Pitt landed a Grad transfer.  Michigan Offensive Tackle Nolan Ulizio committed to Pitt yesterday.

Much like last year’s Grad transfer Offensive Tackle, Stefano Millin, Ulizio was a two-star recruit.  Unlike Millin, Ulizio was given the opportunity to play at a Power Five School.  He had a total of 11 offers the most notable being Pitt, Kentucky and Michigan, and he chose Michigan.

nolan

According to PSN’s Mike Vukovcan, Ulizio started 7 games for UM last year.  Ulizio was was relieved of his duties in the 8th game, and only played in spot-duty after that.

So at the very least Ulizio has some game experience.  Besides Redshirt Sophomore Gabe Houy and Redshirt Junior Brandon Ford, every other offensive Tackle on Pitt’s roster is either a redshirt or true Freshman, so you’d have to think Ulizio will bring some much needed depth and experience to the line.   Whether or not he can actually block remains to be seen.

lamont wadeIn other news Lamont Wade has decided to stay put at Penn State for at least another season.

It appears that Franklin has sold him on Penn Stat’s national title hopes, if not in 2019, then in 2020.  As

As one poster on the Pitt Panthers Fanatics Facebook Group put it “So staying at PSU is a short term sacrifice?? Ouch.

 

It’s likely Wade figured that sitting out a year at any other school was a worse option than even partial playing time at Penn State.  Either way, he’s not coming to Pitt in 2019, and personally I’m glad for that.

There is also speculation that Pitt is still in the market for grad transfer Tight End.  Given the state of the roster, I would not disagree with that.  According to 247 Sports, here is a list of everybody currently in the Transfer Portal.

And here is a list of undecided Tight Ends:

Lou Dorsey, Illinois
Christian Roberson, Mississippi State
Eli Wolf, Tennessee
Naseir Upshur, Florida State
Chris Cunningham, Virginia Tech
Kyle Penniston, Wisconsin
Nakia Griffin-Stewart, Rutgers

Mike Vukovcan mentioned in a video last week that Tennessee’s Eli Wolf and Florida State’s Naseir Upshur are one to keep an eye on, but as far as I’m concerned they are all fair game, except for maybe VT’s Chris Cunningham (could be blocked due to scheduling).  For what it’s worth, Vukovcan did correctly preduct the Ulizio transfer.  Vuk had one other OT in the mix as well, Tennessee’s Drew Richmond, who is a four-star guy, has immediate eligibility and has not yet committed anywhere.  With that being said, Richmond is from Memphis, and we just landed Ulizio, so Richmond may be a pipe-dream at this point.

Lastly, there are two actual recruits we are still chasing.  Aliquippa’s MJ Devonshire and on Alante Brown out of Michigan.  We all know the story on Devonshire, the last local four-star prospect on our radar.  The question right now is can Narduzzi reel him in?

Brown is a late add, likely because of new OC Mark Whipple.  Brown is a 5’10 speedster and I believe we are looking at him at WR.  Brown was previously committed to Michigan State.  He’s three-star guy of course, but his offer list is a mile long an includes such notable programs as Florida State, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, Iowa State and Texas Tech.  It sounds like he is a heavy Florida State lean after visiting there, but don’t rule out Pitt if Narduzzi can get him to take an official visit this weekend.  Here’s to hoping Whipple and the Duzz can reel him in.

allante brown

 

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo

173 thoughts on “Transfers Transfers Transfers

  1. Michaelangelo – thanks for the update.

    Hadn’t heard about Brown… We need Devonshire to finish on a positive note.

    Go Pitt.

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  2. well, will we get 4-star Devonshire? Take a look at the last 4 commitments in Narduzzi’s classes (according to Rivals)

    2018: Michele Salahuddin 4*
    2017: AJ Davis 4*
    2016: Rashad Weaver 2*
    2015: Ra Ra Lopes 2*

    Don’t let the fact that the 2* has thus far outplayed the 4* … the RBs have played behind two productive RBs, and I wouldn’t be surprised that the above two will be the 1-2 punch in 2019. (note that Salahuddin just had surgery and will not get full practice in the spring, but expected to be healthy in August)

    It would be nice to finish strong with Devonhire, Brown, and hopefully a TE transfer. Other noted February commits recently have been Keyshon Camp, Damar Hamlin, Aaron Matthews and Jaylen Twyman … not superstars but all have contributed.

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  3. What? Pitt got a transfer, Pitt’s talent level must be horrible if they are taking transfers, blah blah blah.

    By that logic, every college football team has talent issues. Because they are all taking transfers. There are over 2000 players in the portal. Players that have some or lots of college level development. It is a new source for recruiting. Pitt would be stupid to bypass these kids. They add depth. They are not guaranteed a starting position. I’d rather them grab kids with more than a year left to play but grab what you can get in the areas you are lacking depth and experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Mayfield was a transfer. Will Grier who was listed high on the Heisman list for much of last year was a transfer, as will be WVU’s starting QB this year. Jalen Hurts who led Bama to a national title as a frosh, just transferred. This appears to be the era of college free agents

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PSN is reporting that Devonshire was impressed with his visit at Kentucky … liked the facilities and I’m sure he was wowed if he attended Kansas – UK at Rupp Arena. HC Stoops will visit him at home in Tuesday.

