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November 21, 2011

Pitt Takes a Safety/Corner

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 4:37 pm

Call it talking a flyer. Finding a possible diamond in the rough. Whatever you want, but Pitt picked up a commit from one Jahmahl Pardner today. Pardner is a 0 to 2 star recruit out of Rochester, NY. Rivals.com has him unrated, while both Scout.com and ESPN.com (Insider subs.) say he’s a 2-star recruit.

Pardner had interest from BC, Rutgers and Penn State. However, they did not offer him. His best  offers aside from Pitt came from MAC schools.

Pardner is 6-0 to 6-1, 170 to 179 pounds. He plays cornerback for now, but is likely to be moved to safety. There is some potential, per the ESPN.com scouting report.

Pardner is a two-way stand out at the high school level with very good athleticism and ball skills. Has more than adequate height and some length on his frame to assist his very good extension and high-point skills. Shows above average football speed but is not a burner and his lack of great explosiveness and overall speed is a concern when projecting for the next level. Will likely get recruited at safety where he shows well-rounded skills-set and his speed fits best. Instinctive with good physicality. … Could have difficulty breaking down sharply and defending in space. Gets downhill on run support and takes good angles. Productive in the first level as a tackler but will need added bulk and strength to continue producing as a box safety in college. Overall, Pardner is a very productive football player at the high school level with solid athleticism and ball skills that could be falling under the radar on the recruiting trail, but he is likely a mid-major type of prospect.

So, likely to redshirt and get bigger and stronger. Apparently the Pitt coaches see some potential in him.

Welcome to the Panthers.

Muted Start to Brawl Week

Filed under: Football,Schedule — Chas @ 2:25 pm

Maybe it’s the overall “meh” situation of the Big East this year. Maybe it’s the fact that both Pitt and WVU fanbases already have headed for the Big East exits. Maybe it’s just the disappointment both fanbases have had from the expectations heading into the season. But it’s a little bit of a slow start. I expect by Friday, the hate and vitriol will be free-flowing.

Right now, however, it seems the biggest issue is will the Backyard Brawl take place once Pitt and WVU are out of the Big East? So the media bent is starting with some resignation, demands to continue and questions.

Joe Starkey pleads for the Backyard Brawl not to end.

Athletic directors Steve Pederson (Pitt) and Oliver Luck (WVU) owe it to the fans to play every year. I just wonder if the will is there. I’ve spoken with both men. Neither sounded as if he were ready to move the Blue Ridge Mountains to make this happen.

Not that either nixed the idea. They could have gone Kansas-crazy, but did not. Kansas officials tweeted the following after Missouri announced it was bolting the Big 12:

“Missouri forfeits a century-old rivalry. We win.”

That’s the spirit!

No. Both sides are hedging at the moment.

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This will get annoying, I’m sure over the next few months but the voting is now open for Volvo’s Biggest Fan in the Big East. Please help me on this by voting often.

Thanks everyone for all the feedback from the first draft of my All-Big East dream team. It’s been fun trying to put this together. And a real pain trying to finish with a complete and finished product. More than a little bit of rationalizing went into this, but then again, it is a “dream team” not a pure stats driven or pro/potential based collection.

The good folks at Volvo did not stick any preconditions on how this team can be composed other than: a total of 12 players and why.

I, however, made my own limitations. I wanted a real team with subs. Not just all the great guards to come through the Big East plus Patrick Ewing and Derrick Coleman.

The other limitation was that the players had to be playing college ball in the Big East for three years or more. One-and-done and two-year players tended to be just passing through because they had to spend a year or two somewhere. I wanted players that truly were part of the Big East and that is a big part of their legacy. Players that you think of when you speak of the Big East or their respective teams. Not that they were (are) fantastic pro players or had great natural potential. That restriction eliminated some great basketball players such as Walter Berry (who made no secret he was just passing through), Caron Butler, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and DeJuan Blair.

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