As I’m working through the position groups I came across the Pitt Defensive line hype video on Twitter last week, so I stashed it away for this article.  It’s a pretty good video, mostly because we had a pretty good defensive line.

To fully appreciate the video though, you need to watch the below viral video of a TV reporter’s reaction to a herd of Bison at Yellowstone Park.  Make sure your volume is up for the full comedic effect.

Okay you may now watch the Pitt version.

So yes, Defensive Line.  Bison herd.  Very appropriate.  They’re all coming back too.  We all know that and we’re all excited about it.  Of course the irony is that the season may well be cancelled…

But I don’t want to dwell on that.  Instead during these uncertain times, we should dwell on how Pitt got here, and no offense to any players, it wasn’t by recruiting the “best guys” out of high school (i.e. four and five star players).  At the risk of sounds like one of those “Pitt rah-rah cheerleader types”, I’m going to tell you that Pitt’s defensive line is a classic case of good scouting, combined with good scheme fit, combined with player development.  The ‘Duzz is trying to implement this type of strategy across the entire team with varied degrees of success, but the D-line is definitely ahead of the curve.

So lets take a walk down memory lane and go back to when our current linemen were just raw recruits out of highs school, and look at where they are today.

First – the 2020 roster with heights and weights.  Take note of these.  You have to wonder if a sophomore or two will wash out?  That’s pretty much the only negative thing I have to say about this.  Too much depth in the r-Sophomore class.  Too much depth!

D Line Also notice that every single one of these players has redshirted.  That’s how you develop your guys, people.

Also notice the number of sophomores and freshman.  There are only five juniors and seniors.  All five of them are contributors by the way.  And we’ll focus on four of these five.  My apologies to Keyshon Camp, he’s just been injured a little to often to warrant profiling, but I do hope he’s able to play the full 2020 season.  If there is a full 2020 season…

On to the guys who have a little bit more history.

Rashad Weaver

He was expected to be Pitt’s best defensive lineman last season.  Instead he tore his knee up in fall camp and sat out the entire season.  Expectations are high this year…yadda yadda yadda.  Here’s the stats.

Weaver

Weaver Rivals

Weaver was rated as a lowly 5.4 on rivals.  He did have 25 offers though, with the top two being Penn State and Michigan.  He actually committed to Michigan, but then Jim Harbaugh apparently changed Weaver’s offer to a PWO late in the recruiting cycle.  Weaver smartly decided to move on to greener pastures and Pitt was It.  The key here is that Weaver who is now listed at 270 has put on 25 lbs since enrolling, and he’s developed each year he’s been on the field.  Here’s a little history and context on Weaver’s breakup with Harbaugh at UM.  To Weaver’s credit he handled it with class, thanking UM for the opportunity and giving some props to their fans.

View image on Twitter

For the record, UM signed for DE’s the year the bumped Weaver to PWO status.  Here they are:

UM DEs 2016

And here is what they did on the field:

  • Ron Johnson – Did not register a stat as a Wolverine.  Transferred to Rutgers as a grad transfer prior to the 2019 season but “did not meet the academic requirements to enroll as a grad transfer” and did not play.
  • Carlo Kemp –  Did not redshirt.  Played in 12 games as a senior.  Registered 40 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 4.5 TFL.
  • Joshua Uche – Played his career at Linebacker (did not redshirt).  Had a good senior year in 2019 with 8.5 sacks and 11.5 TFL.  Registered seven sacks his Junior year.  Similar production as to what you’d have expected from weaver this past season.
  • Michael Dwumfour – Did not redshirt.  Was a senior in 2019.  Played in 10 games and registered 9 total tackles.  0.5 sacks.  1.5 TFL.

Well, I’m no Big-10 football coach, but it sure seems like Weaver has outplayed 75% of the recruits that landed full rides, in his redshirt sophomore season.  So again, Thank you John Harbaugh.  We do appreciate your lack of commitment to your recruits.  (On a more technical note, it looks like Harbaugh’s DC favors a 3-4 scheme, while Bates and the ‘Duzz run a 4-3, so scheme fit could have had a lot to do with why Michigan moved away from Weaver.  But again, on man’s PWO is another man’s All-Conference candidate and so it looks like it all worked out.)

