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June 20, 2012

The Ohio Run Continues

Filed under: Football,Players,Recruiting — Chas @ 3:19 pm

Is it just me or does the Big 33 game seem to to go in spurts where Ohio or Pennsylvania dominates for a stretch and then it switches to the other side. I don’t feel like looking it up to confirm or not. Just noting that Ohio has now won four straight.

The most important thing is that none of the incoming Pitt players were injured in the game or practices leading up to it. Though, Rushel Shell gave some a scare (check the 8:55 time stamp) when he was tackled during the game. Rushel Shell was contained most of the game. J.P. Holtz had a touchdown catch, and Mike Capara recovered a fumble on defense.

Before the game there was a selection of key college coaches in attendance that took part in the press conference. This included OSU’s Urban Meyer, PSU’s Bill O’Brien, Paul Chryst and Temple’s Steve Addazio. (Cinci continues to get no respect.) Amazingly it seems they got through it without a question about the Pitt-Penn State game.

Sticking with the Ohio theme, Pitt continued its run of snagging sleepers from MAC schools. Zach Challingsworth went to one of the Pitt camps. Wanted an offer. Didn’t get one, so he picked Toledo over his other MAC suitors. Then Pitt came through with the offer and Challingsworth switched to Pitt. The wide receiver is a 2- to 3-star prospect with decent size — 6-2, 190 pounds.

Coming on the heels of getting Tony Harper out of Toledo — and his slew of MAC offers — I was getting ready to post something about ruling the MAC in recruiting to this point. Then Pitt got the commit from Corey Clement, which kind of changed the whole feeling of malaise that was starting to descend on how Pitt’s recruiting was going.

Then you couple that with the expectation that Pitt will get a very important verbal in a couple weeks from Ohio.

One other recruiting note from the prospect camps – Theodore Roosevelt (Kent, Ohio) standout quarterback Tra’von Chapman has attended Pitt’s prospect camp both last Saturday and today and is expected to make a commitment to the Panthers on July 1st. If Chapman, who has more than a dozen offers, does commit to the Panthers, it would be a big boost to the recruiting class as he is the top quarterback target from the class of 2013 on Pitt’s recruiting board.

Now, I don’t know why Chapman is waiting. I know it makes some nervous, and others just don’t want to wait to get the news. I am really okay with this. It’s hard to spread out posting. By the time we reach July, it is usually they bottom of the barrel. His waiting until then, helps.


Chas I’m glad Chapman’s waiting benefits someone!
Late commitment announcements make for good blog postings. I for one, could care less when anyone commits as long as they commit to Pitt and are the type of players we want. I must admit, I like reading everyone’s comments when there is good news on the board. Take care and……….. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Justinian 06.20.12 @ 3:47 pm

Hopefully we get both Chapman and Johnson soon. Gives us a big boost. Then hopefully Foster. Maybe that’ll open the door for Boyd and some others.

Comment by Timmeh 06.20.12 @ 4:06 pm

Don’t care too much who wins Big 33 … what disturbs me more is why Ohio always has more D1 FB prospects than PA who has > 1 million people than OH. This has been the case for many years now.

Comment by wbb 06.20.12 @ 4:29 pm

as a follow-up to my post above … 2010 census shows PA with a opulation of 12.7 million and Ohion wit 11.5. Yet, last year in OH, there were 55,000 high school FB players and 144 D1 signees .. but only 26,730 players in PA with 60 signees. Go figure. Here is the data

link to

Comment by wbb 06.20.12 @ 4:39 pm

Here are the past scores of Big 33 Games:

link to

Comment by KeithS 06.20.12 @ 5:06 pm

Ohio has all those D-1 MAC schools. There are only 3 D-1 FB schools in PA, and they can only take so much of the PA talent. I’m sure those OH schools heavilly recruit Ohio, but what kid with D-1 aspirations from outside Ohio really wants an offer from a MAC school. They’ll take one if its the only one offered but nobody wants to school in Ohio or play in that conference. Some good players have come out of it, but it still pales in comparison to BCS conferences including the Big East. Pitt has sent more players to the NFL than the entire MAC most likely. And I would think most of OH is much like WPA. I dont get the feeling like EPA is as HS football crazy as the Pittsburgh area. Just educated guesses as to why OH has more D-1 recruits than PA. Both are rust belt states with declining populations. Weather sucks in both states so practice time is limited. Maybe the sporting options are more limited in OH schools or there are more larger schools that can afford to support football programs as opposed to smaller districts. PA, however, still beats OH in the quality of recruit.

