In light of the recent article Mike put up the other day and our responses to it I’d like to share a Rivals.com Podcast by Chris Peak that addresses both subjects very well.  It was done last week and you should listen at least from the 3:00 mark to 6:15 or so for his take on media access then the rest of the podcast is about ‘What happened to the 2016 recruiting class?”

I wanted this up for readers to listen to because he echoes exactly what I have been saying about the total shutdown of information save for what is force fed us from Pitt and the football staff.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-4fxqq-abe2e7

Now – Chris’ idea of what makes a “star” player differs from mine.  My criteria is that the player be named to All-ACC 1st or 2nd teams or, of course, All-American.  His is that the player plays well in his role as a starter.  But that aside – I agree again with his ideas here.

2016’s class was just as Peak says it was – hyped to hell because it was Narduzzi’s first full recruiting class and it held five 4* recruits.  Here it is:

'16 part 1

'16 Part 2

Granted these kids have a year or two left but the reality is most often that ‘star’ players usually show their talent and worth in their first three years.  There are exceptions sometimes – RB Darrin Hall is one who broke out in his SR season, but really, if a kid hasn’t shone by the time their third year rolls around odds are that they will continue to be basically regular players.

In other words Pitt has to field 22 starters and someone has to do it.

And that is what Pitt has had last year and I believe, going into the 2019 season. The fact is that out of those 24 players who joined in the 2016 class only one has made any post-season teams and that is 3* WR Maurice Ffrench.  Peak lists two others – DB Hamlin and DL Weaver are the other two but I wouldn’t call them “star” players…  good players yes, great players? No.  I think Peak calls them “major contributors” – that I can agree with but IMO they aren’t star players (yet).

Honestly, I see much the same when I look at Narduzzi’s 2017 and 2018 classes also.  We are becoming a roster overwhelmingly full of 3* players and thus are playing (less than) 3* football over the last two seasons.  This is why PN has to rely on so many transfer players who come in for a season. The recruits he’s been able to convince to come to Pitt have been lacking.

Some kids will surprise – that happens every year  but I think we have to keep fingers crossed with both hands to hope we get play above what it looks like we’ll get.

 

 

199 thoughts on “A Follow-On About Media/Scout Access and Recent Recruiting

  1. 17 players out of the 24 named in the list have made had significant playing time with the Panthers and several have become solid players…2 or 3 might end on pro rosters.

    I agree our recruiting is not up to par…Is Pat Narduzzi the answer ? I don’t know. I will say it’s time he wins 8 games and a bowl game.

    The acquisition of OCWHIP tells me Duzz sees the hand-writing on the wall and better get someone who can coach the QB and the O- gotta score points!!!…last year’s O was a total disaster…the D will surprise (I hope and root for that)…if we fail on both sides of the ball then we start over….Help wanted ad “Who wants to be the next PITT FB HC…..Let’s do a thread and see who can write the most creative HC help wanted add with the goal of attracting top HCing talent…now that would be fun………

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This will be Narduzzi last year…I’m convinced. So this will be more than just an exercise.
      Madden ripped him for ten minutes this afternoon…just for being an arrogant jackass.

      Like

      1. That time of the year: Pitt fans and the media want the coach gone. The next cheap hire for will be the answer for sure.

        Like

  2. Well for what it’s worth I think Whipple and Narduzzi’s understared classes will have another good shot at repeating as Coastal Champions again. That might not mean too much for national rankings but it might change a few minds about how long Narduzzi is likely to be the head FB coach at Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. George Hill could have been the superstar in that class. Would have likely been the fastest guy on the team. A shame that he couldn’t play because of a medical condition.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  4. OT: Ellison transferring from the Pitt BB team announced this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what the Pitt BB roster looks like when they tip off next season.

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  5. I don’t understand the comments that Narduzzi is remotely nearing a hot seat. He has won an average of 7 games per year in a real conference with tough ooc. The program is clean and he has a long term deal. I think the hot seat talk is mostly wishful thinking for some fans.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. It comes down to expectations. What do you want your $3.5M to do for you? For me, that kind of dough should buy me a final ranking in the top 25 and a bowl win. I’m easy to please.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tex I am pretty sure I know what you would do with the coach😉. I am referring to the powers that be. I just don’t see them changing course or being close.

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      1. I think the BoT might be fine with business as usual but I think Heather understands its about the final ranking. Remember – she was the one that gave him an extension. I think she’ll give him two more years to prove himself. With me, I wouldnt have extended him and would have waited until this year to make that call.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You can put me into the category of wishing PITT and Narduzzi could reel in more higher rated high school foot-ballers. My problem and question is, how is this going to happen? Sorry but I’m not buying the recruits don’t like Pat or he can’t close. The kids have options. There’s more to it than that. imo. Plus, I think the players really like him.

    Interesting roster highlight above. I see that 3 of the 5 coveted 4* recruits aren’t even on the current PITT roster. Yet I do see where Weaver, Jones and Reynolds saw a lot of important playing time last year. All three 2‘s. Let alone KP who was a first year starter at QB as a 3.

    What’s also interesting to me is…… The fuss about the 5th year seniors that started on the O-Line last year that never played at that position prior. Two reasons I mention this. One: those ragtag players pushed, shoved and blocked for not one but two 1,000 yard rushers and two: I think we need to wait until this season to end to judge Narduzzi’s early recruiting classes. PITT has to rely on 3* players that will take time to mature to a P-5 level. Yes, I’ve said this before. Hope I didn’t bully anyone with my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How long to do want to wait on his recruits Ike? The 2015 class are SRs or rsJRs now and any of them who actually committed to him out of HS have done nothing.

      And as stated the 2016 class has been disappointing also…unless average at best play floats your boat.

      Look at the 2019 Pitt offer list of 4* players – many went to progams just like Pitt or even lesser…not all went to powerhouses… Yet we landed a grand total of one this year and one last year.

      https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/offers/football/2019

      He is just not able to convince the better blue chip kids to come to Pitt out of HS.

