First Man Off the Board – Pitt Spring Game Preview

The first pick in today’s Blue and Gold (yellow?) draft was not a quarterback.  It was not an offensive tackle.  It was not a running back.  It was a safety.  Jazzee Stocker to be exact.  And it was done to open up the passing game.  Gold captain Maurice Ffrench picked him and he did it because he wanted him out of his way.

As a fan, you might take something away from that.  Maurice Ffrench thinks Stocker covers better than Paris Ford.  Pitt picked by position, i.e. you had to stay within a during each round.  So with safeties out of the way, Running Backs were up next.  The first pick?  V’Lique Carter.  For the same exact reason, just in reverse.  The team that picked him didn’t want to tackle him.

So in that light, we will semi-seriously look at each position and see what we can see.  Thanks to the PG’s Brian Batko for summarizing.  That dude is a credit to Pittsburgh’s sports media. Check out his excellent article on the draft here.

My notes are in italics.  Again, it’s spring game, so lets all take this with a big grain of salt. 

Captains:

Gold:  Maurice Ffrench (WR), Amir Watts (DT)

Blue:  Saleem Brightwell (LB), Tre Tipton (WR)

ROUND 1 (Safeties)

Jazzee Stocker, senior (Gold)

Paris Ford, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Bricen Garner, redshirt junior (Gold)

Therran Coleman, redshirt junior (Blue)

ROUND 2 (Tailbacks)

V’Lique Carter, sophomore (Blue)

A.J. Davis, junior (Gold) – Interesting that he went before Sibley.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see Davis be the lead back this fall.

Todd Sibley, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Kyle Vreen, redshirt junior (Gold)*

ROUND 3 (Offensive tackles)

Carter Warren, redshirt sophomore (Gold)

Gabe Houy, redshirt sophomore (Blue) No surprise that Warren and Houy were the first off the board.  

Carson Van Lynn, redshirt sophomore (Gold)  Something of a surprise that Van Lynn was picked before Drake

Jerry Drake, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Blake Zubovic, redshirt freshman (Gold)

Liam Dick, freshman (Blue)  Can’t wait for this guy to develop into a started.  Just think of the double entendre’s in Bill Hillgrove’s radio call.  

ROUND 4 (Defensive Ends)

Patrick Jones, redshirt junior (Blue) There had to be some inside baseball here.  No way Jones is better than Weaver.

Rashad Weaver, redshirt junior (Gold)

John Morgan, redshirt freshman (Blue)

Chris Maloney, redshirt freshman (Gold)*  Ed Conway Alert:  Walk on picked higher than scholarship player. 

Deslin Alexandre, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

ROUND 5 (Outside Linebackers)

Phil Campbell, redshirt junior (Gold)  This guy didn’t even play linebacker last year.  We should be either really worried or really excited. 

Chase Pine, redshirt junior (Blue)

Cam Bright, redshirt sophomore (Gold)  Gold could possibly have both of 2019’s starting OLB’s on their squad.

Kyle Nunn, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Jack Hansberry, redshirt freshman (Gold)*

Jake Zilinskas, redshirt junior (Blue)*

ROUND 6 (Quarterbacks)

Kenny Pickett, junior (Blue)

Nick Patti, redshirt freshman (Gold)  Picked before both George and Beville….which means’ he’s ostensibly the Gold starter.  Innnnnteresting.

Jeff George, redshirt senior (Blue)*

Davis Beville, freshman (Gold)

Justin Sliwoski, redshirt freshman (Blue)*

ROUND 7 (Middle Linebackers)

Elias Reynolds, redshirt junior (Gold)  Listed as questionable and the other Mike is captaining Blue.  I hope walk-on Jackson Henry knows how to tackle.  

Wendell Davis, redshirt freshman (Blue)

Jackson Henry, redshirt freshman (Gold)*

ROUND 8 (Offensive Guards)

Bryce Hargrove, redshirt junior (Blue)

Chase Brown, redshirt senior (Gold)

Rashad Wheeler, redshirt junior (Blue)

Brandon Ford, redshirt junior (Gold)  Upstaged by a converted defensive lineman?  uh-oh…

Brian Burgess, redshirt sophomore (Blue)*

ROUND 9 (X Wide Receivers)

Aaron Mathews, senior (Gold) No way he is better than Taysir Mack, but he is a lot taller.

Taysir Mack, redshirt junior (Blue)

Shocky Jacques-Louis, sophomore (Gold)  Ffrench, Jaques-Louis and Mathews on the gold team and they haven’t even picked the Z’s yet.  If Patti has half and arm and any time to throw, watch out. 

Michael Smith, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

ROUND 10 (Z Wide Receivers)

Dontavius Butler-Jenkins, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Cameron O’Neil, redshirt freshman (Gold)  Who is Cam O’Neil?

Garrett Bickhart, redshirt sophomore (Blue)*

ROUND 11 (Tight Ends/Fullbacks)

Grey Brancifort, redshirt freshman (Gold)*  Ru-dy, Ru-dy!

Brancifort_Grey_18_

Jim Medure, redshirt senior (Blue) Tight End?  Fullback?  

Will Gragg, redshirt senior (Gold)

Grant Carrigan, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Kaymar Mimes, redshirt freshman (Gold)

Peyton Deri, redshirt junior (Blue)*

Jake Cortes, redshirt freshman (Gold)*

Ryan Sliwoski, redshirt senior (Blue)*

Drake Toto, redshirt junior (Gold)*

ROUND 12 (Defensive Tackles)

Jaylen Twyman, redshirt sophomore (Blue) I am telling you he is going to have a breakout year in 2019.  

Keyshon Camp, redshirt junior (Gold)

Devin Danielson, redshirt freshman (Blue)  Best of the young guys…?

