-Shirt
    Two Complimentary Tickets to Family Weekend
    Begin accrual of Panther Club Priority Points as a student
    Maximize your Pitt Athletics Experience

    “This is a great opportunity for us students to get more involved in our University, especially Pitt Athletics,” said Emily Yarish, president of The Panther Pitt. “To establish ourselves as Student Panther Club members will make transitioning to Panther Club members as alumni even more exciting. Plus, the perks of joining are awesome!”

    To become an inaugural member of the Student Panther Club, join online via, by calling (412) 648-8889 or via email at

    Student Panther Club members will also have the opportunity to accrue Panther Club priority points, which provide special access to season and single-game opportunities as well as Bowl game ticket opportunities for Pitt Football.

    Stay up to date with Student Panther Club news on social media by following @Pitt_ATHLETICS on Twitter and through the hashtag #PittSPC.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pitt Student Panther Club

    Do I have to be an undergraduate student to join the Student Panther Club?

    Student Panther Club membership is open to any student (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral) registered at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Can I join if I attend a branch campus of the University of Pittsburgh?

    All registered University of Pittsburgh students may join the Student Panther Club.

    I will be studying abroad this fall and will not need to purchase a football season ticket. Can I be a Student Panther Club member without purchasing season tickets?

    Yes. If you do not wish to purchase football season tickets, the membership fee for the Student Panther Club is $25. You may choose this option when you log into the site to join the Student Panther Club.
    Is there a deadline to sign up for the Student Panther Club?

    There is no deadline to join the Student Panther Club. However, we encourage all students to sign up as early as possible to maximize their benefits throughout the academic year.

    Do I need to renew my membership each year with the Student Panther Club?

    Yes, we encourage students to renew their membership in the Student Panther Club each year to maximize their priority points within the Panther Club. Each April 1 starts a new year for membership; renewal is required to continue membership.

    What is the Panther Club?

    The Panther Club is the official fundraising arm for the University of Pittsburgh Athletics Department. Their mission is to provide critical resources for scholarships, capital projects and 19 individual sport needs. Their goal is to create the very best experience for current and future Pitt student-athletes and champions.

    What are Priority Points?

    Priority Points are important as they pertain to your priority level within the Panther Club. Priority Points are used when allocating tickets and seat locations for each of Pitt’s away games, postseason events and single-game ticket purchases. Priority points also play a role in the allocation and improvement of season tickets.
    How do I maximize my Student Panther Club membership?

    There are various ways to maximize your membership through discounts, VIP experiences, ticket purchases and much, much more!


    1. pretty interesting stuff … and seems like a great deal. The only thing missing is a Ffree Fanta for staying late in the 4th quarter. (Hey EE, Ffree Fanta .. Lyke that?)

      Now we really need is a major incentive plans for adults. I suggest for both the Albany and GT games, Pitt does something similar to what the Balt Orioles are doing this year …. with every adult upper deck ticket purchase comes two free tickets for children 10 and under. (an effort to get area youth interested)


  6. I guess that’s the point of the article as it just doesn’t look like there is quantity or quality in the 2019 class at this point. I should have mentioned that the offer list is a work in progress and will continue to grow..

    In 2014 under PC PITT offered only 20 players from Fla. with one committing to PITT James Folston

    2015 around 35 players offered and again only one commit in Malik Henderson.

    Here’s a rivals list of the top WPIAL high school players in next years class 2019…State=pa


  7. Nice article, Ike! I’m having a hard time mentally getting back in gear for football after the stress of the basketball season and hire.


  8. Heather is on a roll

    Andrew Rush@andrewrush
    Pitt Women’s Gymnastics @Pitt_GYM will appear in the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time in five years lead by @catie_conrad and Haley Brechwald. Practice today at Trees Hall at @PittTweet #H2P


  9. Nice job Ike. There are a lot of me to offers extended by all teams IMO. I guess the main problem I have with the many offers is the time it takes up for the coaches to have to continually keep in contact with many of these offered recruits. I know it needs to be done but never the less it must be a frustrating(and very time consuming) endeavor for many of these coaches.


  10. I’ve heard Bates say on several occasions they are implementing changes on defense.

    I couldn’t find a site that broke down NW defensive stats year to year like Reed does for Pitt. Total D, Pass, Run, etc.

    I would like to see if they were actually better, especially against spread teams.


      1. Thanks Reed. I was in a different NCAA page. That one you posted is great.

        Total D 34th, Rushing D 9th, Passing Yards Allowed 100th (ouch), D TFL 21st

        It is a mixed bag.


          1. PN was obviously slooow to adjust to spread offenses in the ACC. I hope Bates and the new DB coaches throw in various packages to defend the teams that throw the ball all over the place.


