Disclaimer – This article will make some people very happy.  It will also likely piss some people off.  That is fine.  If you are part of the small population of Pitt fans that are pissed off, well that’s too bad.  It is not meant as a personal slight, and I am simply harnessing your energy to further prove my point.   Despite my opposition to your views, I continue value your perspective. 

My first year at Pitt was 1997.  When I stepped onto campus, Pitt football was on the brink of extinction.  The team had averaged three wins over the previous five seasons under Paul Hackett and Johnny Majors II.   Steve Pederson had just dropped the Script in favor of the Dinocat.   New head coach Walt Harris had won just 11 games over three years at his previous head coaching job (University of the Pacific from 1989 to 1991).  Indeed these were dark days for Pitt football.

And yet the team slogan was “We believe”.  Perhaps that it was minted partway through the season, because after wining just three games the year before, Harris’ Panthers were starting to give the fans something to believe in.

In the first game, Pitt beat the Southwestern Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 45-13.  Pitt then lost to #1 Penn State in Happy Valley, but not nearly as badly as everyone expected (17 – 34).  In game three, Pitt downed Houston on the road, scoring 35 points in the process.  Lo and behold Pitt was 2 – 1 heading into a nationally televised Thursday night matchup with Miami. 

You’ll remember of course, that Pitt upset the ‘Canes 21 – 17 at Pitt Stadium.  That was my first Pitt football game.  I still get chills when I think about it.

Later that season, we lost to Temple.  A disgruntled upperclassman, a “hater” if you will, wrote a scathing letter to the Pitt news.  You can easily imagine the tone and the content.

As a believer, I simply had to respond.  I wrote my own letter to the Pitt News, and it was published.  The title of that letter was “I believe” (although the Pitt news re-titled it as “The Fallacy of Non-Believers”).

A week after my letter had been published, I ran into a very attractive female acquaintance on campus.  Turns out she had read it.  Turns out she was impressed.  Turns out she wanted to exchange numbers.  She invited me to a party. A fair degree of merriment ensued.

I can only wonder if the hater had a similar experience.

So why I am I waxing nostalgic about a mediocre Pitt football team from 22 years ago?  It’s because of the slogan.  “We Believe”.

I got behind that slogan, as did most of the students and (probably) alumni.  Our belief was vindicated.  A previously irrelevant Pitt team won six games and went to their first bowl in nearly a decade.  After a couple of rebuilding years (2-9 in 1998, 5-6 in 1999) Pitt reeled off five straight winning seasons, and averaged just a tick under 8 wins per season.  And that slogan?  It resurfaced in 2000, the year when Walt Harris’ winning streak was kicked off.  Pitt won seven games and beat Penn State 12-0.  (Incidentally I wrote a cover story for the now-defunct InPittsburgh Newsweekly that predicted some measure of Pitt’s success).  After the destruction that Hackett and Majors II wrought on the program, this seven win football and beating Penn State was a welcome change.

And yet fans were still not happy.  Harris was fired.  Wannstedt was hired.  Pitt traded three years of seven and eight win seasons for two years of nine and ten wins, and one year of eight.  You know what happened after that.  And if you don’t I encourage you to Google it.

These days the “good days” of Harris era are pretty much the floor, against much tougher competition than Harris ever faced.   Pat Narduzzi has has two good seasons, one bad season and a “mediocre” season in which he won 7 games and the ACC Coastal against the fourth toughest schedule in the country.   He also got blown out three times and failed to win a very winnable bowl game.

Still, I believe that Pitt is aiming much higher then 7-8 wins per season and the occasional Coastal Division crown.  About one year ago a (former?) Pitt POV commenter “Ulterior Motifs” wrote a piece that outlines up what Pitt aspirations could (and should) be.  A paraphrased quote from former Acting AD Randy Juhl summarizes it nicely:  “If Pitt can help cure polio and invent CPR, we sure as hell can win 10 football games”

10 games?  Yep.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Pitt has one 10 games exactly once since the 1981.  Perhaps this was just a long-standing Pitt administrator telling fans what they wanted to hear.  Perhaps.  But I’d wager my favorite Pitt Script hat that if you were to look Randy Juhl in the eye today, he’d tell you he believes.

The question is do you believe?  Because I do.  I also think about 80% of the fan base believes.  Between the posts on this board, the crosstalk on Twitter and the Pitt Panther Fanatics Facebook group, it’s pretty easy to get a pulse.  Sure, there are a vocal minority that do not believe, and that is fine.  But here is a dirty little secret that I’ll let you in on.  No matter how well Pitt is playing or recruiting, no matter how much they are winning, there will always be someone who says “this isn’t good enough”  And that is never going to change.

The mighty Alabama is a case in point.

The following is excerpted from an article about and interview that Nick Saban did with the Golf Channel back in 2015 (FWIW Pat Narduzzi is from the Nick Saban coaching tree, via Mark Dantonio):

Saban described how he grew up wanting to be a car dealer, talked about favorite movie (Patton, of course), and his relationship with Bill Bellichick. But perhaps his most reveling moment came early in the episode, when host Feherty asked him about how he deals with the “haters”:

“I just think that in every sport, there’s about 20 percent bad fans. They don’t get it. They’re disrespectful. They do things and say things that don’t really need to be said; that aren’t helpful; that don’t reflect the image of what college football is all about, or even what sports is all about. You should appreciate the competition.”

Saban when on to say that for a lot of people, college football is an escape, which often leads to over-the-top expectations.

So yea.  There is that.  And don’t get me wrong, we welcome the vocal minority here on the POV, because without them, this blog would be boring as hell, but everyone should realize that these people are the minority.  They, like the guy who wrote that letter to the Pitt News back in 1997, do not believe.  They do not believe that the administration wants to win.  They do not believe that the coaching staff is good enough.  They do not believe we can win in recruiting, and they do not believe we’ll have sustainable success on the field.

That’s too bad.

Because We Believe.  We believe that the administration actually does want to win.  We believe Pitt is investing more in football than ever before.  We believe we have a coach that has laid the foundation for a program that develops players.  We believe we are great at scouting talent – regardless of stars.  We believe Pitt will be fielding teams filled with juniors and seniors for the foreseeable future.  We believe Narduzzi, with the exception of the Canada defection, has systematically improved his coaching staff over the last four years.  We believe Pitt has upgraded its  non-coaching positions, from graphic designer to recruiting coordinator, to (yep) equipment manager.   We believe Pitt won a Coastal Division Championship.  We believe they will win it again.  We believe Pitt has slowly and methodically made recruiting inroads into Florida and Georgia.   We believe that Pitt landed a legitimate Florida four-star safety (who is also a Rivals top 300 player).  We believe Pitt also land a legitimate Florida four-star wide receiver.  We believe Narduzzi landed the number one recruit in the city of Pittsburgh while thumbing his nose at Ohio State and Penn State.  Last but not least, We believe Narduzzi has a legitimate shot at the best best recruiting class since Dave Wannstedt landed at 21 in 2006.

Pitt 2020

Pitt 2006

So go ahead haters (yup, I said it), “realists” or whatever label makes you feel most comfortable.  Go ahead and prove your points.  That is your right as a Pitt Fan.  Go ahead and say that we don’t have enough 5.7’s.  Go ahead and say “yes but that’s not sustainable”.  Go ahead and say the staff isn’t good enough.  The university isn’t investing enough.  The fans don’t care enough.  Go ahead and say whatever you want, because no matter what you say we’re still going to believe.

 

Hail to freakin’ Pitt

University-of-Pittsburgh-Football-Placard from-last-game-at

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

325 thoughts on “Time to Believe

  1. Oh, spit, the POV has officially flipped. Flame suit in place MM?

    I’m a believer yet not quite so secure in my convictions.