Comment by TX Panther 06.20.12 @ 5:47 pm

Not sure how OH runs their school systems. MD schools are run on a county level system therefore the HS school sizes are large and the facilities are usually excellent. PA has a lot of very small HS schools. How this affects the level of play is a guess.

Comment by Frank 06.20.12 @ 6:04 pm

Chapman is committing to pitt. Johnson says pitts on top and chris dokish thinks hell be a panther more now than he ever did. Many national scouts think foster is going to alabama, whereas everyone from around this area say its either pitt or osu, which i find interesting. Im still confident hell be a panther. This will be a great offensive class with chapman, johnson, clement, and foster. Its the defensive side im worried about. D line recruiting is going ok but pitts missed on all of their top mlb targets so far and pitts not in/or out of the race for any corners. Theyll have to find some diamond in the rough linebackers

Comment by Pk 06.20.12 @ 6:32 pm

Not banking on Foster coming to Pitt.

Unlike some others, also not buying into his recruitment being such a major predictor on the future for Chryst and his staff.

Foster is a big time talent for sure. But he’s one kid being wooed in every different direction.

Based upon comments coming from some other key players targeted by Pitt, there’s little to worry about given the real impact Chryst and his staff are already having.

“They make it feel like a home environment. I feel like I can trust those guys the most.”

Travon Chapman – Tribune Review

Comment by PittofDreams 06.21.12 @ 7:26 am

Foster sounds like a very talented kid with huge upside but a possible downside is his attitude. Is he a selfish player and prima dona? If so, Pitt should pass. Everyone makes him sound like the next Fitz. I think Shell has a better chance of becoming the next Shady than Foster does with Fitz.

Comment by TX Panther 06.21.12 @ 7:35 am

Rushel Shell was a beast in that game. Looking forward to this fall.

Comment by Lee in Altoona 06.21.12 @ 8:27 am

Pass on Foster? You’re insane. Pitt is in no position to be passing on the best receiving prospect in the country who is also a local kid. That’s ridiculous.

Comment by Mike 06.21.12 @ 10:37 am

actually, I read that Foster is very grounded with his tweets despite all the attention he is getting from the major players.

I’m sure he is hearing about playing in a half-filled stadium versus crows of 90,000+, etc. Obviously, the only reason Pitt is in the final grouping is because it is home … hope it is enough.

Comment by wbb 06.21.12 @ 10:39 am

Foster stole the show from Shell (who still had over 200 yards) when they played on national TV last year. I had no idea who he was before that game. My dad and I quickly said, if Rushel Shell is a 5 star then that kid is a 6. Turns out to be the #1 WR in his class. He is a total game-changer

Comment by Tony C 06.21.12 @ 10:57 am

wbb…I agree completely with your above statement. I am sure they are also pointing out the fact that no one was drafted last year out of Pitt (more a fluke for Pitt than anything). Hopefully he feels that he can be an integral part to re-stabilizing and helping his hometown university prosper in the future.

Comment by BCPITT 06.21.12 @ 10:58 am

To be fair to Shell, Foster had a much better team when they played against each other. Without Shell, Hopewell was a 2 win team last year.

Comment by Mike 06.21.12 @ 11:37 am

No joke Mike…I remember watching that Hopewell CV game on ESPN or something because living in south jersey I don’t have much of a chance to get out that way too often. I think by the end of the game the Hopewell QB had only attempted 4-5 passes or something completely ridiculous like that.

Comment by BCPITT 06.21.12 @ 11:49 am

I’ll pass on any 6-star if he turns out to be the next TO. You can’t afford to have cancers like that on any team. Without the proper maturity and attitude, talent can be wasted and team chemistry destroyed. Not sayin that Foster is a TO or a Birch. But, you can’t just look at talent alone…that’s all I’m sayin.

Comment by TX Panther 06.21.12 @ 12:06 pm

Foster did outshine Shell in the ESPN game despite the fact that Shell racked up something like 240 yards.

Foster just has that special elite ability to make plays and make it look easy.

If I had to compare him to someone, it would be a young Michael Irvin.

On the other hand, Shell has some limitations in terms of speed. Not top end like a true breakaway back.

If I had to compare him to someone it would be Maurice Clarett. Same size, runs strong, more quick than fast.

I think most would be thrilled to see Shell have the kind of performance on the field as Clarett did at Ohio State.

A perfect back for Chryst’s system… and PC knows it.

Comment by PittofDreams 06.21.12 @ 12:07 pm

On another topic, it looks like a National Playoff will happen and that it will involve the four highest seeded teams…This is very good for those that feared the “four super conference” model would squeeze out the ACC from the National Title picture. Downside, they are going to rotate the semi final games through the current BCS bowls and sell the NC game to the highest bidding city. Those semi final games should be played on campus.

