2020 Power Five Recruiting (and Pitt)

2020 Power Five Recruiting (and Pitt)

Editor’s Note:  This article was penned by our own Richard Hefner (Pitt-Cocks Fan), who you may remember also contributed the data for our weekly “QB Corner” piece during the season.  Recruiting is always a relevant topic when it comes to college football, and right now it’s a welcome distraction from the world around us.  I personally believe the Pitt’s recruiting has been adequate to keep us at the current win level (7-8 wins), and I also believe that generally this staff does a good job of coaching up low star recruits, especially on the defensive line.   Of course offensive line recruiting continues to be a concern, although it’s becoming clear that Borbely is a step up from Peterson, both in recruiting and development.  The problem is that he just doesn’t reel in enough guys, and the jury is still out on how well he can teach pass blocking.  Offensive skill position recruiting has been a concern as well.  For example, Pitt currently has two four-star upperclassmen running backs on its roster.  Neither looks like the four star backs that the Pitt faithful is used to seeing…or even the three star backs for that matter.   On the brigher side, the addition of Chris Beatty at WR coach has already paid dividends at the Wide Receiver position…if you believe the spring hype.  And well, you’d like to think Whipple will be able to reel in some upgraded QB talent.  Transfer Joey Yellen is a start, but I’d like to see him actually recruit a kid out of high school.   With all that all being said, lets take a look at how Pitt stacks up against the rest of the Power 5. 

– Michaelangelo

Continue reading “2020 Power Five Recruiting (and Pitt)”

Revisionist History – POV Style – 2016

Revisionist History – POV Style – 2016

Well now that Chris Peak has gone ahead and posted his analysis on the 2016 recruiting class, I’ll go ahead and offer my take.

First of all, I think Chris makes an excellent point about coaching continuity in his article.  Chris points out that any time that Pitt has had a coach for five successive years, the results have pretty pretty good in years four and five.  It was such a good point that I actually went and did some of my own research on it.  Here is what I found:

Pitt Continuity Football

Continue reading “Revisionist History – POV Style – 2016”

Revisionist History – POV Style – The 2015 Class

Revisionist History – POV Style – The 2015 Class

Chris Peak has recently put up a couple of nice 3-2-1 columns where he looks back at a recruiting class and recaps that classes success (or lack thereof).  I figured I’d do the same but with my own spin to get some discussion going.  We’ll start with the 2015 class because there are still some 2015 players on the roster.  Peak calls 2015 a “Transition Class”, meaning that it was a class that was recruited through a coaching transition.  Peak also points out that Transition Classes are generally a little bit less productive after it’s all said and done, for obvious reasons.  If you were to look at the class below, I think you would agree.

Still, there are a few players that have made it through to year five, and I’ll highlight them below.  Continue reading “Revisionist History – POV Style – The 2015 Class”

Time to Believe

Time to Believe

Disclaimer – This article will make some people very happy.  It will also likely piss some people off.  That is fine.  If you are part of the small population of Pitt fans that are pissed off, well that’s too bad.  It is not meant as a personal slight, and I am simply harnessing your energy to further prove my point.   Despite my opposition to your views, I continue value your perspective. 

My first year at Pitt was 1997.  When I stepped onto campus, Pitt football was on the brink of extinction.  The team had averaged three wins over the previous five seasons under Paul Hackett and Johnny Majors II.   Steve Pederson had just dropped the Script in favor of the Dinocat.   New head coach Walt Harris had won just 11 games over three years at his previous head coaching job (University of the Pacific from 1989 to 1991).  Indeed these were dark days for Pitt football.

And yet the team slogan was “We believe”.  Perhaps that it was minted partway through the season, because after wining just three games the year before, Harris’ Panthers were starting to give the fans something to believe in.

In the first game, Pitt beat the Southwestern Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 45-13.  Pitt then lost to #1 Penn State in Happy Valley, but not nearly as badly as everyone expected (17 – 34).  In game three, Pitt downed Houston on the road, scoring 35 points in the process.  Lo and behold Pitt was 2 – 1 heading into a nationally televised Thursday night matchup with Miami.  Continue reading “Time to Believe”

Bits and Pieces, and another Big Recruiting Weekend

Been on vacation this week on beautiful Seabrook Island, South Carolina, and so you’d think I’d have written more. But with a two year old and a four month old on hand, well if you have kids you understand.

Fortunately everyone is napping at the moment so I’ve snuck away to sit by the ocean and catch up on the really important things…

Continue reading “Bits and Pieces, and another Big Recruiting Weekend”

Five Pat Signals

Five Pat Signals

Pitt’s first big official visit weekend is over, and head coach Pat Narduzzi has landed some commitments.  He sent up five “Pat Signals” between Saturday afternoon and Sunday night.  That’s about one commit every six hours, which is not too shabby.

Four of the five commits have revealed themselves so far.  All are three-stars.  One is from Florida.  One is from Georgia.  One is from Ohio, and One is from New Jersey.  None of this should come as a surprise.  Pitt has clearly worked to diversify itself out of Pennsylvania and into the South.  When the right coaches are in place, New Jersey has always been a fertile recruiting ground, and Ohio has traditionally been a Pitt recruiting stronghold (although oddly enough last year’s class did not contain a single Ohio native).

As for landing three-three stars, well, that should not be a surprise either.  Since 2016 82% of Pat Narduzzi’s recruting classes have been three-star players.  Like it or not, these are Pitt’s bread-and-butter.

Lets talk through the four commits that we know about.   Follow link to access their Rivals profile. Continue reading “Five Pat Signals”

Pitt Lands a Transfer Tight End

Pitt Lands a Transfer Tight End

Pitt nabbed their third graduate transfer tight end in three seasons today.  Two of the three have come from Rutgers.  Matt Flanagan was the first Rutgers grad transfer TE back in 2017, and Nakia Griffin-Stewart, who announced his commitment today, is the second.

First of all, congratulations to Mr. Griffin-Stewart.  He’s instantly upgraded his playing situation and moved from a perennial division bottom-feeder (Rutgers) into a division championship contender (Pitt).  That in-and-of-itself speaks to the intelligence of the man, and his ability to diagnose a situation.  Secondly, Griffin-Stewart has moved from a situation where his receiving skills were likely under utilized, to a situation where he receiving skills will likely be highlighted.  While it’s tough to comment on exactly how good of a receiver Griffin-Stewart actually is, these two highlight-reel catches should be tantalizing enough for certain elements of the Pitt fanbase to anoint the new guy as the next Dorin Dickerson.  I don’t know if I want to go that far, but what I see is certainly promising, and Griffin-Stewart is most likely a receiving upgrade over Carson Van Lynn (no offense to Mr. Van Lynn).

Continue reading “Pitt Lands a Transfer Tight End”