Tyler Bentley, redshirt freshman (Gold)

David Green, redshirt freshman (Blue)

Noah Palmer, redshirt freshman (Gold)

ROUND 13 (Cornerbacks)

Jason Pinnock, junior (Gold)  Dane Jackson held out due to injury.  

Damarri Mathis, junior (Blue)

Marquis Williams, redshirt freshman (Gold)

Erick Hallett, redshirt freshman (Blue)

Judson Tallandier, redshirt freshman (Gold)

ROUND 14 (Centers)

Owen Drexel, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Jake Kradel, redshirt freshman (Gold)

Kenny Rainey, redshirt sophomore (Blue)*

ROUND 15 (Kickers)

Alex Kessman, redshirt junior (Gold)

Jake Scarton, redshirt sophomore (Blue)*

Will Connelly, redshirt freshman (Gold)*

ROUND 16 (Punters)

Kirk Christodoulou, redshirt sophomore (Blue)

Ethan Van Buskirk, redshirt freshman (Gold)* If he outkicks Christodoulou we are going to have a full-blown punter controversy on our hands.

Damar Hamlin and Dane Jackson are being held out due to injury.

Predictions anyone?

My prediction is that the O-lines won’t be able to block anyone, but in the second half the defenses will call off the dogs and let the footballs fly, if only the keep the fans interested.

Tailgating starts at 10.  Game kicks off at 1.  Wish I could be there but I cashed in all my chips to go to a bachelor party last weekend.   Hail to Pitt!

Michaelangelo Monteleone
Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 10.51.12 PM

216 thoughts on “First Man Off the Board – Pitt Spring Game Preview

  1. Good job, MM.

    Hope the guys picked lower than expected play with an attitude.

    I remember someone saying that they had to take Aaron Donald off the field in one spring game so the offense had any chance of functioning.

    I agree that the QBs will be under pressure every play and we’ll come away still not knowing if we’ll have a passing game in the fall…

    Go Pitt.

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  2. Gold wins this contest.

    I say Belville will be the leading rusher, George the leading passer, Patrick Jones the most likely to rough someone up for no good reason, and the Sliwoski brothers the most likely siblings to touch the ball on the same play.

    They’ll be some good energy at the get go and some stuff to clean up at the end.

    H2P!

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  3. Patting myself on the back a little hear, I picked Campbell and Carter as the most improved defensive and offensive players respectively and evidently the named captains feel the much same way with their picks. I also thought Patti would be the 2nd QB chosen jumping over Narduzzi’s candidate George(Nardog always picks age over talent many times). The most surprising pick to me is the taking of Jones over Weaver as the first picket the defensive end position.

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  4. One other point, if anyone thinks the TE Grad Transfer from Rutgers is not going to start for Pitt this fall one only has to reference this draft when the captains chose Grey Brancifort(listed as a long snapper on the roster) as their first TE pick over Gragg and Medure.

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    1. That team needed a long snapper.

      OT: Pitt baseball beat the nits this week 7-2. The softball team split a double header with St. Francis (PA). Yes, that is correct…

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  5. Fran, Joe,et al…won’t be able to come to the Spring game or the tailgate. I’m sure you can guess which I regret missing more. Have a blast everyone attending and looking forward to your pictures and anecdotes from the event. H2P!

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  6. BTW, any credence given to the picking of Stocker and Campbell first at their positions as a sign of respect to the most senior players at those positions as a picking strategy by the Gold captains?Also, from the Big WUP department, the Sliwoski brothers go to my church, nice family.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Narduzzi regretted including the linemen in last year’s draft as it made for patchwork-type units for both squads, so what does the staff do again this year: include the linemen in the draft.

    Hope this year it works better than last.

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  8. It looks as if my favorite walk on – Devon Davis (OL) is no longer on PITT’s spring roster. If I remember the recruiting story correctly, PITT was looking at him when they came upon Chase Brown. Devon had a knee(?) injury that caused his stock to drop.

    He will live on in my heart as the poster child for sloppy recruiting sites work. He came on as a walk on but the PITT 24/7 site had him listed as a two star recruit, lowering overall ranking. Not as bad as the Rival’s rating of a made up fake high schooler.

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  9. Narduzzi stated that the last scrimmage was the big one for the players and coaches. He also said he doesn’t care about putting up big stats for entertainment at the spring game. Just wants the team to get out healthy and have fun.

    In other words, we are not going to see crap at the spring game. Expect no ball movement. He will be hiding the offense as usual. In this case, I disagree with him. There is tons of tape on Mark Whipple’s offense. Is there really much to hide?

    One difference this fall, no cupcake the first game. The first game is an ACC opponent. The cat is out of the bag game one.

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    1. I would hide all I can. If we beat UVA the coastal is there for the taking. Player yes show the basic plays but hide the wrinkles like using a certain playmaker in a certain formation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Notrock — I guess what there may be to hide is who Coach Whip looks at as his main play-maker, or hopefully play-makers. Looks like when he finds someone who catches the ball, they become a high-volume target.

      But what I hope to see are better basics — improvements in route running – sharp cuts instead of rounded off…use of the running backs for passes… Those kinds of things…

      And hats off to Aaron Donald – what a good guy. Did he put some pressure on Shady to make a matching gift?

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This has to be great fun and a nice reward for all of the hard work. The splitting of the lines also goes with Narduzzi’s philosophy of secrecy no one will learn much from this game, I do think the O-lines will play better this year because of overall depth.

    I must say that I thought Campbell would make a good linebacker last year although I may have confused him with Reynolds. Sad to see Hamlin on the bench again, that guy can’t catch a break.

    Don’t read too much into the draft order, there are friendships involved. Should be fun to watch the youngsters perform to see who stands out. Better bring a roster, couldn’t find a program last year, do they still sell them, since everyone has smart phones?

    I definitely would have broken my string of never having attended a spring game, just for the POV tailgate, if I wasn’t leaving town. Have a great Day!