Patrick Jones

Second, and probably my favorite, is Patrick Jones.  He’s my favorite largely because he was a “skinny” 230 lb two-star out of Virginia who’s developed into a 260 lb beast, and who sacked the QB 8.5 times and caused four forced fumbles last season.  Like Weaver, Jones has gotten better every year he’s seen the field.  As an added bonus, Jones sports what I consider to be one of the best set of dreadlocks in the ACC.

Jones

jones rivals

From Pitt Football’s bio (emphasis added by me):

2019: Earned status as one of the top defensive ends in the ACC…started all 13 games and compiled 43 tackles, 12 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 18 QB hurries…led the Panthers in TFLs (tied), forced fumbles and hurries, while ranking second in sacks…paced the ACC and ranked sixth nationally with an average of 0.31 forced fumbles per contest…All-ACC (second team)Honorable Mention All-American by Phil Steele and Pro Football Focusfour-time Pro Football Focus ACC Team of the Week honoree (Delaware, Duke, Miami and Georgia Tech)…named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after he had six tackles, two sacks (18 yards in losses) and two forced fumbles at Duke…each of his sacks against the Blue Devils resulted in Pitt fumble recoveries, the first of which set up a short Pitt TD in the third quarter and the final one clinching the victory with 22 seconds left…also had two sacks and a forced fumble against Miami…had a career-high seven tackles with 1.5 TFLs and a sack assist against Boston College…had four tackles and 1.5 sacks against UCF.

Jaylen Twyman

While Jones may be my favorite.  Twyman is likely the fan favorite.  And why not?  Here is guy that enrolled in Pitt as an ahem slightly rotund 300 lb 6’2″ defensive tackle.

He has subsequently transformed himself into this:

Jaylen Twyman Wiki & Bio - Football Player

and this:

Pitt's Jaylen Twyman Added to Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List ...

and this:

Pitt Football on Twitter: "All-American 🇺🇸🏆 @AP_Top25 Jaylen ...

Twyman is down to a svelte  290, and so so basically he notched a sack for every pound he lost.  Can he get to 287 this year and tally 13?

Twyman

2019: Enjoyed a highly productive—and highly decorated—sophomore campaign…a starter in all 13 games at defensive tackle, compiling 41 stops and a team-high 12 TFLs (tied) and 10.5 sacks…became the first interior defensive lineman to lead Pitt in sacks since Aaron Donald (11) in 2013…ranked 18th nationally with an average of 0.81 sacks per contest…named a second team All-American by no fewer than six different selectors, including Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Phil Steele, Sporting News, Walter Camp and The Athletic…first team All-ACC…honored as the Outland Trophy National Defensive Player of the Month for September…two-time Pro Football Focus ACC Team of the Week honoree (Delaware and Boston College)…honored as the ACC Defensive Lineman of Week for his performance against North Carolina, when he had 2.5 sacks…his biggest sack occurred in overtime when he smothered Sam Howell for a five-yard loss, pushing the Tar Heels into a fourth-and-16 that they could not convert…collected three sacks against Ohio, the most by a Pitt player since defensive end Ejuan Price had five vs. Louisville on Nov. 21, 2015…it also marked the highest sack total by a Pitt defensive tackle since Aaron Donald also had three vs. Utah on Oct. 15, 2011….had a career-high six tackles with 1.5 sacks at Penn State…also had six stops with a sack assist against Boston College.

Deslin Alexandre

Little known until last season, Alexandre stepped in for the injured Weaver and played pretty damn well.  5.5 sacks and 10.5 TFL is sold production in any league (just ask Jim Harbaugh).  He’s another “skinny” guy (listed at 229 lbs when we was recruited) who put on weight at Pitt (he’s now listed at 270) and turned into legitimate FBS defensive end.

Alexandre

Alexandre rivals

2019: Started all 13 games at defensive end and compiled 38 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery…had a career-high six stops in three different contests (Virginia, UCF and the Quick Lane Bowl against Eastern Michigan)…named to the Pro Football Focus ACC Team of the Week for his performance against North Carolina…had five stops, including a career-high two TFLs, and a sack in the overtime win over the Tar Heelshad a career-high 1.5 sacks in the UCF victory…had key fumble recovery at Duke (forced by Patrick Jones II) that Pitt parlayed into a TD in the eventual 33-30 victory…named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team.

