This bit of info about Pitt having only four ACC Top 100 preseason players really bothers me and one reason is because it sounds entirely reasonable to me.

“Offensive lineman Alex Bookser leads the way and you don’t even find him until No. 31. Bookser is the only Panther in the top 50. Linebacker Oluwaseun Idowu jumps into the mix at No. 53. He’s followed by defensive end Rashad Weaver (No. 66) and Darrin Hall (No. 95). The four players Pitt had was tied for worst (with Syracuse and North Carolina) in the ACC.

Tack on top of that we had only three 1st or 2nd team All-ACC players on the 2017 postseason team; OL Brian O’Neill (1st team), Punter Ryan Winslow (1st team) and KR Quadree Henderson (2nd team) and none of them were players who committed to Pat Narduzzi to play ball at Pitt.

So after reading and digesting these bits of info – especially seeing that of the four Top 100 ACC Pre-season players only one is a Pat Narduzzi committed-recruit, I started researching past Pitt head coaches and looked to see how many recruits they landed who were selected to All-Conference teams in their first two or three years.

What I found pretty much supports my thoughts that Narduzzi is having a hard time so far in getting early impact players to commit to playing for him at Pitt. I mean it is obvious in that we haven’t seen it happen yet in three full seasons, but what about our past coaches?

Well, every other Pitt HC has had at least one but most had two players or more who committed to them make either All-ACC or All-Big East 1st string teams within their first three years.  Now – it must be said that we haven’t seen what some of what Pat Narduzzi’s commits will do in their third years but the trend as it stands is worrisome.

Here is a quick chart I made of the past Head Coaches and which All-Star players (1st or 2nd team only) they had who broke out in their first three years on roster.

First 3 years

This is an accurate as I could get without really delving into past old archives but it tells the story I believe. It is important to note that most of these player did it within their first two years on the roster. Again, I remind that we still have to see how Narduzzi’s kids will play this year and next but…so far…

I’ve written about this often but it is very disturbing that not only hasn’t this happened with PN but here we are going into his 4th full season and we are still starting players like Dintino, Herndon, Roy, Zeise, Wirginis, Hall, Ollison and Briggs who not only are Chryst holdovers but just haven’t been very good players – and some never started many games if at all.

I know Pitt fans were very excited about PN’s first two recruiting classes but we have seen virtually no play from any of them and the ones who have gotten PT haven’t been all that impressive like Damar Hamlin.  Not one of Narduzzi’s 4* recruits have been breakout players yet (again, so far) and that’s not happy making either.

NAME POS
Damar Hamlin DB
Kaezon Pugh LB
George Hill ATH
Ruben Flowers WR
Amir Watts DT
Anthony Davis RB
Charles Reeves TE
Paris Ford DB

Of his eight 4* recruits landed four are no longer on the team, three have gotten spot playing time with only Watts and Hamlin having started any games (none for a full season) and Ford was redshirted his FR year last season.

I really am worried about this because not only does it impact the play on the field this year but if Narduzzi gets canned in the next couple of years (which certainly could happen with subsequent losing seasons) then the roster cupboard is really bare for whoever takes over.

That said we are all looking forward to two players who were recruited bu Narduzzi in his first two full classes and they are QB Kenny Pickett who impressed with two good games at the tail end  of last season.  Not seen yet but a player everyone is excited about is 4* Paris Ford who will be in the two-deep at least at a cornerback spot.  If he plays to hype – and he really impressed in the spring game – he could be one of the breakout players we’ve been missing.

I think two other players could do also.  If Hall and Ollison continue to play the way they have which in my opinion has been underwhelming for a variety of reasons, then 4* RBs A. J. Davis (16 carries for 40 yds and a TD) and Mychale Salahuddin may see starting roles come their way sooner rather than later.

Davis had only spot duty last season and was not all that impressive but RBs need the ball early and often to really show what they have.  I wouldn’t mind one bit if either of these two kids were in the backfield on opening day – that are talented and want to make a mark.

Let’s hope anyway – our offense can’t live or die on only one good player (Pickett to date) but needs star play from other as well.

 

198 thoughts on “All-Conference Players and Recruiting

  1. Are you saying that Davis and Salahuddin are “talented”. And if you are what is the basis for that. Their HUDL highlights are nothing special. I don’t see great speed with either of them. And certainly not great power. Is it the 4*s? Because If all that matters is how many Rivals points a player has then we are screwed. Does anyone out there think that a coach can see talent or future talent that many other coaches or rating services can’t see? Now I happen to believe that there are coaches that can see hidden talent. Whether PN can I don’t know. I think he can but I have nothing objective that I can point to that supports that belief.

    But I also think it’s unfair to fail to recognize that PN’s strategy is to recruit players who will grow into being good players. What’s wrong with that given Pitt’s competitive disadvantage recruiting freshman ready premium athletes. And please don’t tell me that by that strategy he denies players opportunities to grow because I know that. The question is “Does denying these athletes the growth opportunity they would get from playing early outweigh the benefit the team will get from gaining their redshirt.”

    You may say it’s not an either or situation. Actually I think it is.

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  2. To support the two above comments:Aaron Donald All Big East third year, Larry Fitzgerald All Big East second year plus much more.

    Recruiting seems to be Narduzzi’s greatest weakness. It may ultimately be the reason he will be let go. I am still not impressed with his defensive skills based on a three year sample but that may be due to who had on the field as well as his choice for defensive coordinator. We will see this year.

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  3. A low ranked three star. Defensive back on the small side. Previously committed to James Madison. With recruits like these, why bother fielding an ACC team.

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    1. Because the university wants those ACC checks. No one is better at mediocrity but still wants paid better than Pitt.

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  4. Reed, I couldn’t agree with you more I am scared about Narduzzi’s ability to recruit so far by year 4 if a coach recruited well the team should have talent waiting on the wings at te,lb,ol,and wr. None of his recruits have even shown a flash outside of weaver and Pickett. I agree with some of the posters that stars don’t matter but remember it takes coaches to develop those 2 and 3 stars. All good Pitt teams in my lifetime were led by 4 or five star recruits and a few 2 Or 3 stars who worked out.

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  5. Would Pitt have won 9 Or ten games in 08 and 09 without a dearth of 4 and one 5 star. Jacobson,Nix,McCoy,Baldwin, Berry, Dom Deccico, Bynum, Todd Thomas, Otah and that’s off the top of my head.

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  6. When a team has a few stars they make everyone else rise to their level. They push the 2 stars to work that much harder. Was taglinetti an awesome two star yes, was Romeus an awesome two star yes, but what if they were surronded with all other 2 stars.

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  7. Paul Chryst did not being in a lot of 4 stars, but by in large ones he did bring in were big time contributors especially in the 15 and 16 seasons.

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  8. Look for Narduzzi to add some last minute transfers at wideout and oline before the season starts. Bring on someone else’s leftovers to add competition he will say. When we all know it’s because his guys stink so bad any warm body will be better.

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  9. Wait a second. There’s low ranked 3 stars but not high ranked 3 stars? I’m told the .01 pt is meaningless. << about the newest recruit.

    I’m not so sold on Narduzzi’s recruiting

    I’m certainly not sold on Narduzzi’s recruiting so far. He didn’t get the players a few years ago aside from Ford that came from a good recruiting class. Now the WPIAL is pretty much dried up for the next few years. There are some players that I have higher hopes for but it is a wait and see game. This year will tell the tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A low rated 3* CB with plenty of time left to recruit. All I can say is that PN had better know what he’s doing because “on paper” it sure doesn’t look like he does. My faith is being shaken.