    WVU is visiting him today, and Pitt will visit him on Thursday. He is not expected to sign until LOI day — Feb 6

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      1. well at least House will begin his 8th year as a DC (Pitt, FIU, UK). What a difference a year make …. UK fans were hollering for his removal at this time a year ago.

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  5. it will be ironic if Devonshire does go to UK because House began his DC career in losing an Aliquippa 4-star DB (to WVU) … who was considered a shoo-in for Pitt for much of the recruiting cycle

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  6. Ulizio was actually a 3 star on both ESPN and 247, and more importantly he was a backup tackle at Michigian, so the “2 star” storyline strikes me as a bit of drama, but that’s OK, we need some drama/edge for the blog. That said, there were some reports that he lost his starting job when Michigan transitioned from run to pass heavy, and I don’t love the sound of that if true, I’m not ready for another year of no pass blocking from our tackles, plus Whipple likes to throw. Regardless, Ulizio is a solid pickup and provides needed depth and competition, I hope we snag another OT.

    Also, I will be surprised if we land Devonshire, we just don’t have the momentum.

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  7. LOL wwb, haven’t seen that before. I’m encouraged by the fact that they still have “The Dude’s” sweater. Always wanted to see a part two Lebowski.

    The fact that Michigan gave and honored the scholarship to Nolan Ulizio, where he started games, tells me all I need to know. He must have some talent or he never would have seen the field.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We have to hope the lure of staying home and close to his family outweighs the “things” that KY is offering.

    (I think it’s always alluring for a PA kid to go farther south for the milder weather…)

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Funny, we Pitt fans would love to be VT as far as

      — much recent FB success

      — an OCS which with a 66k capacity that frequently sells out

      — no pro teams to compete with

      — the recent HC hire was an accomplished HC before coming here

      I remember the VT fanbase was so fired up with the Fuente hire. Beamer had seen his better days and they were getting an innovative offensive mind as his replacement. Yet hey were holding on to their well respected DC, Bud Foster.

      I was jealous of them

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If Devenshire goes to WVU, then something is really fishy. He has options to stay close to home at Pitt, or go to KY. So why would anyone even consider going to WVU?

    Signed: Puzzled in the Burg.

    Go Pitt.

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    1. He was originally thought to be going there until Holgerson and DC Tony Gibson left. In fact, he actually wore a WVU handwarmer during the state title game.

      The only reason I would think he would consider WVU now is that I assume he has attended a few WVU B12 games, and witnessed a sold-out, rabid crowd. Aliquippa is 90 minutes from Morgantown, not that far.

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  10. Sure that every school looks to better themselves by taking transfers. The best schools get the best transfers.
    The difference with Pitt is that we need them not to make good great, we need them to make severe recruiting deficiencies into moderate effectiveness. Two of our three starting wide receivers were transfers, a starting O-Tackle, a tight end, previous QB’s, weren’t turning good to great, they were filling drastic holes in recruiting. We are getting better, but still need to fill holes on the O-line and at tight end.

    So don’t mention Baker Mayfield or Will Grier, cause that level of talent is not coming here.

    Sorry Majors, but WVU has had a better football program than Pitt for most of 30 years, so not that big of a surprise when anyone picks them.

    Still hoping we get Devonshire and happy to get the O-lineman. He has more real experience against good talent than any of our guys except Morrisey. Hopefully we get another lineman and tight end of that caliber.

    However after four years Narduzzi should be recruiting transfers to turn good to great, not below average to average.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. good point. Note the focus on the recent transfers were all OL and TE, and a WR. Thus far, PN clearly hasn’t done well in recruiting these areas.

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    2. gc – I’m just saying that if I decide not to stay home, I’m picking Lexington over Morgantown…

      Somewhere I got the impression from an interview or article that Mr. Devenshire is very close with his family — on that basis, I think we have a decent shot. Go Mom!

      Go Pitt.

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      1. WV is also staying home, even closer than PSU. A reasonable drive away for most fans.
        We pretty much share our recruiting area with both, although it seems we share it with ND as well.

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        1. gc — I don’t disagree with what you said, other than that going to WVU would not be like staying home to MOM! 😊

          Go Pitt.