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      1. Winning the ACC Coastal division floats my boat Reed.

        To answer your question of how long do I wait. Until they are done playing college football and I can see what and how they played. Right now, they are not a finished product.

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  8. Since Coach Duzz has been our HC our record has been:
    7-7 (2018)
    5-7 (2017)
    8-5 (2016)
    8-5 (2015)
    With one division crown at 7-7 and 0 bowl wins.
    …. which probably helps explain why the POV has half Duzz defenders and half Duzz
    dissenters! Should be an interesting upcoming year!
    Reed, thanks for the good info
    Hail to Pitt!!
    O

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  9. Ike kind of beat me to the punch but it is fascinating how the top three never contributed and the bottom three have and will again this year. Shows that recruiting is a crap shoot, unless you are getting all top 100 players like Alabama and Clemson.

    But this still on its own was a very strong class even with the hard luck of Hill and Gilbert and with guys like Pugh and Flowers not being all that. But there is the makings of a very strong defensive line, good linebackers and d-backs. All in all there are many of this years starters in this bunch, so we are yet to see their real value.

    I do say that one measurement of recruiting at the highest level is how many guys leave early each year. Based on that measurement, Narduzzi has below the bar. That is however a double edged sword in that you hate to see those kind of guys leave while they still have eligibility, but it does say you recruited some elite players.

    The other point to make is that this class appears to be Narduzzi’s strongest which may indicate that it has been downhill from there. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A while back, Dokish had an opinion about the recruiting and the underwhelming results. I think his take is spot on. Something to the effect: You can make a ton of offers to 4 and 5 star players, and absolutely wow them if they come in for an on-campus visit, BUT those players are also going to have offers from major schools, and when those schools have good programs and those teams play in front of full houses, it is no contest. They’re not coming to Pitt. Let’s see: they want me to come here (to Pitt) and play for a .500 team to a half-full stadium, I don’t think so.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. The thing I’m looking for to make PITT a better and more attractive team is better and consistent QB play. Other than the last 8 or so games of Peterman’s stint here the QB play has been meh. I’m looking for Kenny to step up as I believe he can be a good collegiate QB. Supposedly Coach Whip likes what he sees of Nick Patti and Davis Beville is in the pipeline too, so I think the future is looking bright for our present and future signal callers. That position,QB, is a major driver for a successful season.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Look at how many 5th year players started and or played significant minutes for PITT last year. Before you scoff at the 7-7 record, remember that winning the Coastal title afforded PITT to lose the extra game all the while with a brand new true sophomore starting QB. Then, take into account the difficult OOC schedule and I don’t see the need to panic at this moment. Next year? Maybe then?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This is the make or break year for Narduzzi. I dont know what Vegas is saying but I’ll put the over/under at 8 wins.

    Schedule
    VA – Loss
    Ohio – Win
    @ State – Loss
    UCF – Win
    DE – Win
    @ Duke – Win
    @ Cuse – Loss
    Miami – Win
    @ Ga Tech – Loss
    NC – Loss
    @ Va Tech – Win
    BC – Win

    So I have the under
    4-4 in ACC play
    Bowl win makes 8 wins…To me, Narduzzi is an 8 win coach.
    I’ll be very impressed if Pitt wins 9 or 10

    So does 8 wins make or break him?

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    1. TX – I think opening day is a toss-up. Both teams will not be in mid-season form.
      I think there is a chance Pitt can beat GT as they will be transitioning on offense.
      UNC? Until we beat them, I can’t pick them. Even at home. And that pisses me off, btw.
      You are more optimistic than me with VT.
      I question if we will beat UCF.

      So, I’m probably where you are but how we get there is a bit different.
      We win 9 and I’m buying. Would be great and this year’s schedule sets it up better than the past few years.

      Like

      1. Opening day to me will be “must see TV” and I’ll be sitting in the Ketcup bottle (a salute to Emel) with a bunch of empty yellow seats.

        UVA will have to prepare for a completely different Pitt offense that is secretly holed up behind some locked gate. The Pitt D will be the same one that literally shut down the Cavs in Charlottesville last year.

        My prediction is Pitt punches the Cavs in the face and moves out to an early Coastal division standings lead.

        The rest of the season is a complete mystery to me as I’m not sold on Duzz’s game day coaching. He has won some BIG games in his short tenure as a HC, but he has not been consistent – see UNC and the blow out losses in 2018.

        I expect 9 plus wins this season as a Pitt fan and donating alumni. And I could care less about anyone else’s opinion about my expectations except for the Pitt AD, administration and BoT. And that trifecta has shown me that they don’t care about my expectations. Vicious cycle…

        H2P!

        Liked by 2 people

  14. I only see 5 of the 21 really making an impact from this class. That to me is a low hit rate. It would take Narduzzi 4 years to field a complete team at that rate.

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  15. Call me crazy… Narduzzi is not dabo or saban. But I will take him over some new hire that will cause flux for a year and then may or may not workout. And if said new hire would workout, said coach might be gone at the first chance because as much as we don’t want to admit it, pitt is not a premier job right now. We are the 46th easiest school to recruit to and the local talent is drying up. Give Narduzzi a chance and maybe it can become more appealing of a job.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Great comment!! The missing piece is good QB play. Everything else is there. KP has to improve, and it has to be this year.

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  16. There are 15 guys that will play and at least ten that will start multiple games this year from this class.
    In no way is this a make or break year for Narduzzi, probably not even next year.

    If the O- line jells early this team will be better than most think. This will be our best D-line in years and they will make a difference.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I said earlier that Kham and Malik would probably leave. Not sure if Samson is a scholarship player.
    In any case hope both guys get to play somewhere this year. Capel now has 4 slots to fill. Things could get real interesting fast if he can convince the right guys to come to Pitt. Personally like to see 3 senior transfers so he can reload again next year.