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  11. Personally, I think the Duzz has one more year regardless. I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I guess I want Pitt to win so bad I’ll ignore what I see, anbd hope against hope I’m wrong. Oh well……

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  12. ….. We certainly are a group of brave souls! Year in and year out pretty much we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
    Come to think of it that’s exactly what they say here in Texas about the upcoming hurricane season!

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  13. Just read that Pitt was only one of 19 P5 teams that didn’t make a bowl last year. Uggh!

    I’ll take a 4.3 40 any day. Gotta put the ball in those hands in space.

    Will we ever get a stud to block for him?

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    1. I heard on XM 84 College Sports Radio Thursday morning that there are 11 out of 65 P5 teams that will play 2 out of conference games vs other P5 schools in 2018.

      The ACC has 5 (Pitt being one), BIG Joke has 3 (not psux and Wisky plays no P5 OOC games), Big 12 has 2 and the PAC 12 has 1.

      That leaves the SEC with no teams playing more than 1 OOC game vs a P5 team.

      Scheduling matters, but more importantly, winning trumps most everything.

      H2P!

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  14. Little worried Damar Hamlin is headed the bust route, but I absolutely guarantee Paris Ford ends up a stud. No doubt! Me thinks he may play some offense too…

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  15. The chart was made up players who were recruited by and early blossomed in the HC’s first few years on the job. Maybe I didn’t make that clear enough.

    For example: Paul Chryst was hired in 2012 and right away recruited both Conner and Boyd who hit stardom with in their first two years.

    Fitzgerald did hit stardom right away but it wasn’t during Walt Harris’ first three years as HC. Same with Donald and others.

    Bottom line – I was showing that one of PN’s problems (and an important one imo) is that he’s swung and missed on getting star players, who played that way early in their career, to commit to him.That will have a strong impact this season as it did last.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Another recruit with little demand.
    Another defensive recruit
    Pat, does 20 defensive recruits and 5 offensive recruits sound about right?
    Narduzzi is going to make his defense better no matter what, offense be damned.

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  17. Guys, if he really did run a 4.38 40 maybe the rating services had him mis-rated. Really, how is a h.s. junior CB evaluated? It’s not like in baseball where you can see that his OBP and contact rate are really high. Can they even tell how fast the kid is? Football is not baseball and there is just much more subjectivity in the evaluation process and in baseball there is of course a tremendous amount of subjectivity.

    PN has had just two full years to recruit and one of those years the players he recruited are mostly redshirted. This is a fact—not a subjective statement.

    Reed et al have every right to be concerned. No argument there. But the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is still on the stove.

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    1. Right which is why I was liberal with the “so far” in the article. And more of his kids are starting now so more will have a chance to shine. But…so far only one transfer player of all his guys has hit stardom and that was Peterman.

      Pickett has a good shot at this as does Weaver I think. Maybe Dane Jackson also of the kids who have already played…but every year we win 8 or more games in modern history we have had bona fide stars leading the way…like Boyd in 2015 with Ollison’s 1121 yards next to him and Whitehead on defense.

      Then in 2016 we had Peterman, Conner back and Q. Henderson running and returning kicks.

      But last year no one on offense or defense stood out to star level in any way…except maybe Araujo-Lopes but only 531 yards with a 12.3 ypc average and only 2 TDs isn’t star play from the WR spot.

      I really hope someone on defense breaks out big time and maybe that is Wirginis, Weaver or possibly much-hyped Ford because even though we were better in the last two games overall we we average at best over the season.

      If Weaver and Wirginis can get a bunch of sacks and Ford 5+ INTs then we’ll be able to win the low scoring games we are going to be in.

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      1. Reed is stating above that in what would have been Paul Chryst’s 4th and 5th years coaching Pitt, 2015 and 2016, Chryst had some breakout players.

        Yet he is unsatisfied that Narduzzi’s players havnt broken out in years 1 2 and 3.

        Seems reasonable.

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  18. New recruit: DB A J Woods

    https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2019/aj-woods-214523

    Glad we could pry him away from Elon and Holy Cross. Mighty Virginia was his only P5 offer.

    Guys riddle me this. Didn’t our fans severly criticize the last HC because he recruited short DBs with crappy offer sheets? We sure did and young Mr. Woods fits that description to a T.

    Most P5 school’s fans would say this sort of recruit would be someone the HC was taking a “flyer” on but we are doing it more often now.

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  19. Narduzzi is a joke. Paying him 3.5M for this BS. Good thing Heather won’t put up with his BS and sees through him. A moron could recruit at Pitt given the advantages. You want more fans. Give them a reason to come. Create excitement. This guy once canned will not be hired and will be a DC for some Jabroni team. All he is good for is hot air, twitter posts, gorilla arms and wearing Walmart khakis. Im off to Mexico. Upitt sets wins and losses at 4. Over/Under?? What say you?

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    1. 4 is low
      Vegas has 5,5
      I say 6
      plus a bowl win against a lowly MAC team in Detroit
      And Narduzzi will be hailed by some as a genius
      I’d personally can his arse. His smugness and 3 star recruiting is like a rotten molar that even Doc cant pull

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      1. If Narduzzi finishes 7-6 against our schedule, he will be praised. Six wins and a bowl win isn’t bad. But winning a bowl game will be a stretch.

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  20. Admiral – You were always right on this joker. Leverage a DC role ( Gave up 48 to Baylor) into milking Pitt out of 3.5M a year. He shoukd send Chryst a Ham because the only reason he won 8 games is bc of moose mustards recruits.

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    1. Love you Admiral but I don’t see it. People putting a lot of stock in Pickett. I see 4. No way Kenny survives a season with that oline.

      Excuses for Mt. Yinzer will come by nonstop. Knowing Heather she is already looking to make her real mark and hiring a real
      Coach. Not a DC who couldn’t manage a DMV in Lancaster.

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    2. Reed – If that is the case and I agree. Pitt is paying Capitol Grill Money for a Golden Coral Skirt Steak.

      Capel will give Heather confidence to make a change in Football.

      Cocky Narduzzi will be humbled and realize his recruiting is on par with Shippensburg

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  21. Elon and JMU. What a joke. Paying this joke more than 175k is overpaying. What a moron. I can recruit better talent and more stars over 1 week than he has all year. 4.3. Who cares. He looks like a 9th grader. We are going backwards under this joke. Im not sure YSU would want him as a DC.

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      1. you cant teach height either. He’s a smurf that taller receivers will eat up. There is a reason why he was recruited by Holly Cross, Elon and James Madison

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  22. I don’t have a problem with a speedy db that won’t play for 2 years if at all.

    What I do see as a problem is the lack of quality O-linemen and D-Tackles in this class.

    The game is won or or lost in the trenches. You need to stockpile these guys every year.

    So far I would say the most impactful of Narduzzi recruits has been Henderson, but think he may have signed when Chryst was still here, like Whitehead. Peterman of course as a transfer who was recruited by Chubby Cheese.

    Canada made Narduzzi look good for one year with Chryst’s recruits plus Peterman and Henderson, even with a spectacularly bad defense.

    We have to hope the new coaches can actually do something with mostly Narduzzi guys. They have their work cut out for them, especially Borbely, this year and next. This is the second transition year, and next year will be all Narduzzi. However, some guys need to step up in a big way this year.

    Another concern is we usually lose another top/key (for us) guy or two due to injury or behavior prior to the start of the season. Would Taleni and Wirginis been worth another win or two. Whiteheads suspension didn’t help nor did Bookser’s lack of leadership help the O-line.

    Speaking of leadership, who provides it this year?

