A lot has happened since my last post.  Football added yet another three-star recruit from Virginia.  Basketball added a four star from PA!   The Pitt athletic department has announced coach webinars with the general public, and the Pitt Football Top Player of all Time bracket moved to the elite eight.  First, as a PSA, the Pitt athletics webinars.

This one is tomorrow (i.e, Thursday).  You may still be able to register.

There is also apparently a May 12th webinar which will feature a host of coaches, Capel and Narduzzi included and Heather Lyke.  You can register here:

https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_isHv5oJyQ9uBFYZAGo7k6w

Also if you are into Women’s Lacrosse (or you literally have nothing else to do tomorrow night, which is probable) and you want get an update  and you have an Instagram account…This looks like it might be interesting.  Coach B seems like she’s got a personality.

Okay on to the Elite Eight.  Some bigtime names here

Two matchups have been released so far.  It’s gonna get real interesting when it’s down to Marino vs. Dorsett.  Donald’s my Darkhorse…

Marino vs. Ditka

Dorsett vs. Fitzgerald

In more tangible news, Jeff Capel casually (I joke here, he clearly worked very hard), reeled in the top basketball recruit in Pennsylvania yesterday.

Capel responded to the commitment appropriately.  (And my apologies if you aren’t in on the Ice Cube reference, but if you’re in my – and Capel’s – generation you’ll appreciate it.)

Pre-Jeffress, the 2020 class was shaping up to be pretty decent.

Tweet detail:Image

Post-Jeffress the class is top-25 and possibly program-changing

If you aren’t excited about the future of Pitt basketball at this point, then you basically aren’t a Pitt fan.  Fight me.

On to football.  The Duzz landed a three star WR.  This has been much discussed already, so I’ll post his rivals profile and move right into Richard Hefner’s Virginia Tech roster preview, because this recruit happens to be from Virginia, and we happen to have beat out the Hokies (and the Hoos for that matter) for his services.  He looks like a tall, lanky and athletic possession type guy.  Not super fast, but supposedly a good route runner.  You need those types of dudes in the West Coast offense, and well, if he can get separation over the middle and come down with the ball more often than not, then he’s going to contribute.  Welcome to Pittsburgh Myles.

Myles Alston Offer analysis for those that are still interested:

P5:

  • Maryland (Lets get real here. The Terps have no chance of winning B10 East, Pitt at least has a shot at the Coastal each year.)
  • Ole Miss (Recruited by Chris Partridge, clearly we have the better Partridge)
  • North Carolina (Offer probably wasn’t commitable – or so would say the critics)
  • South Carolina (You can play for a tier 2 team in a tier 1 conference or a tier 1 team in a tier 2 conference…)
  • Virginia (Chris Beatty doing work to peel Alston away from what would ostensibly be his hometown team, at a school that has better academics and a stronger gameday atmosphere)
  • Virginia Tech (Alston visited FOUR times.  Yet he still goes to Pitt.  I’ve you’ve ever been to Blacksburg I think you can understand why…it’s not a bad college town, but it’s country. Also see below from Richard. Something definitely rotten down in Appalachia.)

Worst offers:  Liberty (but they offer everyone), Charlotte, Air Force

And now, as promised the VA Tech Roster preview.

Virginia Tech

A Way to Early Look at Roster Changes

by Richard Hefner (Pitt-Cocks Fan)

The object of this (hopefully) 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 data base 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 (Ex.-John Petrishen) or could be a walk on. On my own, I do not include any transfer portal entry who was not ranked coming put 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.

Virginia Tech had a horrible 2020 recruiting year especially compared to prior years. 82’nd in Rival team ranking. A 2.67 average star ranking which translates to an average 5.51 3-star recruit. The lone 4-Star was not a Rival top 250 recruit.

VT 1

Per Rivals, below is the 15 recruits by position. Highlighted is the most/tied for that position in the ACC for 2020.

Vt 2

This is a snapshot of the last 5 years of recruiting:

VT 3Editor’s note:  If you remember the Bag-Man article, you’ll remember a piece where they mention that if bag-men don’t like a coach they silently withdraw their support.  “We’ll see how good of a recruiter he is then”, was the quote I believe.  Well take a look at 2020 and tell me that something wasn’t going on behind the scenes.  This after a 6-7 season.  Fuente seemingly has won them back this year, and has landed two four-star recruits so far (out of six total)

For Tex, this is the number of 5.7’s and above for the last 4 recruiting periods.