            1. Northwestern rarely plays spread offenses. The B10 west runs conservative offenses like Iowa and Wisc. Illini has no offense. and Neb hasn’t been that good lately


    1. Thanks Reed. Fun to play with this. What stood out to me was there are zero 5 star QB’s in the whole country. Only 18 4 stars under Pro and Dual threat QB’s. Of those 10 are Pro Style (which is what we run) and the closest home state for any of those kids is North Carolina… So expect a 3 star QB recruit coming our way.


  11. I was curious about Farrell not being in the WPIAL since Butler played them and Sharon every year back in the 70s. Both those schools are in PIAA district 10 which encompasses the northwestern counties. There must have been a reorg since I moved away in 75.


    1. Larry V, I’m from New Castle from back in the 60s/early 70s … so I’m very familiar with Sharon, Farrell (and Beaver Falls, Hopewell, Ambridge Ellwood City and Aliquippa).

      There are no Mercer County teams in the WPIAL any more… Sharon, Farrell, Kennedy Christian, Mercer, Sharpsville, etc are all in a different PIAA district .. not sure what it’s like towards Butler. Slippery Rock and Grove City also are not in WPIAL


  12. In a 10,000 high school student system, my area has 5 four stars. That’s one per high school. So even in Texas, they are rare. Most kids are two and three stars obviously. And Pitt needs about 6-8 four stars each year to play with the big boys. You need to expand your recruiting area to find them. Pitt is doing just that.


  13. The drying up of WPIAL talent is a big concern for pitt football. Am I being alarmist or is this a major concern?


    1. I have been saying this for awhile. It is a big and real concern. The lack of 4 stars players in Western PA is brutal for us because the hard truth is getting 4+ star kids to commit to Pitt is a monumental challenge based on game day atmosphere alone compared to who we are recruiting against for most of these kids. It means you have to coach the kids you can get up and the jury is still out on if we can do that. I sure will be rooting that we can.


      1. I don’t see the pesos being hurt in the least. The game day atmospheer and recruiting ability of their HC will let them bring 4 stars from schools east of the Mississippi.


        1. I mean their recruiting here…..They get all the 4-5* kids in W. PA anyway. We’re better of if there isn’t any.


  14. Nice write up Ike. Thank you.

    Game day atmosphere.. Miami game was rocking last year. There seems to be a lot of factors as to our game day atmosphere.
    I suspect who we are playing, what they are ranked, when we play, what we are ranked, is there more on the line, and if we were improving going into a game or declining.

    Though one of the biggest factors is probably how good we are playing and our rank at the time.

    Hoping the movement of the band and students this year helps contribute positively to the overlooking experience. There’s always room for improvement.


  15. We missed out on a couple of 2017 recruits from WPIAL. We need to get recruiters to get on the turnpike to Philly and 70 to DC.


  16. Thanks for all the compliments guys and it was easy enough.

    The one big draw back for me with Rivals is that they capped the amount of 5* players. In other words if there is one player over the cutoff who is 5* material he’s dropped down to 4*


  17. A most excellent article by the ever-humble ike! Good info ike.

    wwb – I agree with your point that, sadly, we have a better chance of recruiting players who do not see a game at Heinz (or who only see a game versus PSU or ND at Heinz…). HUGE recruiting hurdle and disadvantage for Coach Duzz to deal with. If AD Heather finds a way to solve this problem and get ~50K on a regular basis at Heinz, then she truly will deserve a statue.

    Go Pitt.


    1. Absolutely. Considering the poor game experience, limited talent in wpa, limited resources for top assistants, and just tough competition from surrounding programs, I don’t understand how people are so tough on Narduzzi recruiting. He isnt a great recruiter but he does fairly well. A coach that could haul in tons of 4 star players in Narduzzi’s position would he gone by now anyway.


  18. PennLive from Harrisburg had a listing last month of the Top PA HS prospects for 2019. And Kristolic was listed as top prospect in the state (even though he was a Rivals 3-star), and then the next WPIAL player was something like 16th. The kid from Farrell was in the Top 15 as was someone from Sharpsville or Sharon …. but the point was that the Top 20 was dominated by the mid or eastern part of the state.

    This is in direct contract to what is was when many of us grew up, and W Pa not only dominated the state but also the nation


    1. the wpial has been down for several years now
      best recruits are indeed in epa and most definitely out of state
      and the nitters always do well in cpa and epa
      pitt has to go where the numbers are


  19. ike, right on cue:

    Chris Peak@PantherLair

    Interesting note in the Georgia recruiting article: Over the last 4 classes, Ga. ranks 6th among states with the most recruits holding #Pitt offers


  20. Iek… thanks for your article… just read where a player from Gateway got his 1st D1 offer- from Harbaugh and Michigan…makes me wonder what goes on at Pitt if Michigan recognizes a local kid as D1 talent and offers before Pitt ????


  21. Good job Ike…just getting to reading from Sunday. You could say I’m in Heinz Ketchup mode. Snowing at the Bucco game.