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    1. Yeah gordon more senior grad transfers would be good unless there are some reclassification players we haven’t heard about. I for one am disappointed that ellison is leaving. Good kid who helped us and was useful depth and a senior

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  18. I like that Mimes and Carter are practicing on offense and defense. They are not first or second string on either so the versatility may payoff if they are needed. They are athletes and this gives them more reps as well.

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  19. Capel is having good success recruiting. Why does Narduzzi struggle?

    The Pitt basketball program was nearly dead 1 year ago. Now there is hope for the future.

    Narduzzi inherited a stable program and seems to be treading water.

    I knew Capel could recruit. I wasnt sold about his coaching (he had 2 head coach stints) and I guess that is still TBD .

    With Narduzzi, we were told he was a defensive guru particularly with DB’s. He was never a head coach. I dont believe he was a main recruiter at MSU.

    I cant explain it other than Capel knows who he wants, how they can fit, how he can max out their potential and then goes after them and closes.

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    1. Are you serious here, TX, or just trying to stir things up?

      You don’t see a difference in recruiting to Pitt for BB versus recruiting to Pitt for football? Seriously?

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Has Capel even signed a four star? X. Johnson was a three star and none of the current incoming players are four stars to my knowledge. Not that I’m panicking since I don’t get bogged down in stars since they mean absolute squat come game day.

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      1. Capel has signed three four stars out of a class of 5 so far (this and last years classes). X is obviously playing like a 4 star. In basketball, you look at top 120 composite ranking lists. Capel is recruiting as well as Dixon in Dixon’s early years until Dixon tailed off.

        Yes – Pitt plays in the ACC and the Pete. But Pitt has been one of the worst P-5 teams recently. Nonetheless, recruits are coming. I personally think its about Capels personality. He seems to be the main recruiter. Heard nothing bad about Capel unlike Narduzzi.

        With Narduzzi, I dont think he’s had really good assistants than can recruit and relate to recruits. And you have the Heinz issue. But still no excuse why he cant do better.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We must be looking at different websites for stars. The current three-man class are all three stars on Rivals. (Champagnie, Coulibay and Drumgoole). Are you saying all three last spring were four stars plus one in the current group?

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          1. look at the espn composite; and I dont think they have champaigne in this years class yet so the ranking will change
            some of these guys may be 3 stars but they are all in the top 120
            some of these guys are only 3-4 spots away from a 4 star kid…119 ranking vs 115 ranking
            its like a 5.7 rated football recruit. there is little difference between that high 3 and a low (5.8 rated 4)

            Pitt now has 4 kids in the top 120. the 5th, was misranked and thats X (he’s their best player)
            when was the last time Pitt had this much talent, when Pitt made the Elite 8
            so the talent is there
            Pitt needs some more talent (shooting guard and big man)
            Plus experience
            Then there is no doubt that Pitt starts winning big unless Capel stinks as a coach

            So how can Narduzzi get similar results on the football side?
            It seems he doesnt have assistants that love to recruit and can relate to the kids
            And it seems like Narduzzi cant close the deal

            it does appear that at least so far this year, Pitt is getting elites from VA and FL to visit early
            I hope they can close on a few

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  20. The only thing TX and some named others are serious about is the naming of multiple reasons why Pitt should fire Narduzzi. Personality aside I think Narduazzi is still the HC thru his 2024 contact absent any 9 win seasons. And with a 9 or 10 win season his contract will be extended once again.

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  21. NT and WPIAL product Donovan Jeter is projected to start for Michigan in 2019, his 3rd season with the Wolverines. Pulled this from two Michigan football websites.

    Harbaugh opens things up to excite the fans, that is for sure…

    Back to the locked gates of Pitt FB.

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  22. Tex, DElliot Donald is a sophomore at Central Catholic and already has offers from Ohio St, Domers, and psuX…

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      1. Tx, E Donald was at PITT yesterday lifting weights, hanging out playing video games with a coach. If the kid wants to go somewhere else then I don’t know what to tell you. He says PITT feels like home. Some kids want to leave home. ??

        Like

        1. We see how leaving home has worked out for several elite WPIAL kids that spurned Pitt
          Local kids seem to thrive at Pitt…still waiting for Paris though

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  23. Regarding the ongoing conspiracies concerning Emel… believe he went to Temple University Dental School… if memory serves correct.

    Hope this helps bring everybody back from the deep end.

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  24. Reed’s assessment of this class was, as usual, a glass half-empty. There are at least 12 or 13 players listed here that either have started or have significant playing time. And that is a darn good stat for any recruiting class. Most of them will be RS Juniors, with 2 years left, while only two (Hamlin and Matthews) will be seniors. And Hamln has a good chance of getting an exemption.

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    1. glass half empty – 12 kids that produced a 12-14 record over the past 2 years
      I just dont see any breakout players
      someone who can take over a game

      thats why I say its make or break this year
      Narduzzi needs to prove that he’s not an 8 win ceiling coach

      Like

  25. what happens when life presents you with lemons? This is from Dontez Ford

    sick god @D12Ford
    Apr 2

    Well I guess I forever hold the AAF yards per catch record

    Like

  26. Wbb …again, a FB team has to field 22 starters every season. So stating that 13 players have done so so far means relatively nothing.

    What you need in every recruiting class are some kids who make immediate impacts and continue to do so. We really haven’t seen any of the kids PN has had commit to him do that yet.

    And those 12-13 kids you mentioned have been contributing to 5-7 and 7-7 seasons.

    Now you might say that players always progress over the years but that isn’t always true. We have heard that on here all the time and you can look through the starting lineups each year and see players who reached a certain level and stayed there or even regressed.

    While my glass maybe half empty with the article above the point I was making was that I’m not the only one who feels that way. Chris Peak is the best and most honest major media guy covering Pitt football and he’s usually much more positive in his opinions. For him to talk about the ’16 class as he has done should open eyes even if you disregard my opinion on the class.

    Like

  27. Reed,

    Good having you back. Hope you’re doing well.