VT 4

To help put this all-in perspective here are the team records for the 2015 – 2019 time frame. (Year, regular season record, conference championship, season record)

2015: 6-6 N/A, 6-7

2016: 9-3 C/C – L 10-4

2017: 9-3 N/A 9-4

2018: 6-6 N/A 6-7

2019: 8-4 N/A 8-5

At this time, Virginia Tech has added 2 players from the transfer portal

Vt 5

Editor’s note: They also have three running backs in their 15 person recruiting class.  Clearly there seems to be a need at running back in Blacksburg.  

These are the returning All ACC honorees:

VT 6

Editor’s Note:  Reed would lambast them for having the marjority of their “All ACC Players” as Honorable Mention.  Since I don’t like the Hokies, I think I’ll do the same.  We all know the Honorable mention is basically a participation award given out by the sportswriters at the end of the season. Also Honorable Mention Punter???

Note: The Class shown is for the 2019 Season. For the 2020 season Jr. are now Seniors, So. are now Juniors.

The above was a brief snapshot of who Virginia Tech added for the upcoming 2020 season.

Who did they lose from the 2019 season?

V.T. was a young team last year. They may have had a few seniors but none of them made the All ACC team, so they lost no key “Star” players to graduation.

They did have two early entries into the 2020 draft:

DeShawn McClease RB – He led V.T. in rushing (843 yds, 4.8ypc)  Editor’s Note:  Well this does explain a lot…

Dalton Keene TE – 21 catches. 210 yds.

Additional losses have come through players entering the transfer portal. A total of 12.

Editor’s Note:  Not only has Fuente lost the boosters, he seems to have lost the players as well.  And yet somehow he won 8 games.  Were these guys simply dead-wood or is Fuente a tough coach to get along with?  The next couple seasons will tell us more…

VT 7

Virginia Tech HCJF has recently said that V.T. players will NOT be allowed to return to the team if they enter the portal. https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28641043/hokies-transfer-portal-not-allowed-return

Strange stance considering that the above DeShawn McClease & there main starting QB Hendon Hooker put their name in the portal after the 2018 season ended and before the 2019 season started but withdrew & were welcomed back.

So far 7 of the 12 have found new home. Three have went FCS. One went the JUCO route & another (4-star} to a good G5 team. 2 have landed at P5 teams.

The major loss is 2-Star WR Damon Hazelton. He is a grad transfer that is immediately eligible to play at Missouri. What made me put the 2-star on the list is that he was a 2019 All ACC Honorable Mention & was a 2018 All ACC 2’nd team awardee.

I think there is a problem within the V.T. program. I did not start tracking Transfer Portal ins & outs until this year. The kids that are leaving are Fuente’s.  I vaguely remember that there were more entries into the portal then the two I mentioned above in the prior season. Maybe one of our Virginia based POVerts “(cough JoeL cough)” can weigh in.

Like all teams, there may be more portal activity in the future. There always seems to be players leaving after spring practices & entries to fill gaps in the roster.

Editor’s note:  For better or worse, Pitt seems to have extremely low transfer portal activity.  This year was the biggest year, but with the exception of V’Lique Carter who played a decent amount of snaps in crowded running back room, it didn’t seem like Pitt lost much.  

Virginia Tech was a young team in 2019. There is 6 All ACC stars to build on including 1’st team CB Caleb Farley. It was surprising to some that Farley didn’t apply for early entry into the NFL draft. I do not expect any immediate impact from the incoming freshmen. With the returning players V.T. should be one of the good teams in the Coastal.

From Chris Peak’s Rivals site – Panther-lair, a review of Virginia Tech by the Chris Peak (or equivalent) of Virginia Tech.

https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/around-the-coastal-virginia-tech

I didn’t do a review of Pitt but here is Chris Peak’s review of Pitt.

https://duke.rivals.com/news/around-the-coastal-the-pittsburgh-panthers

60 thoughts on “Capel nets a Four-Star. Duzz adds another from VA, and the UVA Profile

  1. Glad to see the Pitt Athletic Department listening to the POV bloggers that implored them to get their program details out to the public often and connect with them while everyone is bored and surfs the internet all day except for Ike and Eli.

    Like

      1. Firstly, another great job by Michaelangelo while greatly assisted by Richard the King of Stats! As they say…. once a bean counter…. Just kidding Richard. Great job you two.

        JoeL, A case can be made for Hugh Green belonging in the final four. That’s a dam impressive list right there. Aaron Donald makes a great case as well. Has anyone ever won more defensive awards in one season? I still believe PITT could put a team on paper that would beat any team in the nation at any time.

