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January 23, 2012

In regards to some fan’s angst over HC Paul Chryst losing committed recruits, it is important to understand that Dakota Conwell is the only recruit who PITT has actually ‘lost’ so far. It is apparent that the new coaching staff allowed WR Corey Jones to switch to Toledo without much of a fight to keep him as evidenced by Jones’ own words in this Post Gazette Blog article.

“When coach Graham was there, I would get a lot of phone calls from Pitt,” Jones said. “After he left, that slowed down. I just felt like things fell off or something. I felt like I wasn’t a main priority for them.

“I wasn’t sure of how Pitt was going to handle things, how I was going to fit into their offense and if I was still in their offensive schemes. … [Pitt’s coaches] are cool, but I’m just trying to do what is best for me and I think Toledo’s offense is what’s best for me.”

At 5’9 and 165 pounds you can see that Jones fit the stereotype of WR that Todd Graham was recruiting. That didn’t seem to be a priority for Paul Chryst at this time.  I would have liked for PITT to keep Jones though, talent is talent and I feel it’s a good use of a scholarship.

Note also that both Corey Jones and DB Chas Whittaker, who had committed to WVU, are teammates who made this decision together.

From the looks of things, as detailed in this Trib-Review piece, our staff is still in hot pursuit of others who will fit their plans for the type of football players they want to field this season.

“Meanwhile, Chryst offered a scholarship to defensive back Ryan Lewis, of Sammamish, Wash., his father said.

Lewis, who visited the campus over the weekend, is the son of Seattle Seahawks vice president of football operations Will Lewis and the nephew of former Steelers defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, who played cornerback at Pitt.

“Ryan really enjoyed his visit and the coach enjoyed having him there,” said Will Lewis, who is a cousin of Pitt linebacker Tristan Roberts. “(Ryan) is going to think about it for a couple of days and get back to him, sooner rather than later.”

Lewis, 6-0, 185, has offers from Colorado and Utah. He is rated a 3-star recruit by rivals.com.

Pitt welcomed several recruits to Pitt over the weekend, including defensive tackle Willie Henry and defensive back Sean Draper of Glenville (Ohio); defensive tackle Terrell Jackson of Marion Franklin (Ohio); and New London (Wisc.) offensive lineman Gabe Roberts, who also is considering Wisconsin.”

Of course, Chryst & Co. have some other more familiar names that they have been working on to play thier college ball at PITT.  J.P. Holtz and J.J. Denman, at TE and OL respectively, are highly sought after recruits who have interest in PITT.   Safety Bam Bradley and LB Deaysean Rippy are possibilities also among others the staff has contacted and worked to commit.

On the flip side we may lose Adam Pankey to WVU as he visited the Mountaineers on the 13th, but no solid news on him so far.  So it looks like we’ll get some real recruiting news over the next eight days.

 





@pk, thanks, just saw he’s done to two. Pitt and Michigan State.

I can’t figure out, for the life of me, why on earth his parents, his high school coach, or himself would announce his college choice on KDKA if he wasn’t going to committ to Pitt???

Would he really think anyone is that interested in his story if he choses Michigan State???

I mean, take Pitt and Mich St. out of it.

Lets say he’s from L.A., and he’s done to UCLA and Nebraska, why on earth would you announce to an LA tv station, that you decided your going to Nebraska.

What would be the point??? At all???

Now, if it was between Pitt, PSU and or WVU, then ya, you could see it.

Comment by Dan 01.23.12 @ 8:38 pm

Bowling green panther penn state coach has had less time he is doeing very well thank you
and has a full staff,
and you miss the point it is not who he lost it is that he has noy replaced them and dockish knows more than you or i and he says they are not
focused or organized that make me worry

look penn state is loseing players but they are replaceing them with outhers if we were doeing the same i would not worry but we have signed one and lost 4 maybe 5 so dont say it is ok not untill he replaces them

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.23.12 @ 8:42 pm

@ Dan

Many recruits do that. It’s called ego. Ego. Ego. Not saying that’s the case here because I think he will choose Pitt.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.23.12 @ 8:45 pm

Dan, I was thinking the same thing. it’s looking good for Pitt there

Comment by pk 01.23.12 @ 8:47 pm

Mike that is the point he has not replaced them
not even with lesser talent which would be ok i guess .

