January 30, 2012

While the recruiting season winds down for college football programs and the last scholarships are being filled, it is often the case that schools will take ‘a reach’ on players just to see if they will blossom later on.  This is, to me, is one of the most intriguing aspects of the recruiting season.

We’ve been able to keep the core group of inherited recruits together pretty well so far.  However, we have had some recruits who would have contributed to the program turn their attentions elsewhere; Conwell Dakota (LB) to ASU, William Parks (DB) to UofA, Marzett Geter (DB ) to a remedial tweeting class, Brandon Cook (C) to Miami of Ohio and Corey Jones to Toledo.  In what may be our biggest loss OT Adam Pankey is looking hard at WVU and I think he’ll fall that way.

What is interesting about those defections is the debate on whether the recruits were ‘encouraged’ to go elsewhere or whether they made the move themselves.  I think Jones, Geter and Cook didn’t really have a place under the new staff, but it doesn’t really matter in the long run because the fact is that they will not be at PITT in 2012.

In addition, Chryst has added everyone’s favorite J.P. Holtz, a TE who decommitted from PSU and who could see action sooner than later.  We also pulled in two lower ranked kids in CB Ryan Lewis of WA State who, due to an injury in his JR year, was somewhat under the radar to recruiters and LB Mike Caprara the leading tackler in Woodland Hills history which isn’t shabby.

I do think Paul Chryst and his staff is doing more long range planning right now, whether out of necessity because high impact players aren’t signing on at this late date or by staff choice, we really don’t know.  In two days we will see what’s what when the players start signing and faxing their Letters of Intent to the school of their choice.  We still have some HVTs (High Value Targets) out there who our staff still has a shot at.

Deaysean Rippy, a great or not so great LB depending on what day it is, has stated that he’ll choose between the Good Guys (PITT) and the Bad Guys (WVU).

Bam Bradley, a Safety out of Ohio is being courted by a slew of good schools but still has PITT near the top of his list.

Anthony Standifer, a CB from Illinois who will choose between Boise State and PITT.  A strange thing is he has a scheduled visit to PITT on Feb 10th – 10 days after LOI Day.  Never saw that before.

As to those ‘reaches’…there are some others but at this point I’m thinking that what we see is what we get with a few late additions.  OL Gabe Roberts is one.  He’s a non-ranked kid out of Wisconsin who was waiting for a Wisky offer that never came.  He may be just the type of player who Bostad & Chryst can turn into a player at this level.

Add to all this the public confusion regarding just how many scholarships we have to use this year due to academic casualties (as many as four Graham recruits may not make the academic qualifying cut) and 5th year seniors being asked to move on.  We may very well be at our limit but we also will surely find room for one or two highly ranked players if they commit.  It could be also the case that Chryst is saving slots for the 2013 class.


My father-in-law used the expression “football player” to describe players who didn’t necessarily have all the measurables (speed, height, weight) but had an uncommon ability to make plays. Jack Ham would be an example. Hopefully the new staff can discern such ability among the recruits, regardless of the number of “stars”.

Comment by 66Goat 01.30.12 @ 10:03 am

It depends what happens in the next few days but despite the addition of Holtz, I’m currently a little disappointed.

This will change with addition of Rippy, Pankey, Standifer, Bradley (who I think we will get) and others from Cleveland area who are waivering .. plus maybe a pleasant surprise. I’m not saying that we need all of them, but at least half woud be nice.

Comment by wbb 01.30.12 @ 10:04 am

I think this class will turn out good. You can say we lost more than we gained but I think the addittions were solid. Capara is going to be a tackling machine and the addition of Holtz at the end is the icing. In the end if they didn’t want to be here or if we didn’t want them, so be it.

Comment by Justin 01.30.12 @ 10:11 am

I am still trying to figure out how John Guy a mystery player from New Hampshire ended up at the Pete a few days ago. Who is, what is he and how did this prep school kid end up visiting Pitt?

Comment by isnore 01.30.12 @ 10:13 am

We do have some transfer players that will help and OL is still the area of most need, coach boastad does have a track record of developing players along the lines something that has been missing at pitt for to long

Comment by George H 01.30.12 @ 10:16 am

internet rumors have him camping at wisconsin and boastad liked him then

Comment by George H 01.30.12 @ 10:19 am

Adam Pankey was not offered by Ohio State,Cincy or Wisconsin.
He’s from Hamilton, Ohio a small city in the backyard of Miami, Ohio and a hop step and jump away from Cincinnati. Offered by Miami and passed on by the Bearcats.
I have a feeling that he might be an academic reach. A talanted player with “issues”.
WVU is probably the right place for him if he has the SAT’s to become a Rhodes Scholar at Morgantown.