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  11. My prediction: Some will feel that PITT lost this game and some will feel they won.

    Morrissey also not playing in the game, further reducing the skill set and depth.

    John, I saw Cam O’Neil catching balls thrown from a football juggs gun with only one hand from 10 feet away and there was some hot mustard on the throws.

    I wonder if this style of picking teams is good for team chemistry? Narduzzi seems to think so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ike – saw that Cam video too. Impressive stuff.

      Now for the big test — can he take it to the field on game days…

      Go Pitt.

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  12. Off topic, the number of great golfers in this era is incredible. One of my favorite sporting events the Masters looks to be superbly entertaining, even if it doesn’t start till the back nine on Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brancifort is listed as a FB/LS on the Pitt roster. He is a walk-on who started 3 years at LB for Pickerington and was 3rd team D1 all-state. He is 6’1 240. Wasn’t Aston a walk-on LB? Just sayin.

    back up kicker and primary holder Jake Scarton, another walk-on, put himself on the transfer list but apparently drew little interest

    tailgate suggestion? Today, Prantl Bakery Burnt Almond Torte Beer is being released (not making this up) at selected places around town. (It may not be a Mead but is likely better than Bud Light)

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      1. Mark, if you’re going to Prantl’s, could you bring me a couple “single” slices of the burnt almond torte?Just let me know how much I owe you! Would much appreciate it!!

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  14. Pitt Football@Pitt_FB
    31 minutes ago

    NFL star and Pitt legend Aaron Donald has made a seven-figure financial commitment to the Pitt Football Championship Fund. At 27, Donald is the University’s youngest seven-figure donor in history.

    Thank You, @AaronDonald97!

    MORE: https://bit.ly/2UgSOjn

    That’s all well and good, AD, but can you influence your 4-star nephew to commit?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. btw, I didn’t mean to appear flippant with the comment about AD’s nephew …. AD is a Pitt treasure in every sense.

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    1. Don’t jinx us but I agree, and it looks like we have the formula for beating them. Now if Patrick Jones can just stay on the field…

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  15. Well that’s really impressive. Great job AD.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about his nephew coming to PITT. Let him enjoy the recruiting process for now, he’s only a sophomore.

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  16. I met Patrick Jones the second father in a hotel elevator before a game last year. A heck of a nice fellow, goes to show you what the spirit of competition can do.

    BTW, there is a roster for the spring game in the trib this morning for those of you that have younger eyes.

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  17. First and foremost, excellent job MM, really appreciate this info and format!

    Not sure if it is warranted, time will tell, but I have a much better feeling about next year due to one man: Whipple. And if this team, including the QB, does take a step forward, it wouldn’t surprise me if a guy like V, first RB picked, gives this team a boost as not only a change of pace guy, but maybe even a threat to catch balls out of the backfield to get him into open space. I also wonder if some of our young receivers will “suddenly” look good, and if so, maybe a guy like Butler-Jenkins (first z drafted, whatever that means) will benefit from Air Whipple?

    I also wonder if they might move Green to TE/FB position one of these days, if he doesn’t progress up the pecking order at DT as i suspect Danielson will?

    Anyway, good stuff, looking forward to analytical stuff following tomorrow’s Spring game.

    H2P

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Pitt needs to keep looking to perfect the 5 DB schematic to defend the ACC spread/rpo offenses. Two years ago I pushed for this defense and Campbell was one that I thought could be more of a hybrid DB/LB because of his size and speed. McKee was my second choice, but i was wrong there.

    Players picking their peers is not devisive, instead it can be a wake up call that says “you might be cool outside of football, but we see how you work on and off the field”. That should be an eye opener. P Ford thinks he is all american material because of a couple big plays. I wouldnt be surprised if the DC didnt approach the drafters and suggest they not pick him first. He may have the talent, but clearly lacks something.

    Ike, the oneill comment was subtle. Was the jug tossing the balls with Pitt Mustard or just mustard? A complaint about the colors or just a comment on the speed. Words can mean mulyiple things and i like the choice there. LOL, good one if you meant it as ……. a good one!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It would be great if being the first pick means that Jazzee Stocker has made a big progression. He sure looks the part, but he has often been a “chaser” versus a playmaker in his career.

      Safety play has continued to be a weakness in our defense. I recall us leaving receivers completely uncovered for a couple of easy TDs last season… Maybe we do better now that the coaches have been here for a year…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  19. Huff the Third and laugh out loud, I was speaking to the speed of the ball coming out of the juggs gun but I did throw in “HOT” on purpose to give it the ole double entendre. 🙂

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  20. “I believe in what Coach Narduzzi is building at Pitt” Aaron Donald. That quote was taken out of context but I’m guessing Tx wouldn’t be on board with that part of Donald’s statement this morning after his contribution was announced.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. My own opinion, I think Tx will be just fine with AD’s statement.

    Narduzzi created his own problems when he first arrived at PITT with his attitude and I can see why he’s not the most loved head coach but like some of us have been saying, he’s modified his behavior a bit. Time to give Heather and HCPN a little leeway?? I’m more use to the athletic directors at PITT mucking things up. Good to have one who does her #1 job and brings the alumni back into the fold instead of shoving them out of the way of their ego’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isnt Spring Break next week for the Pittsburgh schools?
      She’ll either be at Myrtle or OBX
      I should be at the Masters today.

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        1. I’m happy TX to read that you appreciate what AD said if that also includes the part about believing in what Narduzzi is building at Pitt. I’ll be sure to remind you about that the next time your advocating for Narduzzi to be replaced as the head coach.

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          1. in the end Narduzzi’s fate will be based on wins and losses
            He is only 12-14 over the last 2 years
            And he just reeled in a very unimpressive recruiting class

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            1. I agree. Although I am rooting for him to succeed because I actually like the way he is approaching things. (Except for maybe the secrecy). Generally speaking he is recruiting depth at all positions and he’s consistently upgraded his overall staff each year – turnover aside. This is how you build a program.