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      2. I’m just saying if you want a full set of teeth in most of your fan base, you go Pittsburgh all the way. And not just because of the dental school

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  11. Looking at the number of transfers over the Narduzzi era, it is really ridiculous for PN to claim that he is getting the players he wants from the high school recruiting process. Clearly, Pitt recruiting is in a state where each year these transfers are absolutely necessary to field a P5 level of starters. We have discussed this before, and Reed has stated this as well, that Narduzzi has yet to recruit a real star out of high school. This year’s class isn’t any better, and if they don’t do better with the new coaches and 2020 class, then unfortunately, Pitt has peaked in the Narduzzi era.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like there is an article in here somewhere. I would say that I sort of agree but not really. Any transfers in the first two years were band aid guys to fix a perceived issue from the Paul Chryst days, so I don’t think we can include them. I do agree that the OL transfers are to fix narduzzi (Peterson) recruits so that is on Pat. TE as well. If we had been recruiting the o line like the d line we’d be three deep and have rising seniors and rs juniors ready to step up, which we clearly don’t. Hopefully borbly can turn this around but that will take two more recruiting classes at least

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ok..just throwing this out there…the next 5 star football recruit that signs with Pitt, their immediate family gets free booze at all my tailgates for as long as the player is on the active roster. Just doing my part.
    Let the line start to form.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. When did it become known as the transfer portal? I heard that term used on ESPN too. I like to go through the let’s lose 20 lbs without making any life changes portal.

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    1. this is the first year. Before this year, when a player wanted to transfer out, he had to seek a release from his school. While the school could refuse, meaning that he had to stay or sit a year o his own before going somewhere else, the school would usually grant a release but often with restrictions … no future opponents or within the conference, etc.

      Now all the players have to do is enter their name on the transfer portal, and if they get any offers that interest them, then they are released from the school. Transfer rules still apply …. a grad transfer is immediately eligible while the undergrad must sit a year unless the receive an exemption

      That is the quick overview … I’m sure there s more to it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s basically like a video game. Don’t know if any of you all ever played ncaa football in dynasty mode, but the transfer recruiting was quite robust. Made for some significantly improved teams too!

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  14. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion. (you don’t need me to say that) my opinion is….

    When more than one football team is actively pursuing a certain player, whether he is a high school senior or a grad transfer he is being recruited.

    Judging Narduzzi’s recruiting class based on him recruiting transfers is really not fair. Examples are everywhere of bigger named schools that do the very exact thing… You know the schools? The ones that recruit 4 and 5 * players? Why did Oklahoma need with a transfer. You know the young man… The one that won the Heisman…

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    1. Well that is a good point Ike, any good coach will always want to upgrade his talent. I’m sure that Oklahoma had a perfectly serviceable qb before they nabbed mayfield. With that being said the perceived caliber of o-lime transfers is quite low. I’d be interested to see Millin’s pass blocking stats to see if he was as mediocre as everyone says he was. Seems to me Bookser was the tackle that usually got beat

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      1. I agree MM. Millin was the better of the two tackles and he faced the best pass rushers. Bookser should have stayed at guard and one of the younger guys should have played tackle. They certainly would not have done worse than Bookser.

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    2. The transfers that Pitt gets are either 2 stars or the 5 stars that are busts. Pitt has a problem if they are reaching for transfers to add more depth or find starters. Tells me the recruiting and development has been sub-par. Maybe if Narduzzi worked his tail off harder, he wouldnt be in this position every year with the line.

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  15. That is the coach’s job to get more talent. Starting jobs are like life. Nothing is promised to the players once they show up for their first practice or you are hired at some job. What they did or were rated in high school means absolutely nothing. Same with your resume. You have to compete for a starting job just like for that next promotion or bonus at work with your fellow employees. It’s all about what have you done for me lately for the team or your job. Have you ever been disappointed at work when someone else got that promotion or got hired from the outside over you. It’s life. You either work harder to reach your goals or take your ball and go home.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. MM, don’t forget the WR and TE transfers. Across the board, there have been recruiting deficiencies that they have tried to address through transfers. I’m glad they are pursuing this approach, but as I said it really sheds light on the poor HS recruiting at Pitt over the past few years. Narduzzi says he recruits character not stars, but I just don’t see character blocking out a charging DE on the edge. Bookster had good character, but his OT play was below the line.

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    1. Well actually TE recruiting not bad, but we just couldn’t hold onto the ones we had. Sear + Reeves make the position alright. Pat’s is faulted by association because he hired Watson.

      We transfers – just Mack right? Clearly an opportunity to upgrade but we would have been okay with French and Matthews

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  17. Couple things:

    Bookser did play out of position this past year. He also bounced back and worked hard to help his damaged reputation. Kudo’s to Alex.

    Still saying to myself..OMG. (on my gosh) that Narduzzi leads this PITT football team to a division championship and the critics, well they are never pleased. No dissing intended.

    Is Narduzzi and the PITT football program where I want them to be. NO! The end of this past season was super disappointing. What did Narduzzi do about it? Fire his OC and WR coach.. Still not good enough?? We will see? iek

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  18. From Last NIght – before Lamont Wade decided to stay at PS Dairy High School. The portal can be humbling, too.