Comment by isnore 01.30.12 @ 10:21 am


When was the last time we had a top 5 RB and a top 5 QB in one class? Never

Thats enough of a victory for me…

Myself included, Pitt fans are never satisfied..

Comment by Yup 01.30.12 @ 10:24 am

If Bostad likes him that is an excellent sign. Who knows, he could end up being an amazing steal.
Bostad’s reputation for judging talent is outstanding….maybe we get lucky with Guy.

Comment by isnore 01.30.12 @ 10:27 am


I don’t see any haters this morning. Please calm down and take your meds. Chryst and Co. have a better than average recruiting class headed our way. When you add in the redshirts and transfers that are elligable in 2012 we should be O.K.
Yup, a suggestion, concentrate on how Tino can be improved to mediocre from terrible…O.K.?

Comment by isnore 01.30.12 @ 10:32 am

I’m pretty happy with it. Sudden coaching changes car wreak havoc, and I don’t think the class is measurably that far off from where it was. As long as 2013 is also a good class, Pitt football might be better off than it was with Graham as a HC. We’ll see.

Comment by pittbaster 01.30.12 @ 10:34 am

The new staff has been in place for most of a month. It did Ok keeping most recruits but has added not much quality with the exception of Holtz who was most likely coming when Graham was here. I would like to see a couple of higher profile recruits but will wait until next year before I judge this staffs recruiting ability.

Comment by JP 01.30.12 @ 12:03 pm

Rivals currently has Pitt rated 6th in BE but has chance to close real well.

The most promising aspect of the class is that the 4-stars not only have waivered but have been pretty strong advocates

Comment by wbb 01.30.12 @ 12:04 pm

.. thet the 4-stars not only ‘haven’t waivered ..

Comment by wbb 01.30.12 @ 12:06 pm

Wbb is right i am also a little disappointed
but things can happen in the next day or two
what i find the bigest disappointment is that
i thought we would get at least a 3 star OL men
or two. with the great OL coach that we have
it must have been the going to the bears rumors
that is all i can blame it on.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 12:10 pm

I’m also kind of peeved that Rutgers seems to be holding on to all its recruits. If Cristobal comes, that whole offense may change.

Comment by wbb 01.30.12 @ 12:15 pm

[…] Reed has the nice rundown, and as usual on this site for Signing Day Wednesday, there will be an open thread for when recruits are “confirmed” by recruiting sites as signed. […]

I feel good with staff we have in place at Pitt. Remember all the guys that were initially recruited by Graham’s spread aren’t necessarily the right guys for Chryst’s pro-style offence. I think some of the de-commitments reflected that. Also Pitt seems to be bringing in some very big offensive lineman. Considering Chryst’s and Bostad’s track record, I feel good with their judgement of talent and who they think will fit in, with the things they want to do. Don’t be surprised if they come up with a new name or two, on signing day.

Comment by Justinian 01.30.12 @ 12:17 pm

Pankey would be a huge addition to the class. Why would he not want to come to Pitt and work with a staff that has a proven record for producing NFL linemen?

WVU would be a huge mistake.

Let’s face it, Holgerson is one casino visit away from Chadima-izing himself.

Comment by Pitt_Panther 1982 01.30.12 @ 12:19 pm

Son of a Gun………!! FootballScoop is reporting:

Rutgers: Steve Politi of the Star Ledger (NJ) just stated tweeted that Mario Cristobal will get the job. We haven’t confirmed he got it; but we have confirmed that they were in deep discussions last night.

Comment by mtoolmn 01.30.12 @ 12:20 pm

Yup – my sentiments exactly. As long as we keep Voytik and Schell this is a special class. The rest is gravy.

Comment by HbgFrank 01.30.12 @ 12:30 pm

@ Yup, I concur, I feel that Shell might be really,really special,like in “TD” special. We’ll know sure enough this coming season because if he is the real deal he’ll get carries a plenty his freshman year. That’s because in this day and age of college football, the cream of the crop, especially at a position like RB, are gone to the NFL after 3 years of eligibility. Also, at running back a kid can step into the game with a lot less experience and prep time than lets say an offensive lineman or QB. Therefore I don’t see him wearing a red shirt his freshman year.