              That being said he will be on the fans’ hot seat of he wins only 6 or 7 this year and especially if he loses another bowl. After 4 years he’s made his own bed. Time to sleep in it.

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      1. TX – Good for you going to the Masters!

        We’ll look for the Pitt hat…😊

        Being a lefty, you know I’m rooting for Phil — but I doubt he can sustain it for 4 rounds…

        Go Pitt.

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  22. Hold your horses, I’m waiting to hear how the AD donation is one drop in the bucket compared to. You know, there are usually two shoes and when one drops, wait for it, the other will surely drop as well.

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  23. I’m glad AD has faith
    Would love to see more wealthy former Pitt players contribute
    But I understand why they dont

    I’m still waiting for the Tepper donation for the OCS

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Here’s my hot take on the Donald situation: I’m not sure what the football program lacks right now is money. They have pretty great facilities as it is. I don’t think they have to skimp on assistant coaching salaries too much, anymore, either. What they need is more butts in the seats and a better atmosphere to sell to recruits and fans. If you’re rich and you want to invest in the team, don’t just give the money to the university. Buy up blocks of tickets yourself, give them away for free, or even pay people to go to the game. Pay extra if they’re loud and boisterous.

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    1. Agree. Also if they start winning 9 per season and playing exciting offense people will come

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  25. That’s it Jeff R you got the answer pay people to go to the game. The only think we might have also pay to stay past the 4th quarter.

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  26. What a great person Donald is to give back to Pitt, the school that gave him three different head coaches when it should have been just one. That’s great he holds no grudges like that because some people would.

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  27. Jeff, I know quite a few fans that purchase extra season tickets and give them away. I’ve had 3 extra for a while and sometimes I wasn’t able to give them away.
    As far as paying someone to go I have had Scooter on retainer for decades. He is the quintessential “loud and boisterous”

    Liked by 4 people

  28. The fact that the captains waited until the 6th round to select Pickett is a bit unsettling, crossing fingers that this has more to with Patti’s rapid progression than arrested development on Pickett’s part. I’m rooting for KP big-time, but I felt like he lost confidence last year and I think it can be hard for QBs to reclaim their mojo. Hope I’m wrong. TE looks like that first ever picture of a black hole I saw online earlier this week, but that was expected. Concerned about MLB and the bottom half of the defensive tackle rotation as well. Running backs, should be fine and secondary should be a strength. If the defense holds up the middle, we could be on to something …

    Liked by 2 people

      1. This is true! However, as jrnpitt noted, the players determined which position groups were selected in a given round. So, it could mean nothing that they waited to choose QBs until the sixth round, or it could mean they don’t think there’s much difference between Pickett and Patti. If I thought one was a difference maker, I would be sure to select that position group in a round when I had first pick so I could secure the QB I liked best. Instead, both teams’ captains passed on that opportunity for multiple rounds. Hopefully, I’m reading into it too much.

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  29. Where Pickett went in this unimportant spring draft had more to with format and strategy by players, friends and I emphasize players and friends, and not coaches. Otherwise, I would be a tiny bit more worried. << If any at all.

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  30. Motifs the pickett placement is the biggest news to me. I keep telling myself he was picked first last spring game and was very mediocre on the season. Not totally sure what to make of it

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    1. Yea not sure who decided on the order of when each position would be picked. But we also have a lot more depth at an this year with Patti, George and Beville. Last year was town and a couple of walk-ons I think

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  31. They drafted by position and the 6th round was for QB’s. If the first round was QB’s I’m sure Pickett would have been drafted first. But what’s interesting is I think the captains were the ones that decided what positions should be drafted first.—Chris Peak’s take at panterlair was that he thought the players(or at least the captains) felt there was not not that much difference in the talent level between Pickett and Patti and felt no need to draft at an earlier round. Now I guess you can take that decision two different ways. (1) Pickett hasn’t performed so great and Patti has essentially equaled him talent wise or (2) Patti is playing so much better this year and has perhaps equalled or exceeded Pickett on the practice field. I’m hoping the answer is #2.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm really interesting take. Yea I hope #2 too. You have to figure guys are developing under Whipple. If they are all running the same six plays anyway it kind of doesn’t matter

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  32. One last point on the draft—It’s been suggested here that some of the unusual picks such as Weaver being the 2nd DE chosen or Campbell being the first OLB chosen was because friends might have been taken over talent. While that line of thinking is certainly a possibility I must remind you that the winning team eats steaks after the game and the losing team eat hot dogs and beans last year. So if your choosing friends over talent you might just be eating hot and beans. The captains may have to defend themselves from their fellow hot dog and beans comrades.

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  33. Another last take on the draft and I don’t remember who won the toss to select first but that was the captain that chose taking the safeties first and chose Stocker no less as their first pick. So that team it’s my guess didn’t want Stocker and the safeties to go in a later round by the other squad and lose him to the other team. So that begs the question has Stocker really improved so much the Spring so that at least the one squad wanted to make sure they locked him up before the other squad.—-My take Paris Ford might have a difficult time getting on the field if Stocker stays healthy and plays as well as he has this spring.

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    1. Unless they play a lot of nickel…

      So let’s assume stocker is a good slot cover guy who can also tackle. Frenchy plays a lot of slot wr and he says he works against sticker a lot so putting 2+2 together….

      So if Stock is the nickel back then you You have two playmakers – Hamlin and Ford playing deep. Could be a heck of a secondary if Ford has developed like he claims

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    1. Like I mentioned earlier Huff the Third, there are a few among us that think PITT will lose in a few hours or worse yet…… end up in a tie! << That’s in-spite of the score. 🙂 << Jus kidding, kind of.