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    1. Pitt needs linemen and receivers
      its stock piling speedy smurfs who play DB
      The recent speedy smurf is a 5.5 star with the only legit offer being from Virginia
      Where are recruits for positions of need
      Where are the 4 stars

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    2. Henderson committed to PC.

      I don’t think we had any ‘leadership’ at all last year, on O or on D. Usually guys to rise to that position have been in the program for a few years and the other players respect them on and off the field.

      Which eliminated Bookser, Wirginis and Whitehead right off the bat.

      Btw, speaking of leadership what I’m hearing about the Narduzzi / Reeves situation is mind boggling. This is third hand but from what I gather Narduzzi heard Reeves had been contemplating a transfer and flew off the handle then dismissed him for “conduct detrimental to the team” (which means it wasn’t a failed drug test or academics).

      Then when the staff pointed out how stupid that was PN reversed course and tried to ask him to come back but Reeves wouldn’t take his calls and then formally transferred to YSU. Which leaves us with practically no one at TE save a transfer and a kid who caught one pass last year.

      And IF this is true it just magnifies PN’s mistake of not recruiting TEs in 2015 or 2016…with only one TE left from the two he recruited in 2017 (Sears).

      Take the above for what it is worth and it may not be 100% accurate… but sadly it sounds completely feasible.

      Add that to the Ox Enright fiasco (where PN blew up in public) and they are not good things to happen right before camp starts.

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      1. Sounds thoroughly unfeasible to me. Third hand? Come on. We are better than that.

        Question: If PN is so disliked why don’t players leak stuff?

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  23. Lastrow and BigB has a tailgate strategizing party on Saturday… being prepared ….following the Scout mantra.

    Had a drive by LaTrobe to visit brother Ike….POV is creating a new circle of friends with the common denominator being Pitt football.. for better or worse we are all married to PITT FB

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  24. and it was great seeing Mr and Mrs B. Thanks again BigB.. After driving all the way from North Carolina the man drives out of his way to drop off lbs of fresh shrimp

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    1. Gee Ike, Big B set the bar pretty high with Carolina shrimp. Guess I’ll call him and raise a bushel of Chesapeake crabs when I see you.

      You are completely correct about POV friendships and quite honestly it is the sole reason I keep doing this.

      BTW folks, I appreciate that if things get a bit out of hand in the comments section between two POVers they have been very gracious when I send them a gentle reminder to cut it out.

      We are a special group.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Reese was a high risk high reward recruit. Narduzzi understood he was a hit or miss but saw his upside. He checked out long before he went home and recruits like him can frustrate any head coach. He is at YSU and that is probably where he should have gone any way. Kids leave all programs for various reasons. He didn’t have the work ethic of a div1 player. It happens at every program. Remind me again how many players left for another P 5 program…none.

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  26. Readers, I’m drafting up a Upgrade, Draw or Downgrade article about the RBs today.

    Can anyone do a DEs, TEs, DBs or FBs article?

    I’ll do the WRs, interior DLs & STs.

    I’ll pretty the articles up but could use a bit of help to get all the units done before camp starts…

    Thanks in advance.

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  27. I’ve been real busy lately with company and other BS but if you don’t get any other offers I will try to slap a DE article together. I’ll wait a day or two and see if others can please step up. ike

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  28. I agree with fred above — if you can get a 4.3 guy, you take him.

    Of the thousands of high school football players who are 5-10ish and 180ish, how many of them can run a 4.3?

    On the other hand, I’d like to call a moratorium on defensive recruits. Enough already!

    Go Pitt!

    Reed – sorry I can’t offer an article; just not a good time right now…

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    1. 5-10 ish is more like 5-9…a smurf. Yes – he is fast (4.38 and 10.74). But he wasnt recruited by P-5 schools because he is too small. Unless his vertical is 40 plus, he will have a tough time covering receivers who are 4-5 inches taller than him. This is a kid who de-committed from James Madison. Narduzzi has no business recruiting kids like this (barely a 3 star) for ACC play.

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      1. Sounds like the kids can jump, for what it’s worth.

        Also, LaRod Stevens Howling was short.

        I venture this kid will be returning kickoffs and punts with the hope he can do much more.

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  29. I meant the entire D-Line above.

    Not necessarily Bj. He’s only getting ready to play his senior year in high school. I gained 15-20 lbs and grew almost 3 inches between my jr and sr years.

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  30. With regard to Reese, ike was once again correct that it is in a kid’s head that counts most. Surely Narduzzi must have checked with high school coaches, HS staff and friends to get a handle on the kid’s dedication and work ethic. Or did he? Was he dazzled by the 4 star rating? Was he in panic mode over his line prospects? We may never know, but this recruiting train wreck seems to be happening with increasing frequency..

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  31. I’d take an article Reed, but I know my limitations. I can pitch in with puff piece articles but I have a knowledge deficit when it comes to the in-depth analysis topics.

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  32. Go for it Mark, you’ve written really good stuff. I don’t have “Word” and Reed has too much work formatting the crap I send in.

    I’m running into the computer room on the fly when I get the chance and I misread Reed’s request. I will try and do a DE summary if we can’t get anyone else to step up. The DB article sounds like a real task to figure that all out. Maybe when Rick gets off the golf course he may volunteer, he wrote a great article last year.

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  33. ike, if you send me your article I can put into Word for you and forward it to Reed., that would be very easy for me to do. Just a thought . …

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    1. I’d rather have til after this year to vote, but since I’m going with a 7-6 record for the season I will predict that he will still be HCPN in 2 years .

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      1. I think a second losing season does it for him and Pitt. One 5 win season maybe an aberration – but a second sub-.500 year means his recruiting has been as bad as some think it has been and that means more crap years.

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  34. On our new recruit A J Woods, 5′ 11″ 175lbs and runs 4.38 40. Pitt contacts him in the Spring and invites him to the camp on June 3rd and offers him sometime this month. Now I’m guessing some most of you POV posters believe the coaches are complete idiots for even offering this kid a scholarship. From my take they saw him in PERSON at the camp and watched the camp tape over several weeks and decided that an offer was warranted. From my perspective with that kind of speed and getting an unclose and personal look at him it certainly was not an unreasonable offer to make. But I’m guessing many of you won’t be satisfied with any commitment unless the you see offers from Alabama, OSU, PSU and ND being made for the same player.

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    1. Elon and James Madison agree with you. Other than that no good programs in D1 Football agree. You want to pay 3.5M for barely 3 stars ok. Carl Lewis ran a 4.1 and never played football. Speed without ability is just speed.

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    2. only Virginia offered. Thats the ONLY P-5 school besides Pitt. And he’s nowhere close to 5′ 11″
      He is a fast smurf
      Unless he has a 40 inch vertical, or grows 3 inches his senior year, he is a waste of a pick
      And if he does keep the speed and grows and shines his senior year, he’ll get offers from better schools than Pitt and he’ll de-committ from Pitt just like he did with James Madison
      Holy Cross and Elon…come-on

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    3. Come on jrnpitt those offers from Bama, ND, PSU & Ohio State when they happen aren’t legit offers for Pitt verbal commitments anyhow, don’t you know?

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      1. they arent
        If we are recruiting against other ACC schools for the kid, its legit
        a kid attends a camp at Michigan and says an offer was extended…no it wasnt
        who is the coach recruiting them; can it be verified
        Pitt has little to no chance at getting a kid offered by those elite schools
        thats when I call BS

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        1. See, Tx Panther explains the situation perfectly. So don’t believe what you hear or see on on those recruiting sites or in other media that discusses college football, it’s not what’s really happening.

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        2. If Pitt has no chance getting legitimate talent then why do people complain when Pitt does not land 4 and 5 stars? Very confusing.