    I posted so as to be notified with every volley of fire from small weaponry to mortar to Tomahawk or drone and God forbid when Reed goes NUCLEAR!!!

    I’m going to pop the popcorn now…huge bowl of course.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well stated MM. I’d have to say I believe but more along the lines of hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Today and more days like it will raise those hopes and the expectations I have for Pitt. I certainly believe that things are headed in the right direction.

    Also, Coach Capel, it’s your turn….

    H2P!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Best recruiting class since Wanny…where have I heard that before? Great post MM. So we get a couple more 4s and a 5 and the next post will be…can Duzz coach em up? I will be leading that charge.

    Maybe, and-just maybe he’s found the right staff this year. I hear raves about Whipple.

    Like

  4. I have a little less conviction because of the obstacles Pitt is facing versus our opposition(no on campus stadium, etc.) but I believe we are headed in the right direction with a head coach unlikely to be replaced in the next 5 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you Maestro and as some others have alluded, fully acknowledge that there is a big heaping dose of hope along with that belief. We all live our lives differently and that’s cool by me, but I can’t understand what I perceive as anger by the “others”, aimed at those who have the audacity to believe. H2P my friends!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. Yea sucks to lose Rawlings…esp at a position if need, but after this weekend Duz gets a pass. Now if he can’t reel in a solid TE this class my belief may start to slip a little….

      Like

  6. We have lost five Pennsylvanians to the HOOS …Need to return the favor… Wouldn’t blame a kid for going to that school… Excellent education and beautiful campus.

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    1. True on all counts. Wanted to go to MBA school there. We’ll get our share of Virginia recruits

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  7. MM

    Well said. I believe there is a buzz about Pitt football this year and there should be. The fans, players and coaches got a taste of success last year and want more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you look at the chart above of the 2006 Pitt commits who were 5.7 or more, you will note that everyone but two were from WPa.

    This year, Carmody and Hayes are the only two from WPa. Zuriah Fisher and Joshua Rawlings are 5.5.

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      1. They are A-changed

        There must be some kind of way out of here
        Said Narduzzi to the AD
        There’s too much dilution
        And can’t get no relief
        Big schools come and steal our recruits
        At least the little that remain
        We need to go down South
        There is much more to gain

        Liked by 1 person

  9. MM — nice to see you were a Panther activist back in 1997. That year – with the emergence of Pistol Pete — was a heck of a turn around. Thank you my man Walt H.

    But how tough was it to keep the faith the following year when we lost to both Rutgers and Temple in Pitt Stadium (and if I remember correctly we led in both games in the second half…)…

    Aaah, such are the ups and downs of Pitt football.

    Perhaps Pitt’s motto should be:

    “Pitt Football — all this drama, entertainment and madness—
    at a very affordable price!”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂😂 that motto. Yea as good as the Pistol Pete year was, the Matt Lytle year was equally excruciating

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  10. Great article, MM, and a good job of capturing the feelings of so many of us. People who say that I am happy with mediocrity are not correct. But I accept that as being part of life and I savor any successful achievements or improvements, great or small. To me it would be depressing to go through life being disappointed with falling short of ones goals.

    I sometimes wonder if those who criticize anything less than elite status have kids of their own? And if so and those kids participate in anything competitive, how does that work? I would assume that they would find any accomplishment short of all-state selection to be disappointing. If their kid only achieved all-conference would they give him/her credit? Unless of course they compete in a weak conference, in which case, as a parent, they would be duty-bound to point out that fact to their child. If they do fall short of perfection, does that make the parent a failure? Does it mean they weren’t committed or didn’t provide the resources necessary to achieve those goals? Does it mean they are happy with mediocrity?

    I had the honor of coaching a young lady who went on to receive a scholarship to pitch for a Division 1 softball team. I saw first hand the effort needed to achieve that accomplishment. Throwing roughly 100 pitches almost every evening in her basement to her dad throughout the winter. Long hours of strength and endurance training. Traveling across the country to attend clinics to improve her skill level. Few can do it. But every one of these guys playing at the college level have endured something similar.

    One thing I do know is that even the four-year sideline helmet holder has achieved more athletically than I have in my entire life. When we express disappointment in a commitment because we think we should be getting someone better, what are we telling that kid? What do his parents think when they read those criticisms? Really sad.

    Liked by 9 people

  11. Hopefully all of these guys stay commit ed and Narduzzi gets a few more. Any word from the kid that decommited from PSU? What about other senior transfers? We can always use more quality O-linemen.

    Very pleased that Narduzzi continues to stockpile D- Ends.

    Narduzzi is overcoming Pitt’s built in recruiting obstacles. Good on him.

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  12. Good, thoughtful stuff MM, really enjoyed it! I guess I count myself as a hopeful believer, but I see two different themes here: program expectations and trust in the current leadership/staff (I’m sure you could come up with better terms). I’m definitely a believer when it comes to having high expectations for the program and a return to glory (or at least some level of it), though I understand some have completely given up on that and follow them team with completely negative expectations, and these are really the folks that would be best off finding another hobby. And then there’s the “trust” issue, which focuses more on the current coach/leadership situation, and that’s where I’m a bit more guarded, specific to Coach Duzz, yet still hopeful. The reason I respect the doubters of Duzz is because he’s making a lot of money and has been here long enough to where he needs to show upward trajectory, not to mention his recruiting has been sub par the past several years and he’s fired blanks in all his bowl games. The reason I still hold out hope for him is because it’s very clear he’s not a bad coach (in the Hackett or Stalling mode) and we all knew this was a long term process when he was hired, and he’s still pretty much a novice in terms of HC experience, and thus may actually improve and learn from his experiences; and it’s quite possible that by shuffling his assistant coaching deck, he might just be turning the corner. It’s also important to keep in mind that he has achieved some historic upsets during his relatively short tenure here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Now that the euphoria of the weekend is over, it’s back to reality. Consider these 2 points:

    1) Chris Peak, anticipating a good weekend of recruiting, wrote an article on Thursday noting that reeling in commits is the initial stage of recruiting. Now, for the next 6 months, the staff has to continue recruiting … the commits.

    You may recall that two commits from last year’s June Sweeps flipped to other schools in December. Both were southerners who had great senior seasons, and flipped to southern schools. And this year with the overall quality of recruits, there will be an even greater push from others to flip these commits.

    2) Much of the success of this past weekend goes to assistants Partridge and Beatty. Partridge was immediately hired here as soon as he became available two years ago, and the same for Beatty this past winter. Issue is that the same thing applies as the first bullet above.

    Whether an attractive recruit or recruiter, big time schools will be coming after them, You may recall that Partridge interviewed with Alabama this past off-season. He is a FL native who is in his 50s, and can’t imagine that he would turn down an offer from a big school in the southeast. Beatty is a native Virginian.

    But of course, if and when a recruit is flipped or an assistant is hired away, the haters will immediately blame Narduzzi and to a lesser extent, Lyke … because that’s what they do. But just remember, back in the late 70s and early 80s when Pitt had one top ten finish after another, the two best Pitt HCs in the last 75+ years were both hired away.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Man this is wise. And you are right. The good news is that Pitt did what I took to keep Partridge when Bama came after him. They promoted him to Assitant HC and I’m sure game him a nice bump in salary. And I’d also say that NOBODY likes working for Saban. At 50 years old I’d bet Patridge knows the value of stability and the value of family over The Machine

      Liked by 2 people

    2. No doubt recruiting is a difficult process and until they sign it is not over.

      One good thing is that most of these kids had lots of strong offers and they chose Pitt over them.

      Also no doubt that PSU will continue their attempts to poach.

      Agree that the critics will always have their I told you so moments. Things are going to go wrong on and off the field. A not so bold prediction is that we won’t win 10 games this year so those that set that as their happy place will once again be disappointed. Mr. Snarky will always have his day.

