I arrived at the Pitt Southside facilities around 10:am,  festivities start around 11:00 for the player draft for the Blue – Gold game on be Saturday afternoon.

Here are some football & basketball bits and pieces…

Johnny Majors and Walt Harris are back on campus (sort of…)

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/04/10/Johnny-Majors-walt-harris-spring-game-pitt-football-pittsburgh-panthers-pat-narduzzi-2018/stories/201804100101

“He’s excited,” Pitt’s current coach Pat Narduzzi said of Majors after practice Tuesday. “He wants to know when he gets his meetings with the offense. He’s really — he wants to put some plays in.”

He won’t have Tony Dorsett, who helped him win the 1976 national championship at Pitt, but at least he’ll get a chance to improve on his second stint with the Panthers from 1993-96, when he returned from his alma mater Tennessee but presided over four consecutive losing seasons. Majors, who turns 83 next month, still lives in his home state, while Harris, 71, lives in the Pittsburgh area.

This will be a topic of conversation for some time…who will still be on the BB roster when the dust settles?

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/04/11/pitt-basketball-roster-transfers-jeff-capel-jared-wilson-frame-marcus-carr-ryan-luther-malik-ellison/stories/201804100131

There’s an argument to be made about whether it’s worthwhile to scramble for players from a team that went 0-19 in ACC play. While it’s undeniable the 2017-18 Panthers struggled mightily, the alternative isn’t all that more appealing. Last season, we witnessed the bold undertaking of adding 11 new players. The product wasn’t pretty. Part of that had to do with lackadaisical recruiting under former coach Kevin Stallings, but few programs outside of Kentucky and Duke can excel after overhauling a roster. Regardless of how touted a recruiter Capel is — and he is quite good — having to piece together a team in mid-April is less than ideal.

All eyes are on the FB team’s defense this season hoping to keep the late 2017’s good showing continuing into September and the Middle Linebacker spot is up for grabs…

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/04/09/Quintin-Wirginis-pitt-football-suspension-injury-pittsburgh-panthers-middle-linebacker-fox-chapel/stories/201804090020

I’ve always thought that Wirginis was one of the most physically talented defenders we have had and now in his rsSR year he’s ready to go. We need his speed and quick burst toward opposing QBs more than ever.

Paying the price

To see Wirginis this offseason, the first thing you’ll probably notice about him is the mustache. It’s not exactly Ron Burgundy-level, but it stands out enough to make one wonder.

According to the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder who turns 22 Tuesday, it started with a skin irritation. When he was able to shave again, he decided to keep the mustache as something of a joke for spring ball. This month and last, it’s been a constant reminder that as deep as he sinks his teeth into the playbook under new defensive coordinator Randy Bates, he still wears the playful part of his personality on his sleeve.

Narduzzi likes the direction the OL is going…

Pitt lost four offensive linemen from last year’s team, with at least one of them expected to find a home – and a nice paycheck – in the NFL.

In fact, offensive tackle Brian O’Neill probably will be selected sometime in the first three rounds of the draft April 26 or 27.

Yet, coach Pat Narduzzi, perhaps swept up in the enthusiasm he’s feeling after seeing his team make progress this spring, made a surprising statement Tuesday at the end of practice.

“Our pass protection right now looks like it’s better than last year’s,” he said.

Pitt’s quarterbacks were sacked 31 times last season, compared to the 23 the defense managed against 12 opponents. That’s not a ratio coaches prefer.

http://triblive.com/sports/college/pitt/13520757-74/pat-narduzzi-optimistic-about-offensive-line-despite-relative-inexperience

I’ll  keep a thread going in the comments section…

213 thoughts on “Report on Spring Game Player Draft

    1. I’m with you Ike looking for DE Neeves on the roster and nowhere to be found. Maybe he’ll end up being Pitt’s secret weapon come this coming season.

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  1. They should do this for basketball too.
    Could have Charles Smith and Jerome Lane as player/coaches for the two teams.
    Sounds like a fun time for the players today.

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  2. Thanks For the info Reed. Sounds like fun.

    Like to hear that Smith went high – could be a “secret” weapon – at least I’m hopin’…

    Go Pitt.

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  3. Brian Batko@BrianBatko

    Non-participants for Pitt’s spring game: Qadree Ollison, Aaron Mathews, Dontavius Butler-Jenkins, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Keyshon Camp, Sean Idowu, Chase Pine

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  4. Hate to interrupt but BREAKING …

    Craig Meyer@CraigMeyerPG
    Jason Capel, Jeff Capel’s younger brother, and Tim O’Toole will reportedly join the Pitt coaching staffhttp://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/04/11/pitt-coaching-staff-jeff-capel-assistants-jason-capel-tim-otoole/stories/201804110156 …

    O’Toole long time coach, currently asst HC at Cal. Was Duke asst when Capel played there. Supposed to be good teach for big men.

    Jason was better player than Jeff .. played at UNC. Has coaching experience but was fired at Appalachian St after so-so record

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    1. Say it ain’t so!!! My favorite class at Pitt. Intro to Jazz. I can still hear him saying, “Triple, Triple X” to emphasize a concept that he would later include on an exam. Great professor and musician.

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  5. Taylor Mack maybe another not so secret weapon available for Pitt this season if the rule change to be voted on allows some transfers to play without having to sit out a year. Watson said he thought he was one of the 2 or 3 best players at Indiana when he was there. And it would appear Pitt has him running with the first team for the most of the time in these Spring practice sessions.

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  6. Reed – quick question – You’ve reported before that there is dissension or issues behind the scenes on the football team. Did you see any signs of that today? It appeared that it was a lot of fun.

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  7. WWB, thanks for pointing out the obituary of Nathan Davis, the jazz great at Pitt. Although I was an engineering major at the time he started teaching, I took his jazz course as an elective and really enjoyed it. I don’t remember the names of very many professors I had at Pitt, but I remember him well, which says a lot about him and the way he taught jazz. He will be missed.

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  8. Ditto Voice and Dan…I took one class and became interested. Took a second and was hooked. Love jazz to this day. Thanks to Reed for taking the time to cover the event today. Sounds like a blast.

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  9. Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa St all cancelled their spring games due to weather …. so everyone in Pgh should be appreciative of the fine weather this Saturday

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  10. Jeff Capel@jeffcapel

    It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!
    Excited to go to my first NHL game tonight. Good luck to Mike Sullivan and @penguins as they begin journey to third straight Cup!

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  11. Erie – You only post when baseball wins. I only post when they lose. Haha. After winning 2 of first 3 off BC they lost last game and then to Kent State and losing to WVU. Someone tell Heather keep the pink slips coming to non performing coaches.

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    1. I was on the golf course late this afternoon – just looked up the score and was greatly disappointed.

      Saw the score at 9:30pm – about 15 minutes ago.