So yea a rah-rah puff piece by me, and Reed is probably rolling his eyes (if he’s even reading).  Do these guys all have holes in their game that they can work on?  Absolutely.  But did they also earn every single good thing that was said about them above?  Yes sir, yes sir they did.

And I expect Coach Partridge will continue to make them earn it.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

115 thoughts on “Coming Again This Year

  1. well, we have a bunch of 5.5 and 5.6 OL who I’m sure are ready to step up … right!? Seems like Pitt is 3-deep with DL talent

    FWIW some of Pitt’s best OL came from the DL … Spencer, Clemmings, Malecki, Pinkston. Even 5-star LB Shayne Hale saw most of his PT as an OL in his senior year. Currently, Hargrove was recruited as a DL and was 3rd team all-ACC last season ….

    Just sayin’

    Like

        1. I think all three are already seeing action in the DL rotation. I know Bentley and Green are. Doesn’t mean they can’t won’t move but I think they like those two as defenders. What you want to do is tab the guy who’s just in-athletic enough not to see the field but more athletic than you average OL. Start feeding Nate Temple PB&J maybe???

          Like

    1. wwb- you must be thinkin’ if somebody else. I don’t remember Shayne Hale playing OL. I remember him as a big-time local recruit who didn’t really do anything until he had a real good senior season. I thought he played DL…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  2. BTW, maybe some of you young-uns should buy sme gray haor dye. Just got back from local ShopNSave, taking advantage od am senior hours. I was in and out in 10-12 minutes … no lines, Even saw some TP for the 1st time in weeks.

    Picked up essentials ….. including lime juice and ginger beer, since I have a bottle of vodka and a couple copper mugs sitting around collecting dust

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It wasn’t that long ago that I was complaining about the lack of any pass rush.
    What a wealth of players, certainly an area of superior recruiting and player development.

    It really makes me sick that we won’t see this group play together unless there is some type of scientific breakthrough, or complete testing and contact tracing. Look what happened at Liberty University and is happening at Smithfield and othe meat packers. Just don’t see that changing any time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The first tweet was hilarious and the second one was really well done. Thanks for that.

    I enjoyed reading the analysis Maestro. Thanks for the effort on that!

    Clearly, this is a part of the team that any reasonable Pitt fan can feel good about.

    If only we had the Wolverines on the OOC during Weaver’s time. I’d pay good money to see him show them what they missed out on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It think they will play FB this fall absent fans. There are probably not too many POV star gazers that would have cheered these recruits when they signed on the dotted line. By the way why would Reed be rolling his eyes if he read this piece?

    Like

  6. Another “secret” of the DL success has been numbers.

    The current roster has 16 DLmen for 4 positions and only 12 Olinemen for 5 positions. I was trying to count the scholarship players only; might be off one or so.

    I’ve noticed that around signing day, our late adds are frequently DE prospects. I suspect this is because the pool of athletic 6-6, 300 pounders is just a lot smaller than the DE-size guys, and it’s tough for Pitt to compete for the limited athletic big uglies…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  7. Commander Reed frequently made the point that Coach Narduzzi hadn’t recruited any players who became “star” players. Seems like right now we have several star players on the defense.

    Perhaps ironically, a defense we’re not likely to see play…☹️

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed would change his mind and bring up no star players on offense.

      But good point on star players. That’s why I list ACC honorees on my review of teams.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Imagine if we had the offense from the Canada year with this defense. A definite top ten team capable of playing with anyone.

    Saw where Peterman was resigned by the much traveled Raiders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt fans don’t want a Matt Canada offense because that would mean getting into a bidding war to keep him. A research institute like Pitt is above paying for an assistant coach.

      But you’re right. Imagine if Canada had stayed. It isn’t crazy to think Joe Burrow may have transferred to Pitt since there was proven tape of the offense scoring points while LSU was toiling on offense and took a flyer on a low level Saints assistant to run the offense.

      Joe made out OK though.