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.23.12 @ 8:48 pm

the sky is falling…the sky is falling. You guys are a funny lot

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.23.12 @ 8:50 pm

Is it just me or does anyone else find it curious that PC has been pretty quiet. Sounds like he may play things pretty close to the vest and if so that is going to be a big adjustment for at least me compared to Fraud who spoke just to hear himself and even Wanny. Not publicly airing his his recruiting could very well be a great strategy as to not give anything away. If so not so sure that is a bad idea. Given the need for immediate information these days this could take some getting used to. BUT if he succeeds I can deal with it

Comment by giveitarest 01.23.12 @ 8:51 pm

I think Bowling Green has a pretty spot on theory.

I hear Voytik got a lot of communication from Coach Chryst.

While I believe he meant what he said about honoring all scholarships offered, I also believe he wants players that fit a system.

I think some guys don’t fit into that system necessarily and he likely didn’t reach out as much to them.

That is why quite a few of us believe we should wait until LOI time.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 01.23.12 @ 8:59 pm

Pitt hired PC on December 22, a month ago. So far he has hired part of his coaching staff and recruited ONE player. Time to panic.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.23.12 @ 9:01 pm

Hey Bowling Green, how ya been???

Ya, I get that. I would be thrilled to get him, but, he’s not exactly a Terrel Pryor or Russhell Shell where people have followed him around for months with cameras or anything like that.

Hoping for the best.

Comment by Dan 01.23.12 @ 9:02 pm

As a Pitt fan I have to say we are the funniest group of fans on the planet.

Not worried in the least at the moment. Wait until fall and next recruiting season.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.23.12 @ 9:08 pm

I will be glad to be wrong and will say so if i am.
but as DR TOM says i am not feeling warm and fuzzey abought this.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.23.12 @ 9:09 pm

He just started focusing on Pitt, after the bowl game.

How many more coaches does he need to hire?? I’m just asking, I really don’t know, seems like he has hired quite a few.

Keeping one of the top 5 RB’s and one of the top 10 qb’s committed to play at Pitt, along with 15 or 16 of the 18 verbals staying committed to Pitt, how is that “this ship is sinking fast”??

Comment by Dan 01.23.12 @ 9:09 pm

I’m sure he’s not all misty eyed about losing a couple guys to MAC schools, like, a, hmmm, maybe they shouldn’t have been coming here from the get go!!!

Comment by Dan 01.23.12 @ 9:10 pm

Bring back Todd Graham now!!!!!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 01.23.12 @ 9:11 pm

Well, lookie there.

As this board proceeds to flip its collective poop over perceived lack of inactivity, I see a fellow Pitt fan on Twitter re-tweet Demitrious Davis, who said he just got off the phone with Chryst. Fellow Pitt fan asked him via Twitter if it was a good talk and he answered in the affirmative.

I don’t follow any of the recruits on Twitter myself but some of the fellow Pitt fans I follow do. From what I’ve seen based off things they retweet, the coaches ARE in very regular contact with these kids.

Again, guys…relax. I understand the concern. I understand the circumstances aren’t the best. But there are people on Chryst’s staff who have been recruiting at a high level for a long time. We’ve got a whole other week of this. A lot can happen and that goes both ways. I know we’re all afraid of worst-case scenario, but as Reed, FTM and PK said, the core pieces of this class still seem to be very secure, and what matters much beyond just this recruiting class is what Chryst and Co. do with the players on the field.

Comment by Stoosh 01.23.12 @ 9:13 pm

Dan,

I agree. I’ll never forget when I was a substitute teacher on the day a local qb announced he was going to Mich State on live tv from the high school library. Small school – only time that had happened. there. I commented to one of his coaches what a big deal that was only to be told by his coach – “He’ll be back home in a year. But boy will his 15 minutes of fame last forever here.” Didn’t finish his first season.