        Another JoeL response. You wouldn’t know by Eli’s energy today that he had surgery of any type. Our job today is trying to keep him calm and to put any type of food near him frozen peas included would be gone in ten seconds. Eli is a four legged garbage disposal.. thanks for the suggestion but he’s already back to normal if that’s what you would call it..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike – thanks for the updates on Pitt’s sports activities.

    I like your editorial comments. I think you do understand how all these stats work together. Another thing. If you look at the color coded dates of portal entry, 4 of the 12 left before the early NLI date. The other 8 left before the February NLI date. But they only signed 15 recruits in total. Does that mean the Hokies had no or very few graduates from the 2015 & 2016 classes?

    Since I wrote this article, Va. Tech has added another portal entry Grad transfer. A DE from Youngstown State. I do hope he ruins the team chemistry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BTW – If you want more optimistic take on Va. Tech’s future, read the link provided at bottom of article from the Va. Tech’s side. Short read. Maybe two or three minutes max.

      Like

      1. Rich, most fans this time of year take the glass half-full approach. That’s what fans do. I lived near Cleveland from 2010 to 2018, and for the first 6 years, I had to hear every August how the Browns were going to surprise everyone. I swear.

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  3. thanks again for the data to both of you….. appreciate your efforts. A lot to digest but keeps my mind off the virus data.

    With the transfer portal, returning starters, prized new recruits, and maybe most importantly, dealing with 18-21 year olds, it is near impossible to project the Coastal. The only givens in CFB are teams like Bama, Clemson, OSU, OK, etc ….. but it is still fun to try to project the other 95%

    I remember the 2019 AP pre-season poll had Cuse at 22 which the vast majority of us POV experts knew was BS … and it was (5-7). However, leagues like the Coastal have driven forecasters batty. (In fairness, most predicted UVa last year and they did win, but absolutely nobody picked Pitt the year before)

    Maybe Pitt fans can be thankful in that at least their favorite team has a chance of winning the division title …. unlike if we were in the Atlantic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wwb – The whole idea is to take everyone’s mind off the virus. Or at least for me in data gathering & article submissions.

      I still have a few ACC teams to do including Clemson. I am seriously considering that article to be – “Who cares. They are going to win the Atlantic, They are going to win the conference (and if they play Pitt in the conference championship) win the Natty.

      Like

      1. Thank you Richard and I like you try and deflect and at the same time bring the POV family together with goofy tales of my family and music videos. Now back to cooking my famous chili. Roteli petite tomatoes with green chilis and beer is my secret but I’ll never tell…

        Like

  4. For sure, wwb, I love being in the Coastal. Best possible landing spot for Pitt, although I do expect the division to get more competitive. Hopefully Pitt gets more competitive as well.

    Like

    1. Very convenient for some of us! Almost overnight, the sports section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch got more interesting.

      So glad we got that invite instead of having to go the Big12 route with the Hoopies.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Maestro and Richard – excellent combined post. So good to have something good to chew on during this time period.

    A couple miscellaneous comments…

    VT – as a local, my take is that a cople things are going on with the VT program.
    Hokie fans tend to be a bit more realistic about the program post-Beamer and are generally more positive overall than Pitt fans. Their only agony is a loss to UVA. They do not have PTSD like we do. Their stadium went from mediocre to big-time during the Beamer era… in the same location as ever.
    – Beamer owned Virginia until the end of his career. UVA and Pitt – UNC has always lurked a bit – have emerged as threats to that stronghold.
    – Fuentes has to overcome the increased competition and comparisons to Beamer/Foster recruiting prowess. Because of this, he hasn’t been able to simply cherry-pick the best recruits.
    – Whether because of the increased competition for recruits or his own staff’s talent at recruiting, Fuentes managed to get a handful of malcontents into the program. To his credit, many were asked to leave when that came about.

    Elite Eight of all-time Pitt greats….I have to question the decision to match up Ditka to Marino before the Final Four. Ditka, Dorsett, Marino are without a doubt three of the four. Others can debate whether the 4th is Fitz or Donald, but an argument can be made that Marshall Goldberg ought to be in the hunt.

    Pitt Athletic Dept – great efforts at outreach. There are many good ideas which have sprung up in these stressful times; this is one that should continue after things settle down.

    Capel – he is the right guy at the right time for the program. Hopefully his family enjoys being here as I think some fun days lie ahead. I believe he learned the value of a patient, supportive adminstration, appreciative fanbase… things he had at VCU and not as much at Oklahoma. Lookng fwd to see how he gets these kids to play together as a unit.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I remember you liked him a lot. Was going to mention him but he has no stats in his two seasons 2018-19.