      Face it, some Alabama fans were calling for Saban to be fired after losing to Clemson. Satisfaction is a moving target and some can’t get none.

      Liked by 4 people

  14. You can believe in Narduzzi or Capel or whomever. Thats fine. We’re all entitled.

    I dont believe in that belief but can respect it. Just dont bag on someone like me who doesnt share your belief and call me a so called Pitt fan. Dont question my loyalty and call me a bad fan because I dont get giddy over two 5.8 rated four stars.

    I dont believe that Narduzzi is the guy that can take Pitt to that next level after seeing 4 years. I hope I’m proven wrong.

    I believe that Capel can turn the program around and will soon find the recruits he needs to compete. He was a proven recruiter at Duke and twice a previously successful head coach.

    But just like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, reality is going to hit one day. Theres a difference between well grounded beliefs and pure fantasy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You may be right. However, after 4 years and playing against a difficult schedule, Narduzzi has a winning record and just brought in the best recruiting class in a long time.

      You are either (a) a Narduzzi hater or (b) suffer from delusions of grandeur or (c) both. Likely (c).

      These past 2 days show exactly how the needle changes for you and your ilk. They bring in 2 4-stars and the rest 3-stars and you still are unsatisfied (this is where the delusions enter in.

      One of your ilk on Saturday said … show me the 4-stars, even though the committed a few of the 3-stars were offered by the big FL schools. Then on Sunday, the very same person inferred that one of the 4-stars wasn’t legit because he wasn’t offered by a couple of the big FL schools.

      Your ilk will never be satisfied

      Liked by 5 people

      1. you are used to a low standard
        I told you and others what that standard should be based on my beliefs which are grounded on evidence and facts where I take the time to prove
        so I’m not delusional…if I find Bigfoot, i bring him in and display him at the Zoo for all to see. I dont make stuff up and lie.

        my standard for recruiting has always been for at least the past 5 years (go pull previous posts and the many supporting details to justify my belief…aka not pulling stuff out my arse), the following:

        50% of the class rated 5.7 stars or above (using Rivals)
        around 4-5 fours stars each class (only looking at Rivals)
        avg overall star around 3.2-3.4

        Those metrics define a good recruiting class based on my belief. I focus on quality, elite talent. All this has been proven by many people using regression analysis that stars do matter.

        But I also point out that recruiting isnt done in a vacuum and that its all relative. How are we doing relative to our division peers. I pointed out that we actually trail 3 schools, are tied with 1 and are only ahead of 2. All this based on quality.

        So I dont apologize for not being giddy. Didnt mean to piss on anyones parade by just pointing out how Pitt’s recruiting compares with other schools. I dont make up the numbers. I just report them.

        And I’m not a Narduzzi hater. I graded the guy out at a B- for his 4 years with recruiting and lack of bowl wins holding him back.

        So how would I grade out Narduzzi’s class. Well it still falls short of my standard so I would have to say B-. I would rather have seen more 5.7 rated kids than 5.5 rated ones.

        You are right – Narduzzi may never satisfy a fan like me given my higher standards and expectations. But in reality, my expectations are reasonable. A delusional Tex would be posting things about 8-9 four stars and 12 win seasons.

        My main delusional belief is the MPC but even I understand it wont happen unless the Steelers move or Tepper strokes a $200M check for it.

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      2. Did you even graduate Middle School? I said it is strange UF, FLST and Miami didn’t offer him a scholarship and if they do be careful because he may flop. I then went on to talk about girlfriends, family, etc. and playing in a warm Florida. I didn’t imply he isn’t legit I implied Pitt better stay in touch early and often. So your whole comment was wrong yet again but I’m use to that with your posting ignorance.

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    1. and reality ike, Pitt’s class looks no better than Virginias and Ga Techs. And its worse on paper relative to Miami and NC. if you think one recruiting class validates your belief in Narduzzi, go have it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TX, that’s quite a ‘spin’ of the stats, Rivals has our class at #21 right now, so if that holds up (and it may not), that’s the best class in quite a while, according to Rivals, which is what it looks like your basing your spin on.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Miami with 83% of its class rated 5.7 and above
          NC at 53%
          Va at 44%
          Ga Tech at 38%
          Pitt at 33%
          Duke at 13%
          Tech at 0% (only 4 recruits)
          Avg Coastal at 46%
          Avg (throw out high and low) at 38%

          Its not spin. Its how I look at things and how I consistently look. The numbers dont lie.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. so Pitt fans living in a bubble may think its a great class
            its average at best in the Coastal
            recruiting is never done in a vaccum
            its always relative
            sorry to be the debbie downer but other division rivals are killing it
            the facts above are proof

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You’ve found new ways to spin the data, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a good recruiting class so far, ranked #21 in the country. Also, not sure who you are referring to, but I didn’t recall anyone referring to this class a “great”. If I had a beef thus far with this class, it’d be the lack of OL recruits, I’d love to see 3 good ones before the class ends.

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              1. a good class that is actually below average relative to Coastal peers
                i dont care how Pitt ranks nationally
                i care how Pitt ranks against the teams they play

                Liked by 1 person

        2. there are 3 levels to the Coastal recruiting right now:
          Very Good or Excellent: Miami and NC
          Good: Ga Tech, Pitt and Virginia
          Bad: Duke and Va Tech (only 4 recruits so far, typically they recruit in the top level)

          Pitt’s recruiting is right in the middle. To me thats nothing to brag about or get giddy over.

          Pitt has generally always recruited in this middle level.

          So Pitt had a good class but the same can be said for other schools. Its not getting ahead in recruiting however. Its just holding ground…middle ground.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. The last two classes have added a ton of undersized DE’s. I would not be surprised to see a few them converted to TE … and it so happens a few of them were also HS TE’s … and I believe quite a few are basketball players as well, which translates well to the position.

    Look at the 2:50 mark of this video for new DE recruit Samuel Williams … https://t.co/P3A8rNWbcR

    You can watch the entire video and see his hands even on defense. But, I would not be surprised if he’s a future TE at Pitt.

    Under Watson, the exodus of traditional TE’s was concerning. With Whipple, not so much. They are essentially just big WR’s in his system. I’m not worried at all about the tight end position. It’s a position that is evolving away from any in-line blocking to exclusively a receiving power forward that can box out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pick for a converted TE is incoming frosh Kyi Wright from Farrell. He was recruited as an OLB and is 6’3 and weighs 225 lbs. But he also played QB and in the state title game, he scored on a 58 yard run where he broke a few tackles, made a nice juke and then outran the defenders to the goal.

      He also scored > 1000 points for Farrell HS basketball. In other words, he is an athlete. I have no idea how fast he is and I’m sure he doesn’t have WR speed but he is not slow either

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  16. Tx has always been an articulated poster. Now I’m not playing jr psychologist here but Tx, you seem to be a tad more upset with Narduzzi after this PITT recruiting weekend. Most people can’t understand why, including myself.

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    1. I don’t think he’s upset, it’s just that his position hasn’t changed, while everyone else is much happier.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. exactly. i havent changed. i just wasnt all giddy.

        knowing based on my standard, the recruiting fell short. and then I look at how we compare against division rivals and my standard appears to be the standard shared by the top teams. I actually felt good since it validated by 50% standard.

        among all coastal recruits, 46% are rated 5.7 stars and above. adjusted for outliers, and its 38%. Pitt stands at 33% which is below the Coastal average. Pitt needed more 5.7’sand less 5.5’s.

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        1. Will everyone who is giddy about the Pitt verbal commits please post, so we know who you are…

          Fact is, if Pitt is in the middle of the ACC based on stars, then Pitt is doing better than they should be.

          I’m not one bit giddy, but I’m pleased that the program appears to be incrementally improving.