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  35. Currently Pitt has 11 defensive/4 offensive recruits. ZERO OL, ZERO WR’s. Keep hammering those defense recruits Pat….Atta boy! Poaching James Madison recruits, start acting like a ACC head coach. He has basically quit trying to recruit top 250 players.

    With Narduzzi taking this kid, higher rated kids like Devonshire and others are headed elsewhere. Cannot blame Devonshire with the Pitt staff taking forever to offer him.

    Who knows with Narduzzi, he wants to prove he can put a 1/2 way good defense on the field so he might take 5 more DB’s.

    When Pat’s time has come and gone he’s going to end up a 6-7 regular season win coach.

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  36. I can admit when I’m wrong. Some ppl struggle with that. I have lost ALL faith in “Duzz” His recruiting absolutely stinks. The few supposed Stars he lands lol let’s Hamlin end up duds. I’m close to the point of rooting for them to lose just to fire this jerk. It’s sad cause anyone that knows me personally says I’m the biggest Pitt fan they ever met. Hail to Pitt and hell to Pat!!!!

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    1. What makes you think Hamlin will be a dud? I say give him 6 games this year before rendering a verdict on his abilities. He’s been hampered with injuries since the HS senior year. If he can’t cut the mustard, for whatever reason, this year I’ll then agree with you.

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  37. @Chet – The reason most kids don’t transfer right away to a P5 school is that they have to sit out a year if they do so. These kids want to play early and when they don’t, get frustrated with the entire process, including the books. It could also mean that Reeves saw that our OC was not going to use the TE as something other than a blocker and decided it was not what he had signed up for. Just a thought. Also, the arkansauce TE seems to have gone from P5-P5…and Rush Shell….and Peterman…and Browne….although graduate transfers and, well you get the point. It happens but not too much for non grads as the penalty is a lost season. If you are good enough it doesn’t matter if you play at ysu, pitt or Dairy. The league will find you.

    @Reed – Recruiting the Te’s is interesting. You note that Now we are left with a kid that only caught one pass last year because of Reeves moving on. Reeves caught zero, so even if he stayed, our team still would have only one TE that caught a pass for Pitt last year.

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    1. In many cases that is a reason to go to Div2 to be able to play immediately. Reese is at YSU with some of his buddies from HS. But Reeves tried to slow play Pitt and only Syracuse was his P5 option as his other offers were simply name only. Yes he did check out early missing workouts, meetings and classes from what I heard. Shame since he does have ability, but even with Narduzzi and staff hoping he would reconsider,, he moved on .

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  38. Capel had swag and floor cred when he came to Pitt. He knows how to recruit 4 and 5 stars. He demands respect but unsure if Pitt will support him on what it takes to land these kids. Pitt has to play the game in order to bring those kids in. I am in on that.

    Narduzzi never had the swag to land 4 and 5 stars. Emotional, sure. He came from a place where they recruited 2 and 3 stars regularly and hoped to coach them up into 4 stars.

    Should be an interesting year.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Just reading the comments that Reed posted about Narduzzi’s behavior recently makes one wonder if he is not feeling some heat from above. Heather seems to be a pretty tough boss and I mean that in a complementary way. She has high expectations. I was surprised she pulled the trigger on both basketball coaches in the same year even though I agreed that both had to go. Give Lyke’s history so far at Pitt, I would give Narduzzi this year and next to improve things before the ax falls. If this year is a dumpster fire (4 wins or less), it could be at the end of this season.

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  40. At the golf outing I was somewhat down on the team, but more positive than most. At this point in time I question if the Duzz has what it takes. The OOC schedule could bring the whole thing tumbling down. Even another 5-7 won’t get him fired this year, but he will be gone after that. At that point we will see if we will be a football school or a basketball school.
    I really struggled writing the above. Ever so slowly I’ve come around to the view that the Duzz may actually be the problem, not the solution. Those early clips of interviews he gave while at MSU keep haunting me. I try to put them out of my mind or rationalize them, but I’m thinking he’s just an a-h*$@. Crap! If I have to use that waterboy line “Oh no, we stink again” I’m gonna go nuts!

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  41. Reed is right. Duzz is an arrogant demanding coach with steal mean streak. Thus his continued dust ups with his minions resulting in Tim ox enright leaving. Maddens account was 1000% spot on. Reed. Alex this 2 years ago. I want duz to win but he is a jag off no two ways about itv

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  42. I don’t hate Duzz. I don’t know if I like him though. I don’t like his arrogance and failure to take responsibility for some of the losses. He talks a big game about recruiting and has rarely produced. His defense to date has been lackluster.

    The Miami win last year kind of made up for some of the negative feelings I had toward him. It showed to me that at least he could motivate the players when the season was lost. Even if this year is as bad as most on here think it will be, I still think he gets one more year. He has some signature wins and back to back 8 win seasons to hang his hat on.

    I will hope for the best but expect Pitt to be Pitt in the end.

    Like

  43. As for the new DB recruit, Lamont Wade is allegedly 5’9” and not many people called him a smurf when he committed to PSU. I will be interested to see what, if any thing, this new kid can do with that type of speed. He’s at least intriguing from that perspective.

    The recruiting on offense is awful though. No two ways about it.

    Like

    1. Lamont got legit P-5 offers
      He was not a 5.5 Rivals star

      Maybe this smurf can return punts or be a special teamer
      I doubt he ever sniffs the field as a DB

      Like

        1. he can have a 45″ vertical, and run a 4.1
          doesnt make him a player
          why did only Virginia offer as a P-5
          why – because the kid is barely a 3 star
          if Narduzzi saw something in camp, thats great
          But he has a poor track record of finding diamonds in the rough or even coaching up players

          Like

    2. Lamont Wade is solid. Here is no comparison between he and James Madison/Elon kid. Narduzzi is tking whoevwr he can get. It is sad.

      Like

  44. My big prediction for this coming PITT football season? Stay tuned. You guys will rag on me all day and I will suck it up and take, so long as you guys agree?

    Like

  45. After all of the gnashing of teeth, Pitt will end up with a 7-5 regular season record. They will win most games they should win, except for one dumb loss, and will win one game they aren’t expected to win, such as ND, and will finish with everyone wondering whether the year was a good one or bad. This is Pitt. The question is whether or not Heather will live with that record or give PN one more year.

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    1. I think in some ways a 5-7 result is the worst outcome. If lower, Lyke is more likely to fire Narduzzi and be celebrated while further cementing the mark she is putting on the athletic department. (If she doesn’t there is a real sense that she is either behind Narduzzi or because it is PITT they have to wait to lure someone of value.) However, at 5-7 it is logical to keep Narduzzi. This also is low enough to fire Narduzzi. The Vegas lines may help Narduzzi keep his job, but this record I think provides the most chagrine whatever Lyke does. (Due to previous unstability, PITT needs to give Narduzzi a fifth year. Why did you let him go? We are in the ACC now and are finally trying to compete, how can you keep this coach who had two losing seasons in a row? But Narduzzi is using the MSU model–patience is a virtue. The same patience can derail the ship.)