        Was he injured last season. I can see a redshirt year in 2018 but two years?

        Like

  6. Another thank-you to MM and Richard — nice work.

    In particular, I’m giving a star to MM for “…clearly we have the better Partridge.” 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yes Richard, Beck has a should injury. He looks like he’s developed a football body though. I don’t we have heard the last from him

    Looks like the new commit is a OG from Ft Lauderdale. Marco… Fugar. 2* 6’3″ 275 lbs.

    Like

  8. I think i read an article which indicated that the #1 Ranked DT or DE decommitted from Clempson. Apparently the no 1 ranked DT AND no. 1 ranked DE are teaming together and are leaning to LSU. That may cause a ripple down effect. I thought that E Donald listed LSU as his dream offer. Hopefully this turn of events helps Pitt.

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  9. I got bragging rights and yuz my b’s

    Tex

    Like

  10. I count nearly 40 within a 500 drive of Pittsburgh. But where is Ohio on this list?

    Tex

    So the talent is out there. Don’t be defeatist apologists for Narduzzi.

    Like

  11. This person needs to check the records. Several Pitt recruits in bball from the past were higher rated, including Charles Smith & Jerome Lane and most likely Brian Shorter and Bobby Martin. Off the top of my head.

    Pitt.MBB
    @PittHoopsMBB
    William Jeffress is Jeff Capel’s highest ranked commit since becoming head coach at Pitt and ranks as the 5th best recruit in program history, behind only Adams, Taylor, Blair, and Taft.

    Like

    1. It was based on the recruiting service I believe. They weren’t around back then. Sam Young and James Robinson were both higher I believe too.

      Like

  12. I don’t listen to the FAN much anymore, and when I listened a bit lately, it just reinforced that I’m not missing much.
    Two items:

    —The other day on a sports update they reported that a 4-star recruit from Virginia had committed to PSU. And they mentioned that Pitt had offered. Yet when I heard them talk about William Jeffress picking Pitt, there was no mention that PSU had offered…

    (Of course Larry Hagman is a big NIT fan — I think he hates it every time he has to say “93-70 Home of the Pirates and Pitt Panthers.”)

    —Paul Zeise (who is the only FAN talker I will listen to unless I’m flipping stations in a car) had a guest on from the “PA Sports Network.” The guy said he had seen Jeffress play 3 times.

    It seemed like this guy’s intention was to throw a wet blanket on Jeffress’ Pitt commitment. Said he’s good, but “doesn’t play above the rim.” Said he didn’t dominate in the games he saw. Seemed to try to cast doubt on his high ranking by saying he’s not a one-and-doner. Said he plays an old-style game…

    So, perhaps this was just a Nit-fan reporter who didn’t like Pitt plucking the best player in PA. But typical of the way Pitt is covered in the Pittsburgh and PA media…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I agree, that station is terrible in so many ways.
      Anti-Pitt, only report what they have to and usually always present it, in a less than half-hearted way.

      For every 30 minutes of show, has to be at least 15 minutes or more of commercials. No thanks.

      That Alan Saunders interview of Jeffress also started out like a Wet Blanket as well. Saunders wasn’t all all showing any happiness at all of the Jeffress commit. Screw all these dweebs and pedo lovers.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. John, I TOTALLY agree about the FAN…only Zeise at night do I listen.
      Eric Hagman is the nitter and Larry Hagman was JR on the Dallas tv show.🤠
      Haha.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I couldn’t agree more. The blowhards on The Fan have ticked me off for years. For anyone who has Sirius XM radio, the programming on ESPNU Radio is much better, unfortunately there just isn’t much Pitt talk.
        PittPT

        Like

  13. The Liberty Flames(Lynchburg, Va) are making some strides very quickly in football & bball.

    In only their 2nd year in FBS, they made and won a Bowl Game. Like Pitt finished with 8 wins.

    And in bball, they were 30-4 in only their 2nd year in the Atlantic Sun, after going 29-7
    their first season. Pretty impressive. Might have been a giant killer had there been a Dance.

    Former Steeler giant TE & 1st Round Pick, Eric Green was from Liberty.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. At expos – i dont think they ranked players that long ago, so that should explain it. The ranking era started in early 2000’s….i think.

    Tex – was the list of where the kids went to college or where they went to high school or where they were born? I think about where you would put somebody like gronk who played his last year of high school in pa. Or Shady and others who may have gone to a military academy out of state and such.

    Like

      1. oh no expo, i am in agreement with you that they were mac all mericans, i just couldnt remember when the internet was born. So you are talking about magazines….you must be old! Seriously, I think demetrius gore was highly ranked too, but by smith and wesson.