I believe there was a sad case in Utah or Nevada where a kid totally lied about who was recruiting him and held his own press conference with the hat picking and everything. Sad what our society has become.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.23.12 @ 9:15 pm

Brandyn Cook told the Trib that Chryst suggested that he look elsewhere b/c he wasn’t tall enough.

Comment by H2PInIN 01.23.12 @ 9:18 pm

Dokish just tweeted Denman to Rutgers.

Comment by Mike 01.23.12 @ 9:22 pm

Dan,

Chryst has hired eight assistants:

Bob Bostad – Offensive Coord./Offensive Line
Dave Huxtable – Defensive Coord.
Joe Rudolph – Asst. Head Coach/QB Coach
Eddie Faulkner – Running Backs
Jim Hueber – Tight Ends
Chris Haering – Linebackers
Matt House – Secondary
Todd Rice – Strength & Conditioning

There are rumors that they’re close to hiring Bobby Engram as the wide receivers coach and Al Holcomb to coach the defensive linemen. Holcomb is currently a defensive assistant with the NY Giants, so he’s busy for two more weeks. Engram was an offensive assistant with the 49ers.

Comment by Stoosh 01.23.12 @ 9:24 pm

For what it’s worth, Dokish has also tweeted today that he expects Pitt to get JP Holtz and Gabe Roberts.

He’s playing up the loss of Cook, but I’m not sure how much stock he’s putting in Cook primarily being a shotgun center in high school, something that may have made him more valuable to Graham’s offense than Chryst’s.

Comment by Stoosh 01.23.12 @ 9:28 pm

Denman is official at Rutgers. Philly.com has an article on it complete with quotes from Denman.

Comment by H2PInIN 01.23.12 @ 9:28 pm

I’ve been watching Dokish on twitter and his blog today. Man, he gets excited when he gets on a roll. Anyway, from what I can tell it’s not that he thinks Cook is good as much as he is worried that at least he was a body, something Pitt is sorely lacking on the line. He said if they replace him with somebody equal that fits better then so be it.

Comment by Mike 01.23.12 @ 9:42 pm

Things aren’t that bad. Some outside perspective:

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.23.12 @ 9:51 pm

Dennman’s father is a Rutger’s graduate and lives 1 hour from the RU campus.

Comment by markp 01.23.12 @ 10:13 pm

Be Cool guys Chryst is going to be a First Class Coach

Comment by 63Team 01.23.12 @ 10:26 pm

Mike,

I can understand that. O-line depth has been an issue here for some time. Losing Cook hurts from the standpoint that it at least hurts depth. Beyond that, we’ll see. I think come next week, this staff will still pull in its fair share of linemen on this current class.

I know some of the coaches with Wisconsin ties obviously bring with them their pretty strong reputations for recruiting, developing and coaching up linemen, but I think it was a bit premature to expect the floodgates to open right away as well. This kind of ties into what Reed and others said above – this is still a program that is likely dealing with the aftershocks of three head coaches in 14 months.

The biggest statement this staff will make with recruits isn’t so much what it can do in about a month on the job right now, but rather after recruits have had a chance to see what they do on the field this coming season and even the following one.

Comment by Stoosh 01.23.12 @ 10:41 pm

I like Cook, Defended him when he signed earlier in the year. But I’d trade him for Roberts in this offense in a heartbeat.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.23.12 @ 10:45 pm

Jones traded for Holtz is a no-brainer as well. But I don’t begrudge any of the players who left. They should find the best fit for themselves and their future. But I do commend those who stayed true.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.23.12 @ 10:52 pm

J P Holtz and Gabe Roberts i would be glad to have them
but what is the big deal with HOLTZ he is only a 3 star per Rivals it is not like he is a 4 or 5 star and roberts is a NR i mean we need them and if we get them good
but holtz is not in rivals top 35 TE is it becuse he was once a penn state recruit glad to have him and all that . but he is not the best TE out there.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.23.12 @ 11:01 pm

Dan,
If he started focusing on his job at Pitt after the bowl game he waited way too long in my opinion. It is showing in the recruiting.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.23.12 @ 11:07 pm

FRANKCAN: when it comes to o-linemen and bob bostad, the least of my worries is how many stars they are ranked. brandyn cook is a 3-star, yet he only has offers to pitt, miami OH, and youngstown st. it doesn’t add up. as long as bostad stays, he’ll coach these guys up well above where they were ranked. and since holtz will spend a lot of time blocking, you can say the same sort of thing about him.