      Although 6-6 or 7-5 fits the “spectacular” PITT mediocrity mold, this line probably is enough for people to view the fifth year as a barometer of where PITT is at. The likelihood is that Lyke/PITT may live with it, but this is a season where the bowl win might mean job security and a bowl loss might jeopardize the job security.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. I am friends with a guy who works at the south side complex . Works for the Steelers. He said the madden account was spot only . He laughed because he said to himself how did madden het that so fast. Ox enright was looking to leave. Wanted a job that was posted by the Steelers . He didn’t get it and was disappointed. So the incident at the duzz party wa the last straw. I asked my buddy about duzz . He is demanding which is hardly a fault but he does have a “ mean streak” so he is not perfect. He did not fire ox but he was tough on him . Let’s face it duzz can’t be a dik if he wins I can accept that but if he loses his jag off attitude to the fans will grate on me . Reed was right 2, years ago .!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. lol this board is going into fruitloop territory over this AJ Woods recruit. You do realize James Madison is the ONLY team not named North Dakota State to win the FCS Championship in the last 7 years. Winning the FCS Championship game over YSU 28-14 (u know the team Pitt has lost to once in the last couple years under Paulie and had to go to OT last year to beat) in 2016. And then losing the FCS Championship game to North Dakota State in 2017, 13-17.

    James Madison has been 28-2 over the last 2 seasons and probably would have beat Pitt last year.

    The kid was recruited to possibly fill Little Q’s role as an end around sweep artist and possible slot WR. You don’t have to be big to perform that role. Just be good when you get in space and based on his video, he looks very good in space.

    If little Lopes can do end arounds and play in the slot, I’m sure this kid could too !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back Emel.

      Lil’ Q’s act will play well in the Canadian FB League after his attempt to make the Stillers passes.

      Like

      1. Thanks EE….i’m not really back…back. Cause this recruiting stuff and trying to figure out who or who want became ‘a playa’ based on his ratings is not my cup of tea. Pitt had more ‘playas’ than Northwestern but still somehow managed to lose that game. Ask Texas!

        Like

    2. Welcome back Emel.
      No denying this kid is fast
      But James Madison plays in the CAA
      Pitt has no business recruiting kids like this
      Narduzzi’s recruiting strategy can be summarized as a fruitloop
      Everything is just rainbows and unicorns

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      1. lol I like it…you’ve become an artist….Tex. Seriously though… there are some good athletes that play in FCS. Look at the QB for ND State who became the E-Girls starting QB. If that isn’t sufficient the Steelers Roster has a total of 13 FCS players on it.

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        1. there are
          my point is that Pitt hasnt raised the bar on recruiting when you go after players that are barely 3 stars and have offers from Elon
          this shows me Pitt is just trying to fill out their class
          by comparison, you have Capel going after quality recruits and positions of need
          and Capel is going to land them
          Football needs a recruiter first and then coach second

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  48. What is worse having a coach that treats everyone like a jerk and loses, or having a coach that makes everyone around him like him sign a bunch of 4 stars goes 27 and 12 in 3 years and gets canned because a few players get in trouble. Do the right thing can the duzz call Dave and tell him we screwed up we have a competent athletic department we want to win. Man I can’t imagine what Wannstedt thinks of the mess that is Pitt Football.

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  49. Watched an old wtae feed the other day. It was an interview of George Novac who explained his shock and disbelief with Pitt over Wannstedts dismissal. He said all Wpial coaches were working with Dave to keep the best athletes at Pitt. Just sad really sad. I’m convinced the only way Pitt will get a coach to build a program is he has to be a Pitt man because anyone else will leave. Heather tweeted a picture of Dave a few weeks ago he must still give them money. True Pitt man not some Youngstown yuppie.

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  50. Adding more salt to the wound reading through Phil Steele’s preview mag guess who has the #1 rated offensive line in the nation. BING BING Wisconsin.

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  51. PC did know his O-line. Not much else though
    Devonshire, Hubbard and Porter are still out there
    Lets see if Pitt can land one of these local elite guys

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  52. Duzz gives zero effs about the donor base. I go to his show often . It’s not at cupkas this year because duzz burned his bridges with cupka . Now they are scrambling for a site . He treated the fans in attention dance like we had communicable aids

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  53. Let me guess he got drunk there and told them off. Here is hoping someone steps up and says change your act or don’t let the door hit you where good Lord spilt you. Win 10 Or be gone it’s year 4 we shall c!!

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  54. I don’t think many were mocking the jmu commit as it was just another 3 star and many think we should be getting a bunch of 4 stars because we are Pitt. If you look at the other offers, we did beat out Duquesne I suppose. AS I posted, I’ll take a 4.3 forty any day of the week because that is real speed….and 4.5. lb’s and 4.8 OL’s.

    AZach- I spoke to Wanny briefly last year at a game between two top ten teams. We were in the endzone as fox had the game nationally. I gave him the H2P and his response was….what a mess. I agreed. Asked what it would take to turn it around and he said commitment and stability from leadership as with all programs. I don’t think he comes back as he seems to be having a good time on the set and hanging with the guys when they aren’t on the set. All that can change and candidly I would take a run at him.

    Before mocking a wanny pick, you have to understand who is actually available (top 20 coach) number one, and of those, which one, if any, would leave their current gig for Pitt. Next you go to the assistants and unemployeds….good luck! There aren’t many jeff capel’s floating around the football P5.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. DW could have kept that job for life if he understood he was an employee of the university and not the owner of it. It is as simple as that.

    Tom, when you see a kid with low or no P 5 offers and a bunch of FCS offers then all of a sudden ND or OSU show up on their list you can bet that wasn’t an actual offer.

    If you read the article I wrote earlier about the three recruiting sites and how they evaluate HS players two sites said they don’t look at offers at all and the other said it MAY factor in at 10% of the kid’s rating.

    That is because there is no way a scout can verify offers because the NCAA forbids any schools from publicly talking about any HS players. So, unless the player can produce an actual letter of a scholarship offer their “offers” are not able to be verified.

    College football fans would be shocked to know how often recruits and especially their parents lie about this. There are for-profit websites where HS players pay a fee to get their info and highlight videos out in public. HUDL is one of the better sites but there are many and some very shady. The recruits and parents and HS coaches themselves fill out the sections that ask what offers they have received.

    Again, unless they have that formal letter it can’t be verified by the recruiting sites. Here is one from Pitt:

    https://goo.gl/images/xdqJhx

    Many players and parents think that because they get a letter from a school saying in essence “We know about you and would like you to attend our camp” it is a legit offer which it isn’t.

    Pitt fans used to joke about PSU fans when they would say a kid who chose Pitt over them ‘didn’t have a real offer from PSU’ and in some cases that was actually the case. Just as some lower talented players might put down that Pitt offered them when they trying to persuade other schools to offer them.

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    1. Wannstedt never had attitude. He was well liked by everyone except Pederson, who loathed the respect Dave received from everyone within the university. Pederson didn’t garner that kind of respect and hated that he didn’t.

      Not sure where you’re getting this “he thought he owned the school” attitude. My source for this is the former video coordinator under Wanny who told me all this. Those video guys are essentially part of the staff due to the hours they put in. My buddy has so much credibility on the subject he worked for the Browns before Pitt and has worked for the Arizona Cardinals since 2012.

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  56. I know a guy that knows a guy who spoke with a guy that walks past the Pitt practice facilty every day that said Narduzzi is the nicest most well liked coach ever at Pitt. Players love him, recruits love him, parents love him. Posting it on this blog so everyone reads it and it makes it true.
    Oh, and he said the loss of the equipment manager is devastating, no one could possibly change face masks and stuff a duffle bag like that guy. The season is over. One win at best because he was the only one in the country that could change cleats the Pitt way. 🙂

    Like

    1. Love your comment. Posted at just the right time because even the Negativos (who actually do have a legitimate right to be negative) were approaching Jumping the Shark territory.