    Huff III
    January 27, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Also, an athlete student can use the portal to force a conversation with a head coach about future playing time as in, I will not go through with new school if I get some assurances of playing time. It’s akin to accepting a new job offer and telling your boss. Sometimes boss gives you some assurances of how things will go down if you stay and sometimes they tell you best of luck. Must be prepared for both if you go to the portal.

    Okay, this is new. It’s not like we lost a lot of OL in the portal. The point is that our recruiting, for which the HC is ultimately responsible, failed in two very important areas. OL and TE. Sorry, just the facts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Concerning TE recruiting – we seem to have had a strange pattern a couple years in a row where we got an early verbal commitment from a 2-Star or low 3-star TE, then a while later their recruiting picked up, then a while later they de-commited…

      Then, since we didn’t have any TEs, we took who we could find…

      I think that in Coach Duzz’s first couple of years we suffered from the same problems in both our TE and OLine recruiting. That is, we went for size over speed or quickness. Remember TE Reeves, and OLinemen Warren and Drake. These were highly regarded, extremely large, impressive looking players, but I remember being struck by how slow Reeves was in the spring game. I assumed he was injured. And I wonder whether Warren or Drake is quick enough to deal with speed rushers.

      Anyway, I hope we can fix our recruiting of these two positions. For TEs, Coach Salem is supposed to be a good recruiter – so it’s a puzzlement at that position…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That Rutgers TE has good size at 6’5” and 250. But he only had 2 catches last season and 11 catches the season before that.

      Shows you what bad shape we’re in with having a viable pass-catcher at TE.

      Coach Whipple not pleased!

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Only way Wade will get to the national championship game with Franklin is if he buys him a ticket.

    Jimmy is a persuasive recruiter but his teams consistently underperform.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Five years from now, conversations concerning transfers will seem silly…. Welcome to the newest model of college football. Like it or lump it. I don’t like the model as it currently stands but I feel it’s here to stay one way or another.

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    1. and conversations about Narduzzi will be moot since his over-reliance on transfers to mask his recruiting and player development deficiencies will be exposed.

      another 6-7 win season topped with a bowl loss should get him canned like a pickle in a Heinz jar.

      screw this ‘I recruit 2 star high character kids’

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      1. TX – without looking, can you guess how many 2-stars the Duzzer has signed at Pitt? Here are the numbers:

        2016 — 3
        2017 — 2
        2018 — 0
        2019 — 2

        Here’s some irony, the three 2-stars in 2016 were Weaver, Reynolds, and Patrick Jones, all expected to be starters and keys guys in next season’s defense.

        2917 – one 2-star was Christodoulou, the Aussie punter; the other was Drexel, likely the backup center next season.

        2018 — None

        2019 — OT Liam Dick and DE Nate Temple. (Temple does look like a reach to me as a DE. I expect to see him tried at — oh no! — tightend.

        So in the Duzzer’s recruiting classes, that’s 7 two-stars and 81 or so > 2-stars. And four of the 2-stars will be starters next season – and look like pretty good players for only having 2 crappy stars… 😊

        Go Pitt.

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  21. ^^ and this from a Florida team that routinely snags in 4 and 5 * recruits. 1 + 1 is not adding up to 2 in this scenario? Stop blaming Narduzzi…. it’s all the rage…!! ike

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  22. jimmie “one finger” is the biggest JO since I don’t know when. Maybe poopy pants?

    Oklahoma has had two transfer QB’s the past 6 years with 3 Heisman trophies. How did they do? They must really suck? Can we talk?

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      1. I think if Browne had stayed healthy we would have won six and maybe a minor bowl in 2017. Then again maybe we don’t beat Miami so who knows (and at this point who cares)

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  23. If Narduzzi would stop acting like he recruits for Alabama and show some humility it would be a good start. Any coach who says he doesn’t pay attention to player star ratings is blowing smoke. PN’s arrogance will be his undoing.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Miami needs the transfers …. they only have 15 new commits right now, included a couple 2 stars they picked up right before the 1st LOI (12/21). They also had players transfer out. Here is their current commit list (they are actually one spot below Pitt — this is a school that ranked 6th last year)) https://miami.rivals.com/commitments/football/2019

    This is due to the fact their beloved DC Manny Diaz took the Temple job back around Dec 10th causing a large handful of commits to drop out. Of course, after the bowl fiasco and Richt quit, they hired Diaz as HC (and paid a large buyout. However, their lost commits had already signed elsewhere.

    They still, as always, will have plenty of talent so don’t worry about them

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    1. Dixon is the king of December January. Watch his team fold as usual in Feb and barely make the tourney. Doesn’t take long to scout his offense. Hard to run it when every team knows your plays.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Had to laugh at this NJ columnist who called Franklinstein ‘the worst’ … here is an excerpt …..