    I can’t believe you used Peak and honest in the same sentence. He lied to me about his banning policy on what at times is PantherLiar when I said the TRUTH about attendance or lack thereof.

    As you even admit, Peak is usually much more positive. Peak is just below Dokish as a homer and never, ever says anything truly negative even if it’s the truth about Pitt for he will not come close to biting the hand that feeds him. If it’s mildly negative as you state, my guess is Narduzzi ticked him off perhaps limiting even his access.

    He’s a boot-licker if there ever was one as he dependent on Pitt to carry out his job.

    I realize some want their Pitt info all sunshine and rainbows as seen through Blue-and-Gold glasses but I prefer the truth from you (cold and as hard it may be) as you’re not dependent on Pitt for information and you can be objective.

    Like

  28. Another side to that could be, 13 starters from that class only leaves 8 positions open. According to this logic, doesn’t it make sense they should be filled in subsequent classes. Which is what you’re saying, each class should have players who should be starting. Again, looking at the class in question there are five of the coveted 4* players recruited. Where are three of them? Not at PITT or helping the team.

    Ffrench was named mid-season All-American last year. imo that qualifies him as an impact player. Weaver has been an impact player for two years. I’ll wait until after this year to see where PITT stands. The word in the recruiting world is………. you can’t judge a class until at least 4 years. so again, I wait

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  29. Reed pops in to make a negative Narduzzi post.

    SHOCKED.

    Its been said a million times both on here and pantherlair. PITT’s recruiting over Narduzzi’s tenure has been plenty good enough to win 7-9 games a year with the right schedule. not great, not good, but good enough. If you look at the teams who finished in the top 25 this year PITT generally recruits better than: IOWA, CINCY, BOISE, UTAH STATE, WVU, ARMY, FRESNO, CUSE, UCF, WASHINGTON STATE.

    Yes it could be better, and that is the easiest path to success, but no guarantee. Basically every program in the country can say that they wish they recruited better.

    There is also very little difference between a 5.8 4* and a 5.7 3*. The 2018 which is often ripped for not having any 4* guys had TEN 5.7 3* players.

    I dont think theres any doubt the depth and athleticism is better than it was under PC.

    The main gripes here should be:

    -way too difficult OOC. could be a 8-9 win team the last 3-4 years with an easy schedule like cuse or uva.

    -player development: havent seen a ton of guys who have really broken out and become stars

    -scheme: clearly didnt adjust in the first couple years costing us some games.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. that class had 45% rated 5.7 and above. Thats a decent class
      Pitt really needs to be at 50% or better to be really successful unless you believe Narduzzi and staff can really develop non elite players
      For comparison, Penn Sate routinely gets 85% of their classes at this level

      Like

      1. Hey Tx, here’s a knock knock joke for you and I mean this as a joke..

        Knock Knock….

        Who’s there?

        Not psuX

        Not psuX who?

        PITT, we are PITT not psuX

        Like

  30. But Reed, I think I remember that you are one of the guys that likes the tough OOC. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t play ND, PSU and OK ST and then complain about 5-7 and 7-7. If you play one of the most difficult schedules in the country you are going to lose games.

    I have been hard on Narduzzi’s recruiting as long as anyone, and he hasn’t been able to recruit the elite player, but the schedule has contributed as much or more to the poor records.

    I also think that this is the year we see the value of the class we are speaking of. Watts, Camp, Weaver and Jones will be the foundation of a pretty sturdy D-line.Hamlin lead the team in tackles last year and Reynolds, Campbell and Pine will be good linebackers. Matthews and Ffrench will be starters.

    While this may not be a great class it can still be a very good class. While I agree that there are no superstars in it there are some solid players.

    They lost to PSU OKST, ND, Clemson and Miami right after losing their starting center. They lost a bad game to UNC and a close one to Stanford. They also won the Coastal title to win the right to play the eventual National Champions.

    You seem to want it both ways, to say we don’t have the players, but at the same time use their record vs a bunch of teams with great players to support that seems wrong.

    My concern is that Narduzzi didn’t follow this decent class with better ones and that the trend is downward.
    He still hasn’t got the elite players that can make a big difference and that we all want to see at Pitt.

    But having to play more top ten teams than anyone else isn’t going to ever get us a 10 win season or help to recruit those elite players.

    By the way I do agree that Narduzzi’s bowl record is abysmal. To get crushed by Navy, when you had the strongest offense in recent memory and to lose to two teams you should have beat has certainly hurt recruiting.

    Liked by 7 people

  31. GC,excellent post,,,small correction it was the year following the debacle in the Military bowl that Canada came on board and the O was awesome (Duzz gets some credit for being HC) What Pi$$ed me off in the Navy game- Nate was just plain awful and we had a seasoned QB on the bench and Duzz would not make the switch-would have loved to have known why?????? …most would say CV and Duzz were not on speaking terms when CV was benched….Emel…come back and jump in-you and I enjoyed watching CV when HCPC started calling plays to Chad’s strengths………miss you buddy…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, CV should have played in that game. NP was horrible that day and Duzz made bad decisions to boot.

        No way that team should have lost to a .500 NW team.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It should be three tomato cans and one good team in the non-conference eight out of every 10 years. No one remembers who you played, just the wins.

      Like

  32. The football program does seem to be treading water. Need 8 or 9 wins this year. 8 or 9 wins may
    help with recruiting. 6 or 7 wins no. Hope for a win vs VA in game 1 which would create some good mojo
    for the team.

    Like

  33. Reed and TxPanth, how in the heck can you blame the 2016 recruiting class for the 5 and 7 record of 2017 … they were redshirt freshmen then …. c’mon!!

    I repeat that there are at least 9 or 10 players who have started or will start who have 2 years left to play. That’s in addition to Ffrench, Hamlin and Matthews. And unlike you guys, I contend 12 or 13 of 22 starters is a pretty good percentage for just one class.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Looked at web site of link above for 2019 FB schedule.

    Way to early to predict but it seems easier with 7 home games but then again we seem to mess up more at home than on the road.