      I’ve posted the losses too – you beat me to this one. I also saw they lost last night to MAC power, Kent State…

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    1. I’m a big fan of Walt Harris.

      Reed – if you get an opportunity, consider inviting Walt to be on one of your podcasts. He has so much FB knowledge – he’d be an awesome guest.

      Go Pitt.

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    1. And with little support unlike what Narduzzi has. He should win 8 every year with as much money as Heather is investing.

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  12. OK Reed, did you ask him for his drivers license to confirm his identity? Although it would be funny for another Inoke type story….

    PittPT. lol …. no actually he’s another player from Lackawana that PITT now play for PITT, Brown and Davis.

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  13. TPC Myrtle Beach is challenging.
    Good stuff Reed.

    Would have broke my perfect record and gone to the game Saturday.

    Should be a great day, looking forward to live commentary from those in attendance.

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    1. Have you guys played the courses at the NC border? Marsh Harbour and Oyster Bay

      or that Nicklaus course a little inland on Rte 5?

      I haven’t golfed MB since the early 90s but I remember those 3 as some of the better courses there — at least back then

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      1. Played Oyster Bay 3-4 times back in the day. Fairly straightforward. Not overly long. Remember one of the island type greens surrounded by white shells. Kind of cool…..and crunchy! Scratched up a 5 iron pretty good there.

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  14. Pitt brought in majors to clean up a spreading mess and didn’t give him the support to keep the mess from spreading so it spread… 1970s Johnny couldn’t have saved mid 90s pitt football with the resources 90s Johnny was given. But then again 1970s Johnny wouldn’t have come to mid 90s pitt if he knew he was going to get that level of (non) support…

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  15. speaking of Walt , here is an excerpt of a Trib article today from DiPaola:

    Harris said he was asked to draw up a play on the board Tuesday — “I’m not sure why,” he said — and he reached into his playbook and found 62 Double Go.

    For two seasons at Pitt, the intended receiver on that play was usually Larry Fitzgerald. Harris smiled at the memory.

    “He had a habit of making it look like you’re a pretty good coach,” he said.

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  16. Marsh Harbor has been closed for years. Too bad as,it was a very nice track. Oyser Bay, like many of the MB courses has poor conditioning. One of my favorite courses there is Glen Dornach, but I haven’t been there in several years. True Blue is a south MB course that will defiantly make you use every club in your bag.

    EE, As of now I will play,in the outing. Most likely will get foursome together, but B in L is in bad shape, really hope he can play as he loves the game.
    

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    1. as I said, I have not been to MB since ’93. Ironically, I’m going to a wedding there in mid June. Staying right across from Barefoot Landing

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      1. I can’t imagine coming here in the summer. Traffic must be near total gridlock.

        Haven’t played them but great courses at Barefoot.

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  17. Not a good sign when the WR picked first in the player draft is a player who cannot help Pitt this year. The player selections also tell us other things such as there doesn’t seem to be much competition at RB behind Hall. If he gets injured, or needs a break, who steps in? Ollison seems to be injury prone and just doesn’t come off as well conditioned and durable. I just don’t feel like Ollison is going to have a good final year. Sad, because he showed so much promise when stepping in for Conner.

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  18. VOR, Taysir could still help PITT this year if the rule is changed and there is a vote on transfers pending. Narduzzi has spoke twice the vote about it and he seems to think it will pass through.

    AJ Davis was the first RB picked. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in that. Hall will probably get a very limited number of snaps.

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  19. True Blue and Caledonia are two of the best, also most expensive. My game is not worth $200 when plenty of great courses for half as much or less.

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    1. The key is to plan 36 on that day. The replay for either Caledonia or true blue and they are interchangeable is only $55. At least that’s what is was last year. Plan an annual trip to MB with 20 guys. We always play Caledonia. Best course on the Grand Strand IMO.

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  20. Wild Wing plantation was always the best conditioned when the ?Japanese owned it, now only one of the four left, Avocet, which was the best. Can’t vouch for it now. Always thought Caledonia was overrated, as well as overpriced. Felt Heritage, which is close to there, was always the better track. Actually played True Blue the first day it was opened. It used to be a beast until they moved tees around to make it more playable! Lots of good golf there, and if you go near Pawleys Island eat at Franks. It’s really good! ( although I haven’t been there in a few years).

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  21. Off topic post on recruiting & amount of “stars”…

    I attended my daughter’s end of season high school basketball banquet last night. A senior is a McDonald’s all-American, one of the 10 semi-finalist for the Naismith and is named in numerous “All this and that” categories. It occurred to me today to look up her star ranking. 4 stars! I thought for sure she would be a five star. It goes to show how hard it is to achieve such a ranking.

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    1. Mr Yeti, It is hard to achieve a 5* ranking because it’s subjective. The young lady in question could very well be as good as anyone in the country. It’s a flawed system that is often times read like it’s some kind of bible. See Max Browne and Ricky Town as examples. Both were 5* QB’s and thought to be the number 1 prospect at their position in high school. Aaron Donald on the other hand not so much. ike.

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    1. Wagner is a summa cum laude graduate of West Virginia University, receiving her bachelor’s degree in sport management. She earned her Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law.

      so at least she is as intelligent as a Pitt alum (undergrad)

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      1. Not saying she isn’t intelligent…just that she’s a WVU grad. Should be an automatic disqualifier. How can she have the best interest in make Pitt athletics as good as they can be…a school that she was likely bred to despise her entire life. I wonder how many times has she uttered the phrase “Eat S*** Pitt”, and now she’s in charge of overseeing several women’s programs…unbelievable.

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  22. For those that are not going to the Spring game it’s on radio 93.7 the fan in Pittsburgh. Tune in locally or via the internet.

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  23. Yes, Narduzzi did say he was against the transfer rule proposal rule for some reason he also believes it will pass.

    Huff, could you expand on the PITT baseball top ten list? Thinking it may not be much of a compliment>>

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    1. if you think there are a lot of transfers now … just wait and see if there are no restrictions especially the one year wait.

      The one caveat is one of the restrictions considered is that the player must have a 3.3 gpa to be immediately eligible. But again, it would provide incentive for the colleges to not properly tutor the better players

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    2. It wasn’t going to comment further as I didn’t want to be negative. It is the first time in years that i even heard Pitt Baseball anything on tv. It caught my attention as I was getting the kids off to school and sure enough it was our guy htting the ball and the wvu grade school player making a great play. Then they slam Pitt, that we lost to wvu elementary 12-1 or something horrific.

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  24. Wlat, Fran had said he is shooting for 10 AM for the tailgate and will be in either Gold lot 1 or 2 as those are the only lots open for the Spring game.

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  25. Craig Meyer@CraigMeyerPG
    Pitt DC Randy Bates told his players there was good news and bad news about Saturday’s spring game.

    The bad? “It’s going to be almost 80 degrees. We’re really only one deep. The offense has more depth.”