      Liked by 1 person

  57. The fact is this is year 4 . These are his kids no stars and all . I’m hoping for the best but his recruiting has been below the line . People bash Morrissey but duzz has recruited anyone to beat him out let alone the tomato cans we will be playing at guard why did it take him so long to bounce John Peterson. Let’s face it the OOC schedule is ridiculous . I’m assuming that’s a gift from smiling Stevie the last deuce he left in the punch bowl

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  58. Fearless early prediction: If season goes south and the torches and pitchforks come out so will all the really nasty stories about the Duzz. There is being a harda$$ and just being a jerk. Being a jerk at 9-3 is a lot easier to take than at 5-7. Article in today’s PG quoated him as saying last years team suffered from a lack of leadership. Oh boy, and the season is still a month away!

    Like

    1. Leadership starts at the top and is learned by example. He’s been lacking on that front for sometime. First and foremost the people who you lead should want to emulate you and take on leadership roles themselves.

      I know you guys think this is personal and it really isn’t but he started alienating the media and in turn the fans when he decided to become the first Pitt HC in decades to have closed practices. That raised a lot of eyebrows.

      Say what you will about that but it had zero effect on his W/L record because all the game practices and the last week of fall camp have always been closed…every HC in the country does that.

      But right then he basically said “I’m here and you all are out there and I don’t give a crap about you.”

      His dog & pony travelling alumni ‘get togethers’ in 2015 were a joke also. Alumni and fans travelled hundreds of miles in some cases to be there and he gave a 5 minute canned speech and took 15 minutes of photos…and acted like he had somewhere else to be.

      Every presser with him I have attended he’s dodged any questions that ask him about his own performance. That is very strange and he covers that up with a sarcastic reply or a lame attempt at humor. You’d think that at his age and making the money he does his ego would let him be at least a bit open and honest but he’s afraid to do it at all it seems.

      But what is most bothersome is that he didn’t take any advice as a new HC and so his attitude has hardened and gotten worse. Its becoming a me vs them situation and that’s too bad because he had huge fan support when hired.

      When you are not a great game day coach you need all the help you can get and he’s not understanding that. Case in point is his almost non-existent connections with local HCs. DW had that in spades and I had many conversation with local coaches on the sidelines of Chryst practices and then appreciated him a lot also. Now…nothing. He’s arrogant towards them and in turn they are telling their best players that they can do better with a school other than Pitt.

      You’d think after two 8 win seasons the local kids would be flocking to the hometown school but each year he’s been here we get less and less…and don’t believe there isn’t good talent here. There is but they go out of town. Just ask ND.

      If you are a great football coach and win championships people will overlook all that but he’s not and I believe its wearing thin with the admin. That’s why I think another losing season and Pitt may just dump him, his 3.5M salary and get someone who fits better at our particular university.

      I’d prefer a big winning season so we’ll see how it all shakes out but the thing about Pitt is that W/L records mean nothing when they want to get rid of a HC. DW and Harris can speak on that.

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  59. I ran into Duzz last night. Approached him with my hand out and a friendly H2P. He shook my hand but barely glanced my way. Didn’t say a word to me…no, I wasn’t drinking.

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    1. Typical duzz response . I attended almost all his shows at Cupkas . Really enjoyed meeting the players Talk to EJ, Bostick, Hillgrove. I stopped interacting with duzz made me feel like I was bugging him for a hand shake . He never once thanked the fans for coming out. He can do that if he wins but if he loses and is a dick too it’s easy to pull out the pitch forks

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  60. Very refreshing to start the day reading all these uplifting comments. I hope any recruit/family/friends don’t know about this site because they will lose interest in Pitt immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its better to tell the truth than hide things.
      I dont think I would send my kid to Pitt under this jerk and I love my school
      Its time for him to go
      Heathers probably meeting with Russians right now trying to get dirt on the Dog

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  61. It’s all about the Benjamin’s errr, I mean the Nitters. 5-7 beat Nitters= another year. 5-7 get stomped by Nitters = roast on the spit hot seat! Heather and the admin aren’t blind. If he treats them anything like he treats everyone else, well, it could be the merry go round that has become Pitt coaching. Alienating fans and not winning= more empty seats= loss of revenue = the only thing the admin cares about= a real mess. Do you stick with the guy just for continuity or do you go thru the circus? This is what happens when you hire an assistant who has never been a head coach, you have no history to see what he’s like in the job. Well, pretty much everyone who has had contact with the guy sees what he’s about. As he said in “Taken” Gooood luck!

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    1. The problem I have is the next guy will be an assistant too. Just look at Lyke’s track record – Capel (one 4*) is the exception with HC-INT experience/success.

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      1. Hiring an assistant is a HUGE mistake. I want no more coaches with training wheels for 4+ years. They do this for built in excuse to pay less money.

        They need to look at what our competitors in the ACC are doing. They are hiring coaches with previous head coaching experience. It matters.

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  62. And listen, I’m not saying he has to be everyone’s best bud, we saw how that worked with Foge. But being a head coach and treating people decently are not mutually exclusive.

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  63. I am not at all concerned about my surgeons poor bed side manner as long as he is a great surgeon.

    But if the results aren’t there…

    Still think Narduzzi has two years. PSU, ND, and UCF going to make it really tough to get 6 wins.

    Don’t see him getting his big upset this year.

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    1. Does UCF count as a big upset? I think not, but if you follow this blog, he should get some credit for that win, if it happens to be.

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    2. I also believe he will get this year and next. But if he wins 5 regular season games this year and 5 or 6 regular season games next year, I believe he should and will be gone.

      Think about this for a second. Lets all go back to when he was hired and ask this question……In year 4 he puts up 5 or 6 wins, are you happy with that performance in year 4? 99.9% if asked this question when he was hired would have said 5 or 6 wins in year 4 is not good enough.

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      1. the expectation probably would have been 8 wins by most
        now the expectation is around 6…thats Chryst like
        so Pitt replaced Chryst with another Chryst
        and is now paying Narduzzi good money for being mediocre…thats my beef

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, and try watching the miami game from 2017 again – just turn down the screen brightness to avoid the yellow seat depression…

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  64. With limited available scholarships available(85 right now) for every school in the country there is enough talent around for all teams to pick from. Upfront you have to be a good judge of potential and hopefully and even better ability to coach up that talent. It’s much too soon to judge Narduzzi on either count IMO. However this year will give us a better indicator of report card he should be given.—-By the way I seem to recall him saying something like he believes he was the only coach in the country last year to get a contract extension and a pay raise with a 5 and 7 record. That does sound to me like he was happy for the extension and pay raise but not too satisfied with himself on the results he was responsible for. If he was so full of himself he really didn’t have to elaborate on his teams performance did he?

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  65. Would I have like Narduzzi pause a moment and look Fran in the eye and say a few words with a firm handshake? Hell yes, Fran is a great guy. Am I upset that he didn’t do that? Yes a little and again that’s because Fran is a great guy. Do I really really care all that much? Hell no.

    It seems like Narduzzi might be a bit on the arrogant side and I realize that fan building and relations is a part of his job but are we digging too deep looking for more reasons not to like the man? At some point it just becomes too obvious to me that just have a disdain for the man.

    Now some may say there goes ike loving Narduzzi again which is not the case at all. It’s me wondering why a 5 win season has been met with such a flurry of outcry and pure panic directed at Narduzzi. Another part I don’t get is the constant references to the amount of money he is being paid? PITT finally comes close to paying the going rate and boom, another reason to come down on Narduzzi. Some just tell on themselves… ike

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    1. they are paying a good rate to a proven winner. Not a guy who won with another coaches players and own recruiting sucks. Maybe he is a little bit on the arrogant side. You can’t even be honest with yourself. He is a miles past a little bit arrogant. He is a dick and everyone knows it and is a dick coming off a 5-7 year. That gets you fired at a real program. I can’t wait till he is gone and working as a high school AD in some crap town near youngstown. Guy is a fraud.