  22. Thanks for the article Ike. The WPIAL used to have a lot of schools in it that are no longer in it and have dropped in size and class because of major decline in enrollment.The gutted MT steel towns have no child bearing parents or kids.Pa. has declining youth because it has declining families. East of the susquehanna though is a bit of an anomaly as it is part of the east coast megalopolis.PS has always had a better grip on central and eastern Pa. because of geography, news coverage etc.. From the Alleghenies east Pa is Phillie and PS country(scattered campuses and easy access transportation, lots of alums) Previous posters are right Narduzzie has to go outside more and that does mean build up that invite/gameday experience.H2P


  23. Erie Express – sounds like you’re all ready for the Masters!

    Being a Lefty, I’ll be rooting for Phil… 🙂

    Go Pitt.


  24. Furyk was from all over the great state of Pa.

    “Furyk was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His ancestry is Czech and Polish on his mother’s side and Ukrainian and Hungarian on his father’s side.[5][6] His father, Mike, was an assistant pro at the Edgmont Country Club and later also spent time as a pro at West Chester Golf and Country Club as well as Hidden Springs Golf Course in Horsham. His early years were spent in the Pittsburgh suburbs learning the game from his father, who was also head pro at Uniontown Country Club in Uniontown, Fayette County.[7]

    He graduated from Manheim Township High School in Lancaster County in 1988, where he played basketball in addition to being a state champion golfer. He played his junior golf at Meadia Heights Golf Club just south of Lancaster city”.

    Rocco is a lazy cow but I still root for him, Arnold was the KING!


  25. Rick, hats off to you for golfing in this weather…50 mph wind gusts. Heard we’re getting snow tomorrow night. Looking forward to watching some Masters this week too. Getting me mentally ready…haha.


  26. Fran – hats off was the right use there my friend – anything that was loose was going to be lost.

    I kept my hat in the car – the ball was subject to falling off the tee on each of the 18 holes.

    Golf is challenging enough on a warm sunny day – throw in high winds and chilly temps and fun takes on a whole new meaning.

    I saw two guys on the course in shorts – had to be below freezing with the wind factored in.



  27. Get well soon Big Dan72, when you get overly frustrated, just think of me when punching your pillow. With your good arm. ike 🙂


  28. Thanks for the article, Ike. The responses were especially informative for this non-PA Pitt grad. As fantastic as Reed is its the collective responses from POVers that make Reed’s leadership meaningful.


  29. Get well Dan72.

    Love the Masters. Got to root for Tiger and Phil, the old guys.

    I played once in February, but this weather sucks. Leaving for Myrtle Beach on Sunday.

    I have seven top courses scheduled but might get rained out in a few.

    I play with a guy that was on the Pitt golf team, and roomed with another freshman year.

    He told me when he didn’t play well in the PA State Championship that Arnold Palmer came into the locker room and consoled him circa 1968. What a great man.

    Too bad Pitt doesn’t have golf teams. If all the great Country Clubs in Allegheny County let them play, it could be quite a draw. You could have a men’s and women’s team that could travel together to cut costs. Some northern schools still have good teams. Of course recruiting would be even tougher than Football and Basketball due to the weather.

    I hear a lot of people who know Rocco think he is quite a jerk. Furyk a super nice guy and a huge Steeler Fan.


    1. I love all of the majors … what I especially love this year is the banning of anyone yelling “Dilly DillY’

      Not only does Budweiser products give me a headache, so do their commercials… I’ve been sick and tired of Dilly Dilly for at least 2 months now


  30. Majors,

    Every mid-level school has issues they have to deal with in recruiting. The decline in top shelf kids in WPA didn’t happen overnight.

    Two years ago Pitt budgeted (and I believe had some share-time donated) for chartered flights for the recruiting staff so it isn’t like Narduzzi & staff are limited in their travel range. That is the first time I can remember a Pitt HC having that sort of resource.

    It has still been possible to get high talent recruits to come to Pitt. Even just lately HCPC landed 13 4* & 5* recruits in his three years and some came from: TN, EPA, NJ, IL and OH(2).

    HCPN in his three years got 8 4* kids and four were from FL, DC and OH (2).

    These days recruiting isn’t just local any longer (for the majority of programs like Pitt’s) and schools budget for travel accordingly – otherwise schools like WVU couldn’t recruit hardly at all and in the recent past they have had some pretty highly ranked classes.

    The WPIAL is down but PN’s real problem is he’s that not getting those good distant recuits we have offers out to coming to make official visits to Pitt. Case in point: in the ’16 recruiting season we had only three out of state recruits visitors and signed two.

    In ’17 we had four OOS 4* visitors and signed two.

    In ’18 we had only one total 4*recruit make an official visit to Pitt and he was from OOS and he signed (Salahudin).

    It is no coincidence that we had the least interest shown by blue chip recruits after our 5 win season last year.