Comment by HbgFrank 06.21.12 @ 12:28 pm

HbgFrank, you can’t expect the college presidents / ADs to turn their backs on the bowls .. they love them. The other plus is that selecting the 4 top teams will be controversial enough, let alone seeding them.

On the other hand, I would love to see a northern team host a playoff game against Florida, Alabama or USC in early December.

Comment by wbb 06.21.12 @ 1:37 pm

A 18 yo kid can be coached up and with maturity combined with the proper guidance from those in the position to provide support can wise up to appreciate that the world doesn’t actually revolve around him just because he possesses a great football skill set. IF we were to get Foster, it would be what PC and Co. Did with while he was a Panther that would be important.

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.21.12 @ 3:05 pm

If Foster can be another Sammy Watkins I will take him (even with a pot charge). He alone made Clemson a BCS team last year.

Comment by JP 06.21.12 @ 6:12 pm

ND olympic sports to the Big 12? This isn’t good IF true. ND is the key to conference expansion, and the ACC needs them.

Comment by Timmeh 06.21.12 @ 6:30 pm

I wonder what the ND exit fee from the BE will be!

Comment by JP 06.21.12 @ 6:47 pm

on the news tonight after school WVU students have a tough time geting a job a toughter time than students from outher schools i wonder why any thoughts on that any one .

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.21.12 @ 7:27 pm

No way ND goes to the Big 12 with Olympic sports. Their alumni don’t live in the Plains. ND is an East Coast school located in the MidWest. You really think a Catholic school would associate with Baptists? The Domers are with the Big East because of the Catholic schools with a similar mission and in the East where the vast majority of their Catholic fanbase resides. The Big 12 thing is a rumor started by some ignorant toothless Hoopie called the Dude and supported by a dumb ass Horn named Chip Brown from OrangeBloods. Neither are authorities and have any inside knowledge. Both are known assclowns.

Comment by TX Panther 06.21.12 @ 11:16 pm

Re: Ohio v PA HSFB
Grew up in OH, work there many days and lived in Chester & Montco in the east.
Football is much more popular in Ohio than Pa. It is quite popular in western Pa and declines as you head east. Eastern pa football is very very good.
Ohio has 6 divisions and Pa four. The number of participants doesn’t surprise me either.
Ohio football is super popular in urban areas. Akron/Canton, Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati…all have huge followings and they play each other because their playoff system is based on computerized rankings.
Competition is better there and so too the exposure. Teams from the above areas travel to the other cities all the time, not just the first game of the season. The much better interstate highway system and generally flat terrain allow for that.

Like most Ohio guys, the ritual for me in the fall is to check the Ohio HS scores on JJHuddle every Sat and Sun morning.
This feeds the MAC as someone pointed out so the system is in place.

Lots of reasons for the disparity in numbers.

For me, I just wish PA teams would step out of their comfort zone sometimes. In Ohio, schools play larger schools all the time…it ain’t a big deal. In Pa, it is treated like the birth of quintuplets. Pa seems to me to be just a bit incestuous….they rarely leave the same small area and frankly, aren’t exposed to better competition. Check the scores from these first game “special” matchups played over the last few years…Pa has been getting crushed intakes against Ohio foes.

Pa has Philly, PGH Erie and Harrisburg.
Teams from Ohio play

Comment by SFPitt 06.22.12 @ 6:32 am

Sorry about the typo in the last post. I meant to write that teams from Cleveland, Columbus, etc…play each other all the time during all parts of the season. Not just game #1.

Teams in PA have much further to go to do that and thus, they don’t and since playlets aren’t based on computerized rankings, you don’t have to beat good teams to make the playoffs.

Comment by SFPitt 06.22.12 @ 6:38 am

SFPitt, I don’t dsagree with anything you wrote except … the part of the first game special matchups.

Note that Ohio starts 1 week earler than PA, thus, it is the 1st game for the PA team but the 2nd game for the Ohio team .. and that can be very significant. It’s a long known FB axiom that usually the greatest improvement is from the 1st to the 2nd game (especially for high school and colleges which don’t have the pre-season games like the NFL)

Comment by wbb 06.22.12 @ 7:47 am

Good point about improvement between games 1 and 2.
Sadly, PA ends up playing championship games 2 weeks later. I still think that cost Woody High a championship when Breaston was a senior.

Comment by SFPitt 06.22.12 @ 9:00 pm

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