    There’s a reason, however, his peers voted him tied for college football’s most overrated coach; he could sell burgers to a vegan, but his game-coaching is all bun. And his clownish antics are exhausting. The biggest sports-media personalities in Philadelphia and New York — guys who make a living sucking up to successful coaches — have called him a “fraud” and a “stooge” in public.

    here is the link for the column if you want to read 5 reasons why Frankin is the worst (from Novemeber)

    https://www.app.com/story/sports/college/2018/11/13/penn-state-rutgers-football-james-franklin/1979452002/

    too bad 16 and 17 year olds are so enthralled with him … as are 107k others

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The tide is turning on Franklin in State College. One of my last PSU friends who sits on Penn States Board wrote me a scathing review of his in game coaching horrible decisions. I always thank him for the Pitt win 3 years ago we he had his QB throw a pick sitting in FG tying range.

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  26. Franklin is a fraud, Kelly at ND is a overrated psycho. ND should be up there with Alabama and Clemson with the talent they get. Either Kelly doesn’t know how to use them or there are tons of overrated 4 and 5 star players going there.

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  27. I believe Pitt’s athletic budget is around 80 million. PSU and the other major programs have budgets close to double that. Nice article on PSN pointing it out.

    It is not a level playing field and never will be. It is what it is. We have to compare Pitt to programs that spend the same amount.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. even Louisville has a $125M athletic budget …. but it’s a matter of priorities. Ville will never rate high in academics, whether for its athletes or the general student population

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  28. This is from the end of 2017. I took it from an article on GT, they were complaining about the success of their football program. Recruiting coincides with football budget. The list is ACC schools and were they ranked nationally in football budget.

    Pitt’s recruiting class for 2018 was ranked 36th, their football budget 40th in 2017.
    GT recruiting class for 2018 was ranked 53rd, their football budget 61st in 2017.

    Teams ahead of Pitt in recruiting Miami, Clemson, FSU, ND, VT, NC, Louisville, NC State all had bigger budgets except NC State.

    Not sure if these numbers still hold true but if they do, stop complaining about recruiting, LOL.

    Florida State (No.2): $42.46 million
    Notre Dame* (No. 4): $38.97 million
    Clemson (No. 10): $34.67 million
    Virginia Tech (No. 16): $31.15 million
    Miami (No. 25): $28.47 million
    Duke (No. 36): $23.47 million
    North Carolina (No. 37): $23.46 million
    Louisville (No. 38): $23.43 million
    Syracuse (No. 39): $23.22 million
    Pittsburgh (No. 40): $23.13 million
    Boston College (No. 48): $21.35 million
    Virginia (No. 51): $20.33 million
    NC State (No. 54): $19.19 million
    Georgia Tech (No. 61): $17.38 million
    Wake Forest (No. 63): $16.61 million

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitts budget is on par with other ACC teams. Why is Pitt ranked #9 in ACC recruiting? Its driven by the recruiters or coaches. Pitt just doesnt have good recruiters and often you dont have to pay big time bucks for them since they are the assistant coaches and not coordinators.

      Its a strategic, tactical and personnel issue. Note: I’m ignoring the yellow seat issue for now.

      There is plenty of talent in OH and NJ yet Pitt isnt making a strong push and developing the HS pipelines/relationships in those neighbor states

      There have been stories about Pitt dropping the ball with recruits…missed visits, confusion, etc. Who is Pitt’s recruiting coordinator?

      Why the focus on low talent but high character kids? Pitt isnt a ,military school.

      Who are Pitt’s ace recruiters?

      Yes- they may never have top 10 recruiting classes, but they sure the heck can do better than a ranking in the 40’s and just one 4-star.

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      1. Just keep in mind my friend Tx… When a team is in PITT’s recruiting position, ranking are very subjective. When you have a group of between #20-#50 teams that mainly recruit 3 * players, it’s a roll of the dice crap shoot.. .. …ike

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        1. I understand but there is no reason why Pitt cant recruit on par with Va Tech and get 4-5 four stars each year. I know Pitt wont get the 10-12 that Penn State lands each year but they dont have to in order to compete in the ACC, win bowls and get a top 20 ranking.

          Penn States goal is national championships. Pitt shouldnt even think about championships until they get an OCS.

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        1. its not a money driven issue
          like I said – its strategic, tactical and personnel

          there is plenty of talent in neighboring states and Florida
          So its not driven by geography
          But Pitt can sure do better recruiting in certain states
          But it takes effort to develop the pipelines and relationships with the schools that produce D-1 players
          It also takes a coach that doesnt alienate the WPIAL

          Reed has previously mentioned the recruiting dysfunction. Thats tactical problems.

          You can pay Narduzzi $5M and buy $2M dollar coordinators. It wont change the recruiting results.

          Pitt needs ace recruiters. If these assistants can coach and develop, thats a cherry on top.

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          1. Money is a huge part of it because it supplies the facilities, the assistants that are ace recruiters and the recruiting budget.

            …and I don’t buy the alienation of WPIAL coaches.