    Narduzzi’s tepid (to say it nicely) recruiting lately isn’t only because of the WPIAL, it’s because his recruiting staff is doing a poor job of getting the better recruits to get inerested in Pitt in the first place, then can’t convince them visit which really helps in allowing Narduzzi to close the deal.


    1. One caveat …. two 4-stars (Holtz and Boyd) and one 5-star (D Johnson) were locals that came to Pitt once the PSU sanctions were released. In fact, both Holtz and DJ had already verballed to PSU but rescinded. And it is indeterminable if any other 4 stars came to Pitt in the 2012-13 era that may have been seriously considering PSU otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Yeah Davis isn’t a part of next years recruiting class. There is another Gateway player drawing some interest around the east coast though. Courtney Jackson. Has some Big East and Mac offers along with Syracuse and WVU. Jackson had a big game last year in the playoffs with 15 catches for 264 yards and 3 TD’s. 5’11” 170lbs. He seems like a nice young man. ike


  32. This is not meant to piss you off Reed but not everyone looks to rivals as the bible of recruiting services. So maybe in Narduzzi’s mind and lots of other people, PITT has fared much better than you believe. and no need for another talk about how Rivals is the standard for the POV, I get that. jus saying. ike


    1. Ike, you are the designated excuse maker for the football program…

      OK my friend, let’s look at ESPN’s take on our 2018 class:

      Well, lookee here, worse than Rivals!…Salahuddin is a 3! ESPN totally shuts Pitt out of 4* recruits …

      What does 247’s site say about Pitt’s 2018 class ranking??

      Well, lookee here, worse than Rivals’ team ranking of 36th… 247 has us at 45th!! .

      Man, if you were a true Pitt fan you’d want us to have a 36th ranked class instead of a 45th (and really crappy) ranked one! I think you live in Happy Valley.

      This is why we don’t cherry pick on the POV Ike. I want the discussions to have a common baseline which is so important when discussing recruiting especially.

      Rivals is the industry standard and the most accurate overall and we will stick with that on here – otherwise its madness. Sheer madness…


  33. I knew that would get you started and that’s why I used rivals for the article. I’m also in agreement that one service should be the standard. imo they should do away with the star rankings and just list their scores. 5.7 – 5.8 as an example and what is the actual difference? My point is, it’s way to subjective to worry about where PITT’s recruiting class is rated. jrn is right, let’s see how the recruits play, not if they were 4*’s or not.

    As far as Capel and recruiting. Stone looks like he may be coming to PITT. Also feeling good about Maceo and Oscar from Kennedy Christen.


  34. It’s clear from Reed’s post that Pitt closes on a pretty good percentage of recruits who actually visit the campus (and maybe meet a few Steelers players as well to help with the selling job). So the focus must be to get the sought after 4 and 5 star recruits to make visits, especially when most are out of state players.


  35. Don’t know if this has been mentioned, but in a recent Sports Illustrated, Steve Adams was asked if he wrote his book? He said no, I can hardly read. That says a lot about if rules are bent for star players.

    This is the hypocrisy of college athletics. How many star athletes would really be admitted on their academic merits?

    The one and dones aren’t going to Duke for its academic excellence.


    1. Interesting, maybe Pitt wouldn’t allow him to stay another year. Jamie’s last 5 star and he couldn’t keep him another year.


  36. Brian Batko@BrianBatko
    Pitt running back Darrin Hall gave George Aston perhaps the best compliment a fullback can get: “George is an angry guy.”


  37. Heather must gave went on another vacation today… That woman can get more done on vacation than she does when she’s working.


  38. Hey Iek, have you considered another alternate spelling of your name considering your avatar? Eyek.


  39. Stay tuned Fran, chances are you may see me misspell it that way. When I catch myself signing off as iek, I put an asterisk beside it. I’m trying to break the habit of signing my name altogether. Right above I misspelled have with gave. oh well . . .. eyek


    1. how about from UConn? McKeesport native Swin Cash just retired last year … no coaching experience but a ton of street cred.

      3× WNBA champion (2003, 2006, 2010)
      4× WNBA All-Star (2003, 2005, 2009, 2011)
      2× WNBA All-Star MVP (2009, 2011)
      2× All-WNBA Second Team (2003, 2004)
      WNBA Top 20@20 (2016)
      4× NBA Shooting Stars champion (2007, 2013–2015)
      2× NCAA champion (2000, 2002)
      NCAA Tournament MOP (2002)
      AP All-American (2002)


  40. Susie had to go. She’s been a bust for awhile. I can only imagine how she took it. If she’s anything like I remember when I was around her it wasn’t pretty! Lots of coach’s ay Pitt should be worried. Looks like poor performance will no longer be acceptable no matter what your name or rep is.


  41. Chris Peak@PantherLair

    8 interceptions in 11 practices for Paris Ford; looks like the move to cornerback is working out well

    Ike: looks like we have a great CB in the fold

    Reed: the QBs must be even worse than expected, most likely most most of them from Town


  42. Heather certainly is a busy AD. I’m very pleased with the changes she is currently making. She’s working the strategy.