      Like

  66. I don’t have any issue with losing local kids to ND. Look, if they are lucky enough to play, every game is on tv and there is an allure about ND. That said, the parents of these kids to me, get caught up in the ND smoke and mirrors. Is ND the best place for their kid athletically? I would argue, probably not in the following circumstance. For example, the Kristofic youngster has verballed to ND. Great for him. What’s not great for him is that according to the stars, they have at least 6 others with higher rankings and 6 more with the same.

    Zeke Correll OL Cincinnati, OH 6’4″ 275 5.8 (4*)

    Quinn Carroll OL Edina, MN 6’6″ 280 6.0 (4*)

    John Olmstead OL Metuchen, NJ 6’6″ 285 5.9 (4*)

    Andrew Kristofic OL Gibsonia, PA 6’6″ 260 5.6 (3*)

    In 2018 they took 4 (3) OL one being from the football powerhouse of Marie Stein, but in the 2017 class they brought in 3 (4) and a 3 star. Three (4*’s) in 2016. Assuming red shirts, wow!

    The numbers looked much better when he verballed, but a bunch of new 4 stars looks problematic for him in his class. I hope not, but it looks that way on paper. If he is that good, I would see him starting at Pitt for 3 years. Maybe our new OL coach should stay on him just in case. The new ND commits could cause him to waffle a bit….and Pitt really needs help. I am not sure anyone has mentioned that with regard to the OL yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. My buddy attended the last duzz show of 2017 with me. He wanted duzz photo with him. I discouraged him and said don’t expect anything . After the show duzz agreed to a pic it said “ put the beer down” amazing they hold the show at a n effing bar what do you expect ? If he wanted it at a donut sho the. Don’t expect people to be holding. Beer . Just that unnecessary bull crap. Take it from me. Rich cupka pulled the plug on his show. And he is still doing the hoops show

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  68. Ike,I think everyone here really liked the Narduzzi hiring. Got us jazzed as he was such a contrast to Chryst. Then he got here and as people began to have contact with him the feeling began to change. Most people want to see the good in someone, they look for the positive and root for the underdog. But you have to be getting that uneasy feeling about the guy. Local coaches, ADs, media, fans, well, just about anyone who has had contact with the guy. Man, I’m just disappointed!

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  69. Fran’s experience is like mine . Thinly veiled contempt . I give that program 4 k a year I can give a lot less and keep my club seats I do it because I love pitt not duzz

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  70. I really wish he would be much more engaging Joe, I just don’t feel it’s a deal beaker for me. Like I keep saying this and next year will tell me the tale one way or another. I want PITT to win as much as any of you, which coach does that is insignificant to me. I just think that starting brand new again would be counter productive to the program right now.

    Hoping for a podcast and I know Reed is a busy man right now so maybe not this week. Not much to talk about anyways.

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  71. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t expect much during chance encounters and I’ve had many with players and coaches over the years. Let’s just say I was not impressed on this occasion. I have met him before and he was always friendly.

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    1. With all the negative news about the Ox resignation, (whether accurate or not) has to put Duzz in a bit of a bad mood, regardless.

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  72. –How times have changed… So 45 years ago, there was an article in the PG (on July 26, 1973) by Marino Parascenzo explaining that new coach Johnny Majors was preparing to bring 80-some freshmen to fall training camp. Here’s a quote: “Overall, it appears Majors will have to juggle about 150 to 160 in fall camp Aug. 23-Sept. 1 at the Pitt Johnstown campus.” Another quote from the article: “Majors, who has an unlisted phone number, could not be reached for comment last night.” I wonder how many of those 150 players survived that camp…

    Source: On Twitter — PGH Sports History @PGH_Sports_Date (July 26, 1973)

    –On another note, I’ve met Coach Duzz briefly on three occasions. Once at one of those meet-the-fans events (where I stood in line to get a photo with him so that I could meet him); once at a Kickoff Luncheon, and once at a LOI event. He shook my hand and spoke briefly with me on each occasion. I remember telling him when he was first hired that I hoped he would “Be Bold.” I didn’t come away from any of the interactions with a negative impression. In fact, they were all positive to me.

    But I do agree that Coach Duzz can come across as snarky, and certainly awkward, in dealing with reporters. Sometimes he tries to be clever and it doesn’t work. Would like to see him be more gracious and forthcoming.

    (And for those who already have Coach Duzz gone, I’d like to see a realistic list of the candidates you’d like to see Pitt hire as the next FB coach…)

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. with the right amount of money, you can get someone
      a proven head coach
      most likely from a non P-5 conference
      so theres at least 60 coaches out there…at least 10 candidates…at least 5 willing to listen
      you can find your 1
      i would go with someone who knows offense and can recruit because its all about offense and recruiting
      but the expectation is division titles and none of this 6 win mediocrity
      it would be heathers hire. she’d need to make sure the resources are there and the ooc isnt brutal

      ask yourself why is it so difficult to get behind this man Narduzzi
      why does he find a difficult time attracting and retaining good coaches
      why is it so difficult for him to recruit
      is he worth $3.5M if his ceiling is 8 wins

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  73. It is a major concern that as the local high school coaches have gotten to know him there are fewer top players choosing Pitt. After the back to back 8 win seasons (and before the 5-7 season), it should have been easier to recruit the local kids if the local coaches were pushing Pitt. And we would have seen a few more top names choosing Pitt. But something doesn’t click here. Titleman has been around the block a few times, and I tend to believe his Narduzzi assessment. If the HC is liked less and less after they get to know him, that is not a good sign. Maybe his arrogance is starting to wear on people, which doesn’t work if he is still building the program.

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  74. Look, if we are paying the highest salary we have ever paid a football HC (and way above any inflation rate) at $3.5M then we should demand certain things from him. Wins are one thing of course but let’s not forget that he is in many ways the public face of the University of Pittsburgh and as such has a responsibility to further its good reputation, both on and off the field.

    If he’s fired Pitt can go one of two ways – pay a good Ass’t HC or Coordinator to step up into the Pitt HC role at a much lower salary or… Keep the salary intact and get an established HC to come here for the $3.5M money.

    But keep this in mind. A good, established HC might look at the roster he’s inheriting after the past 3-4 years of mediocre recruiting along with all the burned bridges with the local football coaches and his poor reputation among local player’s families and say “Thanks but no thanks”.

    It’s a rather big warning sign when the large majority of blue chip local kids choose not to play at the local school and will be a lot of work to repair that. But for $3.5M it may be a worthwhile rebuilding job for a HC at a smaller school to come here.

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  75. look to the MAC…the cradle of hall of fame coaches
    Toledo coach would be a good one
    give him $2M with incentives
    saves Pitt about $1M that can go towards assistant coaches and recruiting budget

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  76. So what happens if Narduzzi goes 7-5, 7-5 the next two years, with 2 lower bowls and one bowl win? Is Heather more or less likely to keep him?

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    1. what are the revenue numbers?
      if Pitt averages 40-45k in attendance, he’s probably safe since the program breaks-even
      last years attendance was 36k hurt by no Penn State game and a 5 win season with no exciting players
      if pitt starts winning 9-10 games, then you should see attendance around 55K and some money being made
      its nice to win division titles but if the program doesnt lose money, I think Pitt will be fine and make no changes
      Pitt does not need the football program to generate a substantial profit in order to cover its other programs
      That ACC check plus incremental revenue from the ACC network is what keep sports at Pitt afloat
      In most years, the basketball program should make $10-$15M. It doesnt need football’s help

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  77. In all fairness…Narduzzi’s walked into a less than ideal situation. It wasn’t a total train wreck as Chryst stabilized it a bit, but PC leaving after such a short stint did send it back into a bit of a tailwind. I do t believe Narduzzi’s can really start being fairly judged until the completion of the ‘19 season. Some will say that’s CRAZY!!! I happen to disagree with the short ropes coaches get these days. Especially for a program that has had such a tumultuous history.