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I wouldn’t say I’m giddy. (Well I am giddy about landing a 6’4” safety who can run) but overall I’m not “giddy” per se. I am encouraged enough to buy all the way in at this stage. Now if we come out flat against Virginia and struggle against Ohio that belief is going to crumble pretty quickly…

            Liked by 2 people

  17. Posted this on the last thread, apologies if you read it before.

    How good do you have to be to get noticed from a city school?

    Most don’t have the advantages of Pop Warner or great high school coaches or programs.

    Hopefully Dayon lives up to guys like Curtis Martin, Major Harris, or the great Sam Clancy who couldn’t make the Pitt Football team, but had a great NFL career. Just joking Sam.

    So Dayon Hayes from Westinghouse triggered a memory of the first recruiting class I remember at Pitt.
    In 1967 the big Pitt recruits were Lloyd Weston from Westinghouse and Ralph Cindrich. Lloyd played for legendary coach Pete Dimperio. Of course Ralph went on to play in the NFL and became a big time lawyer and agent.

    I can still remember watching Ralph rehab a knee in the weight room at Trees Hall. The weight room was open to all students at Pitt and I spent a few hours there while on the Gym Team.

    I had never seen a greater work ethic than Ralph had on that knee machine. Don’t remember many other football players hitting the weights that much. They might have had more free weights down at the stadium.

    Still having trouble with Word Press on my hand held devices. What a pain.

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    1. Odd fact – I coached DB’s at Westinghouse in 2000 and Asst. for Baseball. The amount of times I was pulled over in Homewood was funny. White guy in Homewood and I must of been buying drugs.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. skin head………………. ?? Just kidding Upitt.

          BTW, my last sentence in my above post was not directed at Upitt at all. It was in general.

          Let’s rock…

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      1. Funny how that works both ways Mark. (I’ve been using that analogy a lot lately) but it’s true. My one boy says I don’t visit him enough. He lives ten miles down the road right off rt 30…. 4 lane two way divided highway. Always two ways of more to look at things. Lets not paint are ourselves into that corner.

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    2. By the way, in the late 60’s knee injuries were usually career ending. Orthopaedic surgery has come a long way since then, with rehab a huge part of the game. Of course back then no one worried about concussions and coaches withheld water during practice to toughen guys up.

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  18. For the years I have read the POV, I have never looked at they posters as kool-aid drinker and haters. There are just people who have varying opinions to express…Right now I feel the glass half full team is doing some type of victory lap over contributors they view as haters/1/2 empty typ because of Micheangelo’s good article. Anyone who grew up during the years he marticulated to PITT would definitely have a good out-look and just in being around him tha’s his nature.he’s is a real ggod guy……The POV is so much more when we all come here and Michaelangelo clearly stated that fact in his article…I can’t seem to figure why some always have to make a dig if they differ with someone else’s opinion…We are who we are and none is going to change anyone…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree. No need to dunk on those who have a different opinion. Just be happy when things go well. Nobody likes being told their wrong and we are all going to be wrong a lot of times

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t fell like anyone dunks on anyone Mike, I honestly don’t. Some just have thinner skin than others. If I don’t agree with someone who express their opinions, I’m going to comment on it. I don’t necessarily say they are wrong but I will disagree openly.

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    2. Not sure anyone’s doing any victory laps right now, but point well taken, excellent post. I think it’s important to remember as well, that’s it’s not just fellow posters who we should be respectful toward, but also the players & coaches, trying to balance critical thoughts in a way that is respectful toward those fellow Panthers as well even if we disagree with performance, etc.

      Like

        1. BigB is a great guy and a peace maker. Just don’t get in his way when he’s running full steam. He will plow you over…….

          Like

  19. For 46 years I worked in a business known for eating its young. As I got involved in takeovers and turnarounds I noticed an interesting trend. Presidents and CEOs of failing company’s considered royal A Holes by most suddenly became liked and successful when they were surrounded by competent and loyal assistants. I hope that’s where Pitt Football is today.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. As I stated before the weekend if he can get 3-4 4 Stars then things are definitely turning for the better. I still stand by that statement and we need to see these guys sign. If they have good seasons a lot of Southern Schools will come calling and Pitt needs to play the see invested in you before anyone else did and go to their games when possible and show them love. With that said, this is a lot stronger class than I saw Narduzzi capable of so I will give them credit when it is due. Now we need to sign these kids and win at least 8/9 games. Good article Michael… This is better than reading the Sports Page.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Upitt, as Chris Peak pointed out in his last PantherLair podcast, in the midst of this favorable recruiting energy, there is a point that needs to be stated here, that being, a good 2020 recruiting class has zero bearing on the 2019 season record. Yes, obvious, but they still get related together somehow in people’s minds. Now that being said, a crappy “drop the ball” type 5-7 season could negatively impact the signing all of these verbals on LOI Day. So in getting our ducks in a row, the proper sequencing is having a successful 2019 season, at least above .500 in order to demonstrate to this current recruiting class that this is the right program to be joining, one that is continuing on it’s upswing. Win 1st, Sign 2nd.

      Beating Virginia is a key component in that endeavor. Big first game stakes always makes me nervous since Pitt doesn’t have a stellar record in such games historically. We can do it! H2P!

      Like

  21. I hearken back to Wanny…. again.. It took him three or four years to hire then fire then hire new assistant coaches. He then goes on to win the most games in a three year span since Jackie after his recruiting kicked in. I see a lot of similarities here with both Wanny and Jackie. Jackie was a security nut who was overly protective of his practices. With Wanny, it took him awhile to learn to be a college head football coach

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe AD Lyke has a plan, and I think she’s doing a good job. I think there is some opportunity for her to share more of her comprehensive vision with the fan base, but overall I don’t think she’s really said no to anything Narduzzi has asked for. Now I’m not an insider, so that’s just my belief

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Well, since we are back to this topic I went back and copied a comment I wrote last article and revised it a bit.

    As far as all the posters pointing out that there is too much sniping, bickering and back and forth between the posters, you make valid points. I’ll say it again, I’ve never attempted or intended to quash anyone’s opinion. Not even close to my intentions. I get sick and tired of the constant negativity just like you all get sick and tired of whatever it is that you are sick and tired of. It’s all just our own opinions. I firmly believe everyone is entitled to speak their minds one was or another. It’s a two way street and what happens on Blogs and message boards. For a few, they have nothing good to say about PITT football and particularly Narduzzi. That’s as tiresome to me as bickering is to some of you. Glad you all spoke up but…… that’s what I do to. Carry on folks.

    Like

  23. One thing that everyone needs to remember, great recruiting does not necessarily result in great results on the field. Miami has out recruited us for as long as I can remember, yet they have only won one ACC Coastal Division title, same as Pitt. The key for Narduzzi this year is he needs to win. The OOC schedule is not that bad. He has to win three of the four games. That means he needs to upset either UCF or that school in the cow pasture. Most of all he needs to end the season by winning a bowl game!

    I agree things seem to be getting better. Narduzzi is finally getting a good coaching staff together. The drawback with hiring an assistant coach to his first head coaching job is that he now has to assemble his staff. We have had to go through all of those growing pains. Thankfully he got rid of his OC at the end of last season as well as the WR coach. He probably would not have done that earlier in his tenure here but would have tried to muddle through with them another year.

    I am not a believer yet. Winning will change my mind. That is what really counts. By the way if you want to see a killer OOC schedule look at this year’s Pitt volleyball schedule. It is a real killer and was done on purpose due to the ACC being so weak. When a team is preparing to compete for NCAA championships that is what they do!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have kids a week in PA coming up. Any suggestions? Alpine Slides still at 7 Springs? Kennywood still nice? Any suggestions help. 9 and 8 year old boy and girl. Can you tour Heinz Field? I know they do it at Jerry’s World. Step Son loves Patriots and Steelers Second so trying to fix that.

