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:
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.
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.
Offer analysis for those that are still interested:
- 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.
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.
Per Rivals, below is the 15 recruits by position. Highlighted is the most/tied for that position in the ACC for 2020.
This is a snapshot of the last 5 years of recruiting:
Editor’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.
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
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:
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…
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.
I didn’t do a review of Pitt but here is Chris Peak’s review of Pitt.