      Like

  9. Buffalo herd mentality reminds me of my first trip to Yellowstone many many years ago.
    I got out of the family car to walk up to a 2,000 pound buffalo. He stared at me with a look that made me wonder who do you think you are? My wife was in a panic and rightfully so as I was about 10 feet from the buffalo. I decided to back up very slowly to the car. The buffalo never moved a muscle.
    Moral is stay in your car (or home) when danger looks you in the eye.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I sat on the shoreline of Lake Yellowstone at the Yellowstone Hotel when these two Buffalo walked up to drink lake water. They were a sand wedge away. I was on my second Black Russian as I recall. $3 per at the restaurant bar. Anyway, I didn’t bother the buffalo 🐃 and the buffalo didn’t bothered me. We all just enjoyed their drinks and the serenity of the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think Peterman was signed because Gruden wants to prove to everyone that he was “right” in his evaluation of Peterman. Didnt he say he would go in the first two rounds based on his evaluation? Hubris has killed many a career.

    I think the DL strength is a result of Partridge and his recruiting. It helps when you have Donald as a recent success story although that only has a couple of years of play left in my opinion.

    There will be football this year. For Pitt, physical distancing with social responsibility will look normal. Pressure will be on Governor to allow such gatherings. That is the first hurdle. The second hurdle will be the ACC Conference. Can the conference move forward without the NCAA approval? Does the NCAA direct the conferences? Precedent suggests they do not….or all conferences would play the same amount of conference games. Interesting discussions.

    @ Hays Road Brother – We on Hays Road wont let some disease knock us out! We are fighters!! Sending thoughts and prayers your way my friend!! In fact, I will roadtrip home to the next pov golf outing you play in just to celebrate the victory rkb! Keep us all posted.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Michaelangelo, another great piece as you just keep em coming. Thank You.

    Pretty sure many of you know what I’m going to say first. We are all excited about a defensive line littered with lousy 2 and low ranked 3* players. Sorry, I just can’t let this go without saying how unreliable and subjective these recruiting services are. Which is fine in and of itself but when we all get caught up where PITT recruiting classes end up ranked and the heavy lean on Narduzzi saying the defensive genius is a phony.

    Fran, I really hope this team gets to play together and go to a bowl in Florida. I bought tickets again this year mostly to see you all at the great tailgates more than anything. I could save on my legs and watch the game from my EZ chair but I can’t see my friends from my game-room..

    It looks like PITT will lose lots of players from this years defense but they have a stocked cupboard of players to replace most of them.

    John, I agree, I don’t think I remember Hale playing any O-Line….. … …iek

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A favorite of mine on the Pitt Dline is:
    HABAKKUK BALDONADO

    Besides the cool name, how often have we had a Pitt player where his bio reads:
    Hometown: Rome, Italy

    This guy was truly a diamond-in-the-rough. I remember how we got word on him late in the game and happened to have a coach in Florida right before signing day who did some scrambling to paid him a visit…

    (I imagine MM is a fan, too. 😊)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Deslin weighs way more than 229 lbs. 10.5 TFL’s and 5.5 sacks is not too shabby for a player who rotated often. This D-line is loaded with talent. Let’s not forget John Morgan as well.

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  14. I think that recruiting large numbers of DEs makes sense because of their potential to move to other positions. They could move back to LB, or if they put on weight they could move to DL. Also, if a DL is willing and able, he could possibly be moved to the OL. This lets Narduzzi recruit some undersized “betweener” type defensive players who are lower ranked good athletes that may get passed over by other teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reed had stated that we didn’t have any star players and when he made those statements, that was correct.

    At that time, no one had shown they were a star.

    Now we have enough stars on defense to form a small constellation.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ike, it was true at the time. And all these star players haven’t given me as a fan a ten win season yet. And I don’t ever see it happening under Narduzzi. So what if these players become pro. I want a nice warm bowl in Florida against a blue blood school. I want ten wins and a game against Michigan in Orlando in January. There.