    Like

    1. Kennywood, Sandcastle, Carnegie Museum, Highland Park Zoo, Carnegie Science Center.

      Try calling the Steelers office. If the Buccos are in town fun for kids.

      Like

    2. If you’re on the North Shore the Science Museum & a tour of the submarine docked just down the river from there will take up an entire afternoon.

      Like

      1. Agree on the Science Center. My 8 year old grandson can’t get enough of it. Hands on displays, demonstrations, movies, There’s also Sports Works with a lot of sports and fitness related activities right next to the Science Center and I think it’s included in the same admission..

        Like

      2. Thanks guys…. Yes, My Mom (God Bless her) took my daughter and I to Science Musuem and the sub. It was awesome. I’ll check on buccos as well. THanks GC, Notrocket and Doc & Dino.

        Like

    3. Have they ever been to where you you went to college?

      7 Springs is a nice place in the summer. Nice outdoor pool with one inside as well. You don’t have to rent a room.

      Depending on what dates you guys are coming up the Steelers will be in town at St Vincent’s in a few weeks. There is a kids hands on experience there.

      Like

      1. My buddy took his kid to Mad Mex in Oakland and he said it was crazy how slummy and bad South Oakland was compared to even 20 years ago.. Very dirty and bad.

        Ike – Would love to but kinda sad when you have kids and want to show it off but it looks that way.

        Pitt needs to be proactive and buy it up.

        Like

    4. Carnegie Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. Then across the street to see the Nationality Rooms in the CofL.

      Like

  25. UCF, Washington State, Fresno State, Army, WVU, Northwestern, Utah State, Boise State, Cincinnati, Iowa rarely if ever have recruiting classes below 40 or 50 but they ended up in the final Top 25 ranking at the end of last year. UCF is the poster child for proving the ranking system is BS.

    Are those teams ranked in the top 25 consistently? Probably not. That goes for the MAJORITY of college football teams. That is the reality. Your expectations have to match reality or you will be disappointed often.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Difficulty of schedules have much to do with it … but you are also correct. Finding the right recruit to fit your system means a whole lot. Maybe the best example is Pat White …. a 2-star athlete. All he did in his freshmen year was to lead WVU to a big win vs SEC champ Georgia n the Sugar Bowl. Two years later (right after 13-9), he rang up 48 points in the Fiesta Bowl over 4th ranked Oklahoma.

      This is why I have been saying that the core of Pitt FB is finding the right 3-stars who can develop into productive players in the 3rd, 4th and 5th years, And Pitt has many to shows for them even in Wanny’s day. Sheard wasa 3-star, Romeus a 2-star, Mics Williams was a 3-star and a BE Defensive POY, Joe Thomas, Jason Pinkston, Matt Rotheram were all very productive OLs. I can go on and on

      Liked by 2 people

    2. If you consistently recruit at top 40 and follow that up with a 75 schedule, you should have a very good record and subsequent year end ranking. The voters go with teams win loss record. They don’t often look at schedule strength until you are in the top 15.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. ^^ Yep TT from above comment, that’s exactly what it is. Another step or two to becoming the PITT football team we all yearn for. No one is crowing over this class, at least not right now when they haven’t signed on officially yet. Need a couple O-Lineman and other help. But it is better than the past few recruiting classes.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Just looked at the Rivals team recruiting ranking…see (17) 5-stars were picked up by a total 7 schools …all marquis/storied/best paying programs with the exception of Stanford….I don’t know how many are left to go round…feel blessed we have (2) 4-stars based on our mediocre performance in recent years…gotta hold on to the …My 2020 Vision…gotta win…gotta finish strong in 2020…

    Liked by 1 person

  28. With the college atmosphere now a days…. $$$$$$$ PITT doesn’t have a chance in heck to get a 5* unless his last name is Narduzzi lives in Pittsburgh and resides in Pats house.

    Like

      1. Isral Abanikanda a 3 star RB out of Brooklyn no less. For you less than happy star watchers the kid had a hell of a list of power 5 offers attached to his name.

        Like

  29. Isreal Abanikanda, 3 star RB From New York. #10 player in the state. Fast! Tim Salem has supposedly been him since he was a freshman. He says he wants to go to RBU.

    Like

  30. Pitt’s will have a hell of a lot of RB’s on their 2020 roster. Let’s hope the next Tony Dorsett shows up will these RB’s audition for the Pitt starting job.

    Like

  31. Other offers included West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, California, and Purdue. Caught 17 passes out of the backfield last year which seems like a lot for HS

    But I hate to say this but … he comes out of the same high school as Neil Diamond

    Like

  32. Abanikanda – future slot receiver? Good speed and possibly good hands given his catches out of the backfield. Not tall. Perfect for the slot.

    State of NY 100 yd champ two years in a row…

    Like

  33. As for how FAST is Isreal Abanikanda really?

    Right now, as a Junior… he is in the range of Maurice Ffrench and George Hill fast.

    Next year as a Senior… he should be running 10.5 or better. That would put him slightly faster than Brian Davis and nearly as fast as someone named Tony Dorsett.

    And at 5-11 193 lbs… he looks to be almost the exact same build as Davis.

    Going to be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think a QB will be added in this class as risky as that sounds. The staff just isn’t in on one it likes.

      Agree on the O-line. Need two more at the very least.

      Like

  34. in addition to Neil Diamond, Abe Lincoln High in Brooklyn also graduated Buddy Rich, Herbie Mann, Marv Albert, Louis Gosset Jr, Harvey Keitel, Stephon Marbury, Lee Mazilli ….. and Mel Brooks

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I am so looking forward to watching Patrick @ the nasty” Jones and Rashad Weaver year it up from DE… been a looooooonnnnng time since we’ve had heat coming from 2 sides….

    Who was the nasty Panther on the DL who picked up a Heel runner and threw him to the ground after the whistle in last years game… gave them a 1st down and probably cost us the game (think it was a 3rd down play)… was it Twyman… he’s got that mean streak you like in a DT – he came to PITT to kill people… like Goose!!!

    Like

  36. Army-Navy collectively have 53 FB recruits with an ace rating of 0.77 and tied for#76 in Rivals ranking… just another typical year for 2 truly CFB teams….God Bless Them…

    Like

  37. Class of 2019?? Geez, wwb- those grads are really old. Does Abe Lincoln have any youngsters?

    It would be fun to have
    Ffrench, Abanakanda, and Villeque on the field at the same time!

    Like

  38. BigB- 0.77, trudat. But, but by the end of their Plebe Summer, I’ll bet any one of those 53 can outshot any of our recruits with an M-16!

    Like

  39. Abanikanda ran 6.47 55 yd dash in NYC PSAL – came in 3rd in the entire City – that’s NYC to you Yinzers with 8 million people (is it OK for me to use that word if I’m not from Pittsburgh because if its not, I’m sorry. And he looks pretty big. Was All-NYC as a free safety last year.

    Like

  40. Izzy Abanikanda — love the name.

    So he’s a junior and he already has the size – if not the muscle – to be a college RB.

    If you can’t recruit “moves,” then go for speed. Seems Pitt has done a decent job lately in finding some speedsters. Henderson, Ffrench, Shocky, Carter…

    Still wish we could have seen Hill, the kid from Ohio. He looked like such a blazer…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  41. Isreal Abanikanda has made a name for himself in NYC playing Running Back since he was 10 years old.200

    Any Freshman 5-11 200 lbs. who can run a 10.5… you HAVE to give him the Ball and see what he can do.

    Maybe he’s just not that good of a Runningback. No moves. No instincts. No ability to break tackles. Whatever.

    We’ll certainly find out.

    Based on the little I’ve seen… Isreal could be the REAL DEAL as a Runningback.

    A high, HIGH ceiling.