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            1. you dont have to pay top dollar to find assistants that are very good at recruiting
              Pitts facilities are world class – football that is
              Pitt has plenty of travel money for recruiting and has a jet
              No helicopter yet

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              1. go to the northeast corner of the PSU campus and tell me how world class Pitt’s facilities are? And the only facility they share with anyone is the secondary hockey rink which is for public use for specified times.

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  29. A couple years ago, PITT gave the eventual national championship team their only loss of the season

    Last year, PITT gave a top four ranked team their first loss of the season, in the last regular season game.

    I know I know, you all know that. Point being, it signifies to me that PITT isn’t all that far away and this was emphasized by them winning the coastal division this past year. I see the rational of how we all look at PITT football in a different light and how we all have different expectations. (makes for good blog talk) I won’t drag us all back into the “who’s more realistic” cave but for the above reasons, don’t you think PITT has done a little better than ok with Narduzzi? I do. . . .. ike

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    1. Pitt is 28-24 under Narduzzi
      No bowl wins
      No ranked seasons
      Several blow-outs last year
      Biggest win was against Syracuse at home in overtime with a hungover Dungey
      A poor recruiting class

      Winning the Coastal was no more than a participation trophy

      Pitt isnt far away from mediocrity.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Besides the 5-7 season, they are pretty much where they should be with the ridiculous schedule.

      This is a pivotal year in my opinion. They need to exceed 8 wins.

      I actually had higher expectations for Pitt football until I read the budget article this morning, LOL. Get use to the 7-8 win range.

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    3. I think it’s been a mixed bag, as far as Coach Duzz’s performance. He has shown he can beat highly ranked teams; he has shown he can struggle against struggling teams. He figured out how to beat GT, which was good; but he can’t figure out how to beat UNC, which is bad.

      But he does have to recruit against significant hurdles, like the yellow seats and the northern weather…

      What I like is that his last few hires have really improved his coaching staff, IMHO. In general, I think he is improving as a head coach.

      Whether he is improving relations with high-school coaches, I have no clue. But I think he’s smart enough to know how important that is…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

  30. Any realistic evaluation of Narduzzi should conclude that the jury is still out on him. He’s had 4 years to learn how to be a head coach. His abrasive personality is still a hurdle that must be overcome. Something is missing with him on the recruiting front beyond the personality issue, and he must fix it or it is just a matter of time and mediocre records before he is gone.

    Narduzzi does seem to be improving on his stock of assistant coaches, mainly because of the amount of practice he gets in filling positions (finally hiring coaches who didn’t previously work with him). It is probably fair to say that the current coaching staff will make or break him as far as recruiting success and overall W-L record. Not to mention his future at Pitt.

    Objectively, he is probably not being talked about much when coaching vacancies come up. People will question his record and turnover of assist. coaches, as well as his poor finish to last season and inability to win a bowl game. Sad, but this is life in the world of college sports. However, Heather has given him a lot of rope to obtain success with his long contract extension. We will see if he gets another extension when his contract enters the critical 4 year window when coaches get extended for recruiting purposes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This. Agree with everything above. I will add that Narduzzi has added some stability and respectability to the program imho. Many times HC stability may be overrated, but in Pitt’s case, coming off of Graham-Haywood embarrassment, throw in Chryst leaving after only 3 years, and we were in need of stability big time. I think the question for Mrs. Lyke is: What are the goals set for PN going forward in terms of the program? If he plugs along at just a hair above 500, does he get 2 or 3 more years? At what point does the alumni start applying the pressure? Don’t know, just asking, because I believe we’re getting close to that juncture. I think the thing most likely to hold him back (from exceeding the current plateau) is a lack of recruiting success, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

      Like

  31. Hey Tx why do you always blame the other teams QB’s when Pitt beats someone as you did with your Syracuse comment above? In other words Pitt never really beats any one on their own. Their only wins come because of the opposition players dismal play.

    Like

    1. I didnt say Duke’s QB, a sure first round pick, was hung-over. I said Dungey who looked and played like he was in a daze. And that was Pitt’s best win last season. At home, in overtime to a hung-over QB who lost the game with a pick in the endzone.

      Pitt’s most impressive win was Virginia away. Virginia is probably going to be the pick to win the Coastal this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Standing by my prediction that Pickett will end his Pitt career with some DECENT passing stats and ultimately eke out an NFL career as a perennial Backup.

    Of course, this is going to require more than a little input from “QB Whisperer” Whipple!

    Like

    1. I would bet a lot on the other side of that…unless the word “perennial” means never and “decent” means way below average for a possible 3 year starter.

      I may at times seem to be, but I ain’t NOT THAT ILLITERATE. 😉

      Like

  33. But don’t look now. Seems like the SECOND most hated former Pitt Coach is about to get the Quarterback of his DREAMS.

    Wisconsin Recruit Graham Mertz earns MVP of the All-American Bowl after throwing a record FIVE TDs on just SEVEN completions!

    Could be a LONG 2019 for the Chryst Haters!