    The good news? “I saved money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.”

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  26. Ike, I agree, that’s proven over and over again, yet people still idolize stars; obviously, the ratings tend to provide a general guide for fans, etc., but often times we need to dig deeper. I’m not trying to pick on him, but regarding your theme, wasn’t Chris Clark the #1 rated TE in the country? Yikes.

    Reed, great thread, unique, fun, and a lot of interesting info. regarding the draft, nothing we can hang hats on, but there are some things (draft choices) that are intriguing. Even though we have some solid WRs (Tipton & Lopes), I’d love to see a young WR break out and make an impact this year. I see Smith was ‘drafted’ high (#2?), we’ll see….

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    1. 1618, sure, there’s way more than one or two examples of the “star ranking” being flawed. Yes they give a great indicator of possibilities but when someone convinces me of the differences between a 5.7 and a 5.8 player I’ll bow down before them. ike

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      1. More often then 3s kids 4 and 5* recruits will become true “star’ players on teams – and that is what it takes, especially at Pitt, to win a lot more than you lose.

        Case in point: last season we had no real “star” players on the team – that is no star performances for the year and we won only 5 games.

        When was the last time you can look at a Pitt team without a star performers on it? and when you find it, how many games did it win?

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  27. speaking of transfers:

    Jeff Goodman@GoodmanESPN

    Add Pittsburgh, Arizona and Marquette to this list. Robert Morris transfer Dachon Burke will be one of the most sought-after guys on transfer market.Jeff Goodman added,

    @GoodmanESPN
    Robert Morris sophomore Dachon Burke (17.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) told ESPN he has already heard from St. John’s, Wichita State, Miami, Nevada and St. Bonaventure. Just got his release yesterday.

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  28. Tailgate info: I will be at either Gold 1 or Gold 2 at 10:00. Will have the POV flag and script Pitt flags flying…black Toyota Tacoma pick-up. I have beer, liquor and snacks…Joe L is grilling sausage and PittPT is bringing wine. Bring your own sunscreen! – Fran

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope regular lurkers who only post once in a while are welcome…I plan on going to the game and will stop by to say hello, looking forward to putting faces to everyone here, really enjoy the blog.

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  29. For IMMEDIATE Release
    April 11, 2018

    Three Panthers Named to Hampshire Honor Society

    LINK: Pitt Hampshire Honor Society

    PITTSBURGH—Three Pitt football products—punter Ryan Winslow, tight end Matt Flanagan and tight end Nathan Bossory—were named to the prestigious Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

    The Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average or better throughout their college career. Honorees must have completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2017.

    Winslow (Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College H.S.) earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and is now pursuing his MBA in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He enjoyed a highly productive and decorated senior season in 2017. Winslow led the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 44.5-yard punting average and was selected first team All-ACC by league coaches, the Associated Press and Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). Winslow additionally was named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team for the second time in his career.

    Flanagan (Chester, N.J./West Morris) joined Pitt last season as a graduate transfer from Rutgers and enrolled in the Katz Graduate School of Business. He earned a starting role at tight end and compiled 17 receptions for 160 yards (9.4 avg.). Flanagan was a 2017 honoree on the All-ACC Academic Football Team.

    Bossory (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He lettered as a senior, serving as a reserve tight end and in special teams capacities. Bossory was also responsible for one of Pitt’s most exciting plays last season when he made a diving touchdown catch off a fake field goal (thrown by Winslow) at Virginia Tech.

    Launched in 2007, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society is celebrating its 12th year. The initiative is designed to spotlight high academic achievement throughout college football.

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  30. Bethany Wagner Named Pitt Senior Associate A.D. for Sport Administration

    LINK: Wagner Named Pitt Senior Associate A.D.

    PITTSBURGH—Bethany Wagner has been named Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sport Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, it was announced by Pitt Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.

    Wagner will be responsible for the oversight of Pitt’s women’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and women’s tennis programs. She additionally will serve as the Pitt Athletic Department’s Title IX coordinator and liaison to campus.

    Wagner joins Pitt after spending the past six years at the law firm of Jackson Lewis P.C., where her focus included the areas of employment, Title IX and NCAA compliance.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Bethany to our leadership team as she brings a strong desire to be part of building a championship culture for Pitt Athletics,” Lyke said. “Bethany’s educational background, professional experiences, work ethic and ability to build relationships with coaches, staff and student-athletes are all attractive attributes to add to our team. We are looking forward to the positive impact Bethany will have within our athletic department.”

    “I am beyond excited to be joining Pitt Athletics,” Wagner said. “Although I enjoyed working with many colleges and universities as outside counsel, I missed being on campus and working directly with coaches and student-athletes on a daily basis. Pitt has a great history, and I look forward to continuing to work to make Pitt Athletics a source of tremendous pride for the University, alumni base and entire city of Pittsburgh.”

    While at Jackson Lewis, Wagner was a highly active member of the firm’s Collegiate and Professional Sports Industry Group. Working with various universities and sports organizations, she provided counsel on Title IX and athletics bylaws issues, conducting training for management-level employees in those areas. In addition, she focused on preventative strategies, including policy review and training, as well as counseling on retaliation, discrimination and harassment.

    Wagner’s additional sports experience included tenures with the Pittsburgh Pirates, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., and Ohio State University’s athletic compliance division.

    Wagner is the author of multiple articles that appeared in various journals and textbooks. Her published works include “Girls Can Play, Too: Has the Lack of Female Leadership in NCAA Athletics Become an Afterthought?” which was published in the Seton Hall University School of Law Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law. Wagner has additionally written for the Journal of NCAA Compliance and SportsBusiness Journal.

    Wagner is a summa cum laude graduate of West Virginia University, receiving her bachelor’s degree in sport management. She earned her Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law.

    Wagner and her husband, Brad, have two children: daughter Olivia and son Ryan.

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  31. Rosters Finalized for Pitt Blue-Gold Spring Game

    QB Kenny Pickett Selected First Overall by the Gold Team

    2018 Pitt Football Blue-Gold Spring Game presented by PNC
    Blue Team Roster (PDF) | Gold Team Roster (PDF)

    MORE: Rosters Finalized | Promotional Information

    PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team held its annual Spring Game Draft Wednesday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex as the senior Panthers selected their teammates for Saturday’s Pitt Blue-Gold Spring Game presented by PNC at Heinz Field.

    The Gold Team, led by veteran offensive lineman Alex Bookser, won the coin toss and selected sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett with the first overall pick in the draft.

    The Blue Team responded by taking QB Ricky Town before nabbing sophomore defensive end Rashad Weaver with the top pick in the second round.

    The two teams then traded selections until the Blue and Gold rosters, which can be found in the links above, were completed.

    Admission is FREE for all fans for Saturday’s Spring Game Heinz Field, which will begin at 1 p.m.

