March 28, 2007

March of Recruiting Linebackers

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 9:00 am

I keep reading about how recruiting is getting faster and faster, how Texas, USC and a bunch of other schools are already locking up verbals (yes, I know Pitt already has a couple as well). Why the hell there isn’t an early signing period is beyond me. You know the coaches want it so they don’t have to keep babysitting and hand-holding the committed recruits. The kids wouldn’t mind or else they wouldn’t make the early verbals in futile attempts to just get the rest of the recruiting schools to back-off just a little. Basketball has one. I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened. It wouldn’t slow down the increased recruiting cycle, but it couldn’t hurt.

Apparently one of the top-linebackers in the country is down in Washington, PA. Andrew Sweat is being wooed by all the major names.

Sweat’s phone may see more action after the release of the ESPN 150, which ranks the nation’s top high school football players.

According to the list, the first-team all-stater is the No. 11 player in the country and the nation’s highest rated linebacker.

Sweat found out the news while on a recruiting trip to Florida, the defending national champions.

“I was in Florida this past weekend when Coach (Urban) Meyer congratulated me on being the number-one linebacker in the country,” Sweat said. “At first, I thought he was like, ‘You’re our number-one linebacker.’ When he told me about the ranking, I was like, ‘Whoa. That’s pretty cool.’ There are a lot of kids playing high school football.”

The only good news is that despite sounding a bit star struck at times, Pitt is in the mix and he doesn’t plan to decide until at least June.

Sweat, whose father Gary played at Syracuse after two years of varsity football at Avella, estimates he has 28 scholarship offers and his share of interesting recruiting stories.

“I’m at Ohio State and I’m sitting at a table with Chris Speilman, A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and a few other guys and they’re trying to get me to go to their school,” Sweat said. “I idolize these guys and I’m sitting there with them.”

He lists his top five choices as Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Pitt.

Another linebacker getting recruited hard is out of Youngstown, OH, Brandon Beachum.

Beachum said that Pittsburgh, LSU, Oklahoma and Penn State have been recruiting him the hardest. “Pittsburgh offered me in December,” he said. “That really impressed me because each coach sent me a personalized, handwritten letter. I thought that showed a lot of class. I was just there on Friday (March 23). I had a great time. I got to watch practice, which was great.

“Then I sat down with Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and had a great talk. He told me that with all of his experience, I’d be in the best position to be successful in the NFL in his hands with him coaching me…a great situation. He does have a lot of experience and knows what it takes to make it in pro ball. I like the fact that it’s only three hours away too.”

Either that’s a misquote on the distance, or he takes a very strange way to the ‘Burgh.

Hmm, three hours from Youngstown would put you right in the middle of PA. Good thing there isn’t a school there that might be recruiting a top LB. Misquote or Freudian slip?

Comment by Cris 03.28.07 @ 9:11 am

He can help Morelli with his homework.

Comment by ChrisA 03.28.07 @ 9:28 am

I believe he was talking about Pitt. It is good that Pitt has such a high graduation percentage because he can learn better geography. Youngstown is at the most 1 1/2 hrs via interstate from the Burgh!

Comment by Kenny 03.28.07 @ 9:33 am

Is he Amish? It might be a three hour buggy ride.

Comment by frankinchicago 03.28.07 @ 9:57 am

All these great recruits coming in and others considering Pitt, too bad we still cant win a meaningful game.

Comment by Rex 03.28.07 @ 10:50 am

“He can help Morelli with his homework.” That’s really funny, ChrisA. If he comes to Pitt, he can help Shady with his.

Comment by Crackbaldo 03.28.07 @ 11:37 am

From Seth Davis of si:

“As good a player as I think Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray is, it will be interesting to see how the Panthers do next season without him. My hunch is they will be smaller, quicker and deploy a more up-tempo attack, all of which should be to their benefit.”

Comment by scoocher 03.28.07 @ 11:45 am

I think the hunch that we will be smaller without Gray is pretty much on target.

Comment by Danster 03.28.07 @ 12:17 pm

Sweat’s high school coach at Trinity is an awesome coach. I played for him in highschool in the early 90’s and loved it…

hope this kid comes to Pitt

Comment by cousin j 03.28.07 @ 4:01 pm

Sweat said very specifically that he did not enjoy his Pitt trip as much as he enjoyed his others – there’s a quote in Doesn’t sound real good for us.

Comment by RWill 03.28.07 @ 6:16 pm

“I’m at Ohio State and I’m sitting at a table with Chris Speilman, A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and a few other guys and they’re trying to get me to go to their school,” I don’t understand this, a clear violation of NCAA rules. You can not meet with recruits, and if you do by ‘accident’, you can not recruit for your school. How do they get away with this.

Comment by Mike 03.28.07 @ 6:39 pm

I think the rules are different for ‘official visits’, or something.

Comment by ChrisA 03.28.07 @ 8:00 pm

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