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  34. For the record it was the winning group captains that decided to draft the safeties first not the coaches. And thus it took until the 6th round that one captain decided to take Pickett off the board. My take is that both captain groups who played all spring without having the doors shut on them decided there was very little difference in talent between Pickett and Patti and thus would be satisfied with either quarterbacking their squads today.—-A negative slant on Stocker being chosen first might be that with Hamlin out of the game the winning coin toss group captains felt Stocker was the most talented safety left and thus wanted him on their side. My take again is that the captains felt there is a wide difference in talent from the starters Hamlin and Stocker versus their backup competitors.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Pitt gets another recruit a walk on Eli Myers 6’3″ 220lbs OLB out of IMG Academy Bradenton Fla. I believe he only had some MAC offers currently.

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    1. Narduzzi is doing everything to make the university bureaucrats proud. No reason to get rid of him since winning a lot of games isn’t a Pitt priority.

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  36. What if the captains know that Secret Squirrel will only have the quarterback hand off and not show much of the offense…
    What if some guys LYKE beans and wieners…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran, my schedule got unexpectedly redirected and I will not be able to partake in today’s festivities. Have a great day, H2P!

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  37. For those who won’t make the spring game – how about naming the ONE player you’d be most interested in watching if you were at the game to see how they look, or how they’ve progressed (or not progressed…).

    Of course there are many, but to name one I’ll say Aaron Mathews. With his size and experience, he could be a big piece in the new passing game.

    Go Pitt.

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  38. Made the trip to Pittsburgh from central Pa and taking 3 year old daughter to her first game. Luckily her first game won’t be a loss and daddy will be calmer than most games!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Alright, nothing to get all excited about here but here are the Ed Conway award winners from this years spring practices.

    Carter Warren
    TreTipton
    Phil Campbell
    Paris Ford

    or is there?

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  40. They just brought a bunch of recruits to a reserved section between the 40 and 50. Some athletic looking dudes ( but they are not wearing any stars 😊)…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Listening to 93.7 – the Blue Gold “meaningless scrimmage” (just repeating what the announcers said).

    Looking forward to what the POV attendees have to say about the game & more importantly. are the tailgaters in game day mode?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Been listening to the game on 93.7 for the past hour, thanks to Richard, and man oh man, you would never know there was an actual game going on. I did get a good tip on a manscaping product though, so this wasn’t a total washout. << Not that anyone is looking. 🙂

    Touchdown pass from Pickett to Conway award winner Tipton as I type. Now back to more commercials.

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  43. end of 3, 14-0 Blue …. 2 td passes from Pickett to Tipton

    Other highlights: George to Mack for 30 yards, Beville to Shockey 39 yards and (get this) Pickett to TE Carrigan for 36 yards

    Biggest highlight: no injuries as yet

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  44. I’ll be really interested in reading all the takes on how this spring game played out. Players, format, empathizes on team spirit and just plain fun. And to add, hidden Narduzzi secrets……………..

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  45. Post Game comment by Narduzzi–He named Paris Ford the starter at Boundary Safety. He had 7 tackles and one interception on a tipped ball as I understand today. Maybe that Hamlin Ford combo at Safety will finally be our best starred duo at that position in a long time.

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  46. Maybe who knows what can happen with todays transfer rules. But more likely Stocker will give us that added depth especially when we are playing 5 to 6 DB’s on 3rd and long.

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  47. Beville our HS Senior was vying for the “Trevor Lawrence” award with the best QB statistics of the game. We can only hope he turns into Pitt’s Trevor Lawrence of the future.

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  48. Lots of interesting interviews after the spring game. I’ll let the bosses post them up but Carter said something mind popping, well at least to me.

    I guess Fran and the boys are still mulling over the game at the tailgate? No pictures, no feedback?

    Like

  49. Looking forward to a write-up on the blue-gold. As I’ve noted above, the broadcast was an embarrassment, why not just let some intenrns do it? If you’re going to commit the better part of the day doing that, why not do a good job rather than yacking away like a bunch of old women? And what’s with the “adult” commercials, why not make the broadcast approachable for families.

    So now that the low points are out of the way, it’s time for the POV to come through with some actual analysis, as you guys always do

    Like

  50. Sorry Ike et al. I just got home around 6. I sent the team photo to the Maestro. We had 26 attend the tailgate.
    I tried to get Shadys autograph after the game but was unsuccessful. One staff person at the club level didnt know who Shady was…thought me, Matt and JoeL were scamming her to get inside. Haha.
    Secret squirrel played it pretty close to the vest but the D line dominated the O line.
    I’ll leave the X and O discussion to those that were not drinking moonshine pregame. 😎 happened to have some ginger beer…
    I think we invented the Moony Mule.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Spring game 2019…

    So many thoughts, don’t know where to begin.

    –First off, those worried about the numbers on the unis – they looked great. You only really get the arch-effect on the single digit numbers like 8 and 3…

    –The tailgate was great thanks to Fran, Wolfe, and JoeL and everyone who brought something. There was food galore and it was good.

    –Great to see all the POV faces and of course the stars of the show were our POV celebrities Fran and Richman.

    –My son and I went into the stadium a bit earlier than the rest of the POVers, we wanted to check out the Panthers during warm-ups. Some of the players are really impressive looking – hope they appreciate the genes they were lucky enough to inherit…

    –As one example, offensive lineman Ford is just a monster looking player. The guy is huge. I was a bit disappointed to see that my sleeper OLineman, Rainey, the walk-on from Aliquippa, really appears to have put on a lot of weight in the mid-section. He’s been working at center, but looks like he needs to slim down to have any shot – just my don’t-know-crap opinion.

    –Watched the QBs throwing in warm-ups and it’s tough to tell but I thought KP and Jeff George Jr. had the strongest arms – and JGJ might have had a bit more velocity. Both were throwing a nice balls with mustard on them.