Comment by H2PInIN 01.24.12 @ 1:23 am

Dr. Tom – please prescribe FRANKCAN something that gently knocks him out until LOI day. I have grave concerns that our friend isn’t going to make it.

And unless Dokish has access to Chryst’s emails and cell phone bill, let’s give our new coach the benefit of the doubt until he shows us he is undeserving.

Comment by Julius Dawkins 01.24.12 @ 1:35 am

HoustonP
-do you really think that PC’s best move was to bail out on his Badgers in the Rose Bowl no less after the tg debacle. It’s about accountability in life same in recruiting
-Maybe recruit spots are opening up for players this year..next year with all these recent departures. Perhaps they are part of the master plan PC has implemented to devise his deviancy to take over the world…!

Comment by Gordo 01.24.12 @ 2:02 am

For anyone to think PITT would have even allowed Chryst to leave Wisconsin to come to PITT before he coached in the Rose Bowl is out of their mind. PITT was in major damage control mode at that point. Even though Graham made the chickenshit move to run to ASU, there definitely was a question in the national media minds of “Why did he want to leave PITT so fast?”

It was also a reflection on PITT whether we like it or not and PITT was going to take the high road no matter what Chryst wanted to do.

As to recruiting, to think that this shortened recruiting season is any sort of harbinger of how Chryst will do in future seasons is a real reach IMO. We just don’t have enough behind the scenes info to say that. However, you can say you are disappointed in this class if you feel the need to. I really don’t though. I’ll reserve my judgement until after LOI Day.

Put it this way. When DW was hired he recruited very well his first three years yet we went all that time without one winning season. I remember people jumping up and down because he was ‘such a good recruiter’ early on yet in his first three years we went 5-6, 6-6, 5-7 and that was with recruiting classes who had a lot of four and five star players.

I think that with hindsight that DW was recruiting the stars and not the players who he felt would most enhance the football team. Most coaches don’t do that unless they are so strong of a program that they stockpile the highly ranked players like USC and ND used to do. I also think it bit him in the ass in the long run because his teams became one dimensional by necessity due to poor recruiting of the whole of the positions. It was like his staff didn’t really put the effort into researching the actual players but instead grabbed the highest ranked ones.

For example, if no star Caprara contributes even on special teams and sees some action at LB, he’ll be far ahead of what five star Shayne Hale has done for PITT.

If Paul Chryst is targeting kids he actually feels will be main contributors to the program instead of worrying about losing a four star WR who he might not have wanted to keep in the first place… then I’ll be satisfied in the long run.

As to the Rose colored glasses, better that than to need a Valium prescription to calm the “PITT is doomed” fears down so you can sleep at night.

Comment by Reed 01.24.12 @ 6:30 am

Frank, on scout holtz is 4 stars and a top ten te and on espn he is a 78 which is high three stars.

Comment by Pk 01.24.12 @ 7:00 am

pk – Make no mistake, J.P. Holtz is a very good player and is a huge concern for Paul Chryst.

As of right now we have two actual TEs on the roster, Hubie Gram and Carozzoni. With the type of offense that Chryst has been very successful with the TEs play a major role.

This staff has targeted and put a lot of time into recruiting Holtz and it will be a big disappointment should Holtz choose MSU – which I don’t think will happen.

Comment by Reed 01.24.12 @ 7:07 am

I am hoping Chryst is looking long term and not just trying to make headlines like the last guy.

Has he really had sufficient time to evaluate his existing players to know what his needs are?

Better to focus on quality rather than quantity.

He has held on to the quality, next year’s recruiting class is the one that matters.