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  78. Agreed, TX. Just like always, image be damned, as long as they bring in enough revenue to cover costs the winning just doesn’t seem to matter with them. I think this will play itself out over the length of Narduzzi’s extended contract unless the program becomes an embarrassment.

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  79. and then the MAC guy comes and has no success for two years and the fans say we went cheap and the pressure mounts on the AD….she leaves….new AD, followed by new coach, rinse, repeat.

    OR, have the talk with Narduzzi and explain that it is in his longterm and professional career interest to learn how to engage with the media. Does anyone else feel bad for Jerry DiPaola when week after week Narduzzi mocks him? Being cute in responses was so 80’s. Today, nobody has time for cute and in fact, the cuter your language the more people don’t have time for you and just don’t believe you.Quit being cute. Answer the questions directly if you can. Narduzzi ain’t Urban. When he starts winning 9 games a year, then be cute. Until then, shut or open the pie hole appropriately.

    We tend to beaf on here about 3 stars, yet Pickett was / is a 3 star. Emphasizes that a lot of us cherrypick because it’s always cherry season when it comes to pitt football. Change the season Pitt.

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    1. in college football today, you need a coach that can be the darling of the community and media
      you need a coach that can recruit
      you need a coach that can attract good assistants since they do the real coaching
      you need a coach that knows offense since the sport is geared towards scoring
      you need a coach that is a good manager of people and administrator

      Narduzzi doesnt fit any of those things
      So if I were Heather for a day I’d see how things play out this year
      I’d probably give him until 2019 unless Pitt has another 5 win season
      he’d be on the hot seat in 2019 because it would be 9+ wins or you’re out the door

      right now Pitt has made an investment with Narduzzi. He’s expected to compete for titles and win bowl games. I personally would not have extended him until I saw what he’s getting out of his players that he recruited.

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    1. in the end, its only 1 person that matters and its Heather
      another season where Pitt only averages 36k in attendance, then he’s on the hot seat
      if the program starts losing money and/or Pitt isnt getting a good value, the man is shown the door
      you dont pay a coach $3.5M for 5 wins seasons and half filled football stadiums

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  80. I doubt a “proven head coach” is going to want to come to Pitt. The reason — it’s so tough to recruit with all the yellow seats. Tough to recruit good assistant coaches (who have to recruit against yellow seats) and tough to recruit elite players (who don’t want to play in front of yellow seats).

    And who sees all the yellows seats the most and is turned-off the most? The local players, that’s who.

    I think if Coach Duzz had a more reasonable schedule, i.e. more typical of it’s peer schools, then Pitt would win 8 games this season. Then do better next season.

    Go Pitt.

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  81. Half filled stadiums are only one small part of Narduzzi’s job. That’s Heather’s job and we will see what happens and how she handles that after whichever way the season goes. Either way, unless the season goes completely awry he will be back next year and then the heavy lean will begin. imo, PITT will not go the next coach up route for 3 years. Should they? That remains to be seen. Narduzzi will get 2019 and he better win. Hope I’m alive to see what happens.

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  82. TX, knowing the Xs and Os is probably the least important part of the HC job. Handling all of the other areas is more important until you start winning. Then, when a national championship is on the line, the Xs and Os become more important, and the PR and media side less so. And mocking DiPaola is really low, especially coming from a coach who has proven nothing yet.

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    1. TCU’s Patterson says 90% of a head coaches job is management. 10% is play calling.

      I think Narduzzi does a good job managing his players by having them stay out of trouble and attend class. That has always been Pitts number 1 thing for a coach. But he fails in other aspects in management.

      The old criteria for a coach at Pitt was someone who could coach choir boys and not get the program sanctioned

      The new criteria says winning does matter

      I think what really changed Pitt’s philosophy were two events: the implosion of the mens basketball program and the overall performance of sports in general within a conference whose leaders care very much about their brand in this exclusive club

      the basketball program lost Pitt well over $20M….lowest attendance since 1982, $10M buyout. That would have resulted in major cuts at most schools. Pitt was saved by that ACC check along with its long standing fiscal discipline within its department

      And I think the ACC applied some non too subtle pressure on Pitt hence the Victory Heights initiative and coaching turnover. The ACC knows Pitt as a member now for over 5 years. Pitt is one of its weakest members and not just in conference but among all P-5 schools.

      But I also give Heather credit as well for focusing on accountability and trying to improve the overall competitiveness across all programs.

      Pitt is now paying very good money to a football coach that is expected now to compete for titles and win bowl games. Pitt will not over-pay a coach for mediocrity. And if the program begins losing money, Pitt will look at unloading salaries. Based on my rough math, Pitt needs attendance to be around 45k each year for the program to breakeven.

      If people stop attending games much like basketball, look for a coaching change. The easiest way to improve attendance is by winning. The easiest way to stop losing money is by firing the head coach.

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  83. The recent downfall of Pitt football and basketball programs (on the field) is clearly associated with the move to the ACC and to Heinz field. Jamie Dixon could not recruit the type of player who would be successful in the ACC, and it was inevitable he had to go. If he had stayed at Pitt, he would have been fired after another year or two. The transition to ACC football was somewhat different as Pitt had a much broader recruiting circle, and could bring in players from MD, VA and Florida. But administratively, the Athletics Dept. was inferior to other ACC schools, and the move to Heinz was a disaster. Here is what Nordenberg said in 2001:

    “This was a big break with tradition,” he said. “This was a significant change. I think anyone’s first impression would be one of caution, if not opposition. There may be some people out there who are still doubters. I doubt there will be any left once they get to experience Panthers football in the new facility.”

    What a huge mistake, or else they were doing it for financial reasons and just trying to put lipstick on that pig.

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    1. Pitt couldnt afford to maintain Pitt stadium (so they say). And Pitt thought Heinz could really help with recruiting and attendance and with their efforts to brand them as Pittsburgh and become more regionally known. We now know conclusively it did not. Pitt also needed that space (thinking at the time) for other things like the Pete.

      But the Pete could have been built on the OC lot
      And Pitt could have built a new stadium for around $150-250M back then
      But it would have required a massive fundraising campaign and the BoT would have never allowed the university to incur the debt required to finance the initiative.

      and I dont think anyone really fully understood the Heinz experience of 25k empty yellow seats and how that would look on TV and how playing is a venue too large for your needs could really detract from the experience despite all the new amenities.

      Steve took the easy way out.

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  84. For this particular article, I can see a vote for win, lose or draw. It’s pretty much an unknown at this point. Considering KP is relatively an unknown as well as the WR’s. It would be great to have Weah back again this year though. I think he is a late bloomer. Matthews may be the same type of athlete?? ike

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  85. As to the new DB recruit and his size, don’t knock speed. They used to say in Texas that Billie Whiteshoes Johnson who I think played at SMU was so small they cut the turf grass extra high so he could loose defensive players in it but no one could catch him when he got going. All the Narduzzie rag has me depressed so I think I’ll call it quits here. I am too old to wait for another coaching cycle. I will not see the payoff in all probability. So hope Duzz gets sh– straight. Think either way we now have a good team with the right incentives in Lyke /Gallagher, too bad we did not have it 10 yrs. earlier.

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