Voytik on the other hand is showing already a different intangible forte than just his natural athletic ability. That seems to be his attitude and his potential leadership capacity. From what I’ve read, he has been influencial in keeping this recruiting class as intact as it is now.

Even if his skill set doesn’t prove to be stellar, at the QB position, leadership can trump ability often times. Tyler Palko is a good example of that I think. He sure played with a lot of heart, his teammates were solid with him at the QB spot and often the team played over their ability with him in there at QB.

We’ll see if there are any other surprises soon enough on Wednesday, but those two are both quality gets in any case.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.30.12 @ 12:30 pm

The last two years we were well on the way to having highly rated classes. Unfortunately Pederson got in the way last year and Graham bolted this year. So we are going to have two average to below average classes in a row. It will take several years to recover from this.
If Cristobal goes to Rutgers that’s more bad news. Another relentless recruiter in our backyard.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.30.12 @ 12:36 pm

if cristobal gets the rutgers job that would be good
becuse he will bring a whole new staff and if that happens we get JJ DENMAN. he said he would leave rutgers if staff changed.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 12:38 pm

HOUSTON PANTHER for the most part cristobal will
recruit different players then us he runs the spred like TG

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 12:41 pm

Why are people worried about Cristobal to Rutgers? Even if he takes it, he will be leaving that job within a year or two to take the Miami job — either that or because his wife just can’t stand to be away from the Miami area where she has numerous extremely solid ties. Remember?! Sheesh….

Comment by JCE 01.30.12 @ 12:43 pm

I know he runs the spread but that does’t require totally different players. The offensive system used doesn’t effect the defense. In the very short run it may be good. In the longer run having Cristobal in NJ may cost us recruits.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.30.12 @ 12:46 pm

houston panther better to have a coach who wants some of the same players than one who wants every body that we want.
different type of players sure there is some over lap but the 5 foot6 wr that we just let go he would want.the center cook that was to small for us he would take.

that is better than some one who runs the pro offince like we will

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 1:05 pm

My main point is that obviously it is going to take a long time to recover from two weak classes in a row. I realize that we are getting some very good players in this class just not very many of them. I would rather that the recruit some very good players and coach them up than to recruit some average and below players and coach them up.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.30.12 @ 1:18 pm

jp you are 100 percent right

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 1:29 pm

Did someone tell Rutgers that Tom Bradley was available.

Comment by JP 01.30.12 @ 1:49 pm

Cristobal was an assistant at Rutgers.

The area surrounding New Brunswick has an enormous Latino population….enough opportunites to keep his wife knee deep in causes for many years.

Comment by isnore 01.30.12 @ 1:51 pm

We got the Right Coach and a great class Pitt Football will build toward another Nat Champ.

Comment by 63Team 01.30.12 @ 2:27 pm

I don’t understand why everyone thought we were going to get this windfall from Rutgers because of Schiano leaving. This is a different situation that what happened with Wanny leaving and the rest of the staff leaving as well. Cignetti and company then pulled that group of last year’s recruits when they headed over to Butgers. And now those Rutgers assistants were instrumental in getting this year’s recruiting class and currently, it looks like none are leaving (yet) and the assistants may be staying put. Schiano leaving happened so fast and so close to LOI day, that it looks like those recruits are going to stay put. However, if I were a Rutgers recruit, I’d think about holding off signing until the smoke clears, especially if Rutgers wasn’t a 100% firm choice to begin with. And if you do become disatisfied with what the new HC does with his staff or if you don’t like th new head coach, hope that you can grab a scholarship elsewhere.

Comment by Pitt Is It 01.30.12 @ 3:56 pm

If I were an RU recruit I wouldn’t sign a thing until I find out who the coach is and what they plan on the staff…If Cristobal comes in and cleans out most of the staff then it is only human nature to reconsider. With Pitt already being on the radar for a lot of these kids, it might make sense for them to re open their recruiting and we are all just hopeful that Pitt could be their choice.