  43. Wbb, that may be true but I’ll look on the bright side and believe Ford is that good because we pretty much have stunk at that for some time.

    Only 9 last season (77th nationally)


    1. Lost me on that comment Reed? Ford looks good because PITT has stunk. Seems as though some really struggle to find that elusive bright side. I’ll bring you my “Look at the Bright Side” handbook to Frans first game tailgate.

      btw, did you get your season tickets yet?


    1. LOL — excerpt from the article linked immediately above

      The Mountaineers have never been able to draw anywhere near the crowd that other major programs regularly draw for their Spring games. West Virginia announced last April that 6,415 people were in attendance for the 2017 Gold-Blue Game. In comparison to that, Kansas State and Texas Tech both doubled the figure. Virginia Tech claimed an attendance of 16,025, Iowa State drew 15,000 fans and Pittsburgh “allegedly” drew 7,076.


      1. Is it really worth playing in a 70k stadium when only 7,000 fans show? Thats 10% of capacity. Why dont they play at that soccer stadium again? Makes for a much better atmosphere.


  44. I don’t understand whatever happened to Suzie McConnell-Serio. She had an incredible rep with really good experience both coaching and on the court. Good for Heather to make the move, but how can you just lose it like that?


  45. All Nitter coaches and members of the BoT should be purged at Pitt. The Pitt Way should not be mediocrity nor should it be led by anyone with a degree from our arch rival.


  46. I’ve gone to some wonen’s BB games and will not miss SMS’s courtside demeanor. Her exasperation act seemed to me to be her playing to the crowd and trying to send a message that the crappy play everyone was watching clearly wasn’t her fault…

    On top of that – and possibly connected – is that the best players on the team keep transferring out – and SMS has done a terrible job of recruiting, especially post players…

    I was shocked that SMS could not translate her impressive resume into better recruits.

    Heather is soaring right now…

    Go Pitt


  47. I guess my question now has to be will there be any money left in our athletic budget after the payouts to Stallings and SMS?


    1. I seriously doubt that after 5 years, SMS has anything near the buyout as Otis. Also, terms of the final agreement were not disclosed but I bet after all the stink Stallings’ lawyers made, that they settled for less than $9.4M. I think there was a little more than just the LVille incident


  48. the rich get richer

    ESPN Stats & Info@ESPNStatsInfo
    Paul Tyson, the great grandson of Bear Bryant, has verbally committed to @AlabamaFTBL. Tyson is a 4-star QB that ranks No. 212 in ESPN Jr300.

    Bryant won 6 national titles as coach of Alabama


  49. Ford racking up ints and the coaches saying it is on well thrown balls tells me that the WRs are getting schooled by Paris in fighting for the ball


  50. The Spring Game is for the fans and to reconnect mid-offseason. That’s really the fun of it. I’d drive up but for prior commitments.

    Geez Ike, lets give Ford some credit.

    You are such a Negative Nancy…


  51. While she is at it Baseball needs a legit ACC Coach. This should of been done years ago. Bout time someone showed some heart in Pitt Athletics.


      1. Look at the Non Con wins though. Very weak teams. BC is decent this year. Pitt needs 2 of 3 to have any chance.


  52. per article on PSN, 3 girls requested releases from WBB team after two transferred last year. Wise last year Diop this year were probably the 2 best players. Some allegations of verbal abuse during practices by SMS


  53. she may be gone due to her conduct and Pitt isn’t paying coaches to lose and be immune from dismissal. The ACC is a big time conference and Pitt understands the money comes with having competitive teams. Mens BB has been addressed and the womans side is now center court. Heather hire the Fogler female search firm to help. Addressing the revenue programs first and foremost and winning creates the cash flow. Pitt BB can be a hot ticket again. Competing for the coastal in football which may happen as early as this year will create momentum as well.


  54. Why does Rivals have us with “20” recruits while 24/7 has other with “21” The added one is Devon Davis (yes the same one that Reed referenced a few blog posts ago. I think Reed was really referring to another JUCO from Lackawanna for a ’19 recruit).

    Devon Davis based on what I have read, is a “WALK-ON”. He is already enrolled & supposedly a roommate of Chase Brown.

    So what’s my beef. When the rankings came out in February, 24/7 had Davis as a two star, (they at least have him as 3* now.) That was how they came out with a 46’th recruiting class. Without Davis we moved up to a minimum 42’nd or higher. (Sorry, I have thrown out all my notes from back then.)

    I have no clue who does 24/7 for PITT but he should be ashamed. I can see why we use Rivals on the POV. Peak does a very good job. 24/7 doesn’t.

    Not saying Rivals across the board is better. It depends on the local rep.


