October 19, 2012

Running Back Insurance

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 1:34 pm

I’m not saying that the Pitt coaches think Corey Clement is a shaky — at best — commit to Pitt at this point. The fact that Clement is visiting Wisconsin and seems to have a lot of interest in Notre Dame seems to be enough of a hint.

So, while Panther fans dream of the Dorian Johnson commitment, another offensive lineman, and maybe a linebacker or two Pitt gets a commit from an athlete/running back/safety.

Pitt received its 19th commitment from the Class of 2013 on Thursday night when running back/safety Rachid Ibrahim told coaches he will enroll next year.

Ibrahim (6-foot, 180 pounds) attends the Avalon School, a Catholic all-boys school of 100 students in Gaithersburg, Md.

“He is not only the best athlete, but the hardest worker,” Avalon coach Tad Shields said. “You can’t ask for a better leader.”

Ibrahim held offers from BC and Iowa. He had interest — but no offer from Penn State, Mizzou and Virginia Tech.

I’m not down on the verbal of Ibrahim. He’s a consensus 3-star recruit (,, 247 and His athleticism makes him a very versatile player for the offense. Heck, the evaluation is rather optimistic (Insider subs).

Has the size and athleticism for the running back position at the major level of competition; his frame appears capable of supporting additional bulk over time. … We see a downhill ball carrier with the quickness and vision to locate creases get through the line and up to the second level in a hurry; runs over his pads showing the lateral foot quickness and jump cut ability which freezes linebackers; flashes the short burst needed to break out of the pack. Displays good peripheral vision with a feel for defenders when in heavy traffic and although we fail to see an explosive second gear his playing speed makes it very difficult to run him down once a step is gained; demonstrates the ability to run outside, showing the ability to stretch the defense with good plant and cut ability. His receiving involvement appears limited however he displays the ability to catch out of the frame with outstanding run after catch production. This guy is a tough customer who challenges defenders with a strong, over the pads finishing effort. Ibrahim’s toughness and playing speed could earn him early playing time if a red shirt year isn’t deemed necessary.

Given the presence of Rushel Shell and Issac Bennett as the presumed top-two backs for next season, a redshirt does seem likely.

Ibrahaim is the 19th verbal. Pitt presumably has only a few spots left. You know they are holding spots for Johnson, Robert Foster and/or Tyler Boyd. Yet I can’t help but feeling like Pitt has so many holes and is so lacking in depth at several spots that it is concerning.

In other recruiting notes, future Pitt QB Tra’Von Chapman continues to thrive in his senior year of high school.

Chapman, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, has already made a verbal commitment to Pitt. He is having a big senior season at Roosevelt High School, a Division II program (second-largest of six classifications) in Kent, Ohio.

Chapman has tortured opponents with his passing and running and has helped Roosevelt to a 7-1 record. Chapman is one of the leaders in passing yardage in Ohio, completing 136 of 237 for 2,223 yards and 28 touchdowns. He has thrown for more than 200 yards in every game.

On the ground, Chapman has rushed for 464 yards on 85 carries and scored five touchdowns.

At this point, I just worry about injuries or that Ohio State makes a huge push at the last minute.

My understanding is that he was recruited to be a safety at Pitt.

Comment by Randy 10.19.12 @ 2:12 pm

Where’s the beef? Another athlete type recuit.

Comment by KRF 10.19.12 @ 4:37 pm

We need OL and DL recruits and some more LB’s. Good athlete but Pitt has greater needs.

Comment by TX Panther 10.19.12 @ 4:40 pm

We need Olineman and Dlineman…
We need at least 15 Olinemen and 12 Dlineman on the roster to effectively practice, etc.

I can tell you… it doesn’t appear as if Avalon has a track team… no data…
100 boys… that means he competes in the smallest division which means low level competition… hard to tell if he really is a D-1 candidate.

Comment by Joe D 10.19.12 @ 4:42 pm

Based on its current track, it looks like this team will be meaningless for a long time.

Comment by DJS 10.19.12 @ 6:15 pm

Point a lot of you said wanny couldent recruit
OL men well so far chryst cant eather .
he has 2 low rated ones so far that is not better than wanny in fact not as good and no DT which wanny was good at,

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 6:54 pm

We just got a commit from a consensus 3* with great reviews from all outlets and it evokes a “WTF”?

Phew. I guess I must have dreamt that we were devoid of talent at 18 out of the 22 positions dreamt that that we’ve lost 9 out of our last 14 games.

Tell that bum to take a hike. We’ve got more than enough fast, powerful, tough, hard hitting, intuitive players with a decent feel for the game.

And if we get DJohnson and either Boyd or Foster we are tracking for a top 25 recruiting class. Which is pathetic. It’s not like we’ve had three different head coaches the last three years. We should easily be tracking for a top 10 class, am I right?

Good grief.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.19.12 @ 7:13 pm

I’m sorry, but what the fuck does the acronym WTF mean?

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.19.12 @ 7:28 pm

@Dr. Tom: you answered your own question.

Comment by MariettaMike 10.19.12 @ 7:54 pm

Ok Norwood & Dr. Tom. Count your blessings. At least Joe D didn’t cut and paste a Russell Shell used to do such and such at Hopewell High post!
Recall that some guys on the team now are targeted fir departure. This will open scholarships.
With the lost Wanny/Haywood/Graham class in the books and Graham/PC carved in stone, I suspect PC is getting the best players he can instead of waiting to draw the ACE to get a royal straight flush.
You get what you can guys. WTF do you want, a Saban type class? In case no one has noticed, we need players everywhere and while it would be great to get 1 three star at 22 positions, that ain’t happening!
Really, WTF, whatever that means.

