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April 28, 2006

Football Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 11:52 am

Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com (Insider Subs.) still believes in Coach Wannstedt for the long term.

Paul (San Diego): What do you see from Pitt this year? Anything at all?

Bruce: I think Pitt should be a little better because Palko will win some games for them and their LBs are very good, but unless one of the frosh TBs shines right away I don’t see them winning more than 7 games this fall. Having said that though, I think Wanny needs time. He is recruiting very well, but the system change from what Walt did is pretty significant. I believe he will make them into a top 10 program at some point. They have everything you need to win big there.

Only a handful of national writers are still publicly saying things like that. Most bailed from the Wannstedt bandwagon after the ND debacle — defaulting to “Wannstedt is a loser headcoach” position.

Incoming Freshman RB Kevin Collier will be in Pittsburgh as soon as he can.

Churchville-Chili senior Kevin Collier won’t have much time to relax this summer.

He graduates on June 24 and leaves that night for the University of Pittsburgh, where he’ll continue his stellar football career in the fall.

Collier, the Press-Radio Club’s Local High School Male Athlete of the Year, leaves Churchville-Chili as Section V’s all-time leading rusher (5,402 yards). He admits he hemmed and hawed between Pitt and Syracuse before deciding to join the Panthers.

“Those were the only two schools I visited,” he said. “It’s a new area for me. I had a prior relationship with David Walker (the Pitt running backs coach and former Irondequoit and SU star) and he’s a great coach. He’s going to lead me where I need to go.”

Collier expects to major in sports journalism and hopes he can play right away and not redshirt.

“You’ve got to work to get what you want,” he says. ”

Unless he somehow bombs in fall practice, there is little doubt that he will be playing early.

Finally in Joe Starkey’s look around the Big East for ESPN.com, he lists pros and cons as to why a team will or will not be better.

Why they’ll improve: 1. More speed on defense to complement linebacker H.B. Blades and cornerback Darrelle Revis.
2. Big year from quarterback Tyler Palko, who feels much more comfortable going into second season with offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh.
3. Talented crew of true freshmen, including potential playmakers in the likes of receiver Dorin Dickerson and tight end Nate Byham.

Why they won’t: 1. Like last year, too many question marks on both lines.
2. Too much dependency on inexperienced players; as many as 10 true freshmen could see time.
3. Place-kicker Josh Cummings’s accuracy hard to replace.

Major spring development: A healthy Clint Session, in his final year of eligibility, re-emerged and grabbed hold of the strongside linebacker position.

I probably don’t even need to repeat it, but: line play.





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