We had a blast with the call-in show last night and again we proved that no matter who shows up at the Roundtable we are the most knowledgeable Pitt fans in existence. Of course that is facetious as I’ve met many fans through other venues who know a ton about Pitt football also.
The civil tone was lowered just a smidgen from last week with both Ike and the infamous Dr. Tom coming onboard. I’m ordering a cut-off button today for future short-story answers to pretty simple and plain questions.
Some items discussed were:
The role of Pitt’s AD and how we feel Heather Lyke is doing… and what she needs to do.
Did Scott Barnes leave the department in good shape?
How we would feel if we had a third consecutive season with 8-5 including a bowl loss.
(Sorry about the audio – I forgot to use my professional microphone so the audio is recorded through my laptop’s mic…)
Hello all, enjoy the above Podcast and here is some supporting text to mull over while you listen:
Recruiting vs Attracting
USC coach Clay Helton said Wednesday he had not been contacted by any coaches interested in Browne, but would do whatever he could to help him during the process.
Browne graduated from USC prior to this season and is two semesters short of an MBA. He said he plans to finish that program eventually.
Recruit Flipping – Here is an interesting article by Brian Batko of the P-G regarding recruits changing their minds after verbally committing to one school – note that in the class of 2017 we had six players who committed elsewhere sign LOIs with us:
The marquee college program in this town won its share of other schools’ losses. Of Pitt’s 22 committed or already-enrolled players in the 2017 recruiting class entering signing day, eight were originally pledged to another school, including three of its most highly regarded.
Two of those eight picked the Panthers in mid-December, then arrived on campus less than a month later. Defensive end Deslin Alexandre was a true “flip,” announcing that he was decommitting from North Carolina State and committing to Pitt at the same time. It wasn’t something he took lightly but felt it was better late than never to get it right.
Pitt placed 10 players on Athlon Magazine’s All-ACC four (!) deep listing.
Here is the article:
PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team received 10 selections to the recently released Athlon Sports’ 2017 All-ACC Team as the widely recognized college sports magazine published its predictions for the first team through fourth team performers in the ACC this upcoming season. Returning consensus All-American Quadree Henderson led the way with three total selections. After Henderson joined Tony Dorsett in 2016 as the only players in Pitt football history to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season, Athlon touted the junior wide receiver as a preseason first team kick returner, second team offensive all-purpose player and second team punt returner for 2017. After Pitt had its most potent offense in school history in 2016, Athlon expects the Panthers to be talented and explosive again on the offensive side of the ball, naming six Panthers to its preseason All-ACC Team for 2017. Continue reading “POV: Sunday Podcast; July 2nd, 2017”→
4. Pittsburgh Sept. 9 at Penn State, Sept. 16 vs. Oklahoma State, Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech
There won’t be any easing into the 2017 schedule for Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. In Week 2, they hit the road to face No. 5 Penn State. You think the Nittany Lions will be motivated after losing at Pitt a year ago? Then comes a home game against No. 6 Oklahoma State, which throws the ball all over the park with the returning combo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington, and the Panthers open ACC play a week later by going on the road and having to deal with Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.
Steel Valley safety Paris Ford will not start classes on Monday with the rest of the incoming freshmen, multiple sources told Panther-Lair.com. Details of the situation are unclear, although it appears Ford could have an opportunity to qualify this summer and enroll closer to training camp.
If he doesn’t qualify this summer, Ford could spend one semester or a full school year at a prep institution like Milford Academy in New Berlin (NY) before enrolling at Pitt.
The NCAA Eligibility Center was created to bring academic and amateurism certifications together under one roof. Its purpose is to ensure that college-bound student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, understand the requirements to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics.
All incoming freshman who plan on attending any NCAA Division I or II university MUST register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, meet all academic and amateur requirements and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
What are the NCAA Eligibility Center standards I must meet?
The standards issued by the NCAA Eligibility Center are slightly different for Division I and Division II but are based on the same four principles:
You must graduate from high school.
You must successfully complete all core courses.
You must have a minimum 2.000 GPA in core courses; and
You must have a minimum qualifying score on the ACT or SAT.
Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman
Thursday, December 28th, 2017
Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD
ESPN, 1:30 pm
Pitt vs. Navy
39. Pitt Panthers
Relative Strengths:Passing Game, Special Teams Relative Concerns:Pass Defense, Linebacker Why Are They Here?Will the Panthers ever stop a passing game? USC transfer Max Browne will keep the offense going, but against so many good ACC QBs, all that matters is the beleaguered secondary. 2016 Final Season Ranking:35 (8-5) 2016 CFN Preseason Ranking:32
This is the seventh of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions in ’16. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.
Wide Receiver will be a position of strength for us in this coming season almost surely. I say that because as we wrote about the QB position early in this series I think we’ll have a downgrade there – so the ripple effect may impact the overall production of our WR corps for ’17.
To start let’s look at who departed Pitt over the off-season. rsSR Dontez Ford and rsJR Zach Challingsworth. Well, that was pretty simple wasn’t it?
Of course our main WR coming back is the exciting and inconsistent – which is part of the excitement because we hold our breath hoping he’ll come down with the ball – rsSR Jester Weah.
Weah is a great example of kids who are just average in their recruitingrating (3*, 5.5) and don’t burst right out of the gate in college… but learn the new game and flourish in their upperclassmen years. And yes, that is what a good player will do.
Great players usually do make an impact earlier and Weah may have also if he hadn’t been stuck behind Tyler Boyd and Dontez Ford for his first few years. But for now he’s pretty darn good and may just be great this season.
Weah has had the catching yips and was publicly open and refreshingly honest about that which I like him even more for. He has great downfield speed and good moves – but his hands used to let him down when it came to gameday. More on that later…
Here are two quotes from that article – one is rather funny and the second is very serious. Here is the first:
What was the craziest thing a coach said to you?
“I don’t know if this is crazy or not, but it’s coach Harbaugh. He said that I looked just like Frank Gore. I still don’t know how I feel about that [laughter]. He said I looked like Frank Gore and I didn’t know what to say after he said that. It’s just that my friends had told me previously that I look like Frank Gore and I run like Frank Gore. When he told me that, I instantly told my friends ‘Yo, you won’t believe what he just told me.’”
Well, Gore is 5’9″ and 217 – Sibley is 5′ 10″ and 211 so there is a similarity there. let’s hope this is the case because with him and A. J. Davis I think we have a bright future at RB.
And this next issue is one we talk about a lot on The POV. I have written before and maintain that what the recruits and their parents (and grandparents in some cases) weigh just as heavily, if not more in some cases, are the positives of a university external to the football program when deciding on a school…
What shocked you most in the process?
“I guess how serious it is. For a young kid, it’s something that you’re not really used to. You don’t really understand the value of the decision you’re going to make – I didn’t really understand the value of it. You know, this is where you’re going to spend the next three to four years at and possibly where you find your wife at and develop into a man and achieve your dream, so this is a really tough decision. Once it sets in for all of the kids, they’ll understand it too.”
Many times I have spoken to current and alumni players and their parents and have been impressed with how level-headed their decision to come to Pitt was – focusing on the off-field and external issues from football.
Players may dream about the NFL and some have a better shot at it going in, but the majority of them realize that Pitt is going to be the school where they grow from an 18-year-old into mature into a young man. That getting ready ‘for the rest of their lives‘ is paramount in a lot of cases.
I’ll have another article tomorrow then I’ll do a Sunday Podcast but will take a longer break afterward for a family vacation.