    –As for the game, well it started off like spring games around here always do, with no offense, but then we actually started to see some glimpses of open receivers being thrown the ball. That’s a critical combination. I’ve seen open receivers. I’ve seen receivers thrown the ball. It didn’t happen on the same receiver that much last season…

    –I did think the route running has improved. I saw WRs coming out of their breaks sharper. Still a ton of work to do, but seems to me there’s progress going on… I’m really encouraged by the WR talent – given the right coaching. Hats of to Tre Tipton for hanging in there – hoping he has a monster year.

    –Shocky can absolutely fly. Why he isn’t sent deep several times a game I don’t understand. Shocky is one of those guys who it’s just fun to watch him run – he’s on another level from about everybody else. Ffrench and Carter are also speedy, but I’d bet on Shocky in a foot race.

    –We saw today why we haven’t been throwing to TEs. Carrigan gets open, catches a pass for a nice gain, gets tackled, and comes off the field injured. 😦 Looked like something with his shoulder. We also completed passes to Medure (sort of a TE) and to Gragg for a TD. It’s a whole new era in Pitt football…;-)

    –Now on the QBs, I think you have to give a long look to Jeff George Jr. after how he looked today. KP looked good too after a slow start. Coach Whipple has used multiple QBs in the past. I could see him using both KP and JGJ… Patti needs more experience and he made some nice throws but his arm doesn’t seem quite as strong to me. And Beville looked good on a couple plays – but he looks like a freshman who needs to learn and grow. Based on today, I go with KP, but I try to get JGJ into games and I certainly don’t hesitate to insert JGJ if KP is struggling. Course we’ll have to see where they are at after fall camp. I was surprised to be impressed by JGJ.

    Too many thoughts right now, so I’ll end here. I will post again with more thoughts as I remember them and about going down on the field after the game.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 7 people

  52. Pros from spring game:

    -Pickett and Beville looked good in the second half
    -Paris Ford looked like the light is on upstairs and like he’s gonna make a lot of guys in other colored jerseys hurt this year
    -Rest of the defense looked pretty much the same
    -WRs looked like they have an actual WR coach
    -Offense looked like it has an actual OC despite playing with mismatched OLs that naturally didn’t have much cohesion
    -TIGHT ENDS ARE ONCE AGAIN MORE THAN A SIXTH OFFENSIVE LINEMAN WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Cons from the spring game:

    -The radio broadcast. Got all my info about what actually happened on the field from the internet. The creepy cringe-inducing “manscaping” commercials. The flat-out absurdity that “the format” made it impossible to do play-by-play. THE BROADCAST ENDING JUST AFTER THE FOURTH QUARTER STARTED. Heather needs to chew some people out because damn the broadcast was just woof
    -Running game was stillborn, inexperienced RBs and mismatched OLs will do that I guess
    -Splitting up the OL units puts both offenses at a marked disadvantage and there’s no way around that

    Liked by 6 people

  53. Not only that Deep but we could have watched 7 other springs games live on the TV today. I know, I know, the ACC network is coming………….. yada yada……… It was weak as hell…!

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Additional spring game thoughts…

    –Watched OT Warren on a couple of plays where he was opposite DE Jones. Jones got past him 2 our of 3 plays I watched. Concerning.

    –Paris Ford looked like the real deal today. Several nice plays including a TD saving tackle on the 3 yard line.

    –There was some hitting going on today. Not from the linebackers, but from the DBs. Paris Ford and V’lique Carter had nice hits. Yes, V’lique played both ways today and gave Ffrench a big hit when he knocked him out of bounds on one play.

    –Our DLine was dominant. Concerning for our OL, but the OL was a mish-mash.

    –Our DBs look like a strong unit. Bunch of guys who can run and cover.

    –Saw RB Mychale Salahuddin on the field after the game. He said he could have played but was kept out as a precaution.

    –Said hello to several of the players on the field after the game. Each of them couldn’t have been nicer. Paris Ford, for example, was very humble when we said how good he looked out there today. Makes me proud that these guys are Panthers. Most of them thanked us for coming…

    –Garrett Bickhart caught a couple of passes. Who the heck is Garrett Bickhart? Well, he looks like he’s about 16 years old, he’s 6’5” and 220 and he’s a red-shirt soph from Liberty, PA. He caught my eye because of his height. Maybe he could be a weapon near the goal line going against a 5-10 DB… Course Grant Carrigan is 6’7”…

    More thoughts to come – I’m saving the thoughts from being on the field after the game… Tease…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  55. JoeL, sibs and I were post game tailgating with the team. Man can they put down moon shine… jk. But many of them were walking by. JoeL will now be referred to as jayze. Sibley said his ankle is fine, limped off the field for those that didn’t see the game.

    Like

  56. Lastrow has a pitt poster that will be worth millions with the signatures he got. Shady are you listening, you could have this poster it you just sign his shady t-shirt.

    Like

  57. LOL Matt…good analysis deepelem and John.
    Ike, who did the broadcast on the FAN? I saw Larry Richert on the field but didn’t look like he was interviewing anyone.
    George has a better arm than I thought…Matt makes a mean Alpaca meat stick (yes, that’s what I meant)…the haluska Joe and Liz prepared was awesome.
    The vanilla offense is understandable considering the circumstances…was hoping for less vanilla and more fudge whipple.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. The NCAA DIV1 Hockey Championship was in no doubt as Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs controlled the match from start to finish defeating the U MASS Minutemen 3-0…. Minnesota started 5 native Minnesotans against take minuteman squad manned by 5 Canadians… Dawgs were a superior team…. Highlight of the game was very little loud obnoxious piped in music… the 2 schools pep band got the crowd rocking with tunes like “Hey Baby” “ Fat Bottomed Girls” and when the Dawgs scored “ In Heaven the is No Beer.”
    In 2020 the tournament moves to Detroit and in 2021 the River City of Pittsburgh will host the FROZEN FOUR…!!!

