First off, a public service announcement
The ACC Network is hosting a “Pitt takeover” tomorrow. All Pitt, all day long. Featured content:
- 4 a.m. Pitt 24, Miami 14, 2017 (Kenny Pickett’s debut)
- 5p.m. Pitt 13, WVU 9 (Pat Bostick’s swan song and possibly Pitt’s most famous win. Ever.)
- 9 p.m. Pitt 43, Clemson 42. (I still get butterflies when I see Blewitt line up for that field goal).
Second. It’s Pat Narduzzi’s birthday.
Thrid, and perhaps more importantly, there were three Pat signals today, which would put Pitt at six commits for 2021.
All I can say is it’s about damn time.
UNC has 14 (count em!) commits already.
Clemson has nine.
Miami has 11.
Virginia Tech has six, Florida State has five, Duke has eight (!) and Virginia has six. Heck, even Boston College has five.
Of course Pitt typically makes its living recruiting in June, but it’s nice to see some action during this ahem slower time.
We know about one commit so far…Virginia Linebacker Trevion Stevenson. He’s ranked as a two-star on rivals, but he has 40 (yes forty…) offers, so it’s pretty safe to say that the old rivals.com scouting crew missed on this guy. Based on his offer list, he’ll either be bumped up to a mid-tier three star (maybe a 5.6) or he’ll be another Rashad Weaver who never gets ranked but had a ton of offers (Weaver had 25 I think…and he turned out to be not-so-bad).
So about those forty offers. There is a lot of FCS / Group of Five noise in Stevenson’s offer list, and by the looks of it he must have developed significantly (or gotten a lot of exposure) during his most recent season. He was originally committed to Old Dominion, and also has offers from Astin Peay, Buffalo, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Liberty, Louisiana-Lafayette, Youngstown State and Howard. Not exactly murderer’s row when it comes to football.
There is also a lot of (assumingly recent) BCS noise on Stevenson’s offer list. Depending on who you talk to, these offers may or may not be commitable, but dang it, at least Stevenson was on the recruiting board.
- Florida State (Criminoles!)
- Georgia Tech (weak right now but recruiting well under new HC)
- Kansas (yeah they are trash but Les Miles…)
- Maryland (dumpster fire…)
- Miami (also dumpster fire…)
- Michigan (maybe offered him a PWO?)
- Mississippi (clearly no bag man in Virginia)
- Mississippi State (Mike Leach probably offended him)
- Missouri (Mizz-who?)
- Nebraska (Cornshuckers…)
- Penn State (sux)
- Syracuse (see below)
- TCU (meh)
- Tenneseee (duuuumpster fire…)
- Texas (really?)
- UCLA (wish.they.all.could.be.California…)
- West Virginnny (13-9!)
- (Lets go) Pitt
So 19 power five offers including Pitt. On Twitter someone said “at least five of those weren’t committable”. Who cares if five of them weren’t committable? That means 14 power five schools wanted him, and you know what. That’s enough for me.
Stevenson’s HUDL stats:
- Positions: DE, OLB
- Height & Weight: 6’5″ 210lbs
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.56
- Bench: 300
- 185 Bench (Reps): 31
- Squat (LBS): 485
- Deadlift (LBS): 360
And his highlight video (sorry if it doesn’t embed – the link will open in a new window so you don’t lose this page)
I watched to about the two minute point and what I saw was a long, athletic, man-among-boys type, who has pretty good burst. Now it’s a highlight video so they aren’t going to show you the times he got swallowed up, but he looks like a guy that has a knack for getting to the quarterback, and already knows how to play with his hand in the dirt. Put 40 lbs on him and watch out folks because he’d be a scary good DE (and that’s been Pitt’s recipe of late). But if his 4.56 forty time is real, he may also have the quickness to play linebacker. Time will tell where he ends up, but I think that based on his offer sheet, and what Pitt has done with similar “tweener” type guys, you have to be confident that ‘Duzz and co will find the right home for him.
So welcome to Pittsburgh Trevion. I for one am glad to have you.
In other recruiting news, local WPIAL standout Josh Hough committed to rival Syracuse earlier this week. I’ve read that Syracuse was Hough’s first Power Five offer (the other two being Pitt and Kentucky) and if you want to get out of Pittsburgh but still stay relatively close to home and also have a semi-annual game in the ‘Burgh, well Syracuse is about the best you can do. I imagine that the ‘Cuse also recruited him as a running back (but I really don’t know), and so congratulations to this young man. Syracuse is a fine university (as long as Pitt keeps beating up on them). Anyway, with the Hough news being fairly fresh off the press, it seemed like as good a time as any to post Richard Hefner’s Syracuse roster preview. This will give us a down-and-dirty look at the team that Hough has chosen to join. Enjoy!