    Past Pitt coaching legends Johnny Majors (Blue) and Walt Harris (Gold) will serve as the honorary coaches for Saturday’s contest.

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  32. I know what you’re saying Reed and I don’t disagree entirely but the one player who may have hurt the PITT football the most last year? The number one rated 5* QB in high school his senior year. It’s not a definitive explanation of a 5-7 season. Alabama had a 5* receiver on the bench for 5 years, of course they still won. Reason? They had 4 and 5* players up and down the roster. << PITT will never have that luxury.

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  33. Didn’t Pitt have two 5 stars on their roster last season Browne and Clark? Of course the fact that they played like 2 stars probably didn’t help our cause.

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  34. ^^ Reed has asked us nicely to keep Lumpy out of it. It’s wasn’t Paul’s fault PITT didn’t have one QB recruit on the roster last year. or was it? << oops, there I went again blaming Lumpy.

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    1. Of course Ike you totally gloss over that it is no NARDUZZI QB recruits on the roster THIS season to have as backups should Pickett get hurt.

      I told you that both DiNucci and MacVitte weren’t going to be D1 caliber starting players but 1) you and everyone else slobbered over MacVitte because of one silly phone call from LSU and 2) you, and others, sung DiNucci’s praises because of his effort in the Pinstripe bowl.

      Now – I have also said that I’d want DiNucci on roster much more than Ricky Town to be QB2 this year… but you have conveniently forgotten you actually liked DiNucci before. That is a real problem area but…QBs under Narduzzi keep taking off…

      Voytik, Bertke, DiNucci and MacVitte. i’ve never seen a HC drive away QBs like Narduzzi has.

      I actually liked QB Adam Bertke and wrote that I could see him as a latter year starter after watching him practice and scrimmage in many open practices back in ’14- but Narduzzi’s penchant for transferring-in QBs forced all of our decent back ups out the door.

      Fans who never saw Bertke throw a pass didn’t like him but he had a good arm on him and was accurate.

      And yes Ike, you really do need to quit blaming Paul Chryst for Narduzzi’s own problems at this point four years on, it is unbecoming of you as an adult.

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  35. Narduzzi’s QB recruits haven’t hurt this team one bit yet. Except for Browne who was a 5* recruit out of high school, who played because of ?? Lumpy. . Chyrst left PN with nothing at QB. Nothing! and the O-line that sucked last year according to you were mostly Paul’s boys.

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    1. Of course they haven’t hurt the team one bit- they keep leaving. Narduzzi has had only one QB stick around in Pickett – ALL his other scholarship QBs took off.

      Browne was brought in and played only because Narduzzi’s two QBs in DiNucci and MacVitte sucked Ike – not because of Chryst – QBs are not OL players, they don’t have to wait until they are rsJRs or rsSRs to start.

      It was DiNucci’s 3rd year on the team and Macvitte’s 2nd year – the reason they didn’t start is because of their low talent level.

      What is going to be your excuse when the OL sucks again this year Ike? That we didn’t have any 5th year SR OL players ho had an extra year given to them by the NCAA so we are forced to actually play Narduzzi’s guys on the line? It’s getting ridiculous.

      Man – I’m not kidding, you’ll do everything you can to deflect any blame from Narduzzi whatsoever.

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  36. Just back from Florida, and read that FGCU’s all league PG Zach Johnson is expecting to graduate in June, and will be looking to transfer for his last year. Since he needs to finish this semester, his transfer status will not be known until June. He had 16 ppg and 3 assists per game this year, 40% from beyond the arc. Might deserve a look from Capel.

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    1. 3 assists per game from a point guard is a little low and really low in that conference. How many turnovers per game? What do you think?

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  37. Pitt Spring Football, Day 14 Recap
    April 12, 2018

    Pitt Football Videos & Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript

    PITT FOOTBALL VIDEOS

    Media Session: Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Blue-Gold Draft Recap

    Honorary Coaches for Spring Game

    COACH PAT NARDUZZI TRANSCRIPT

    Opening comments:

    “Fourteen practices in, and we’re ready for the spring game. I think the kids are excited; you saw that at the draft yesterday. We’re pretty healthy right now. The main thing is to come out of the spring game healthy. We’ll go into our summer conditioning probably about as healthy as you could possibly be. We go some guys dinged up but nothing serious, and we want to keep it that way.”

    On what he’s learned about the team this spring:

    “Nothing I didn’t know. I mean you just learn how they work together. I think we’re a more mature team. We have a bigger senior group. I think we got great leadership right now. Seems like [Alex] Bookser has really emerged as a leader. Will he be a captain? I don’t know; our kids vote for captains. Alex Bookser has really grown up a lot from where he was three years ago when I got here to where he is today. He’s just a different guy on and off the field. We’ve got a team that’s together, and they enjoy being with each other, they enjoy working hard, they take coaching. That’s all you can ask for.”

    On if any wide receivers are standing out:

    “Not really. It’s a banged up group right now. Aaron Mathews is banged up, Rara [Araujo-Lopes] is a little banged up, Tre Tipton is a little banged up. So we got to get those guys healthy. There’s nothing major, but just banged up to the point where you don’t see them emerging. That’s why Tyler Sear is the number one guy taking because he stayed healthy and he’s been productive. That’s what you see, the production out of him. We’re going to be fine there.”

    On Kenny Pickett being the top pick in Pitt’s spring draft:

    “Everybody’s got a lot of faith in that guy. That doesn’t shock me. But then you watch Ricky [Town] out here today, and the guys will rally around him too. He had a nice two-minute drive down here where I don’t think he threw an incompletion; we didn’t have a live rush either. So we let him throw it and the D-line was kind of stepping to it. Near the end when they started getting close to the end zone, they started to get fired up and say ‘wait a second, coach, we would have sacked him there.’ But he’s got a great arm. Every day Ricky gets better; that’s an impressive thing about him. So I’m looking forward to watching both those quarterbacks operate the offense.”

    On if he’s injured after taking an accidental elbow during spring draft:

    “I’m good. I’m from Youngstown, man. You get banged up, you keep going. No question about it. You just keep rolling.”

    On his relationship defensive coordinator Randy Bates:

    “It’s been awesome. It’s refreshing. Again, we had a great relationship in the past with Josh Conklin. But it’s just different; it’s a freshness. Conklin did a great job, but Bates is just a different guy. I think our kids have enjoyed it. I think you can talk to them more about that. But just as a football guy, he’s very similar to who I am; he cares about the details. It’s been a great marriage so far.”