    Like

  35. I think Nate sums it up best in the first thread…

    It’s pointless to conduct a lather, rinse, repeat at this point.

    Coach Narduzzi is a system not a cause to the University’s football problem.

    If you don’t commit the resources, the money, the culture then all you will see is another unsuccessful coach.

    The thing is, and I am not being critical of our POV’ers, the administration banks on the mindset “hope springs eternal”, and “Let’s give this new coach a chance before we dismiss/criticize him..”

    It’s human nature that they play on and don’t kid yourself, we are constantly being played by this administration.

    Now you can point to the basketball program and there commitment to it…and I will say to that, look what it took for them to do so?

    There was, for all intents and purposes a mutiny with the fan base that forced them to no longer double down and “Trust the process of Otis the town drunk”

    But something tells me if it didn’t get as bad as it did…they would’ve “stayed the course for at least one more year.”

    Now there are POV’ers on here that suggest that if you don’t renew your season tickets that you are part of the problem.

    While I understand their point, it’s the only recourse alumn really have to say “I am not pleased with the direction of this program and I want it to change”

    Regardless of it being a flea on an elephant…what other recourse does a fan have?

    Complaining on a website?

    While perhaps being fun/therapeutic – it really is mostly “…a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (In honor of Reed’s Thespian pursuits, I figured I would use a little Shakespeare here.)

    I don’t think much of “Chest-Thumper” Duzz, but unless there is a cultural shift, what’s the point? It will be another 4 years of this and basically I am getting closer to that realization that Pitt will never be a significant player in football for what remains of my natural life.

    I hate that last statement but every year I become less and less of Charlie Brown and am refusing to try and kick that football anymore.

    Dave

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree with your points

        The university will do something when something hurts their pocketbook or when scandal occurs

        The university has done a very good job throughout the years at avoiding scandal but their absolute fear of it has caused them to fire some good coaches and not devote the resources to athletics
        We see how the NCAA thinks about scandal
        Penn State should have gotten at least a 3 year ban on football
        It took the FBI to get involved in basketball before schools really started to get worried

        KS is only gone because fans stopped showing to games. Their revenues took a huge hit.

        I cant wait for the day when college football becomes the minor leagues for the NFL. Just give the NFL Bama and about 20 other schools who have the money to spend and the immorality to cheat. Pay the players and be done with it.

        I’d rather have Pitt against schools with a similar budget and mindset. Then Pitt would be out of this rat race.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. I see that Brightwell is once again working at middle linebacker. When he played there before, I didn’t think he had the size for it – but I guess he was the best option.

    Perhaps with a better DL he would be better – but that move has me somewhat puzzled and a bit more concerned about the LBs…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard him differently, sounds like there is quite a competition at all spots and they are developing versatility with him. I count seven guys that will get playing time at linebacker. I think we have better size and speed than in the past with pretty good on field experience as well with 4 of them. First time we have had real solid depth at the position.

      Like

  37. John, as I mentioned yesterday. Skippy 2 is going to Kentucky. PITT missed out on this fine young man. Family is from North Huntington and speaking of family? 😉

    Like

  38. So people are saying Dixon to UCLA … Didn’t TCU/Dixon not have to pay Pitt the buyout, because Pitt refused to take a hard line on it as it was bad PR or something like that? I wonder if the same will happen this time around … I’m willing to bet TCU gets a lot of money out of this.

    Like

    1. his buyout is $8M for TCU and TCU will play hardball unlike Pitt
      Pitt voided his buyout
      and then got stuck paying KS $10M on his way out
      Talk about total incompetence

      Liked by 3 people

  39. I just don’t get Dixon to UCLA. What do they see that we don’t? Do they want him based on his TCU performance? His game is boring, exactly the opposite of most successful teams today except UVA.

    Like

    1. nobody else wants the job
      TCU loves him. He could be a God here
      But UCLA will pay him double, he gets to go back to Cali, but he’ll be fired in 4 years
      But then he’ll retire and be a broadcaster
      Mr Slick Hair is pretty smart

      Liked by 2 people

  40. Matt?? one o’clock start. Make sure you make it to Fran’s tailgate. I’m suspecting JoeL will be a grilling and Scooter will be a chilling?

    Like

  41. Fantastic article in Post-Gazette today about Pitt’s Elite Eight season. Must reading for Pitt B-Ball fans.
    What once was and will hopefully be again! H2P!

    Like

  42. This is interesting. A Florida recruits final six.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    “2020 4-star receiver Marc Britt released his Top 6 and it includes Pitt. Britt (6’2″, 190) is from Miami, Florida and is getting recruited by Charlie Partridge. Britt’s Top 6 teams are (in no order): Pitt, Alabama, Florida, Miami, LSU and Penn State”.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s some pretty good company PITT is in right there.

    Like

    1. Playing for the coaching combo of Coaches Whip and Beatty is likely why we’re in the top six. But this is a perfect example of the difficulty of recruiting to Pitt.

      This kid’s approach now, I’m guessing, is not to pick his number one team, but rather to scratch off one team at a time until he only has one left.

      So he will look for reasons to scratch teams; he already has reasons to pick teams in getting to this point.

      Unfortunately, we don’t check that one significant box of consistent game atmosphere, where the other teams, except for Miami, all do…

      And please don’t tell me it’s all about relationships – like the coaches on everyone of these teams aren’t preaching “family” and saying all the right things to this kid…

      But we can hope for the best.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. we should be going after recruits with offers from NC, VA, Cuse, Tech, Rutgers, MD, UCF, SFla

        We have little chance competing against elite schools until Pitt becomes elite which will be never since Pitt doesnt have the revenues and would rather be a renter in a way too big off campus stadium

        Like

    2. while that certainly says something positive, my guess is that the probability is pretty low that he commits … hope i’m wrong

      Like

  43. ^^ M&M and wwb, absolutely and great points. I don’t expect the young man to choose PITT but I see an effort there. PITT offered and he obviously likes PITT and their coaches enough to end in the top six.<< You know, rubbing shoulders with the big boys.