    Like

    1. I see don’t see a lot of ability to create (a’la shady mcccoy) but I do see vision, balance, burst and speed. All the traits you need to be successful in the zone scheme. If we can block for him like we blocked for Darrin and Qadree, he’ll break some long ones.

      Like

      1. It’s been a LONG time since Pitt had a Back that caused Fans to get up out of their seats when taking a pitch outside. That takes someone with SERIOUS speed.

        This Kid has it… and at almost 200 lbs.

        But there is a LOT more to making a Runningback. Remains to be seen just how much of that package he has.

        George Hill was just about as fast and was obvious to be a much more COMPLETE Back coming out of High School.

        It’s a shame we’ll never get to see him wear the Blue and Yellow.

        Like

  42. We have 2 or 3 (4) stars pending on which device is ranking and sounds like 1-3 of these kids will be ranked higher if they have great years … hope Fuzz can “ Lock the Gates- throw up a little barbed wire to keep them in and others like Franklin out… don’t ya just feel bad for Jimmy and how his recruiting is going… could be the beginning of the end for him… need to whip his ass in State College….

    Liked by 3 people

  43. GC — I remember some excitement when locals Ralph Cindrich and Lloyd Weston were coming to Pitt.

    You know what that means?

    We’re old!

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  44. With all these running backs coming and on the roster, I do believe there are some TEs going to come out of the group.

    Like

  45. Definitely 5 star work Tossing…!!!
    Maybe an idea for a new FLAG….now all we need is a “catchy phrase/ slogan…. this is where savannahpanther does his best work… your CUE BRUCE!!!

    Like

  46. Geez B – I don’t know if I can perform under such pressure.

    1st attempt: “He’s not our Maker’s Mark – Pappy Van Whipple”
    More to follow.

    Like

  47. A farmer from the Valley that’s Happy;
    Got recruits comparatively crappy;
    And he cried in his whisky,
    “Playing Pitt is too risky!
    We’re gonna get killed by that Pappy!”

    Pappy Van Whipple – Aged 20 Years To Be Lethal

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Israel looks very Darrin Hall-like to me. The good thing about that is those runs are where he is at right now compared to Hall as a college senior, time and room to improve if he becomes the man.

    I was never a huge fan of Hall’s….but I did count ALL his run yardage, not just the shorter ones so if Israel is that and more develops, I’ll take it.

    Like

  49. First of all, I enjoyed the article. Many valid points IMO. From my perspective, believing is the flip side of the coin called hope. Beliefs and hope are both based on expectations and feelings. So if you ask me how recruiting is going this year, I would agree that I believe that PN is having his best recruiting year since his arrival at Pitt. I also believe that if we could recruit at this level (or better) for a few years running, we would see a lot more W’s. All of this is nice but for those of us who have watched Pitt football for the past 30+ years, we’ve had our hopes raised numerous times only to be crushed by the weight of high expectations. So I hope you’ll forgive me when I say that when it comes to Pitt football, I purposely keep my expectations and hopes low…it’s a defense mechanism to remain sane. At this point, I simply don’t care what anyone believes (good or bad). I only care about actual results on the field in the form of wins. Everything else is simply wishful thinking and I’ve rubbed the magic lamp of wishing for Pitt W’s bare.

    Scotts Valley Panther

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. It’s the off-season so hopes and beliefs can run rampant. This team need to take each game one at a time. And they need to really want it this offseason. If all that falls into place…well let’s just wait until they play the games

      Like

  50. for the record, Army lost 2 games last season … at Oklahoma they lost 28-21 in OT (and got a standing O as they left the field), and they also lost at Duke 34-14; The Duke game was the opener sp that must be figured in

    They scored 70 vs Houston the bowl game UPitt was talking about

    Like

      1. But of course, the great Brain Kelly was the AP Coach of the Year. However, Army coach, Jeff Monken, did win the Maxwell Club COY award

        Like

  51. Army average star rating 0.75….
    Must have something to do with smarts , the desire to compete to win as a team, achieve the objective …. I guess there is still a place in Div 1 FB for these kids…Army Navy game is the best IMO….

    Like

  52. Abanikanda actually won the 2019 NYC PSAL outdoor 100 meter championship (as a junior)! No, its not football, but speed is a football skill.

    Like

    1. He’s a two time NY state champ in the 100 according to PSN. Three star or not, You can’t coach speed!

      Like

  53. and thinking back to the Military Bowl vs Navy..our defensive front in those tighty whities looked plump and slow vs the mean and lean Middies and it showed in the final score………

    Liked by 1 person

  54. RBU better have a couple of Olineman fenced inand ready to present to the Panther nation after the silent period…now do ya think all the schools observe that rule- just askin’???

    Like

  55. So Army and Navy win because they have better team discipline and know how to carry out orders without question. They don’t have huge ego problems to deal with. Playing Football is a reward for them. In other words they play as a team.

    But make no mistake about it, when Navy beat Pitt, they had a great QB, who took us apart. Their defense did the rest. That was Narduzzi’s first season and Chaney was already gone.

    As good as the recruiting is, I am still concerned about O-line recruiting and not developing the needed pipeline. I wish that Narduzzi was stockpiling O-Tackles the way he is D-Ends. Face it Today’s best teams are all built on offense first, you need to score the ball. Strong O-lines are what give teams this ability.

    Pitt’s O-line is what will make or break the team again this year. KP will only be as good as his O-line. Same with the running backs. This is the first year for an all Narduzzi O-line. What’s it going to be?

    Liked by 2 people

  56. go… totally agree on every word you posted…OL recruiting- not looking good since Duzz has been the leader… tells me ( another know it all) that he needs a recruiterOL coach…. any kids giving Borbs credit for signing up for PITT…. I know we had (2) 1000 yd rushers last year but the OL is key to a great passing game…just look at 2016 season when we had a great OL…. that’s where our 10 wins will come from- the guys up front… until then the D will keep it close maybe win a game … need to get the Dozers sooner than later

    Like

  57. Seems every Pitt coach has at least one recruiting weakness. Wanny was QB’s, Chryst was defense, especially D-linemen and linebackers. Narduzzi, O-line, especially O-Tackles. and Tight Ends. O-tackles are particularly tough, because it is all about potential and everyone wants them and they are in shorter supply.
    Few big guys with excellent feet to stay in front of great D-Ends.

    Brilliant move to switch O-Neil to tackle, so need to stockpile big Tight Ends should also be a priority. The
    cluster@#$% with tight ends last year was probably a pretty big set back. Hopefully Whipple fixes the problem (Watson).

    Maybe some of the D-line guys will move over, but most are light weights for now. Dintino and Herndon are great examples of guys brought in to play D-line that turned out to be respectable road graders.

    In any case Whipple and Borbely have a lot of work to do. At least Borbely has been here for a year and has knowledge of his current bunch’s skills and abilities. Unfortunately as great as last year’s bunch was at run blocking was as bad as they were at pass blocking. How much of that was on Borbely we can only guess, but having one guy playing out of position and your best guy a transfer from Kent had something to do with it.

    Anyone’s guess how good or bad the O-Tackles will be this year. But they are definitely the key to success or failure. Unfortunately, there will be little game experience which is not good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanny’s recruiting weakness I would attribute to broader than QB, I’d definitely add OL, and maybe just offense in general, whether you attribute that to him or Cavanaugh (who I think was his OC?).

      My fear with Borberly is, will he really fail to put together good pass blocking, long term? I don’t know if this concern is justified, but we’re going to need to see progress this year. Love the addition of Whipple, time will tell, but I have a really good feeling about him.

      Like

    2. Agree, GC.

      Sometimes I think we should have a head coach for offense and a head coach for defense…because we can’t get both rolling at the same time…

      I remember it getting so bad that Wanny sent out letters trying to find any QB interested in Pitt… Didn’t that lead to a QB from TX who turned into a country western singer????