Comment by gc 01.24.12 @ 7:19 am

So much gloom and doom over players no one cared about before. From what I’ve read, it seems these players Pitt “lost” were more along the lines of let go by Pitt. Corey Jones said he didn’t have enough contact by the current staff. Do you really think that Paul Cryst is so unorganized that he can’t call Corey Jones? That seems pretty foolish to me. Clearly, they’d prefer to use the scholarship of these players that don’t fit on other players that they think fit better.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.24.12 @ 8:20 am

pk rival has the best and truest rankings
pk REED yes i want holtz i am sure he is a
good TE but all this fuss for a 3 star.

the way you are all talking abought him you would think he was a 5 star number 1 TE in class
he is a 3 star that i want on the team .

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 9:12 am

Denman to Butgers and Center recruit Cook just decommitted. Would have been nice to pick-up Denman but you can’t lose what you never had. Cook’s change is understandable since he is undersized for the new scheme.

Comment by TX Panther 01.24.12 @ 9:34 am

I am disappointed in the progress so far but I don’t think I have lost my mind. I was expecting PC to stay at Wisconsin through the bowl game but to put some effort into organizing his staff and contacting recruits during the time leading up to the bowl. This is what O’Brien has done at PSU while keeping his very high pressure day job with the Patriots. While PSU is a high profile program it must be a hard sell because of the tragedy surrounding the football program. Nevertheless, they have recruited 7 players since January 16. We have 1 since PC took the reins.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.24.12 @ 10:32 am

Good point Houston.

I wonder what the numbers are though??

How many scholarships does Pitt have to give and how many does PSU have to give?

I’ve seen different numbers thrown out there, how many scholarships do have to give??

Stoosh???

Comment by Dan 01.24.12 @ 10:38 am

I believe someone posted that if we gave 20 scholarships that would take us to the 85 limit. That was also as it stands with the current roster. Don’t know this personally just trying to remember. what was posted

Comment by giveitarest 01.24.12 @ 11:00 am

DAN when we should have 9 to give becuse of the players we lost.
2 weeks ago we had 5 to give every team can have 25 per year i think that is the way it goes

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 11:03 am

25 is the max in anyone year but there is still a maximum of 85 on a team at anyone time

Comment by giveitarest 01.24.12 @ 11:04 am

I know when we had 19 every one said we had 5 more to give .
i just checked are class is down to 15 so we
have 9 to give. 2 things dont count walk ons brown is listed as on team he is a walk on as are outhers.
and cincy has given 32 so they are brakeing some rule some were.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 11:33 am

they can offer 32 but can only sign 25. Not sure what the current total of returning scholarship players is.Anyone know?
Only the SEC has rules about offering more that 25 I think.

Comment by giveitarest 01.24.12 @ 11:39 am

I think what some of the schools especially in the SEC do it to greyshirt players-sign them but have them enroll later in the next recruiting class.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.24.12 @ 11:51 am

giveitarest some one posted on here that we are loseing 15 players off of team this year .
dont know what are total on team is like i said you dont count walk ons and some said there are at least 2 who dont have the grades to stick.
are you sure of the 85 rule i thought it was 100.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 11:52 am

Down to 15 and need some good PR to stop the slide. Alot of this is perception and if the perception is a defection of commits that effects the entire outlook. A commitment or two would help but there is no news coming out of this group other than possibly a Holtz commitment.

As far as Holtz is concerned he was probally coming to Pitt even if Graham was still the coach. I would like to see a decent profile recruit that is picking Pitt because of the new HC.That is why Denman would have been a good get.

Comment by JP 01.24.12 @ 12:00 pm

FRANK I was pretty sure but found this on line when searched for scholarship limits

FBS football – 85, with an additional limit of 25 initial counters per year

Comment by giveitarest 01.24.12 @ 12:02 pm

Aside from the 4 stars, is Denman really what you want? I mean, the kid has now verbally committed to 3 schools – Penn State, Wisconsin, now Rutgers. And you mix in the courting with Pitt, that’s 4 schools in the mix. No knock on him because I can’t say I knew EXCATLY what I wanted to do at age 18, but by the spring term of my senior year, I’d had my college choice pretty much identified. Anymore, it seems those kids that seem to be unable to make a decision just lead to problems.