    On if he’s confident in the defensive line’s ability to pressure the quarterback:

    “The big thing is it’s another year under Charlie Partridge. He’s a great fundamental teacher. The next thing is the depth. When you looked at the draft yesterday—I don’t know how you guys analyzed it, I don’t read anything about the analyzing of the draft—but you saw the offensive guys come off the board real quick. I think the key to a good draft in the spring game is knowing where your depth is. It’s not drafting the best player necessarily—unless it’s the quarterback, of course. But I think you saw a lot of the offensive guys get drafted because maybe there’s a difference between the number one guy in a position—more of a drop off. Then defensively, there are some guys. When you look at the d-line for example, there’s depth there, which is going to give us the opportunity to keep the guys fresh and play more guys. Any time you’re fresh and there’s not a drop off in the game, that can help you in your pass rushing and stopping the run.”

    On having experienced linebackers:

    “It starts with Quintin Wirgins. He’s just a difference-maker; he’s a different guy in there. I love Saleem Brightwell; he’s going to be another good linebacker for us. But Saleem’s fighting to be a one right now, and he’s a great player too, but Wirgins is a different guy. He really is; he’s special. He can play at the next level. So we got a middle linebacker that I think if he stays healthy, which has been a little bit of a problem, that could be really special inside.”

    On defensive lineman taking more risks because they believe in the linebackers:

    “That’s really our defense, so that really hasn’t changed. But it’s the guys that will fix it and make it right. If I am not in my gap, he will have faith and trust that the guy behind him will make it. I think that is just working together for a while with Coach Partridge and understanding what our linebackers are being coached and how we work together as a staff. Coach Bates has really brought that because I can’t be in the defense meeting all the time, so Coach Bates has the same philosophy as I do—again, former linebacker coach—so I think that helps. Coach Conklin was a DB guy more than a linebacker guy. So when I’m not there, the same things are getting emphasized. That’s really where you hear about the d-line and the linebackers. Even the safeties fixing the linebackers, I think they all work together. We talk about three layers of the defense. There’s a reason why we don’t line them all up in one line because nobody can fix it. If everyone lined up on the line of scrimmage… the reason linebackers line up at five yards is to fix the d-line; safeties are lined up at 10 yards to fix the linebackers. That’s how it’s all pieced together.”

    On how the secondary has progressed:

    “I think it’s a deep group back there that’s worked good together. You feel like there are four or five corners, five safeties that can all go in the game and play. They got their feet wet a year ago, most of them. We’ve graduated [Jordan] Whitehead, [Avonte] Maddox, if you want to say he graduated, Jordan. So there’s a lot of depth back there with those two guys being gone, two of our best players back there. But they’ve gelled well together; Coach [Cory] Sanders and Coach [Archie] Collins have done a great job mentoring them through the spring.”

    On what he’s been seeing from Kenny Pickett as a leader:

    “I think it’s mainly the confidence in him knowing how he is the guy moving forward. You go into this post-spring ball where it’s his offense and his team. The quarterback better be a leader. I think what you see mostly is the confidence that he has in what he’s doing and also the confidence our football team has in him.”

    On Rashad Weaver’s improvement:

    He’s come a long way in a couple of years, but it comes down to confidence and knowing what you are doing. You sit there in meetings and you feel like you know what you’re doing, but every year there’s a reason we practice and meet and focus on the details. He has more knowledge of what he’s really doing and how it works. Obviously he’s bigger, faster and stronger, but he’s also more confident in what he’s doing. I think that’s the main thing. Confidence is big. The more confidence you have and the more you walk out there, sometimes there is a difference between knowing exactly what you are doing but being able to do it really fast. Right now, he is playing really fast. There’s a lot of things that go on offensively that you have to deal with as a defensive end, and he understands it, so he’s playing at a higher level and faster.”

    On players not wanting the vegetables that the losers will eat:

    “That’s good. Our cooks are so good. Kevin does it. It’s been steak and lobster or hot dogs and beans. But the cooking that they do over there is incredible. That’s a major tool that we have. I don’t think anybody else in the country has that. He’s made them too good, so I’ve got to switch them. They like the beans and the hot dogs. Matter of fact we try and eat healthy here, and that’s kind of unhealthy a little bit. They wanted that, so I said, ‘they ain’t getting what they wanted.’ You lose, you’re going to pay, and you’re going to eat more veggies. I think they will be a little bit more miserable eating more veggies, so we are still working on the menu.”

    On what fans will see on Saturday:

    “I think they are going to see some different players out there. Whether it’s the two quarterbacks—everybody saw Kenny against Miami, but where is he now. They are going to see another quarterback, Ricky Town, who I think is going to be a really good player. He just keeps getting better. But they are going to see new faces all over the field really, and hopefully see them play at a high rate. They will be mixed up; there will be strengths and weaknesses out of both teams, so we won’t be as clean as we want, but the important thing is to have fun that day.”

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  38. Reed, defending and facts can be the same thoughts at times. Just like the NW game and PITT being uninspired to play the game. That’s just silly. << I don’t care one bit about what others said in the booth. I saw how PITT played in the first quarter. Enough proof for me! I defend how PITT played and I defend it with facts. Not someone’s goofy opinions sitting in the press box.

    I’ll make you a deal. Quit looking back on a 5-7 season and not allowing some of the blame to be put on Paulie walnuts and I’ll quit blaming the lousy recruiter that he was. This season it’s all on Pat. << bold print if I knew how to. ike

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    1. Right, because your eyes are better and you’re a more credible analyst than people who have no stake at all in the outcome of the game and are paid to cover it.

      Also, your “facts” regarding that Pinstripe game are always incomplete. Pitt surrendered nearly 250 yards rushing, allowed nearly 50% of 3rd conversions and at least 4 fourth down conversions in that game. Long, sustained drives.

      In this ongoing debate with Reed you continue to overlook the fact that Narduzzi recruited DiNucci and MacVittie. DiNucci was a RS Sophomore and MacVittie a RS Freshman last year. By your own anaysis DiNucci didn’t play well. MacVittie didn’t play at all. You also continue to ignore that Chryst had Alex Hornibrook committed to Pitt. Hornibrook de-committed when Chryst left for Wisconsin.

      It’s also BS that people continue to cast aspersions on transfers because they transferred “down” and didn’t have tremendous success in doing so. If players aren’t developed they aren’t likely to land at a terrific place 3 years into their playing career or be groomed to be the star QB. This is particularly true for players who haven’t been hyped coming out of high school. However if we want to continue down this path I’d say that DiNucci and MacVittie have proven their relative worth as players just as Bertke did.

      This is the truth year. However I’m sure you’ll be doing mental gymnastics (that will seem totally measured and reasonable to you) in January to defend Coach Pat if need be.

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      1. Barvo, just read what I type in my comment. My point has always been that I take exception to the remarks that PITT was not ready to play NW in the bowl game. imo, that doesn’t make sense.

        My comment was that Chryst left no QB options for Narduzzi. Now did he or didn’t he? Hornibrook never enrolled at PITT did he?

        Dinucci was a very last minute desperate sign. Why? Isn’t that the year Narduzzi came in with only weeks to go before LOI day?