    BigB reporting from the Saturn Cub in downtown Buffalo NY…. back to you Lastrow

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lastrow – before we switch back to The Masters, let me give an update on the Frankcan Memorial Golf Outing –

      As I sit and type this, we have 13 committed golfers (paid) and 8 verbal commitments that need to pay by April 30th. The current # of potential golfers is 21. Progress is being made.

      FYI – the hand written notes many have sent with their payments are appreciated. I look forward to another fun golf outing.

      H2P!

      Like

  59. You guys gave me a nice little belly roll laugh this morning. Very entertaining.

    Fran, Larry R was on the sideline doing interviews and such. Chris Peak, Dorin Dickerson and some other guy I forget but there was no play by play. It was just a gab fest and they signed off in the third quarter. Commercials were an embarrassment and they lasted 5 minutes or more each time. I guess the thought was, if you want to know what’s happening on the field, go to Fran and JoeL’s tailgate and see for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. No coverage on XM radio. Would have been nice on my long drive.
    O-line has four months to get it together. Most important project. Having to go against Weaver and Jones every day will help.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. the internet broadcast mainly consisted of Dorin Dickerson talking to Jeff Hathorn with occasional on-field interviews by Larry Richert who was interviewing Narduzzi when the 2nd TD was scored. Other interviews consisted of Walt Harris, Aaron Donald, Shady McCoy and Bill Hillgrove. All were pretty brief. I didn’t listen to the whole thing so don’t know if Heather and others were interviewed.

    Note that this was the same format as the past couple of years. It was never meant to be a play-by-play process and only highlights of the scrimmage were discussed. IMO the best coverage were from PG Brian Backo tweets who not only posted the highlights (written, not video) but also provided team stats after each quarter …. Backo is often the best source of up-to-date Pitt info. He was the one who first posted that the Pat Light was tweeted last night.

    Like

    1. that’s right, they made it clear from the beginning that the broadcast would not be a play-by-play, but that doesn’t change the fact: the format was horrendous. Here’s an idea: how about some actual analysis and discussion of at least some of the game, focusing on certain positions, players, etc., whatever, since a scrimmage is actually going on. And how about not broadcasting the porn commercials?

      What a disgrace.

      Fortunately, after the fact some sites (including this one) and even the local rags had some good info.

      Like

  62. 3-star offensive tackle Michael Statham (6’6”, 320) from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. You gotta like this recruit, position of need and his offers were very impressive. LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri and Syracuse and West Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Instead of having a “meaningless scrimmage” where players pick their teammates for the game, and the offensive line a mismash, wouldn’t it be more productive to have the first team offense play the first team defense in the first half and the second team offense play the second team defense in the second half?

    Like

  64. Just occurred to me that if Reed had written this article, instead of “The First Man Off the Board,” it would have been “The First Man Overboard.” 😊

    Reed – How’d the Shakespeare go? Bet you had a blast!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Meant to mention, for those not there, that Aaron Donald got quite an ovation when he was interviewed on the field yesterday. Course he deserves it.

    The applause was much louder and longer than for Shady or Tyler Boyd…

    Money endears!

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  66. Any kind will do…its the opening and closing of your mouth while chewing that releases tension. You cant clench your jaw.

    Like

    1. We have no idea who Capel even wanted, some of need to stop trusting internet comments from kids in their moms’ basements. I for one was not impressed by Diallo’s highlights dunking over overweight middle school kids, in fact that frankly scared me. I’d much rather Diallo recruit a kid who can contribute next year. We already good one nice big, just need one more, and not a developmental one.

      Like

      1. With scholarships to give it would have been nice having a 7-footer develop his first two years. Sy has now become a must get and not landing him wI’ll have the post looking dire once again. Coulibay needs time in the weight room and won’t be an impact player in his first year.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Coulibaly does not “need” time in the weight room and we do not need Sy; I do hope we get another good big, but it doesn’t have to be him

          Like

    2. That’s right Erie many here have been cheering Capel and blasting Narduzzi for the recruits brought in over the past year. But recruiting to the Pete is a lot easier than recruiting to the half empty Heinz. And rebuilding a 5 player BB team is a lot easier than rebuilding a 22 player FB team.

      Like

  67. Looking over the QB stats, it seems Beville had quite a game! Not bad for someone who has been on campus only three months (instead of being at his hs prom?). Major seemed impressed with George, but things didn’t seem to settle on the back up QB. Who is the back up QB going into fall camp?

    Like

    1. I was thinking the same thing about Beville. 2 ways of looking at it …

      1) if you can redshirt Beville this year and if Pickett remains a starter this year and next, then Beville will still have 3 years of eligibility

      2) but if Beville is good enough to take over this year or next, more power to him

      Like

    2. I doubt it’s Davis unless there is no question about it. KP is the starter and there is no question about that. PITT seems to have two quality to decent backups at the QB position going into next season. But Beville comes as highly regarded.

      Like

  68. With apologies to Fran – some more Spring-Game shirt-pocket notes:

    –Saw a play I liked yesterday. Late in the game there was a third and short situation. We faked to the RB up the middle and threw to the fullback in the flat and got the first down. Very nicely designed play, I thought.

    The fullback on that play was Grey Brancifort, a 6-1, 240-pound RS Freshman from Ohio. I think “The Fort” would be a good nick name for him, but is that name taken? ☺ Could be our next bruiser at FB… Will be a good sign if The Fort’s family starts to tailgate next to Fran…

    –Another thing I like offensively was that the RBs were going downfield on pass plays and just settling in open areas. Looks like it would give the QB a place to get rid of the ball when there’s pressure…

    –Was wishing that Aaron Mathews would have been more involved in the offense yesterday. Watched him on one play where he was open virtually the entire route but never got a look. He did make an outstanding diving catch late in the game.