    1. couple things Richard, 24/7 bought Scout a couple years ago and before that they came out with their own PITT board I followed briefly, it was managed by the same guy who ran the psu 24/7 site and he showed a real bias towards the pedo’s.

      You’re right about the player Reed referenced is not Devin Davis. who btw was highly thought of before last season.

      To Reed, it’s not so much excuse making, I stated facts. Other recruiting services had players like Drake, Warren and Sibley all rated as 4*s. I’m not for cherry picking but would like to see and average between all the national services or do away with star rankings altogether. It’s like a book about the best restaurants in town, the ones who kickback a few bucks gets listed. They’re bogus … ike


  55. I agree that there must have been more than the one Louisville incident for Pitt to attempt to fire KS based on cause. I think I recall that there were some allegations of improper travel expenses. BTW, many thanks to POVers for clarifying the incidents that lead up to the SMS firing. Clearly, she was not getting it done and it had started to affect her attitude and performance. The ACC is a step up in all sports that many coaches cannot handle.


  56. Well, finally someone at Pitt woke up and looked at the standings of our sports programs. As those guys in Charleston pointed out, we were just awful across the board. I would like to think it was our AD, but I doubt she could make these major moves without approval from above. I hope also, that she was the one who recognized this and approached Gallagher or whoever controls the purse strings and lobbied for change. It’s about time, and what a good AD should do. Now, if it’s a 6-6 or a loosing season, does she have the talk with HCPN??


    1. It would be devastating to fire the current football coach if he went 6-6 and hiring the fifth coach this decade. Narduzzi should get four more years regardless.


  57. Joe, they just extended Narduzzi and would look pretty bad to terminate him so soon. I think he gets 3-4 more years before they pull the rip cord.


  58. Also, there was some earlier discussion on the dairy college recruiting the wpial and demographics affecting the lack of star talent in WPA. Dairy college isn’t hurt by a downturn in WPA recruits. The majority of their PA recruits are from the eastern part of the state. I did an analysis of their last 5 classes and most of their overall recruits come from eastern pa.

    The most interesting point to me is that they can go into georgia and florida and come out with 4 and 5 star kids. It’s not as national as I thought and for some reason i lost the research today. Mainly it is 7-8 states where they get their kids.

    Pitt needs to keep up the good work in fl, ga, va,nj, ohio and dc areas.


  59. Re Spring Game – I have attended one and absolutely loved the experience – could not go for health reasons the past several years but am looking forward to going this year weather permitting. Pitt needs to step up the experience here – (have a few ideas but not well formed yet – biggest is end the unneeded media blackout by the current, unrealistically paranoid but so far still popular head football coach) – the game could (and should) be a huge tool to get fans, alum, the media, and recruits excited and interested in Pitt as an institution. See my comments below re front porch.

    Re SMS – Mildly surprising move but not unwelcome. Not sure what went wrong but SMS was a disappointment. The trend of constant transfers of talented players started under the last coach but continued under Susie’s watch.

    Re ADHL – I think Pitt has found out the ACC is NOT the Big East…the competition is several levels above that league in ALL sports. Competing with the traditional ACC Southern powers who excel even in non revenue sports is important and a whole new ballgame. It seems like someone in the admin has finally realized this fact.

    Pitt athletics (and General Admissions) has to raise the bar or risk being left behind for the rest of the 21st Century…and the non revenue athletes are mostly true student athletes and but are still of great interest to fans and alums in these schools…

    (I remember when the NY Yankees stopped in Chapel Hill in the late 70’s and played an exhibition game with the Tarheels on the way home from spring training; it was a major event, well attended and covered by the local media and gave a huge boost to the baseball program there) …

    being non-competitive in these sports does impact the student experience, public’s perception of the University’s brand and alum intere$t.

    Re Front Porch – Athletics in the ACC truly is a highly visible fixture, on par with Academic Success. They are joined at the hip on the swinging bench.

    Perhaps unfortunately, in the US higher education is truly a highly competitive Big Business – about time the Pitt BoT and General administration started paying attention to the entire package needed to make a splash in this reality and opened up the purse strings. ‘Penny wise and pound foolish’ philosophies in the athletic slice of the entire pie have led to Pitt’s current negative perception by the public and media in ALL areas.

    The Universities’ front porch in now more then ever before in a highly visible upscale neighborhood that greatly impacts media perception, general admissions, recruiting, alumni interest after graduation, and most of all $$$$ donations…kudos again to AD Lykes for getting out the broom and trying to clean her part up.



  60. Well we don’t have to wait for reed’s Ricky Town writeup since Kevin Gorman did an abbreviated(from Reed’s detailed) version in today’s TribReview. Also another writeup on our offensive line was also in the Trib today. I found both quite interesting.


  61. jrnpitt – the OLine article peaked my interest – there is hope, at least according to some. And my starters prediction seemed to be lined up in that article – Millin / Herndon / Morrissey / Dintino / Bookser.