Comment by BCPITT 01.30.12 @ 4:05 pm

Yeah BC, I hope you’re right, but many of these kids feel pressured to sign on LOI Day. Gonna be tough to put the brakes on after they’ve made up there mind, albeit based on the coaching staff they thought they were going to have. Is there any FIU recruits going after? 🙂

Comment by Pitt Is It 01.30.12 @ 4:13 pm

pitt is it BCPITT you are both right if they sign on LOIday they are nuts if it is cristobal he
will bring in new coachs and jj denman who stayed becuse he liked the staff are screwed best to wait till the smoke clears than he can still sign with pitt
hope he gets good advice from some one
some of thoes players will have trouble with the spred just like are players did.

to bad street cant talk to them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 4:18 pm

You are right Pitt Is It – It is a sad thing though if a kid feels pressured into signing just because he can now – making the wrong choice could really foul up a kids college career with the transfer eligibility issues

I do disagree though that it is THAT different of a situation though because Rutgers recruits now would more suit the Pitt schemes going forward..they may not fit into the schemes that Cristobal has if that is the hire to be made…After Wanny left all of his recruits fit exactly what Rutgers was going to do because the entire staff was going practically – we may not be getting the staff back this time around but the schemes may play in our favor this time around.

Comment by BCPITT 01.30.12 @ 4:18 pm

Put the brakes on my last comment – is reporting Cristobal TURNED DOWN Rutgers!

link to

Comment by BCPITT 01.30.12 @ 4:19 pm

BCPITT you are right and that is to bad it would have helped us if he had.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 4:28 pm

if they hire there OL coach as head coach they arent geting the best coach that they can but it will keep there class togther wich is to bad becuse i wanted some of there players. dam that cristobal it would have benn good for us had he taken the job.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 4:58 pm

Butgers hired the OL Coach, Kyle Flood.

Comment by Pitt Is It 01.30.12 @ 6:42 pm

While there seems to be a good deal of growing support for Flood among the RU folks, I find one had a rather interesting perspective.

“Does everyone forget that Kyle Flood couldn’t handle be “Co-Offensive” Coordinator? He was just demoted last year, why would we consider making him head coach? If he becomes head coach this is a huge step backwards.”

With their assistants in place perhaps they do keep most of their verbals but if the comment made by Mark finds others with similar thoughts, RU may very well lose some recruits and be heading towards a downward spiral. On the other hand PC does his talking with the results on the field, which I anticipate will be far better than this past year. One should be very encouraged about upcoming recruiting classes and still be happy we have some good studs in this class plus transfers who will be eligible this year.

Comment by JD 01.30.12 @ 8:44 pm

HESTER picks toledo over pitt the offer was made
bye pitt and he picks toledo what the hell is that i thought we got rid of the outher players
becuse they did not fit now i wonder if that was true
what the hell are we doeing wrong who takes toledo over pitt.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 9:33 pm

Frankcan, it looks like what we are doing wrong is a poor job of recruiting

Comment by Houston Panther 01.30.12 @ 10:31 pm

Houston Panther had hester went to ohio state i could under stand but toledo we offer him on fri
and on tues day it is toledo all his offers were mac schools except ours.

even though he was a3 star his only offers were from mac schools till we offered but to turn us dowm makes no sence.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.30.12 @ 10:52 pm

Frankcan,losing players to Ohio State, yes I can understand-bigger program, Urban Meyer etc. I think it is more upsetting if we are losing players that we want to MAC schools. Seems like our staff is not doing a good job of selling our program.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.31.12 @ 10:09 am

Myles Hilliard switched from Pitt to Syracuse – that’s not a positive sign. Maybe he didn’t care for the new DL line coach.

Comment by markp 01.31.12 @ 11:30 am

S/OLB Bam Bradley to Pitt Dokish is reporting directly from Bradley’s twitter feed. Bam said he is going with “freeze” a nickname for his brother and current PITT LB Nichloas Grigsby. So going by the data the new staff for one reason or another lost/let go 7 to 8 players that committed depending what Pankey does. They include D.Conwell, R.Jones, B.Cook, T.Jarrett (who is not elgible), J. Pitts, M. Hilliard, and M.Cheter (who lost his scholarship). The new staff has gotten commits from 5 new players including Bam Bradley, M.Capara, G. Roberts, R. Lewis, and J.P Holtz. Not terrible not great. I think we got the best player out of these crowds when we got a verbal from Holtz but thats me. If we can get Rippy, T. Jackson, A. Standfier, A. Pankey, or some combination of 2 or 3 of them we have a decent class.

Comment by Chitown Panther 01.31.12 @ 8:28 pm

Plus maybe that fullback from OSU transfers here and include all of the transfers from last year we are in ok shape considering the turmoil. H2P

Comment by Chitown Panther 01.31.12 @ 8:30 pm

PG is reporting Rippy to Pitt. Turning out to be a good day.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.31.12 @ 10:31 pm

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