A Way to Early Look at Roster Changes
by Richard Hefner (Pitt-Cocks fan)
The object of this series of articles is to discuss & show the roster changes for the upcoming 2020 season. It will not be a player by player review. These articles will review All ACC team player losses/returners, Transfer Portal activity & recruiting results. If there is time, I may circle back to teams after the spring practice Transfer Portal rush.
I will be using Rivals recruiting data but 24/7 transfer portal activity. I was not able to find a Rivals transfer database but did find a 24/7 site. https://247sports.com/Season/2020-Football/TransferPortal/
So, any star/points ranking related to the portal are 24/7’s not Rivals.
Note: The 24/7 database I am using runs from 8/1/19 until 7/31/20. Players who left a team after that start time are included. A Player who transferred to a team are included even if they played during the 2019 season (Eg.-John Petrishen who transferred from Penn State to Pitt just before the 2019 season) or could be a walk on. I do not include any transfer portal entry who was not ranked coming out of H.S. or was classified as a 2-star unless I can easily verify that he was a major contributor.
Let’s get started.
Syracuse’s 2020 recruiting year class was remarkably like prior years. 53rd in Rivals team ranking. They averaged 2.59 stars which translates to an average 5.5 3-star recruit. The 22-man class had no 4-stars & no 5.7 3-stars. Syracuse’s class placed 9’th place in the ACC.
Per Rivals, below are the 22 recruits by position. Highlighted is the most/tied for that position in the ACC for 2020.
These the last 5 years recruiting summaries:
Three of the 5 years averaged 2.75 stars even the 2019 class that featured two 4 stars. Only the 2017 class (2.50) & 2019 class (2.59) were different but not notably.
For Tex, this is the number of 5.7’s and above for the last 4 recruiting periods.
Here’s ‘Cuse’s record over the last 5 seasons (Regular season, and overall total):
- 2015 4-8
- 2016 4-8
- 2017 4-8
- 2018 9-3 (10-3)
- 2019 5-7
Syracuse has not yet shown a recruiting bump from their totally unexpected 2018 season. Will it occur in 2021 or fade into history?
At this time, Syracuse has added 1 transfer from the Transfer Portal:
Pitt had interest in Beich to shore up their offensive line.
These are the returning 2 All ACC honorees:
Cisco was a 2018 Rivals 5.5 3-star. He made first team All ACC as a true freshman. Szmyt was also a first team All ACC as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
Note: The Class shown is for the 2019 Season. For the 2020 season Jr. are now Seniors, So. are now Juniors.
All of the above was a brief snapshot of who Syracuse added & returned for the upcoming 2020 season.
Who did they lose from the 2019 season?
Syracuse lost 3 All ACC honorees.
Syracuse’s punter & kicker made All ACC. Are they good or was playing in a dome a help?
Syracuse had one early entry into the NFL draft, He was an All ACC performer.
Syracuse has no entries into the Transfer Portal.
Dino Babers enters his 6’th year as head coach. He’s had one surprisingly good season. Like most teams in Syracuse’s position, improvement depends on the QB. Tommy Devito is a tough kid. Is he capable of an Eric Dungy level performance (I.e. the QB who led the Orange to a 10-3 season)? I see Syracuse as a bottom dweller in the Atlantic division.
Editor’s note: Devito is probably a decent quarterback, but Syracuse’s main issue seems to be protecting him. While Pro Football Focus rated them 101’s, they were surprisingly lenient in their pass grade analysis, although “not as bad as it could have been” is pretty faint praise. Pitt sacked Syracuse quarterbacks nine times in the carrier dome last year and knocked Devito out of the game.
101. SYRACUSE ORANGE
Highest-graded player: OG Evan Adams – 64.0 (156th)
Syracuse’s offensive line really struggled to move the line of scrimmage in the run game. On their 513 pass-blocking snaps, however, they allowed a pressure on 23.0% of their snaps, which is not as bad as it could have been given their 107th overall grade in the run game.
The Chris Peaks’ of the Rivals ACC Coastal Divisions did a review of their teams. They then shared with all the other Rivals sites in the Coastal. Unfortunately, the Atlantic members didn’t.
I didn’t do a review of Pitt but here is Chris Peak’s review of Pitt.