        Tex

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            1. Tex, it was the attack on Narduzzi recruiting ranking that means next to nothing when the attacker turns out to be wrong. Yes it did snow but the opinion was it wasn’t going to snow just because it wasn’t snowing in the morning. Let it play out before you comment on the weather, meteorologist and recruiting services have the worst record of profession getting paid to predict the unknown.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Well Tx the way you count the stars every year Pitt should only be winning 4 or 5 games at the most with Narduzzi’s recruits. So he must be coaching them up to the 7 and 8 win level or finding solid low star players. If so he must be doing a good job.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Pitt should always get six wins given its ooc and mediocre division rivals

            They only need to go .500 in each to be bowl eligible.

            So easy

            Tex Mex

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        2. You think the BoT cares about Pitt fans traveling to watch the Panthers in Florida? If it cared it would have puffed its chest out and kept Canada. It didn’t, but since it was embarrassed by the Stallings debacle it made a move and paid the buyout.

          Let good coaches walk, fire anyone who embarrasses the Mission Statement.

          That is the Pitt way.

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    1. My point is…… there were plenty of star players on the roster at the time the statement was issued. Now is my statement true or false? Pittfan you posted “Now we have enough stars on defense to form a small constellation.” These are the same players on the roster at that time. Star players. nuff said by me. On to music….

      Like

  16. I’ve liked Calijh Kancey for a while now and I hear Narduzzi talking about him often. Plus PITT has 3 rs freshmen, Jules, Nelms and Brima, who may have the highest upside.

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  17. 1) Charles Spencer made the switch from defensive tackle to offensive guard last year and emerged as an all-star caliber player…earned All-Big East while providing Pitt with an athletic and tenacious blocker at left guard…his successful transition was even more remarkable considering he did not have the benefit of spring drills prior to the 2004 campaign due to offseason shoulder surgery…enthusiastic dedication to the physical and mental nuances of the position was key to his success…this past spring, Spencer moved to left tackle to help Pitt replace graduated All-Big East performer Rob Petitti, a 2005 Dallas Cowboys draft selection…Spencer took to tackle quite effectively and enters his final season looking to repeat as an All-Big East performer and, perhaps, more…’Charles has a world of potential,’ offensive line coach Paul Dunn said. ‘The move from left guard to left tackle this spring was fairly simple for him. We’re expecting big things from Charles. He is a tremendous athlete and very strong.’
    He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He suffered a broken leg in 2007 and never fully recovered\

    2) In 2008, John Malecki moved from defensive tackle to the offensive line during the spring…went on to start all 13 games at right guard…selected Pitt’s Most Improved Offensive Player at the conclusion of the season…coaching staff Offensive Player of the Game for Louisville contest. He also started all 13 games in 2009 and was Academic All-American. He played in the NFL from 2010 through 2013.

    3) Jason Pinkston worked at defensive tackle through fall training camp before moving to offensive tackle in September…played in seven games during his true freshman campaign to letter…in addition to serving as a backup left offensive tackle, he also appeared in Pitt’s ‘jumbo’ set in short yardage situations as a fullback…also contributed on the extra-point/field goal block unit.
    During his junior year at the University of Pittsburgh season in 2009, Pinkston was named first team All-Big East and a second team All-American by SI.com and Rivals.com.[1] During his senior season in 2010, he was named to the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists. As a 2011 NFL draft prospect, Pinkston was considered one of the best offensive linemen in the 2010 senior class.
    Pinkston was selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.[3] Pinkston started all 16 games for the Cleveland Browns as a rookie after guard Eric Steinbach was injured in training camp. Pinkston started the 2012 season as the Browns starting left guard, but was injured during the regular season and was found to have a blood clot in his lung, the Browns placed him on injured reserve. He reached an injury settlement with the Browns on August 5, 2014, stating his intention to retire because of recent health issues