        Mental gymnastics? They are all facts and no reading between the lines necessary. I’m glad I get under your nerves fellow. Cause I don’t care one bit. Please ignore my future comments if they keep you away from the POV because I upset you so. . . .ike

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  39. Reed posted above. “And yes Ike, you really do need to quit blaming Paul Chryst for Narduzzi’s own problems at this point four years on, it is unbecoming of you as an adult.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It’s only been 3 years Reed.

    Never claimed to be an adult when I’m in a debate with my public enemy #1. When will you learn. No quarter.

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  40. FWIW, I believe Pickett was a 3-star and Weaver a 2-star and they were first 2 chosen in the draft … and may well be the best players on the team

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    1. Glass half full…Narduzzi can identify talent and find diamonds in the rough. Glass half empty…They are our best players because Narduzzi can’t recruit and there are no stars on the team.

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  41. VoiceofReason,
    You’re comment @ 7:40, in my “apparent”child-like opinion
    is uncalled for. This is a sports blog – nothing more, nothing less. If the commenters and blog owner are beneath your dignity, then please go to a more “mature” site.
    Yes, certainly at times we all act like juveniles on here! So what? We all tolerate each other ( for the most part) and if that is beneath you – go find a more snobby blog to invest your time in.
    …..Just my immature opinion.

    P.S. If you were just joking, sorry I missed the humor!

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  42. Wasn’t DiNucci and desperation last gap recruit when Narduzzi was hired and Pitt was scrambling for almost any QB recruit? IMO DiNucci wasn’t much of a team player and seemed to sulk when he was replaced by Pickett. DiNucci leaving the team with his “I’m better” attitude is probably an upgrade. As for MacVittie I believe he was recruited by Channey who was in direct contact with a QB trainer MacVittie was working with. Of course Narduzzi had the final say on who was recruited for that position. However I ventured to say that Pickett was probably more responsible for chasing both DiNucci and MacVittie out the door than was Narduzzi.—As for Voytik I’ll place the primary responsibility for his departure on Peterman. And of course we can all see how that decision worked out for Voytik can’t we.—As for Bertke i have no idea why he chose to leave when he did. By the way where did he end up playing after he left?

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  43. After a little research Adam Bertke transferred to the Univ of Findlay. Frankly i’ve never heard about the University prior to researching Bertke. In 2016 he played in 5 games and was 12 for 17 passing for a total of 98 years. In 2017 he was 44 for 77 passing for 701 yards with 9 touchdowns and 1 interception For those mathematically challenged he attempted a shade under 5 passes per game last season. Anyone want to register a guess as to what round he may go in this years NFL draft?

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    1. Bertke was a joke recruit by the QB guru. Chryst also wanted Chapman to be accepted into Pitt while the school was reviewing the case where Trevon assaulted his girlfriend. Moose is not the saint he was built up to be.

      Thankful Narduzzi brought in Peterman and now has Pickett. It’s all about the quarterback in football.

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      1. That is not the truth about Chryst wanting Chapman to stay. What happened was that the administration immediately took over and wanted all the facts from the internal and external investigations before they made their decision on Chapman. When Chapman broke the silence he was told to keep on the issue then the administration made the dismissal decision.

        BTW – I don’t agree with the decision to keep Chapman for a single day after the incident – it was apparent from even the barest info that he held that young woman against her will in the room and as such should have been dismissed immediately (IMO).

        But if we are talking about the issue with Chapman it is best to be truthful – and the truth is that there was no decision made before Chapman gave that interview quote and the administration at the time (Nordenberg and Peterson) had already taken the decision out of the HC’s hands as soon as it happened because of all the crap that went on only two years earlier.

        But in all my conversations about the incident and proceedings afterward not one person at Pitt has told me that Chryst ‘wanted Chapman to stay’.Only Chapman said that.

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        1. I don’t understand why you (Reed) need to present your informative clarifying comment as being about the “truth”. It’s about a comment you apparently know is not accurate being called out for inaccuracy. Saying it wasn’t “truthful” is unnecessarily provocative.

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  44. FWIW, Peterman and Picket establish HCPN as the best recruiters of QB at Pitt since Harris. Otherwise, I’m not making a total judgement yet, In Jan 2015 after he got his staff together, he only had 3 weeks of recruiting for his 1st class.

    Now, if the team proves to be a bust this year, then there is legit criticism. Not sure what the W-L will be because of playing potentially three Top 25 teams in the OOC alone, but my expectations are that we will see an improved, representative team this year.

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    1. I’ll give you Peterman as credible evidence. Pickett has started and played exactly one full game and the second half of another. It’s a small sample size. The coming season should provide ample evidence.

      I still find it interesting that people continue to exalt Peterman, yet Voytik and Peterman had very similar numbers in 2014 and 2015. While Peterman didn’t have Conner in 2015 he did enjoy a more experienced offensive line and receiving group (Boyd, Holtz and a healthy Orndoff). Conner’s yardage was largely replaced by a committee in 2015. Peterman benefits greatly in recollection because of 2016 when he played behind a very veteran offensive line, good receivers, very good backs and an offensive coordinator who knew how to utilize all the strengths. There were a lot of options in 2016. Peterman was certainly a key option.

      Preseason rankings don’t mean anything. Penn State wasn’t ranked until October in 2016 yet we all now crow about how Pitt beat two Top 10 teams in 2016.

      However I believe that we will see improved defensive play in 2018. I am so Ike-like on this that I even predict a Top 50 total defense and, gasp, pass defense. The defensive promise of Narduzzi finally realized.

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  45. One of the things I’m looking forward to finding out this year is if we are going to see the defense as a strength finally.
    The first few years of Narduzzi have provided us, for various reasons, some defenses that, for lack of a better word, got smoked an awful lot.
    Will be great if we finally have the kind of defense we were expecting to have when coach was first hired.

    I think the potential for our defense to be great is there this year. Sure hope that it turns out that way.

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  46. as a follow-up to HBO’s ‘Paterno’ discussion above, there was a brief reference to the Centre County DA who wasn’t around anymore without mentioning his name, If you want to know his name and much, much more about him, link to the story below published today on PennLive.

    Fact is that he oversaw the original accusation against Sandusky in ’98 which was dismissed and never brought to trial, and it is not certain what further involvement he may have since …. until 2005 when he became missing, and to this day never found. His car and smashed computer was found near an area river but his body was never found.

    Speculations is that (1) he committed suicide or (2) he was murdered by someone trying to protect Sandusky, or (3) he now lives in South America (or some other foreign land). Whatever, his existence or death remains a mystery

    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/04/ray_gricar_mystery_new_investi.html

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  47. Jrnpitt, yeah, DiNucci was a last gasp to fill out a roster. In hindsight, he was a competitor, good athlete and provided depth at a position of need. That said, he was not a D1 QB, so I for one will not bellyache about him moving on, crappy attitude aside. We couldn’t win more than 2 or 3 games a whole year with DiNucci, so I’ll take my chances with the transfer (and hey, the transfer is a 5 star, so he has to be better based on the star logic, eh?)