    Like

  44. Pitt will need the offense under Whipple to have an outstanding year in their passing game for us to be able to land a 4 star WR out of Miami with that completion listed for his services IMO.

    Like

    1. if whipple can make an all american or belitnikoff winner out of a Pitt receiver, you’ll then see 4 and 5 stars showing serious interest. Pitt does have 2 previous winners.

      Like

  45. I agree jrn and I know you get my point. I don’t think this kid is giving PITT and Narduzzi lip service as so many want to believe happens.

    Like

    1. I read somewhere that Isabella is super fast – and that Coach Whip offered him a scholarship with only seeing some video…

      What impressed me about both Isabella and Coach Whip is that everybody knew the ball was going to Isabella and he still produced big numbers…

      Now on to Ffrench, Mack, Matthews, et. al. 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Regarding the discussion of glass half-full POVers vs glass half-empty POVers, I really don’t think there are many, if any, who are thrilled with our results and don’t hope for better things to come. I think our biggest points of disagreement are in how to achieve greater success.

    I for one disagree with replacing the head coach anytime soon. It’s hard for me to imagine us getting a new coach who is inserted into the same environment and limitations and expecting him to achieve significantly better outcomes. I don’t even know why a “better” coach would consider the position. And I don’t believe there are many mercenary coaches (Todd Graham appears to fit that mold) who will take on a position with low probability of success just for the money. Professional people don’t do that. They need to see a path to success before they risk their reputation and career. I would love to know how many coaches were approached through back door contacts to gauge their interest in our previous searches and politely said, “No thanks.” My unscientific assessment of the odds of replacing a coach at a middle-of-the-road program/situation is that there is a 50% chance that the replacement will meet roughly the same success, 25% chance that the results will be worse, and 25% chance that the results will be better. And if our history of coaching changes is in any way an indicator of what to expect, that 25% may be very generous. Statistically it would mean that every fourth coach would have achieved close to the success we all hope for. Don’t think that has happened.

    We seem to be most in agreement on weakening the out-of-conference schedule. But as we’re discussed before, the financials of rent-a-win games might make this option less than a no-brainer. I think we should consider home and away with mid to bottom P5 teams. Of course that might not allow for 7 home games in a season. So there’s that.

    We also talk about tarping the upper level of Heinz Field. Thinking of the logistics of moving those fans down is not a straight-forward proposition. Do you charge them more when you move them? Do they get to pay less than the fan next to them because they were involuntarily moved? Do you go through an entire re-seat of Heinz like we are doing at the Pete? How many fans do you lose because you torqued them off?

    Finally, rebranding. I’ll admit I don’t even know what that means. We had dinocat, chiseled steel Pitt lettering, “PITTSBURGH” instead of Pitt (I presume to somehow tie us to the pro teams?). Now we are back to script Pitt. What specifically are those folks recommending we do? We seem to do everything we can to transform Heinz Field into a Pitt venue with signage, etc. I just don’t get it.

    To anyone who read through all this crap, I apologize. Just cleaning out some shirt pocket notes as some Pittsburgh talking head used to say. Can’t remember who it was.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Farmer, IMO you are one of the realists here and I agree with most of what you wrote.

      I do think Pitt can get to a level where it can average 8 or (hopefully) 9 wins .. and have a 10-win year occasionally when all the stars align. But even that is the high side of realism.

      Like

      1. I agree, WWB. And I think it will take a long gradual climb with more than one step backward along the way. I even think it can be done with a good coach, doesn’t necessarily need to be a great one.

        Like

  47. It all depends on how much time the O-line gives KP to pass. By the biased accounts of the coaches and players, the passing game is happening. So at least they are working on it, should be a much more balanced offense, but since no unbiased people have seen more than a few plays we won’t know for sure until the Virginia game, although the Blue-Gold Game should tell us something.

    Indications from Coaches and Players are that the offense is giving the defense a better battle than last year at this point, and that the offense is balanced. However it would be a real concern if they didn’t say this.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Mea culpa! I should have realized it was not just any talking head. Otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered the phrase. My apologies to Myron.

    Like

  49. btw if anyone is interested … watch ESPN2 at 5 pm if you want to check out Pitt commit Drumgoolie play as his school LaLumiere is playing in the semis of a national HS tournament. (I have a commitment and will miss it) but if they win, they will play tomorrow for the championship.

    Be forewarned … these are all academies, prep schools, Catholic schools, etc … so they are loaded with talent, so don’t expect Drumgoolie to score 20 plus

    Liked by 1 person

  50. ^^ gc, the O-Line’s best bet in protecting the QB is having a good running game and a QB that can see and deliver the football downfield. Last year, PITT only had of those requirements. In other words, KP needs to improve in his decision making.

    Like

  51. Management 101:
    TCU – “They buyout is $8M. Pay it or scram.”
    Pitt – “We’ll reduce the buyout, pay moving expenses and toss in a bottle of hair dye.”

    Now, which is the correct approach?

    Like

  52. And, rumor had it Pitt paid Herman’s moving expenses when he bolted to Corvallis to be seven hours from his sick momma

    Like

  53. Recruiting is a big issue – and it seems that topic is all Narduzzi is being criticized for lately.

    I would submit that his strategic game planning and game day sideline coaching is also suspect and is not talked about nearly enough.

    Less talented players can exceed expectations and make a team that is better then it’s individual parts if the system and game day decisions are maximized to allow them to highlight their strengths and hide their weaknesses.

    I still question Narduzzi’s managerial skills. I’ve seen enough bone headed timeouts (or lack of a timeout when needed), subpar 4th quarter execution and strategy, subpar game day tactics and play calling, and poor preparation for bowl games over his 4 years to wonder if he will ever grow into a true head coach and not simply and example of the Peter Principle at work.

    Don’t get me wrong – I am not (yet) calling for his head on a platter – but unless he wins 9 including a bowl this coming season, I am washing the dishes.