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Early LOI Signing being in December means Nahki verbaled 18 months out. Paris Ford publicized his verbal commitment over a year in advance as well.

      Like

  58. 1618… good pass blocking starts with athletic OTs who can handle fast, quick strong DEs…. there are a lot more good DEs available than there are athletic OLineman to go ‘round…

    Like

  59. Listed below are Pitt’s current OL. Obviously they need a few more this next class but the numbers aren’t bad when you consider possible TE and DL moves to OL. I believe there is a 6’7″ 250lb TE that will be a freshman also.

    1 2020 recruit
    2 FR
    3 RS FR
    6 RS SO
    4 RS JR
    1 SR

    Statham 2020 recruit
    Kradel RS FR
    Wheeler RS JR
    Chase Brown RS SR
    Ford RS JR
    Houy RS SO
    Van Lynn RS SO
    Drexel RS SO
    Burgess RS SO
    Dick FR
    Goncalves FR
    Morrissey RS JR
    Zubovic RS FR
    Rainey RS FR
    Hargrove RS JR
    Drake RS SO
    Warren RS SO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes they need about 2 more in this class and they will be fine.

      3 OL every year is 15 OL including redshirts. Should be enough

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Lot’s of guys, very little game experience. Who are your starting O-Tackles and will they get the job done?
      Also are the back-ups ready when a guy goes down? Who will protect KP’s blind side? The total numbers mean very little if no one is good enough.

      I guess we are going to find out.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. The OL numbers are good and I think they have enough bodies to decently fill the inside positions, but I agree with BB and others that OT is the concern.

      I’m convinced that the success of this season depends squarely on whether Coach Borbs can coach up two of the OT candidates to be just average

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BTW, I hope to learn that Brandon Ford has won one of the guard spots. Said hello to him after the spring game. This guy is massive and quite an imposing figure. One of the largest humans I’ve seen…would not want to line up across from him…

        If he can play anywhere near the way he looks – he’d be All ACC…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

    4. Nice job, notrocket.

      As you show, we only lose one of these guys to graduation – that’s Chase Brown.

      I’m also going to hope that these guys develop into good players as juniors and seniors as is often the case with OLmen. Some of these guys, like Warren and Drake, were highly sought after (and are huge!).

      Course we also have a grad transfer coming, if I remember correctly…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  60. My brain MR came back normal…. too old to start proofing my cell typing skills are limited especially when I am massaging or mobilizing a patient with my free hand…

    Liked by 2 people

  61. KP has the physical tools.. does he have the intangibles especially the mental part…. how is his game between the ears? We shall see the 1st game of the year… We need poise like we observed in Winston- Salem every game- all year long…

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Great points BigB, I think we will all know before that first game though. Whipple wasn’t brought to PITT to play a kid Narduzzi likes if he isn’t the best QB for the job. We will see how bad Watson Mucked things up last year?? With this coming years O-Line and RB’s it is paramount for PITT to have a balanced offense with a legitimate aerial threat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. article coming on KP later this week…been planning it for a while but then recruiting blew up

      Like

  63. I am really hoping that our new wide receivers coach can teach our guys how to get open and come back to the QB when the play breaks down. It always seems that the opposition is throwing to wide open guys and our guys are always covered well.
    I’m not smart enough to know whether it is individual skills, or play calling, probably a combination, but lot’s of room for improvement. WR is another position where there are lot’s of guys and little production. Pass blocking obviously had much to do with it as well as KP’s limitations. No matter the reason things have to improve if we are to see more than seven wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GC – another excellent post by you!

      I remember seeing our WRs run rounded-off routes. We didn’t make sharp cuts to get better separation – or any separation – from the defender.

      I suspect our WR talent is going to show up big this season (though I fear it may take a couple of games to get them in sync with the QB… Things that seem to be working in practice become more of a challenge in a real game…).

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  64. I pinched myself and apparently am awake. Pitt is now getting a 2021 commit? Hopefully, it is a local as there are already thought to be 2 or 3 4-stars in the local area for next year … which would match the previous 2 years combined.

    But, I believe the last time Pitt got commits this early, we lost both of them as soon as they were offered by PSU (although I’m sure a coaching change at Pitt didn’t help)

    Like

    1. well both he and Donovan Johnson (Cam’s brother) won’t be playing HS this year if present rulings stand. If that works to Pitt’s advantage, so be it. Both are supposed to be legit D1 prospects

      Like

  65. Ike must’ve spilled the beans to Dokish… he just tweeted new recruit is Nahki….. does that rhyme with Kahki…. oops- hope I didn’t kick savannahBruce into gear……

    Like

  66. ARMY and NAVY are okay because they run niche system offenses and defenses. It also helps that they play with discipline and honor and as a team … but if you moved either to a P5 conference that would have to play them on a regular basis they’d be lucky to win any games. The element of surprise is their greatest weapon.

    UCF is consistently ranked in the 70’s for recruiting. They use speed to win. Pitt’s focus on speed can offset some of the recruiting challenges.

    Like

  67. Tossing – I respectfully don’t think that is near the truth for Army. They destroyed Houston. 70 points. They would win 5-7 games in ACC I am certain. They were that good in person.

    Like

    1. Sparky Woods on N.C. staff – a forgettable head coach in an incredibly long line of forgettable head coaches at South Carolina.

      Like

  68. there is no question that the Coastal s loaded with very competent coaches. Brown who won the national title at Texas returns to UNC. Diaz is already kicking butt at Miami (already 12 2021 commits!!). Fuente at VT and Mendenhall at UVa were big time hires. The new HC at GT did a good job at Temple. That leaves Cutliffe at Duke and Narduzzi,

    Pitt is currently ranked 21st in national 2020 recruit rankings but only 6th in ACC. Pitt is going to have to continue to work hard

    Like

    1. You have to wonder what is going on at VT with only 4 commits and a mass exodus of teamsters this year

      Like

      1. Already have 11 players transfer this year. 3 more are still looking for a new home. But three players who entered the transfer portal have decided to stay at VT.

        This is on top of the 4 who left or dismissed in 2018.

        Like

  69. I’ve watched Army up close and personal at West Point a couple of times.

    Right now, they are BETTER than years past. Primarily this is due to their Head Coach Jeff Monken.

    He has really turned the Program around since taking over in 2014. Obviously, recruiting has played a KEY role.

    They absolutely LOVE the Guy!

    Like

    1. have you been to a game at West Point? I’ve been there but only to tour the place. Beano Cook sad it was the greatest setting in college FB on a late October afternoon, and seeing all the colorful trees surrounding the Hudson River down the hill from the stadium

      Like

      1. Was at a game at West Point. A simple stadium, but yeah the setting, and just being on the West Point grounds, was awesome.

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  70. PoD… A West Point grad and good friend of mine told me the reason army lost 10 or 12 games in a row because the kids did not want to go there ….upon graduation the cadets got a vacation to Afghanistan or Iraq and hike the desert or the mountains with people shooting at them… Annapolis was the way to go during those years.

    Like

  71. I was reading the “athletic” article on pitt today. Pitt didn’t have one scholarship player in the transfer portal last year. That is extremely impressive. I am sure the staff used that as data to recruit emphasizing the “family atmosphere” at pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  72. OT: This is a post for some of our resident STAR Statisticians. Yesterday Michigan got a commitment from a 2 star running back out of Southern Columbia in Pa, Gaige Garcia. He had plenty of offers but only one from a power 5 conference and that was Michigan. What in the he** was the Michigan coaching staff thinking about when they offered this 2 star from a small Pa school? Can you imagine how the Michigan blogs are greeting this commitment today when they factor in Garcia’s 2 stars into this years recruiting class. Hmmm!!! just maybe some folks at Michigan aren’t looking just at the Rivals Star ratings when they make an offer. Maybe some folks that post to the POV board might just consider having the same attitude when Pitt offers one of the lower star players on the board.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just looking at his hudl, he seems better than a two star for sure, but not as good as either of our current 2020 RB’s. Narduzzi and Powell doin’ work!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have been researching & compiling data on Rivals recruiting. The top 25 ranked teams from 2019, took a total of 12 2 stars. Purdue #26 on list took 5. Just shocked that teams like Georgia, Auburn, Penn State, Auburn took 2 stars. Not all were kickers & punters like I originally suspected. Lots of 2 star OL prospects.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree but never the less Garcia was a 2 star and Michigan beat out Youngstown Sate, Lehigh, etc. and several Ivy league schools for his services. What to do you think the reaction from some on the POV board would have been if he committed to Pitt instead Ike?