    That’s four 5th year SR’s and a Center who started 12 games and is a RS SO.

    I haven’t sold my season tickets yet…



    1. Brian Batko@BrianBatko
      After practice today, Pat Narduzzi talked about how Pitt’s depth chart will start taking shape with Saturday’s scrimmage, receivers who are standing out and more


  62. Couple PITT things:

    It really looks like Hall has stretched the distance between himself and the other backs.

    I don’t remember Qadree Ollison being out for spring practice but I believe he is.

    Briggs had a pick in yesterdays practice.


  63. Good morning. Guys, I did not mean fire HCPN, rather, have the talk. You know, “we are not as successful as we want. Some changes need to be made,etc.”. If it’s lack of money to hire proper assistants that also needs addressed. If they are willing to spend major bucks on BB then it only makes sense to commit more to the cash cow. HCPN shouldn’t skate for lower than .500 ball. He needs to know he will be held accountable also.


  64. JRN, my Town piece is about 15 times as long as Gorman’s and I’m not finished yet.

    Erie, that OL lineup as it stands today scares the hell out of me…forget the fact that they are older…

    We have a newly converted DL in Herndon who hardly ever got PT on that side of the ball; a never-was journeyman in Dintino and a transfer in Millin who started for two years on what could honestly be called the worse OL in D1 over that same time period.
    Then we have a walk-on Center who started only because we literally had no one else of talent to put in there.

    C Morrissey’s back up was Dintino who couldn’t beat out a walk-on last year and look at this… now he’s starting also.

    Finally there is Bookser who by default was the best starter on a bad OL. Bookser didn’t even make the 3rd string All-ACC last year nor did any of our other OL players. He’s a rsSR now, its not like he’ll take a great leap forward with another year experience.

    This is an absolute perfect example of a glass half full / half empty issue. I think the glass has a few drops in the bottom it with Bookser and that’s about it. Some fans point to their being upperclassmen and think that’s great.


    1. I pretty much agree with Reed here. There is little reason for optimism of the OL at this point.

      My query is this …. I understand the reasoning for bringing in transfers; they are older, experienced and more developed … and OL seems to be a position where developing good techniques is timely process. However, there is a train of thought that the team may be better off in the long run to throw people like Drake, Hargrove and Warren into the fray and let them take their lumps.

      The trouble is that you may be able to throw a raw, inexperienced OL between 2 veterans ,,, but relying consistently on transfers means that the young guys do not develop (at least in game situations.)

      Narduzzi was obviously disappointed with Peterson despite all of his experience on a high P5 level. I will not judge Chan (or is it Khan) until we see what actually happens on the field come September.


    2. BTW, I don’t see Dintino as a starter. I see Brown the JUCO or Drake (RS FR) or Hargrove (RS So) a starting ahead of him


    3. I’ve been and continue to be with Reed on this one. Narduzzi even says they haven’t decided which side of the ball Herndon plays on and that he is practicing with both. There are a lot of ways to read that.

      Borbely seems positive, a lot of ways to read that too.

      So Millin isn’t here yet and Herndon isn’t full time, but they are starters? No mention of the young guys stepping up, which is what is really needed.

      I guess I better go read the Trib.


  65. I’m on the other side of the ledger from Reed ,wwb and others as I think our OL will surprise many this year in a positive way. I’m not expecting an All American performance from the group but I think they can keep Pickett upright long enough for our offense to really surprise many.


  66. Anonymous was me. I have a red screen that I can’t remove on Chrome, so I switched search engines.
    Anyway, the article also mentions Brown, Drake and Hargrove as possibilities, which doesn’t change my opinion that we are in deep doo doo.

    Seriously, this is bad folks. I know we have a new coach, but we were bad with O’Neil and two other seniors last year. The sad thing is that next year will be another rebuild and we will have to rely on transfers again, unless some of these young guys start to pan out. I am seriously unimpressed and it goes back to what we have been saying about recruiting. It better pick up.

    By the way Ollison is banged up so the two young guys are getting more reps.


  67. PN has to realistically look at the schedule and conclude that he will probably end up 7-5. That is a good argument for starting the seasoned players initially and then working in the younger players over the season to get them ready for next year. PN cannot risk a bowl bid by starting the younger guys too soon. I think Morrissey will start and play all year for the main reason that he is only a Sophomore and can provide continuity as the new guys enter the lineup.


  68. Reed, you are an expert at this. Is there any way to evaluate an OL other than sacks, and indirectly through good running statistics? Sacks can be influenced through a QB’s running style. And running stats can be influenced by a few long runs in the secondary. How can we objectively assess the OL through other performance factors?


  69. Regarding SMS, glad to see Heather take charge. Something was seriously wrong and it went under the radar too long because of all the turmoil with the men’s game. Someone should write a book because it is pretty interesting, how the mighty can fall.