    Defense – last year the defense made a huge leap forward, obviously, though the year before was so bad that it was inevitable. This is the year where they really need to make that next step, but in order to do so, the D Line will need to be more disruptive. Maybe what PN is thinking is he finally has enough trust in his LB’s to allow the DLine to be more agressive this year, and with that will come more risk. Will be interesting to follow.

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  48. FWIW, I’m sure VOR was joking, he’s a nice fellow who forgot to put a smiley face on his comment.

    Dinucci was a desperate sign at the very last moment.

    Grichar didn’t bust up his own cpu and it’s hard drive and throw it into the river before committing suicide. He was silenced the old fashion way.

    This will be Narduzzi fourth year, the one coming up and he will be judged accordingly as this is his team now. no more past facts or excuses from me. When I hear Narduzzi has been the head coach for 4 years it makes me laugh because he’s only been the coach at PITT for 3 years.

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  49. Ike, I’m not sure who said PN has been HC for 4 years, unless it’s someone trying to support their agenda, but I missed that one. I do think in fairness people will finally have a legit beef to judge him after this year (2018), but more realistically after 2019 the pressure will be on depending on program progress or lack thereof. As for me, I side with most Pitt faithful and am pretty confident that Narduzzi is a good coach. The real concern is whether or not he will be successful, and that will be determined in part on recruiting success, which happens to be an area of concern as Reed has pointed out. Some coaches obviously don’t need many higher star recruits, if they do an outstanding job of evaluating talent and looking past the stars, but those high level programs that have accomplished that are the minority and it remains to be seen if PN will be one of those guys.

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  50. I had stepped away from POV for awhile after the Miami game. Between the endless bickering over recruiting and my depression over the Stallings era in basketball, I had lost the energy to obsess about all things Pitt. But the hiring of Capel has renewed my faith in Pitt sports. So I came here to enjoy the optimism of the revitalization of our basketball team and I see we are still arguing over recruiting – lol…

    The same old saga about not enough four star recruits. Of course, I agree. But football seems to be more about how many legitimate playmakers you can put on the field and especially whether you have a such a player at the QB position. I look at the Pitt football squad this spring and feel we have some real playmakers this year – Pickett on offense with some possibilities in Reeves and Mack. There also seems to be some serviceable players at running back who could enhance the options Pickett will have on gameday. It is the defense that seems to be on the verge of a complete do-over. Players like Wirginis, Weaver, Hamlin, Jackson and Ford seem ready to go this year.

    So with my attitude re-adjusted courtesy of the very unexpected hiring of Capel in basketball, I plan on boarding Ike’s optimism train for the football season. I say all aboard!!

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  51. Pittman and wwb, I was joking about us all being young at heart as followers of Pitt football, and was including myself in the group. Sometimes the written word does not show the actual levity that was intended, and can come across as overly harsh or even snarky. That was not my intent. I have read far more direct criticisms or insults coming from one poster to another. If you follow my posts, I have NEVER said a negative word about any poster or comments on this site (criticizing Nitters is another matter!)

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  52. Ike – right on the money about Gricar. What’s odd to me is that why wasn’t Sandusky investigated in the 70s and 80s (rather than the mid/late 90’s)? There seems to have been enough complaints even back then. Maybe things needed to gain momentum as some of his early victims grew in to adulthood? Whatever the case, more than just Joe and a few assistant coaches knew about Sandusky. State College was a small town back then…Didn’t watch the HBO movie.

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  53. A couple of things – that “recruiting star logic” that is inferred to is what I feel about highly rated recruits coming out of HS – not as transfers after they had already played (and most times not so well) 3 or 4 years down the road.

    Anyone who thinks that Browne, Hendrix (up to now), Clark, Town, etc… have played like 4 or 5 star recruits they were is mistaken.

    And of course the exception to that is 4* Peterman who played to that level after the transfer to Pitt.

    But more importantly is that the more blue chip kids you get via the HS recruiting process the more chances to get a McCoy, Baldwin, D. Johnson, Boyd, Graham, Bisnowaty, Todd Thomas, Clemmings, Bookser, Jacobsen, Byham, Dickerson, Malecki, Ota, . Berry, etc…

    For one reason is that when you get these highly rated kids as true FR you can switch them to other positions if needed and they can grow into them unlike transfers who are brought in only to fill gaps in earlier recruiting.

    Yes. other 2 and 3* kids rise to stardom also but you absolutely need and want the most blue chip kids you can get.

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    1. Pitt needs about 6-8 4 star recruits each year to compete. Just look at the schools ahead of them. The most successful schools have at least 50% plus of their recruits at 4 star or better. There was a very good article a while back on this…well researched and data driven conclusions. If I find it I will post. Just look at the Nitters. There is a reason why they consistently win 10 games per year…recruiting and soft schedule. However, they wont win any titles with Franklin. I think he’s a mediocre coach.

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  54. over/under in attendance for tomorrows game? I say 9k. Last year was around 7700 which beat the Hoopies by a good 1000 but they dont believe those numbers. For those that have attended, is Heinz the best venue for this game? The one year at the soccer venue seemed like it was well attended and more importantly at 100% capacity.

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  55. Here is a great piece by Chris Peak over on Rivals (I think it isn’t paywalled)…

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/the-3-2-1-column-risk-takers-fixers-the-spring-game-and-more

    …and here is something we’ve been saying all along:

    “So Narduzzi really didn’t learn anything new about his team this spring; rather, the last 14 practices seem to have more or less enforced what he already thought. And really, that’s probably how it should be. This is Year Four for Narduzzi. He recruited all but 13 of the scholarship players on the roster, and even that baker’s dozen has been around Narduzzi since he got to Pitt.

    He knows these players. He has coached them for four years. There really shouldn’t be any surprises at this point.”

    Previous coaching staffs are completely out of this 2018 season… no more pointing fingers backward if things don’t go well out on the field…

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    1. Reed,
      In it Chris wrote that Narduzzi said, ““Continuity is valuable for an offensive line, and the format of the Blue-Gold Game means that continuity will be interrupted.”

      Then why interrupt continuity if it is a valuable thing for the offensive line??? That sounds counterproductive.

      That’s the equivalent of a basketball coach breaking up his starting lineup in practice to say, “Let’s just pick players for two teams.”

      Like

      1. Good question and my guess is that the spring game is a little payback directed towards the players for all the hard work they have put in? but continuity is the song I sing the loudest despite the fact that some don’t like my singing one bit. I say get over it. 🙂

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  56. I have no argument with PITT needing to recruit the highest rated players they possibly can, which btw, I think they are. Over the past 30 years or so Wanny looks like the only coach who could bring in higher star players from outside the WPA area. Larry Fitzgerald being one exception and most likely there are more. By in large the better PITT recruits have come in locally.