      Like

  73. If PITT plays well this coming season and wins the games they are supposed to? They could end up with a top ten recruiting class next year.

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      1. The local recruiting class is good enough alone next year to get a high ranked recruiting class. imo Not saying it will happen but the best class in a few years around here and excuse me folks for saying this. They are a not bunch of rich white kids that their dads had worshiped these false idols, (Notre Dame/psu their whole lives. They are real Pittsburgh kids. My kind of loyalty.

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        1. the local class of next year consists of likely 2 4-stars (Davis and Donald) and 2 high 3-stars (Ford and Johnson.) — there may be a few more. Even if all are 4-stars, odds are that Pitt isn’t going to get all 4 (especially Davis – hope I’m wrong). Next year’s class is likely to be another good one … but Top 10?

          Wanny’s 2006 class was 21st … which was the best Pitt class in decades

          Like

    1. Someone’s drinking the kool aid… I may believe that Pitt’s on the right track but I’m not sure they can ever pull off a top 10 class

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  74. I’m not giddy — wanted to make the clear upfront — but I’m kind of shocked that Pitt has already picked up a 2021 verbal from an elite local player.

    This doesn’t happen at Pitt.

    Welcome to Pitt Nahki Johnson. 👍 You just gained a ton of Pitt fans who will be rooting for you. Hail to Pitt!

    This is no small deal, IMHO.

    Something’s happening here;
    What it is ain’t exactly clear…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  75. I love Navy and always have since I carried Midshipmen back to their bus post Frat party. Got to be friends with one who now is an Admiral. Two of my best friends are West Pointers. One played baseball for Army and got to play against Willie Mays when the Mets came over. His daughter went to Navy, played Lacross and was the first woman F18 Fighter plane pilot. He changes sides at halftime but will always be an Army fan. Have sung both Alma Maters with each glee club. Love Navies!

    Liked by 3 people

  76. Baby steps. Duzz had a #29 class already. Let’s get a top 25 class before we start looking at top 10. To stay at the current #24 Pitt will probably need a couple more 4 stars before it’s all said and done … Let alone keep all 16 until December.

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  77. I was looking yesterday and Wisconsin had 10 commits. 8 of which were OL and LB. If we aren’t great at a position or 2 I’d rather have that than only being able to recruit 2 positions.

    Like

  78. Great to get an early commit, especially a big linebacker. I talked about Derrick Davis 2 years ago, as a freshman when he was pretty much responsible for Gateway winning a state championship and /or WPIAL can’t quite remember, in a bit of a fog this morning. Anyway, he is a stud, but Terry Smith is all over him. It would be super awesome to win that battle but doesn’t look great right now. An upset win this fall might go along way. Waiting for these kids to figure out that Franklin is a far better recruiter than a coach.

    In any case let’s hope this current class has turned the trend upward and Whipple does the same on the field. It really is on him and Borbely since the defense should be pretty sound with lots of experience and guys pushing from behind in a number of positions. Hopefully this is the year that Paris Ford lives up to the hype.
    I do see our best D-line since the Wanny years.

    The offense is a total question mark with many new moving parts and a new boss. They are not without talent, how much remains to be seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. PSU’s OOC is Idaho, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

    ACC should do the same and play one more conference game each year, also make ND one of those, instead of an add on.

    Then absolutely no need for two tough OOC games.

    Pitt playing one of the toughest schedules each year is absolute stupidity. Very Penny wise and Pound foolish. Consistent winning seasons are what will turn the program around.

    Like

    1. Iron sharpens iron Gordon.

      Or so they say.

      I agree the OOC should be softer until we build up our program some more. Heck look at alambama – they are perennial powers and also have one of the softest non cons every year

      Like

  80. Back to Crosby, Stills and Nash, watched Woodstock movie the other week and a couple lines from their song made me think of Pitt football. Ikr
    ” don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now” the Major 1 and Sherrill years compared to the present.
    ” sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud” the blowout losses. Lol

    Liked by 3 people

  81. wwb… Regarding your question about West Point. Saw a couple of games over the last few years.

    One of the most interesting things about the experience of watching a game there are the soldiers with binoculars moving around atop the building located at one end of the field.

    They’re snipers.

    They are there primarily to provide security for generals and other dignitaries who often sit and watch games from behind the huge windows lining the building.

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  82. Don’t question me Michaelangelo, I have more patience than Mercy Hospital. Plus I was proven right this past year that PITT needs to stick with it despite the bad finish. Of course time is not on my side. No, no Stones song right now.

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    1. Oh I’m not questioning you. I believe that YOU believe we can get a top 10 class. But from my POV it’s a bit of a stretch

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  83. LOL Mike, I said could now. Do I expect that will happen? I doubt it but I think PITT will be ranked even higher after next years recruiting class is in. That kid from Gateway, Davis, is a big key but Terry Smith has him locked up already.

    PITT needs to get Elliot Donald aboard ASAP! He could be a game changer with recruiting. “could”

    Like

  84. Never took a Tuinal, that’s a lyric from a Lou Reed song. But I am old enough to know what they are. So yes, I’m not getting any younger.

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  85. Dorien Ford. 5.7 .. 6’3″ 287 lbs from Baldwin

    Elliot Donald. 5.9 ..6’3″ 235 lbs from PCC

    Derrick Davis. 5/9.. 6’0″ 193 lbs from Gateway.

    2021 local recruits.. Davis is a big reach but you never know. These three on top of N Johnson would put PITT fairly high up in the rankings. Add in some good players from the south???

    Like

    1. even if Pitt got 3 of the 4, it doesn’t put us near the Top10.

      Right now Pitt is 22nd, but likely when its all done with, it will be closer to the 30th which is fine. As I said, anything in the Top 25 would be great for a program like Pitt

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My point is wwb, if PITT can reel in all three of the remaining bigtime locals that will help in recruiting other bigtime players throughout the country.

        Like

  86. right now, here is PA’s bumper crop per Rival

    NAME YEAR POS RR HT WT HOMETOWN

    Tysheem
    Johnson 2021 ATH 5.8 5’10” 190 Philadelphia, PA

    Kyle
    McCord 2021 QB 6’3″ 200 Philadelphia, PA – Ohio State

    Jeremiah
    Trotter Jr. 2021 LB 5.7 6’1″ 210 Philadelphia, PA

    Marvin
    Harrison Jr. 2021 WR 5.9 6’4″ 175 Philadelphia, PA

    Nahki
    Johnson 2021 LB 5.7 6’3″ 210 Homestead, PA – Pittsburgh

    Elijah
    Jeudy 2021 DE 5.8 6’2″ 210 Philadelphia, PA

    Nolan
    Rucci 2021 OL 6 6’8″ 268 Lititz, PA

    Derrick
    Davis 2021 LB 5.9 6’0″ 193 Monroeville, PA

    Dorien
    Ford 2021 DE 5.7 6’3″ 287 Baldwin, PA

    Elliot
    Donald 2021 DT 5.9 6’3″ 235 Pittsburgh, PA

    My guess is that Pitt has a chance of 3 of them … Johnson, Ford and Donald

    Like

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