    4) TJ Clemmings: 2012: Playing defensive end, appeared in eight games and started six…totaled 20 tackles and one TFL…had career-high eight stops at Buffalo…moved to the offensive line during bowl game prep but did not play in the BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Ole Miss.
    2014: One of Pitt’s most decorated offensive linemen in recent years…the Panthers’ starting right tackle in all 13 games, Clemmings was named a second team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Phil Steele…selected first team All-ACC by both the media and head coaches…was a three-time ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honoree (Boston College, Virginia Tech and Duke games)…selected to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl…making his accomplishments even more impressive was the fact that Clemmings did not play offensive line until his redshirt junior year…voted Pitt’]s offensive captain for the 2014 season…finished career as a four-year letterman.
    Clemmings was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was the tenth offensive tackle selected in the draft.[12] He signed a four-year, $2,804,955 deal that includes a $524,955 signing bonus that’s all guaranteed.
    Clemmings tied a franchise rookie record by starting all 16 games after the Vikings lost veteran starter Phil Loadholt at right tackle for the entire season due to an achilles injury.[13] He joined an offensive line that helped running back Adrian Peterson lead the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards and posted the fourth-ranked rushing attack in the league. After starting left tackle Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve on September 21, 2016, Clemmings was announced as the starter for the rest of the season.

    Sources: Pitt Website Bios / Wikipedia

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bryce Hargrove:
      HIGH SCHOOL: Established himself as one of the top defensive linemen in Ohio despite not playing high school football until his junior year at Coventry…second team All-Ohio Division III…first team Northeast Ohio Inland All-District…compiled 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble his senior year…had 49 tackles, 9.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as a junior
      2018: Played in all 14 games, starting the final three contests at left guard…served as the Panthers’ top offensive lineman off the bench through the initial 11 games…moved into a starting role at guard when Connor Dintino shifted to center to replace the injured Jimmy Morrissey…Hargrove made his first collegiate start at Miami (Nov. 24)…also started against Clemson in the ACC Championship and Stanford in the Sun Bowl.
      2019: Started all 13 games at left guard…selected All-ACC (third team)…gave up just one sack on the season…named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance in Pitt’s 35-34 win over UCF…Hargrove was the Panthers’ highest-graded offensive lineman as Pitt compiled 439 total yards (243 passing and 196 rushing) against a UCF defense that entered the game yielding only 85.7 yards on the ground and 253 total…two-time Pro Football Focus ACC Team of the Week honoree (Ohio and Delaware).

      Liked by 5 people

  18. I liked all those players wwb, but none of them was a star in the league. That said, I thought Spencer had a great chance until he broke his leg. He had a very good basketball background and therefore good feet. Clemmings was a 4 star and you typically get that way based off of great physical abilities in high school. He was a solid bball player as well. Good feet although I think he ended up having foot problems which caused him to slip in the draft.Has barely played the last few years after a solid rookie camp in minnesota a few years ago. Did O’neill cause him to be let go with Minny?

    No superstars in the bunch, but nice dudes. Was a little concerned when TJ was asked in an interview which elements made up water and he said, um I’m not sure. They call it H2O right?

    Not sure I see any superstars along the OL this year either. They say Morrisey is a good center and does not give up sacks, but my sense is that for the most part he is not one on one with the DL. Need a stronger OL recruiter in my mind, so we don’t need to rely on the portal shmortal for talent. Cmon borbly shmorbly. Get some 4 star OL in here already.

    Like

    1. Huff, yes the common thread among Spencer, Pinkston and Clemmings is that all three benefitted from the position change yet, injuries / health issues prevented them from long NFL careers.

      As you referred to, after a stellar rookie year in the NFL, Spencer never fully recovered from a broken leg.

      Pinkston won a starting job with the Browns as a rookie, and was seen as a mainstay when halfway through his 2nd season, blood clots not only cut his career short, it was a life threatening condition. He was in critical condition at the Cleveland Clinic for a while.

      You may recall Clemmings was being thought as a 1st or 2nd rounder when a pre-draft exam uncovered a stress fracture in his foot. I can remember the so-called draftniks commenting that the Vikings used their fifth round choice for a high round talent, but the issue would be his longetivity .. and they were right. He immediately won a starting job and started all 16 games as a rookie. But was waived his 2nd year with ankle issues.

      Coversely, to my knowledge, Malecki had no injury issues and I believe had a longer NFL career than the other 3, but much of it was on the practice squad. He is now a carpenter extraordinaire …. https://www.johnmalecki.com/

      Like

  19. Anybody watch the Panther Choice Award video? I found the singing intro to be totally annoying, but after that the announcements of the awards themselves were pretty good… Nice to see Dan Marino and Q. Ollison involved.