    My thoughts are not over should PITT bring in the highest rated kids available. It’s PITT can’t get them right now AND, star ratings are too subjective to distinguish between two players of the same caliber.

    The point is not lost on me that bringing in true freshman players is the best way to go but until you have an established program and 105 spots to fill, a coach has to do what he can to fill them. That’s twenty roster spots that cannot be filled by scholarship players. What’s the big deal with filling them anyway you can?

    PITT stadium is a direct reflection on the football program. It wasn’t taken care of and it fell apart. Right now there seems to be a renewed interested in building the PITT football program back up. My prediction has PITT going 6-6. << This doesn’t make me happy but I’m not fretting too badly as I still believe the program is headed in the right direction.

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  57. Narduzzi hasn’t coached one game is his “fourth” season. I can’t see the reasoning behind judging him for something that hasn’t played out just yet.

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  58. Ike, I don’t think Reed is judging Narduzzi for 4 years, since he obviously hasn’t coached 4 years, this will be his fourth year coming up (Also his first year here the recruits are counted as his, but they were not his they were PC’s). But I suspect what Reed is saying is that after this fourth year coming up, he will be accountable for results at that point, and I think that’s fair. Many of us think after the following season, 2019, is when pressure will start to mount more realistically, depending on how this year goes of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Half empty stadiums aren’t what most 4 stars and above looking to play in front of. I’m not sure we can put all the blame on Narduzzi for the situation. Narduzzi has to sell the higher rated guys on getting the opportunity to play earlier than at the Alabama’s and Ohio States of this world. Going after the Grad transfers each and every year doesn’t help in getting that point across IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Reed, you mentioned in the past when you kind of got up close to the players that some stood out more than other is physique. Anyone that surprised you the other day? Was there a comradely feeling during the draft? What can you tell us about Wlat Harris and your conversation?

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  61. Lets face it until we get an OCS, we are stuck with a half empty Heinz. That hurts recruiting. Maybe HCPN can overcome that negative by selling kids in FL, GA and elsewhere with a winning team. H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 30k yellow seats does hurt recruiting. Kids dont care if fans sit in heated seats, or can purchase a Primantis. they care about the stadium being packed and having opponents fear to come and play. since an ocs wont happen until the steelers move to Washington County to build a new domed stadium, Pitt could do their best to ‘right-size’ the stadium with tarps.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Then don’t complain about 35k empty yellow seats for most games and how awful it looks. Soccer stadiums and other pro and college teams tarp. They aren’t losers. They are smart.

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          1. i dont see how Pitt can realistically pull in more than 50k on most game days. That leaves 20k yellow seats or nearly 1/3 the stadium empty…mainly in the upper decks. So why not tarp off most of the upper deck? Heinz is too big for Pitt’s needs. Other schools and pro teams do it and they will disagree with your loser statement. Seattle in MLS are champions and care about the fan experience. Check out their tarps…wonderfully done. Recruits do see the yellow seats and Franklin out in Creepy Valley uses this against Pitt.

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            1. I really think that if the seats were black or navy blue it wouldn’t be a problem. Of all colors…yellow just sucks for us.

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  63. Talking recruiting, we just scored a “perferred walk-on” named Jason “Truck” Edwards who played his HS football in Southern WV.

    He is a no star, under recruited, zero offers nobody. And I love him after watching his HS highlight tape.

    Reminds me of another Pitt walk-on who made good, George Aston. Edwards, like Aston, also plays FB. Actually he was a two way player for his HS team, playing LB on defense. PSN did a nice write up on him. I will not be surprised if this guy earns a scholarship down the road. He has really earned the nickname. He does just run people over, like a Mack truck.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. You would have thought that WVU would have given Truck the same opportunity to walk on. Let’s all hope he becomes the Aston clone for Pitt.

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  65. George Aston was likely a 2 or NO star player, who is better than most 4 or 5 stars we’ve had here. If Tank is anywhere near George, I like his chances, and yes his size and highlights do make you wonder, I hope he turns out to be another good story.

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  66. We need more tanks, for sure. This goes to show us all that there are gems out there that just don’t get the publicity. I hope coach Capel finds a few of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. No doubt that stars do matter. For PITT who is handcuffed with recruiting, the recruiting eye is the most important aspect as of right now. Hopefully the big stars come pouring in after it becomes apparent that PITT has turned the corner in their commitment to the football program.. ike

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  68. its a night game. Thank you Pirates for once for accommodating. Now will it be nationally televised? All I know is that there will be plenty of drunks inside. Gonna get ugly.

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    1. I’m sure Pitt asked last year and the year before. Not sure why the Pirates ‘gave-in’ this year. Maybe Heather promised a Pirate bobble head night?

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        1. In a way yes. The Pirates have never lifted a finger to help Pitt in the past. I would love to see future cooperation but until we know the story…there are no guarantees. I’ll stand by my bobble head hypothesis…the Pirate owner, former West Virginia sheep lover, got something for the concession.

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  69. Pitt has to be a top 25 team before they are a top 10 team and their recruiting is perfectly fine to crack the top 25. Once they get there, the next goal is top 10 and, yes, to get there they will have to have better recruiting.

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  70. I thought we would hear about Capel flipping at least one player by now. Getting a little worrisome that more of the existing players are not announcing they are coming back. Maybe it takes time, but they don’t have a 2018/19 roster as of now.

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  71. When is the fish-or-cut-bait date for hoops players?

    JC showing extraordinary patience letting kids decide…unless there are no other options.

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  72. Reed and Ike are the pitt version of espn first take or pardon the interruption (on here at least). Polar opposites on pitt football and Narduzzi.

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  73. Have to get most of the coaches in place before you increase your chances of successfully recruiting. Bball recruiting should start picking up soon now that most of the coaching positions are filled.

    Like

  74. I committed to UCF since our office in next to campus. 😉 PittPT.

    Maybe something home but that is one of my busy seasons.

    You going to Orlando?

    Like

    1. Ike/Mark – That would be a good game to see. Bet they improve this year and beautiful campus. I will try. We can all sleep in a King with Ike. Haha.

      Like

    1. Pitt fans love turning on kids who get into trouble. It has something to do with soiling their degrees, which makes absolutely zero sense. The turn by some fans on Sheard back in 2010 was amazing when the guy just defended his teammate.

      And Sheard never threw the dude through a door. Both were entangled and went through together. Of course, the Sheard family paid for the door and Jabal apologized twice to the store owner, who publicly said he was impressed with him.

      But no, Sheard soiled the degree so time to blow up the Wannstedt regime.

      Dumb.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sheard never spent a nigh in jail .. was immediately released. From the story I was told that he was antagonized by a drunken racist … this came from a south side tavern owner friend of mine who knew the SS police very well

        Like

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