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August 24, 2012

Looking A Little Ahead

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 8:48 am

Some things on a few of the players we will see next year.

Pitt’s top recruit, QB Tra’von Chapman talks about how he decided that Pitt was his choice.

So how did the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Chapman tab Pitt while forsaking nearby Kent State where his father, Thad Jemison, and one of his mentors, Darrell Hazell, coach, along with his hometown school of Cincinnati?

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Chapman said. “My dad played at Ohio State and we, coach Tressel and coach Hazell are all so connected. Growing up, I was a Buckeye through most of high school. But when that stuff went down with Tressel leaving, it changed everything.”

Chapman had his choices down to Pitt, Wisconsin, Kent St. and Cinci. Ultimately Kent State wasn’t enough of a challenge. Then a lot of the decision had to do with geography. Cinci was too close. Wisconsin too far. But Pitt was just right.

“Part of the reason I left Cincinnati [to come live with his father in Kent] is because there’s a lot of negative things happening there,” he said. “I wanted to stay out of trouble and keep focused on school and football. If I would have gone back to Cincinnati for college, those same negative things would have been there.”

In the end, that’s why Chapman believed Pitt offered the best mix of everything he was looking for.

“Pitt gave me the best chance to grow as a man, without being too far away,” he said. “That, and the [Paul Chryst] coaching staff made me feel comfortable. The facilities, the way the uniforms look, going to a situation where I might be able to play right away might be what some kids look for. But for me, I feel comfortable saying I can see myself there for four years. Those coaches, they blew it out of the water to me.”

Part of me died a little inside when he said the uniforms.


A Very Soft Middle

Filed under: Football,Injury — Chas @ 12:09 am

In case you missed it, the already thin and questionable linebacking corps got a bit thinner with the news of Ejuan Price.

Linebacker Ejuan Price tweeted that he will take a medical redshirt after undergoing pectoral surgery in the spring.

In the long-run, it is probably good for Pitt. The linebackers will be stronger, and Price will have an extra year.

But this year? With Todd Thomas still a big question mark when he is getting all the way back from his ACL surgery? Not so much.

Dan Mason may see more action than anyone really wanted that surgically repaired foot to ever see at this rate. Or maybe Pitt pioneers a 4-2-3-2 defense as a more general defensive look. There is going to be a lot of trial by fire for some of the underclassmen.

One thing I’m feeling sure of: there won’t be a label on Coach Paul Chryst about how he doesn’t play freshmen.


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