    Like

  34. I’m not sure that the 2nd most hated Pitt HC isn’t Narduzzi. Kudos to Paulie for getting such a great recruit.

    But here’s the question …. would he be able to attract this guy if he was at Pitt? He sure didn’t when he was here.

    Remember ,,,, Wisconsin

    1) has won 10 or more games 7 times in the last 10 years’
    2) sells out every game
    3) has a large student body and an OCS
    4) brings in B10 money … and I’m sure has a pretty high FB budget

    Pitt doesn’t check any of these boxes

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll take the other side of that bet. It’s pretty clear how to beat Pitt in BB. And I do believe that formula has been written in spades over the past several ACC games.—But here’s hoping your right and I’m wrong on todays game. It’s on ESPNU tonight at 9pm for those interested.

      Like

  35. Aaron Donald and Joe Greene has made a Super bowl ad according to the PG … should bring back memories to us old-timers.

    Donald had 20.5 sacks this year, 7.5 more than the entire Raiders’ team. Maybe not as cool as Babe Ruth outhomering most of the other MLB teams in 1921, but still cool.

    Like

    1. As a pro no question AD is better than Green now. In fact it should be said that Ricky Jackson was a better pro than H Green. But on his college performance Green beats them all IMO.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Talking strictly college of course. Think of who Green had playing besides him… versus Donald.

        Pitt was loaded on D at the time.

        When Donald played, Pitt’s “D” might as well stood for Donald. Truly a ONE-Man Wrecking Crew.

        The “D” might also stand for Double-teamed!

        Like

  36. Remember Alex Hornibrook was going to Chryst’s great QB. He only played in 9 games this year because of injury, but his numbers were not great when he played. He will have to compete to start for his final season. Many thought this past year he would blossom into a great QB.

    Redshirt junior Alex Hornibrook: Nine games, 122-of-205 (59.1 percent) for 1,532 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions; 132.48 rating. His SO season was much better.

    Has Chryst put out a great QB since Russell Wilson?

    Like

    1. Not sure of Hornibrook was ever touted as going to be great. I viewed him as serviceable, which he’s been. I believe a couple of other targets went elsewhere (notably Kyle shurmer) before hornibrook ‘committed’ to Pitt

      Like

      1. Yeah – Hornibrook doesn’t have a very strong arm. Good QB IQ; average arm at best…

        Looking at our QBs since Walt, I’d say Coach Duzz and his coaches have done a pretty good job in recruiting QBs. Now we need Mr. Whipple to really make the current guys shine…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Personally never liked Hornibrook much back when Chryst was trying to lure him to Pitt. Posted as much.

    Actually turned out to be better than I thought. Chryst knew he could work with him.

    However, this Kid Mertz could make Chryst look GOOD!

    Like

  38. i believe that Pitt is on the uptick. Think of where the program was before the Duzz, Fraud and the hire who got fired before coaching a game (not to mention Barnes). Pitt won the games (but for NC) that they should have won this year. Two 1,000 yard runners, an improved D, a Coastal championship and a solid bowl game performance that should have been a W. Clemson is Clemson. ‘Bama did not fare much better than Pitt vs Clemson. Given the brutal out of conference schedule with ND on the schedule, 7-7 is pretty good. Switch the bowl game to a W and it would have been 8-6 and very good. Flip the NC loss and 9-5 would have been awesome. Play a lesser opponent than UCF and 10-6 could have been the result. Really hoping that Devonshire picks Pitt. Kentucky’s football program will always be overshadowed by their basketball program plus Pittsburgh is a much more exciting place to spend 4 years than Lexington or Morgantown. Finally, saw that our AD, Heather Lyke, was named Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the year. Just think of the accolades that will be bestowed upon her if she can somehow add an on campus football stadium to Victory Heights.
    It makes so much sense to have an on campus stadium seating 35k to 40k and play PSU, WVU and ND type games at Heinz. Hoping that the b’ball team put together a solid effort tonight and gets a W at Clemson.
    Let’s Go Pitt!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. shek…that’s the Spirit !!! We are getting closer rather than farther away to having more 8-9 win seasons on the gridiron. Looking forward to lotsa POVerted fun in 2019….

    Like

  40. Comparing Hugh Green and Aaron Donald? Now that would certainly make for a great discussion. I would only hope that the teams they played on would be dissected as well and that includes their offenses on their individual teams.. Also the era they played in as well as the competition they played against. It’s not a cut and dried conversation, that’s for sure.

    The colors of their uniforms at the time when they played may not be as relevant. 🙂

    Like

  41. NRS..R Wilson was a great QB at NC State…lead a huge comeback to beat PITT in Raleigh during the Wanny years(PITT usually looses to all Carolina teams not named Duke when they play down here) I do note we beat WAKE…

    Like

  42. I remember Wilson’s 4th and forever scramble that included at least a half dozen holds on UNCS that won them that game. The Yankees lose again…

    Like

  43. Glad to see Pitt participating in the transfer game, but frankly not as impressed with this one compared to Milan. Once a player begins his career, *’s are the most irrelevant thing in the world. Its about production. Milan was a steady, consistent performer albeit at a lesser program. This young man appears to have not only been recruited over, but also out performed.