    Getting your name on the Varsity Walk is big-time.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I cant link it from my phone but there is a nice article on PSN regardimg Pitt wrestlers receiving All America status from the National Collegiate Wrestling Assn.

    Like

    1. Thanks – good article. Pitt wrestling looks lyke it is back as a top program again for years to come.

      Gavin was a good hire – I remember watching him win his national title a few years back – it was a nail biter – he was a true tactician on the mat – nothing flashy, very focused and prepared.

      H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. probably where he should have gone in the first place but hope he does well. I believe he is to earn his degree this spring so good for him

      Like

  21. When T.J. Clemmings name comes up, I’m always reminded of a funny moment at the Pitt LOI event. Jeff Hafley, who I think was our defensive backs coach at the time, had recruited Clemmings out of his recruiting area — New Jersey. Clemmings was considered a highly coveted DE.

    At the LOI, Hafley made some remarks about Clemmings while they showed some highlights. When Hafley was done, here comes Greg Gattuso across the stage walking toward Hafley. The large Gattuso gives the much smaller Hafley a giant bear-hug — demonstrating for all to see his appreciation for the gift Hafley had delivered.

    It was a cool, funny moment that Gattuso pulled off well. Turned out it should have been the Oline Coach hugging Hafley… 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  22. A splash from the past lol

    No doubts about TJ Clemmings. Jerry DiPaola of the Trib says he struggled last year. WHAT?

    Clemmings was absolutely the MOST CONSISTENT Member of the O-Line a year ago.

    Predicted last year that he would hear his name called in the 2015 Draft. Based on the raves he’s gotten from Coaches this Spring… nothing has happened to change my mind.

    Comment by PittofDreams 07.29.14 @ 10:21 am

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      1. I hear what you are saying Mark. Twyman slacked off last year. Let’s hope he picks it up…

        “Jalen Twyman named a second team All-American by no fewer than six different selectors, including Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Phil Steele, Sporting News, Walter Camp and The Athletic…first team All-ACC…honored as the Outland Trophy National Defensive Player of the Month.”

        Like

  23. Totally off topic, but I just listened to a very entertaining interview on The Fan by Dan Zangrilli w the director of the Negro Baseball League Museum, Bob Kendrick. The discussion largely focused on Jackie Robinson, but also involved the local teams, which he said had 2 of the greatest teams ever. If your knowledge on this topic is vast it may not shed any new light, but for an average Joe like me, I thought it was awesome and recommend it from The Fan archives. #42…what a hero and martyr!
    PittPT

    Like

  24. Our lethal DEs should be flying past the OTs all year, and raising havoc in the backfield. I guess they will become “Buffalo Hot Wings”s.

    Like

  25. Right BL, especially since they will come in waves and waves. Weaver, Jones II, Alexandre, Baldanado, Morgan, Brima, Jules and Nelms.

    The biggest question on D are the linebackers. Bright, Campbell III, Davis and George must stay healthy.

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  26. I’m told Bruce Simon, the owner but he didn’t own the building, was a little off his rocker and the O hasn’t made money in quite sometime. Covid killed a legendary hot dog shop.

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  27. Those fries and cheap pizza cured many a buzz. The dog actually wasn’t that special. I’m buffalo biased with sahlens.
    The O needs that restaurant makeover guy to turn things around. Such an iconic place can’t close.

    How is Capel going to pay for his 4 stars now?

    Tex

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      1. Neither actually. Anchor bar was closer to downtown on main. Duffs was on Sheridan I think right down from the north campus. My grad school. Anchor was over hyped. Duffs was too hot and didn’t have enough butter. Too much vinegar. I prefer the buffalo brew pubs on main and transit. I also liked rooties on millersport highway. I do miss buffalo eats.

        Tex

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  28. Oh the humanity…….can it get any worse???

    “The Original Hot Dog Shop has closed its doors after nearly 60 years of selling hot dogs, french fries, pizza and more from its location on Forbes Avenue adjacent to Pitt’s campus.”

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  29. I think a “gameday thread” on Oakland establishments might be fun. Chance to share tales of places now gone and perhaps folks with O stories could share as well? Anyone there when Ironhead employed his crutches?