    H2P

    Like

  54. Farmer’s comments on the odds of success when replacing a middle of the road coach remind me of the expression “Firing Jed Clampett and hiring Barnaby Jones”.

    Liked by 3 people

  55. Narduzzi deserves some slack for initially making some bad decisions on assistant coaches. First time HCs don’t have the knowledge of coaching candidates that seasoned head coaches do. But now, 4 yrs into his contract, that excuse is over, and he will succeed or fail based on the coaches he has now. They better be able to recruit.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. almost looks like a bear but definitely an improvement over the Dinocat.
    how can stuff like this leak yet a Narduzzi practice is as tight as a pickle jar.

    Like

  57. @TX … LOL. Looks like someone in the Pitt Store will be fired.

    Anyways, this is going around on Twitter. Look at the Panther on the 1:03 mark … hmmm. Looks like this video may provide hints to the reveal on Sunday.

    Take a look at the font at the :20 mark. Could that find it’s way onto the uniforms? Cleaner than the number font they used previously.

    Like

  58. Latest report. Dixon to UCLA may fall through because of 8 million dollar buyout to TCU.
    UCLA not willing to pay…TCU not willing to reduce. Cronin from Cincinnati apparently now being considered

    Like

  59. In keeping with the them of this article, FB recruiting and specifically the class of 2016, the lowest rated players are going to be this HC’s best players with three possible difference makers in Rashad Weaver DE 2*, Patrick Jones DE 2* and Mo Ffrench WR/KR low 3*.

    Is that because of player development OR are the Rivals rankings skewed (see 4* Rivals HS OL who was a made up name) OR both. I vote both.

    Elias Reynolds LB 2*, Chase Pine LB 3*, Aaron Mathews WR 3*, K.Camp NT 3*, Bryce Hargrove OL 3*, Phil Campbell LB/DB 3* and Brandon Ford OL 3* will all be competing for starting roles and many will earn those roles. Five have already played in a starting role in prior seasons.

    Time will tell how good these players will be – their time is now. Look for 2019 to be a productive year for these undervalued FB recruits.

    H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

  60. Theme, not them. The cellphone at breakfast is tough to type on and proofread while drinking coffee.

    Sorry guys and gals.

    Hoping my typing doesn’t disrupt readership…

    Liked by 1 person

  61. I heard to expect a “transformers” theme which melds our mascot ROC and RICHMAN’S Audi convertible…kind of like ROCimus Prime.
    I’m still hoping for the colors to be closer to what TD wore.

    Like

  62. The only argument against the stats you posted Erie is that Pitt has so few 4 stars and above to even contend for those starting jobs. But I do agree that many rival stars are out of line especially for those senior HS players that switched positions in their Senior year. I’d spend more time if were Narduzzi listening to the coaches whose opinions in the past have produced the best recruits to date stars or no stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points jrnpitt. There were several 4* recruits in that class and most did not cut it at Pitt for various reasons. Watts and Hamlin are the only two 4* recruits left from that class. Both have started and many Pitt fans would say they have vastly underperformed. Both will be seniors this season, both have had injury problems and we hope both will bring leadership and “star” power with them in this final season at Pitt.

      The 4* recruits that did not make it could not get on the field due to talent or health issues.

      OT: The golf outing currently is struggling to get “committed” golfers – we had 22 verbals last month and to date only 8 have signed (sent payment). We also have had a few golfers back out of their verbal commitment. I feel lyke Pat Narduzzi (ikr). We need 20 to 22 golfers “committed” with payment by April 30th. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A 4* GOLFER. Let me, Lastrow or Michelangelo know if you have questions…

      H2P!

      Like

      1. Hamlin played well last season. It is a shame his redshirt was burned in 2016, but the posters were calling for Narduzzi to play the kid and if he didn’t then more fuel for the “Narduzzi is a bum” crowd. I’m glad Pitt is applying for a fifth season for Hamlin and hopefully he gets it. After Fields and Martell, the NCAA has to grant it just because.

        Watts should have been redshirted, too. Pitt coaches now and in the past haven’t been too bright when it comes to redshirting kids.

        The NCAA should just allow kids five years to play five. A study showed football players average 5.1 years to graduate anyway and there still will be player attrition each offseason.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nate – I’m a big Hamlin fan. I met his parents at one of the away games I attended last season on our way to the Coastal Division Championship. Good people with high character. Duzz got that in the player and the parents.

          Here hoping Damar gets to the All-American level many 4* recruits supposedly ascend to. We may lose him to the next level but along the way he helps to pull Pitt FB to that next level we want to get to.

          H2P!

          Like

  63. Recruiting is as much an art as it is a science. The point system tells you what kind of high school player they were, not always a perfect predictor of what type of college player they will be. That it what scouting is all about and why even in the pros 6th round draft picks can become superstars.

    Since most high profile kids want to go to high profile schools Pitt has to do better at finding the 3’s that will become elite players.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GC – I agree with most of those point and I believe Pitt and Duzz have done a good job(not great) finding the 3’s that will become elite. This is the season that will define the Duzz tenure going forward. I posted this blurb below early one morning this past week as a response to someone’s comment – worth a re-post IMO:

      Opening day to me will be “must see TV” and I’ll be sitting in the Ketcup bottle (a salute to Emel) with a bunch of empty yellow seats.

      UVA will have to prepare for a completely different Pitt offense that is secretly holed up behind some locked gate. The Pitt D will be the same one that literally shut down the Cavs in Charlottesville last year.

      My prediction is Pitt punches the Cavs in the face and moves out to an early Coastal division standings lead.

      The rest of the season is a complete mystery to me as I’m not sold on Duzz’s game day coaching. He has won some BIG games in his short tenure as a HC, but he has not been consistent – see UNC and the blow out losses in 2018.

      I expect 9 plus wins this season as a Pitt fan and donating alumni. And I could care less about anyone else’s opinion about my expectations except for the Pitt AD, administration and BoT. And that trifecta has shown me that they don’t care about my expectations. Vicious cycle…

      H2P!