    Please don’t stop here, get another (hopefully more productive OL) and a TE. That would mean both of their likely TE candidates would be transfers. Speaks volumes to their weak recruiting.

    BTW, I keep hearing about Salem’s recruiting prowess and his importance to the program was so great that he was made Asst. Head Coach. Please explain Pitt’s obvious lackluster recruiting while Salem is here, and the fact he coaches the MOST UNDERPERFORMNG position on Pitt’s team. “Where’s the Beef” (for those old enough to remember the commercial).

    I loved the article on the Dairy College’s coach. They went from an arrogant, unaware, old codger to an arrogant, penis-shaped, younger jerk.

    Like

    1. I thought Partridge got the Asst HC title and raise, not Salem. I don’t think either have shown great recruiting skills.

      Like

    2. I can’t remember too many singing the praises of Millin last year when he transferred to Pitt. So I guess i’ll have to give the Michigan transfer the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

      Like

    1. Ahh, bummer about “the Truck” Richard but wwb may be right… This muck and grind offense may be coming to a close and a fullback may not be in need much moving forward and that could be a good thing. PITT needs a QB to chuck the rock though…. I’m hearing your South Carolina young man could fit that bill.. Beville…

      Like

    2. Confirmed – Truck appeared on the portal late last night, when we were all in bed. Old lady…

      Trying to mimick one of Tx’s stories…

      Like

  44. Can’t believe Truck doesn’t want to play here! By the way, is it me or are most head coaches arrogant SOBs? I don’t see how today’s athletes relate to them.

    Like

  45. Teaching Pickett to scan the field and not check down for those 2 yard receptions will have to be Whipple’s first job this spring. I think I’d shake him up a little by naming him the back up QB in spring practice. Of course that assumes we have somebody on the roster that can really challenge Pickett for the starting job.

    Like

  46. Not to beat a dead horse, but if I remember correctly, when Pitt played Syracuse, in the first half Dungey took off running down the sideline.

    When the Pitt defender tackled him, he pulled him down by his throwing arm. After that, Dungey didn’t look the same.

    Like

  47. I was at the Syracuse game…. Not the greatest conditions for a passing game. The hangover theory and all is a little left of out of bounds. You wouldn’t want anyone to judge you like that not knowing the facts.

    Like

  48. Walter Camp Award (1980)
    Maxwell Award (1980)
    Lombardi Award (1980)
    Sporting News Player of the Year (1980)
    UPI Player of the Year (1980)
    UPI Lineman of the Year (1980)
    3× Consensus All-American (1978–1980)
    Second-team All-American (1977)
    4× First-team All-Big East (1977–1980)
    Pittsburgh Panthers No. 99 retired

    versus

    ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2013)
    Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2013)
    Chuck Bednarik Award (2013)
    Lombardi Award (2013)
    Outland Trophy (2013)
    Unanimous All-American (2013)
    First-team All-ACC (2013)
    First-team All-Big East (2012)
    Second-team All-Big East (2011

    Liked by 2 people

    1. a few notes: UPI no longer exists. Pitt FB of the late 70s were much more in the public eye nationally than Big East football of the 2000s.

      In fact, I can remember the 2013 pre-season ACC media all-conference vote (1st year in ACC), and Donald was voted 2nd team …. and the Pgh media members were like “seriously!” More evidence of the lack of BE exposure was that Revis didn’t make 1st, 2nd or 3rd team of any of the All-American teams

      Like

    2. Nice work wwb. Though it’s been awhile since Hugh Green played, I was just thinking that he seemed dominant for a longer part of his career than AD did. AD was very good and then dominant as a senior; seems like Hugh Green was dominant his whole career, but I’m old and my memory is shot…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  49. well, any concerns that the new 4* QB would have issues with Watson leaving may be exaggerated … for now. No guarantee he will be a big contributor, but no guarantee that he won’t

    Liked by 2 people

  50. jrnpitt – I believe Truck Edwards was a walk on.

    Their is a new site on WordPress – PITT Panthers Recruiting. Looks like it started yesterday 1/28/2019. Dated lined Houston Texas. No name. Anybody else see it or know anything about it?

    Like

  51. Re: Truck Edwards… one of my favorite Pitt Panther’s Dad told me at a game that Truck was a “ little guy!” Listed at 5’ 10” and 230 lbs…. our loss will be Edinboro’s gain…..

    Like

  52. Georgie…. near and dear to our POV hearts. Thanks to George and his fantastic family that we all became very close to. Especially to the Fran tailgaters.. Good luck Georgie and a pleasure to meet you!! Now kick some NFL ass!!

    Like

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