Comment by Spats 01.24.12 @ 12:52 pm

Frank – I’m not sure Rivals is the best site. They miss out on a lot of recruits just like Scouts and ESPN do.

The bottom line with Holtz is that he’s a position of need and has great offers for scholarship…

Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Maryland, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia

Comment by Reed 01.24.12 @ 12:55 pm

One more thing to remember – even with these defections we are at between 82 – 84 scholarships given out.

The transfers and 5th year seniors leaving hasn’t happened and that leaves up with a short class.

Chryst is working under tight constraints here. He may only have three or four scholarships to give out when all is said and done.

BTW – there is word around that Corey Jones wasn’t going to qualify academically at PITT.

Comment by Reed 01.24.12 @ 1:09 pm

Great banter guys. And thanks Stoosh for clearing me up on where we are now, with the coaches.

Comment by Dan 01.24.12 @ 1:09 pm

Reed i want him we need any good player just saying he is a 3 star and every one is talking like he is a 5 star and a top 5 star at that.

do i want him yes but lets keep it real.
as dan said it is not like he is the number 5 rated RBin this class who we have all ready
our the number 4 rated QB who we have all ready

he is a good get yes . and rivals is the best
i think so any way.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 1:15 pm

REED look at giveitarest post i think it 4 above your last post 85 with additional limit of 25
please read that then explain ok.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 1:24 pm

Hey Chas, Reed, guys??? How much a month does Rivals and Scout cost a month to get behind the paywall???

If it was $9.95 or something, might be nice to have, or, my fear, is it something like $39.95 or $59.95???

I tried to see, but they wanted me to fill a bunch of crap out to go further.

Figured it would be easier to find out here.

Comment by Dan 01.24.12 @ 1:32 pm

NY Post quoted Denman saying that one of the reasons he chose Rutgers was the hard work of TE coach Brian Angelichio

Comment by markp 01.24.12 @ 1:38 pm

REED i did some math dont knoe if it is right counted team took off SR and walk ons counted the 15 commits we have and came up with we only have 3 more to give with out kicking some one off the team or some one flunkig out
which if i am right means this class cant go over 18 unless we get rid of some one does that seam right to you.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.24.12 @ 1:53 pm

If Christ had coached Pitt last year he may have won 9 games instead of six. That said, with a number of players returning and those in the Graham doghouse that were 4 star recruits (Clements and Myers) the pantry is far from empty.

Under Christ Street could become the wr threat he can be and Graham, if his leg is sound will be much more dangerous with a fullback in a proset. Schell should also be productive in a Christ system since he is the prototype Wisconsin back.

Next year recruiting maybe more important.

Comment by DRW 01.24.12 @ 4:47 pm

I really don’t care if we get another recruit besides the 15 + Holtz. I think this class is good, and there are enough big bodies from Wannstedt to get through a year or 2. Next year, we will have to bring some in, but by then Chryst & co will have had a year to work on it.
It is unfortunate he wasn’t hired last year, but that is as it is. I am way more concered w/ Bball right now.

Comment by Punxy Panther 01.24.12 @ 5:03 pm

Can’t remember their whole names, but what is going on with the Pitts cousins?

Comment by Stfan 01.24.12 @ 5:55 pm

Frank – I believe your math is correct – 18 total seems about right but he may want to ‘greyshirt’ some kids anticipating being able to give them a scholarship if any more open up.

DRW – nice to have you back.

Scout.com is $9.95 per month I believe and I would get it only if you like discussions about PITT football without all the crap that is on the free board.

Comment by Reed 01.24.12 @ 6:30 pm

It looks like Javonte Pitts will have academic problems again this year. Two star on Rivals and NR on Scouts. The key thing though is that he’s 5’10 so that may not be a big selling point for being a Chryst DB.

Comment by Reed 01.25.12 @ 5:41 am

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