Six ways to Saturday – Analyzing the 2019 Early Signing Class

Six ways to Saturday – Analyzing the 2019 Early Signing Class

Editor’s Note:  I had originally planned to do a more in-depth analysis on the class, but I have an 18 month old and a job and so this will have to wait.  I’ll plan on publishing it sometime between Christmas and New Years when there is some down time.  In the meantime have a look at Pat Narduzzi’s presser and feel free to weigh in.

There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about this class already.  Narduzzi, as he is known to do, said a lot in his press conference yesterday afternoon.  He said they are building depth.  He said they are bringing in better athletes.  He said some guys could probably switch position.

Something interesting that I don’t think we’ve heard from him before, is that there are three different groups that work with strength coach Dave Andrews.

There is the “Power” group, and that is the big linemen, both offensive and defensive.  Pitt brought in seven of those.

There is the “Big Skill” group, which includes Quarterback (and what else?).  Narduzzi said Pitt brought in five of those.

There is also the “Skill” Group, which Narduzzi mentions includes Tight Ends and Linebackers.  Bigger guys who can run.  Pitt signed six of those.

Narduzzi mentioned the geographical breakdown.  Four from PA, Five from Florida.  A couple of kids from Canada.

He mentioned that 17 of the 18 signees were team captains.  Six were state champions.

He gave props to the recruiting office.  He gave props to the academic staff.  He gave props to Andre Powell for being from South Carolina and opening up that state.  He gave props to Shawn Watson for recruiting (four star QB) Davis Beville.

He talked about each one of the recruits.

He took a veiled shot at Penn State (ostensibly), and covered his hind-end on the whole Nick Malone thing.

“I consider the whole state of Pennsylvania is my message out there is we go slow. I am not going to offer guys early in this area and try to pull out on them. I just don’t want to do it.   So we’re always going to take our time in this area because too often people offer kids and then they back up and you never hear from them again. That’s not going to happen here. At least we sure hope it’s not going to happen. Sometimes things happen, but we want to offer those guys and we want them.”

He answered questions.  He acknowledged that Pitt is not Clemson, and threw out the obligatory remark about five stars.

“But we’re going to recruit the guys we’re capable of recruiting. We’re not going to whine if we don’t get a five-star. There are a lot of five stars that we love. There are a lot of five stars that we don’t love, and we’re like see you later, not good enough and there are a lot of things you don’t like about them. I like those hungry guys.”

All in all we’ve learned that you have to take everything that Pat Narduzzi says with a grain a salt.  And yet, he’s also shown that in many cases there is a grain of truth buried in all that hyperbole.  (See you in Charlotte anyone?)   And while I am guarding my expectations, it’s hard not to be a little bit excited.





Soooo….Evaluation Time?

Soooo….Evaluation Time?

Here is a thoughtful article on Pat Narduzzi’s tenure by Thomas Eicher…aka “Ike”.


It’s been four years now since Head Coach Pat Narduzzi (HCPN) has taken over as head coach for the Pitt Panthers. So where is this football team right now?  And what kind of immediate future does the team have? I’m going to break down these questions two ways, One: Narduzzi’s entire 4 years at the helm, and Two: This past year.

Of course this is strictly my opinion.

First the overall:  With one game to play this season, Narduzzi’s overall record stands at 28-23. No, I do not think that’s the kind of record to stand atop a mountain and sing his praises about….at least not until we all look back at all the previous PITT head football coaches since Jackie Sherrill.

Continue reading “Soooo….Evaluation Time?”

Watson and the Tight End

Watson and the Tight End

The University of Pittsburgh fanbase loves a good Tight End.  Maybe it’s because Mike Ditka helped to define the position in the late 50’s when he played at Pitt (’58-’60) and in the 60’s when he played for Bears, Eagles and Cowboys.   Maybe it’s because we were spoiled by Paul Chryst’s fine recruiting of the position and Matt Canada’s outstanding usage of it.  Maybe it’s because we just love power football.

Either way, Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson’s usage of the Tight End position has been a sore topic for Pitt fans since Watson took the controls in 2017.  The fanbase’s disgust seemingly manifested itself over the off-season when four-star Tight End Charles Reeves transferred, and then again mid-season in 2018 when starting Tight End Tyler Sear had a supposed disagreement with head coach Pat Narduzzi, which ended with Sear leaving the team for “personal reasons”.  There was also the Chris Clark debacle, where the seemingly talented but also seemingly-troubled four-star UCLA transfer stepped away from the program for personal reasons.

When you combine Sear, Reeves’ and Clark’s departures with the fact that Watson & Narduzzi had two tight ends de-commit from the 2018 recruiting class – Matt Alaimo and Jay Symonds, and one from 2019 – Travis Koontz, you can see why the fan base is concerned.

Continue reading “Watson and the Tight End”