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  30. I remember wading in a foot of urine and feces to take a pee in the O basement. And being respectful enough to not hurl on the sidewalk in front of the establishment. I did it across Forbes on the adjacent sidewalk instead.

    Seriously. We should call that restaurant guy on tv that turns around these dives. I plan on emailing Cuban tonight. I know he has a fondness for those fries.

    Tex

    Liked by 1 person

  31. didn’t go to Pitt but worked in Oakland in early 2000s Enjoyed the cuisine very much … Fuel & Fuddle, Joe Mama’s, Peter’s, Pamela’s, Primantis. The Pad Thai at Spice Island Tea House was superb (probably wasn’t there when u guys were in school) But my all time favorite was Union Grille on Craig St (still there?)

    ike, John Prine on Austin City Limits 11 pm on Ch 13

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    1. Yes. That’s the show I’m thinking of. That abrasive I think New York or jersey guy. And that beefed up limey guy is good too.

      Tex who will start a go fund me for the O

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  32. I can still remember when our daughter was a Pitt undergrad, we were playing the Pedos in a Thanksgiving Classic. My wife and and and some friends traveled to the ‘Burgh to see the game. I don’t even remember who won the game, but I clearly remember our “Pizza for Turkey Dinner” experience. I think the pizzas were about a dollar! <<>>

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  33. ^^ Actually Biggie, the drink will be on you……… I bought you a Dark N Stormy kit for the next time I see you guys but that doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon. So down the hatch and bottoms up. Not really, when I sneak a drink it’s light beer only… But maybe one for John Prine and the O tonight?

    Like

  34. For those of you watching the National TV Concert tonight, the Stones just embarrassed all other artists w a great version of “You can’t always get what you want”. Some old guys still have it!.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Wow, that really is the end of an era. The legendary O is no more. Joins a long list of eateries and bars that are no more. The O was the most famous and long lasting of them all.

    When I got to Pitt on that block along with the O, which wasn’t open all night and I don’t think had a liquor license, but did and was by the time I left Oakland were Frankie Gustines, which became Hemingways and Cum Laude which had a run but was gone in the late sixties, nobody seems to remember it.

    Across the street was Scotty’s Diner, which was the only place open all night except for Ritters.

    Around the corner was Wohlfarth’s Pub and the Oakland Tavern which did not cater to students.

    I grew up with the son whose Dad owned Scotty’s and later knew the son of the original Wohlfarth’s owner.

    Peter’s Pub was open for business, as was Quinques, famous for meatballs and cheese in a bowl along with great sandwiches. He moved to Wexford when Forbes Field was torn down.

    We had some great discussions of the old hangouts in Oakland in Pitt Blather Days. Emel had some great stories.

    Too old to personally miss the Big O, can’t remember my last O Dog. But it was a mainstay of my diet while a student at Pitt. I remember when they switched from frozen fries to the fresh cut ones and when they started serving Pizza. Many a quart of the cheapest beer was bought from their cooler. Those guys could really sling the dogs on a busy Saturday night.

    There was a time that I judged how drunk I was the night before by how much chili dog had missed my mouth and ended up on my shirt, a telltale sign the morning after. I had a cast iron stomach back then, not any more.

    One last story, The Wooden Keg which opened circa 1970 was probably the most popular bar when I was in school. One night a very good friend and I hit the jackpot. It was a pretty slow night until we went to the downstairs bar which was hosting the Carlow College Graduation Celebration. Needless to say it was the start of a legendary evening. You will have to use your imagination for the rest of the story.

    Hail to Pitt and RIP Big O

    Liked by 3 people

  36. you all need a funny story so I’m going to tell the story of “One Toke Over the Line” You geezers may remember that it got a lot of airplay over the radio for about a month or so. Then someone finally alerted the FCC that the song was actually about pot, which was taboo back then. So the FCC sent out a directive to all AM stations that the song was no longer to be played.

    Then 2 or 3 days later, this happened ….

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  37. I remember that they applied mustard to the dogs with a wooden stick.

    Had a few of this back in the day, by to be totally honest it was all bout washing down fries with a quart of something like Schlitz, PBR, Iron.

    Like

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