      Liked by 2 people

  64. many schools have 2 and 3 stars become solid starters
    few if any become all americans (AD was a 5.7 rated 3 star)

    UCF’s bunch of 2 stars beat Pitt’s 3 stars last year
    If Bama has any 3 stars, they are on the scout team like Rudy

    Pitt is fine recruiting if other teams in the division recruit like Pitt
    But they dont. Division teams are getting better and Pitt is getting worse

    Like

    1. Tx – you are standing behind that last sentence even after Pitt won it’s division the previous year, is bring back almost it’s entire team AND with an upgrade in offensive coaching which was the weak spot of the Coastal Division Champions?

      Interesting take…

      And before anyone says “but we are losing two 1,000 yard rushers and 4 of 5 on the Oline” – let me remind you that at this time last year, NO ONE but one person (not me) was predicting our RB tandem would perform as they did. Nearly all Pitt fans were mortified by our Oline prospects.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. other teams in the division are getting better with recruiting
        its no longer just Miami and Tech ahead of Pitt

        Field results will probably produce an 8 win season
        I dont see Pitt repeating as division champs

        Like

        1. VTech lost half of its roster and Miami changed HC’s.

          Duke & VTech lost their starting QB’s, GTech and UNC changed HC’s as well.

          Cuse and BC are at the bottom of the ACC recruiting ranking with Pitt and are both on the Panther’s schedule.

          So who is better on our schedule? Did I miss a team? Oh yeah, UVA who Duzz has owned…

          Like

  65. Quick poll….of Pitt’s last 4 offensive coordinators, who had the highest pedigree coming in: Chaney, Canada, Watson, or Whipple?

    Like

  66. Well PT, all three were available so…? Watson is definitely the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit. I would say Chaney was the biggest hire?

    Like

  67. In the discussion above about recruiting, it should be no surprise that Pitt is behind most ACC teams. And the reason is that they are geographically located where much of the talent is these days. For years now, Florida and Georgia has headed the list in the amount of 4/5 star recruits with Texas right behind.

    Bur even if you are a 3-star from the southeast, wouldn’t you want to play closer to home in places like VA, NC, SC, GA & FL… than to travel north to play in a stadium with many empty seats? I don’t think it’s coincidence that in the 2019 ACC recruiting rankings, BC, Cuse and Pitt are in the bottom 4.

    And what is even sadder, not only are 4 stars dwindling in PA, so are the 3 stars! It has been a trend now that PA is falling in the number of high school FB recruits.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. thats why Pitt needs to do a better job with neighboring states
        there are 11 and 13 4 stars in NJ and MD this year
        VA only has 6
        OH with 7…down year in that state

        I’m still amazed at why a kid from Florida would want to play in the Northeast
        I guess Pitt beats playing at Florida Atlantic

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s the coaches and recruiting Tx, no other explanation for it. This talk of everything a recruit says positive about PITT being contrived is nothing bu horse pucky

          Like

  68. Could be either one Mark. Chaney left PITT and went straight to a NCAA playoff team. Not to shabby either.

    Tx, is that a new gravatar? I like it.

    Like

  69. Hamlin has a better than half a chance to get back that RS year? Stay tuned.

    Did I see a secret squirrel message in their EE? Did you pull the trigger on season tickets? In that case, see you guys 8/31 at Frans tailgate…… The only place to be.

    Update, BigB and Mrs BigB (JeanieB) are planning on coming to the UCF game so I have to add that game onto our itinerary.

    OT anyone know when the Steeler schedule comes out? Last year was a nightmare with the common games on the north shore and the dam rain sucked as well.

    Like

  70. @wwb – from one who studies demographics of future high school graduates, it is not just the number of football players decreasing in PA, OH,Mich,Indiana, Ill, etc. The number of enrolled high school students has been dropping off over the last two-three years. It will even out for the next two years and then fall off the cliff.

    A great AD studies the demographics of available graduates of high school for 4-6 years out and then informs their respective coaching staffs of the information and lets them prioritize their recruiting efforts accordingly. The great programs understand this. Data Analytics is used in sport yet most AD’s don’t use it to study where the availability of athletes will be coming from so that they can get a head start in the recruiting process.

    It is not a surprise for those that study population numbers and expectations of high school graduates. The eastern seaboard is where the largest growth is occurring. That is the main reason that the big10 added Maryland and Rutgers to the big. It was not about tv sets although that is what they sold to the media outlets. The schools were used for their location and didn’t even know it. The big didn’t tell anyone the reason for those schools was for future recruiting because they didn’t feel any other AD’s studied population and impact on athletics. The schools Admissions folks study demographics, but AD’s are late to the party. The east coast now has big10 exposure all the time which helps the big recruiting.

    If Pitt were forward thinking, they would buy time on the sunshine network tv sports outlet in florida and advertise and show pitt football re-runs on weekend mornings in fla. Pitt is asleep at the wheel as usual. They don’t pay me, but they should.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. LOL Huff the Third and great post as usual. You’re always on top of things and the going ons. One problem though. PITT is doing great in the sunshine state. jus saying.

    Like

    1. Ike – Good not great. Let’s not kid ourselves.

      Also, yes, me and a few of my friends held our collective noses and went into the mulch pile at the Pitt ticket office and renewed our tickets. 70% of us were influenced by our wives – imagine that, our pretty Panther wives want to spend another season at Heinz Field with arrogant, mean old Pat Narduzzi. I think it might be Lastrow and his “tailgating” skills.

      Good day to be outdoors – wink, wink 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  72. Thanks Ike for the compliment – Pitt does good in flurrrrida. Pitt can do much better. I would have Partridge and Beatty live in Flurrida for 3-4 months out of the year developing relationships with IMG and all the other powerhouses.

    Throw a few 9 and 10 win seasons together and maybe we can reel in some flurrrrida elite talent.

    Like

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