  70. There’s no question that the O-Line is a mystery at best and a disaster about to happen at worst. Reed and all the others are right to be a little nervous going forward with the line coach being new to the team as well. This unit will need to jell together as a group and settle into more of a particular position rather than bouncing around all up and down the line.

    Last year Peterson move O’Neil and hurt two positions where he could have left BO where on the right side and had one spot locked down and solidified. << The shoulder injury didn’t help either. The jury is still out on the past two years if any of the recruits step up and can push for serious playing time.

    Believe it or not, I’m not in panic mode right now. 🙂 Seriously, what’s so positive about saying I’ll hold off judgement until I see more from the O-Line before I start predicting an epic failure? I can see the line developing and I can see big problems. I think Pickett and Hall will take some pressure off the patchwork line until they can gain some confidence.

    If Narduzzi and this years PITT team do not reach a bowl game, all eyes should be glaring at him with suspect eyes but does he really need to be sat down? I don’t think Pat is taking his job for granted and I really don’t think he could work any harder for PITT. After year 3, he’s made some changes and it remains to be seen if those moves will help in the win column. This year like most, there are many unknowns


  71. If your computer gets a virus, just force the turn off your computer, wait a few seconds, and start it up again. It is a pain but it works every time.


  72. I’m with JRN. I actually think that the O-line will be adequate and slightly better than last year. Morrisey has a dozen games of experience now, and the center position is critical. Last season our RBs missed on picking up the blitzes on quite a few occasions. With Aston back, and if he stays healthy, he won’t miss on picking up the LB blitz.

    Morrisey should be able to help with calling out the blocks to the guys on both sides of him. Our tight ends are big – lets hope they can block. And, Kenny, in his limited playing time, seemed to step up in the pocket when necessary and that helps the OL.

    I think that most units, with the possible exception of the WR unit, will be better this year, than last year… If we stay healthy.


  73. Ol is always a work in process. No question Narduzzi made the change to fix the process. But Warren, Drake, Brown, add in Kradel and Zubovic will at least give hope to the process. Maybe Ford, Hargrave, Drexel, Morgan can mature into something as well. It is not a unit that lacks the ability to be decent this year and next. But it will take time for that to happen. . Millen helps at LT but sooner or later, the OL has to be Wisconsin type Ol that is all about depth and development.


  74. I kind of like the IOWA lines idea where you develop over the course of 3 years some big “corn fed” hogs to man your front 5.


  75. @Tommymac – yay, a convert!! +1. Well stated above. Look if you give any half decent hiring manager enough money, they should go hire better people. Maybe the Administration read enough from their fanbase about being cheap and decided to go a different direction. Finally!!

    Like at Tennessee, social media makes a difference!


  76. for those of us who think Reed is down on Pitt FB

    CFB Talk 🏈@FansOfCFB

    ESPN FPI’s Projected Wins For Each ACC Team:

    • Clemson 11.4
    • Miami 9.5
    • Virginia Tech 8
    • FSU 7.3
    • Georgia Tech 7.1
    • Louisville 6.9
    • NC State 6.8
    • Duke 6.7
    • Boston College 6.6
    • Wake Forest 6.4
    • UNC 6.4
    • Syracuse 5.2
    • Pitt 4.5
    • Virginia 4.3


  77. Good idea jrn as it looks like PITT’s schedule shapes up fairly easy “when” looking at wwb’s graphic. Not including PITT, 5 of the bottom 6 teams are on PITT’s ACC schedule. Throw in a PITT against Albany and one upset? 6 wins is very doable and possibly one or two more… I said possible… ike


  78. I’m sure the computer projected FPI has something to do with Pitt once again having the toughest OOC schedule going into the year


  79. I was going to say something similar to jrn. Ike asked about how else to evaluate the OLine. How about we see how they pass the eye test during the PSU game as a harbinger for how they should do for the rest of the season..


  80. Sure PT, lots of factors go into problems in all facets of our work and private lives. It’s just not surface facts. The finest craftsman need good tools and quality materials to do their best work. It takes a team… Thanks PT . . .ike


  81. I think possibly one additional factor for evaluating OL success is the red zone offense. How many TDs vs. FGs or nothing at all. PittPT, the Pedo game will be another measure of quality, but by that time the available options could be limited if there are weaknesses.


  82. We have seen examples of players who didn’t do much of anything until they were seniors, and then had a nice senior season. Some on here don’t seem to remember that happening.

    And two excellent candidates for doing that are Dintino and Herndon. Dintino has a quick first step at the snap – a good thing for a guard; Herndon runs well for a big guy. I think these guys could be good at pulling.

    Remember Soto? He did little or nothing for three years at DE, then had an excellent senior season as a DT – made plays as a DT.

    I’m with Erie Express on the outlook for the OL. I think they won’t be great, but will be serviceable…

    Go Pitt.


  83. Hey, the long-range weather forecast is looking promising for both golf on the 13th and the Spring Game on the 14th!

    Go Pitt.


Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s