    –Did I mention that Shocky is damn fast?

    –So, do I have this correct, Jazzee Stocker goes as the first pick in the draft and then proceeds to lose the starting job to a guy picked later in the draft?

    –Dane Jackson looks like quite an athlete. He was throwing the ball around during warm-ups just messing around – but he has quite a nice arm. If he were on offense, he’d be a great candidate for throwing a pass on a trick play…

    –Three of our fastest players are from Florida – Shocky, V’lique and Marquis Williams… Two other guys from FLA aren’t slow – Damarri Mathis and A.J. Davis. Ffrench is from New Jersey.

    –Jake Kradel looks like he’s really put on some size – now listed as 6-3 and 300 pounds. Working at center now. Probably has to get used to playing at that size.

    –Noticed Rashad Wheeler struggle on a couple plays at OG. Has to be on a steep learning curve after changing position. Too bad he couldn’t have moved over sooner.

    –I checked the roster and my man Kenny Rainey is listed as 6-3 and 325 pounds! Our heaviest Olineman by 10 pounds.

    –Said hello to Jimmy Morrissey on the field after the game. He’s listed at 6-3 and 305 and he looks solid as a tree trunk.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Majors, appreciate the insight!

      Really hoping Kradel blossoms into a solid center for the future (and for depth purposes right now)

      Like

  69. Love the shirt pocket notes John…Myron made me a Cope-a-nut back in the day and any reference to him makes me smile.
    Jake and Cindy Aston attended our tailgate and plan to continue to attend Pitt games.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Fran – why am I not surprised that you’re a Cope-a-nut?

      If I might ask, what earned you the esteemed honor?

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  70. Thanks, the play went off perfectly. Hit all my cues and actually remembered all my lines.

    Had about 100 in attendance and they were very into it. I’ve signed up for the next veterans session and afterward was approached by the Director of the profession side of Chesapeake Shakespeare who asked me if I had an interest in auditioning for their 2019-2020 season.

    I said sure but only if Pitt wins more than 6 games…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats Reed! You’d certainly have a “commanding” presence on any stage…

      We missed you at the spring game though…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  71. BTW, there won’t be any noticable changes to the POV even though I’ve taken back formal control of the blog.

    Mike will still, hopefully, keep writing his amazing articles but if you want to contribute your own articles I’ll have to actually post them for you.

    Just send me the article in an email in Word and I’ll do it.

    Thanks, Reed

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Someone who went to the game told me that the new OL Liam Dick was a huge man who saw considerable action even though he also just arrived at Pitt. He apparently was really moving people out. Maybe Pitt has found another stud OL to provide some depth. Can anyone weigh in on the Canadian Liam Dick?

    Like

  73. KP seemed to make good decisions yesterday — except for one really poor one. His team was on about the thirty goin in and on a pass play, KP tried to force a pass to Mack in the front corner of the end zone. Mack was well covered and the pass should have been intercepted, but it went thru everybody.

    Anyway, I’m sure Coach Whipple was not happy to see that reckless throw…especially from his experienced QB…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  74. DE Weaver did not make the stat sheet – did he sit out of the Spring Game?

    If yes, does that answer why DE Jones was drafted first?

    Like

    1. Weaver played. I didn’t focus on him at all but he seemed active.

      There were a few plays where there could have been sacks, but the QBs were wearing red-shirts and the defenders had to pull up. I thought I saw Weaver “tag” the QB once, but I could be wrong…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  75. On the Diallo miss by PITT. Not trying to say that it’s not a little disturbing losing out him but…. I watched a tournament last week of the top high school teams in the country. One team featured Kofi Cockburn, a young man I thought would be a great pickup for PITT and he still should be a great player in the future. He wasn’t the best player on his team and probably the fourth best player on the floor that game. You never know.

    Like

    1. Ike, I’d like to know what Capel actually thinks of Diallo, and what discussions the two had. By all accounts Diallo was a project who most doubted would be able to beat out any of our 3 bigs next year, so imagine the message board banter one year from now after we took on a guy like that. I do think we could use another big, but I’m glad Diallo wasn’t that guy, and frankly I’m not sold on Sy either, though I’d be much more pleased with him (over Diallo).

      Like

  76. Hey Ike my good man, you taught me that 2 stars should not be overlooked! This guy Dick could be an overlooked stud from Canada that didn’t get evaluated properly. Did you notice this guy Major?

    Like

    1. Voice – Sorry, but I must admit that I only noticed Liam Dick when he was standing on the sidelines.

      I did mention to my son that he really has the look you like to see in a young Olineman — that is, he looked tall and lean, but not too lean…

      The OLineman who really impressed me down on the field after the game — as far as the eye test – was Ford. He looks as big as a house.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    1. No doubt, as were the two star DE’s Weaver and Jones. But then there are the running backs –

      Pitt running backs V’Lique Carter, A.J. Davis and Todd Sibley combined for just 11 yards on 19 rushing attempts. Houdini was on the sidelines recovering from a 2018 season injury and two true FR backs are due into camp in August.

      Is anyone concerned about the RB production or is that part of the secrecy of the Southside?

      Golf season has started in Central PA – I’ll catch some of you at the Frankcan Memorial Golf Outing and the rest of yinz at the UVA game in late August.

      H2P!

      Like

      1. Not worried. Last year we ran for like 30 yards in the spring things turned out okay. From what I hear we are we are keeping all the running plays from last year bc they were designed by Borbley

        Liked by 1 person

  77. BTW isn’t it something that after nearly a month, neither UCLA or St John’s can find a BB coach? UCLA has such a great history and SJU is located in the mecca of bb talent.

    I predict that if this goes on for another week or so, they will battling for one Kevin Stallings

    Like

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