        Street and Smiths’. I do remember that magazine and it is one where I did just look at the pictures. All the other ones, I looked at the comics.

        Like

    1. I believe it’s high school. So yes grind would have given PA credit and not buffalo where he was born and raised.

      Mississippi, bama and Louisiana have the highest per capita.

      Tex

      Like

  15. 2 Pitt recruits played in the 1987 McDonald’s All-American Game.

    Brian Shorter led the star studded game in scoring with 24 points & 8 rebounds.
    Shorter outscored these future NBA stars. Larry Johnson, Dennis Scott & Brian Williams (Bison Dele).

    Pitt recruit Bobby Martin also joined Shorter on the McDonald’s East squad.

    Don’t believe Pitt’s ever had 2 recruits in the same year, that were McDonald’s All-Americans.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_McDonald%27s_All-American_Boys_Game

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely plays with some nastiness and lots of room to add to his frame.

      Another lineman also to be rumored to be one of the commits, Enos, from Michigan. He has an LSU offer as well.

      Like

  16. Great job Pitt-Cock and MM.

    Ike – glad to hear Eli is on the mend. I was trying to think of a tribute song for him. The only thing I could come up with was an old 3 Dog Night song with his name in the title. But it is totally inapproiate for his current condition! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Major, I hate to say it but the one weakness I’ve noticed from Jeffers film is in fact some weakness at the rim. Not real explosive down low. Now, that’s not his game, I believe, and he certainly needs to get stronger, but if you have to nit pic I’d say that’s about right.
    Something else I’ve worried about( I seem to be doing more of that for some reason) is Heather and the ACC network. I’m not sure we will have a football season, or even a delayed hoops season, but if we do fans will be limited( either forced or voluntary). I want to see the ACC network on Comcast. Can’t believe no progress on that front. Hope she is lobbing hard for that. ACC can’t be happy, that’s for sure.

    Like

    1. JoeK, should we think this virus would increase the demand for the ACC channel? I’m thinking the TV market will only increase if no fans in the stands.

      Like

  18. Thanks BL, Eli gets a pain pill at 8:00 tonight but I don’t think dogs get quite the high we do.. So instead of Eli by Three Dog Night how about we go with Shambala with Reed singing backup vocals on our left? Talk about something that makes you feel ancient.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. BTW, Hagman mentioned the PSU offer many, many times. My issue is so what, like a Nitter b-ball offer is a big deal? Really?

    Like

  20. Nice articles MM and Rich, thanks for the time and effort. Eli enjoy that pain pill – Ike dogs get the physical reactions to alcohol and pills – had a great dog in college and he loved beer, fell down same as me..

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Yarnell, this 6′ 6″ kid can chuck the pill and no way Fugar is a 2*, the kid is a beast and almost as mean as I am… 🙂 …. or was thirty years ago…. in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I can’t believe a kid from so far north in Austin TX picked Pitt because of the city!!! To make matters even worse another one commits from of all places way north of miami. Add in all the players from virginia and you might think Pitt is a southern school all of a sudden. Can we erase the notion that kids won’t come to pitt because it might be colder? Let’s bury all these excuses, one at a time.

    Or is the point that only the 5 stars care about the weather? I can’t remember. The point is that the kids go where they feel most included. To feel included, the coaches have to out work the other coaches. We have two of those coaches in Partridge and Beatty. It’s just work! Work harder and you can will things to change.

    Like

    1. Huff — I’ll agree to disagree with you. What you’re not taking into consideration is that the farther north you are, the smaller the pool of recruits you have to work with. Yes, obviously some southern players will come north, but many won’t consider it.

      And saying that recruiting just depends on effort – well, again, I will agree to disagree. I could be wrong, but impression is that the Pitt staff will do anything they can to get a coveted recruit. Hell, their jobs and their futures depend directly on them doing that. I just don’t follow your thinking, but I’m old and left-handed.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. Also if you look at yarnell’s other offers…besides Houston it’s not exactly a murderers row of cosmopolitan places. If I had to guess coaching / culture was 60%, pro exposure / p5 was 30% and city 10%. But that’s just me

      Like

  23. That’s a deal Huff the Third, as long as we also bury the notion that Narduzzi and his coaching staff can’t recruit. I know you alluded to this but you left out the guy who hired these coaches. And the AD who extended the guy who hired them…

    Like

    1. Two of the coaches can recruit. The flea ridden dog has a middle of the road class of recruits in the Coastal and he’s a nine win ceiling pooch.

      Tex

      Like

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