Comment by SFPitt 10.19.12 @ 8:01 pm

shut the front door dr tom such language

Comment by paul shannon 10.19.12 @ 8:10 pm

WTF = Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Good grief! Everyone knows that.

Joedy is who he says he is….

Any time you can get a solid three star, you get him. My word people, our recruiting ranking is between 30-40. Our national ranking, ummm, is not existent in the BCS rankings and if I were to guess, we would be around 8oth out of 124. I would take the verbal group signing tomorrow and be happy. I think we get one or two of the local three, which is fine. Improvement is a process, so is mediocrity. It took a long process to get where we are, so let’s celebrate the good news. Welcome to ur newest recruit.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.19.12 @ 9:02 pm

I think as sad as it is, it’s not like one good year of recruiting is going to fix all of Pitt’s problems. This class hangs on Foster and Johnson, if Chryst can land them, it will be a success. Would I like more linebackers and O and D linemen? Of course. But Pitt isn’t going to get everything it needs in this class.

Remember when we were all freaking out about how Pitt was getting these 2* guys who only had offers from MAC schools? Consensus 3* is a step in the right direction. If PC can keep loading up on them in the years to come, and land the elite talent in Pitt’s backyard, the program will come around.

Also, be glad we’re not UConn . . .

Comment by TartanPanther 10.19.12 @ 10:26 pm

I like the 3 star iwas just makeing a point to all thoes who post on here that said wanny could not recruit OL men .
that cheyst is not haveing any luck doeing it eather.
you have read it on here wanny recruited WR RB DE
BUT NO OL MEN. just was pointing out that are ne coach has the same problem so far why does the truth piss you all off so EMel gets it DAN gets it tex panther gets it some times DR TOM gets it
but the rest of you go nuts if any one says any thing abought chryst untill he proves he is great i will have some doubts that is what happens when you hear wait till next year often enough.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 10:52 pm

He’s a safety with good size 40 yard dash time 4.75 so pretty good athlete. The fact is we need safeties as well no Holley or tags next year. Hendricks is back but who else is there Vinopal hasn’t impressed and then who Gonzales? No doubt we need lineman but a 3 star safety with speed which we’ll need. Not to mention head roads in ACC territory. We need some big boys though so ill agree with you all.

Comment by Beantown-Sean 10.19.12 @ 11:07 pm

Let me put this another way i would say at least half of you who post on here have said.
dont worry abought the stars a player has chryst will coach them up.
that is a true statement is it not?
so now if you go to a lst that rivals and outhers have you will see that there are at least 200 high school line men who are 6 foot 4 or biger
who are 300 poundsd have no offers from any one.

so if we need OL men why not offer 6 of them and coach them up i am not the one who says dont worry
he will coach players up you all are i am the one who wants 3 stars and 4 stars.

if you dont belive me go to panther lair you will find at least 6 player there some with 2 stars with no offers who are 6 foot 6 330 pounds with no offers OG and OT so coaching them up is not that easy or we would offer them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 11:34 pm

4.75 speed. Nice

Comment by Tony C 10.19.12 @ 11:43 pm

I agree with those of you who pointed out that building up the strength of recruiting classes takes time and we have needs at most positions and won’t get our team needs all fixed in a year (and I suggest not necessarily in 2 or even 3.) So does coaching up players who may be raw. Remember also that the star system of recruit ranking can be very inaccurate and subjective. Finding little known players of 3 star potential who appreciate an offer from Pitt is a good thing. Finally I appreciate S.F.Pitt’s comment on the previous article that under Steve P. coach tenure averages about 1.5 years. What is obvious is that period of time won’t work to build up a team coached by a coach in his first head coaching job, even HCPC who shows great potential but is doing it for the first time. My suggestion is that we all try to calm down and not emulate what appears to be Steve P.’s lack of patience with head coaches. HCPC (and almost any new coach) coming into this situation needs at least 3 years to know if it’s going to work.

Comment by opfim 10.19.12 @ 11:47 pm

you all need to read panther prey dokish i juat read it and he is saying every thing that i have said for the last 3 weeks hell after i read it to day i wondered if i wrote it which i did not.
hell if i can see this stuff and he can also
i dont know why half of you cant half do but half of you dont.

all i know for sure is if dokish says the same things as i do then i am not nuts after all he is the expert.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.20.12 @ 12:12 am

Do we really think these rating sites know what there talking about. Give me a bunch of kids known for being leaders and hard workers with some size and speed. I trust this coaching staff to know what there doing. We don’t have a reason to think otherwise. ACC can’t get here fast enough. H2P. Oh ya no street thugs.

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 10.20.12 @ 10:12 am

Tony C…
4.75 for a kid at 180# is not “nice” speed….
In my opinion, a safety or RB with that weight should be 4.6 or under for BCS D-1.

I wouldn’t categorized it as slow, slow, slow… BUT, if will need to add weight so it is a big unknown what will happen to his speed when he adds weight.

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 10:20 am

Good news for those of us in Maryland. Today’s game with Buffalo is on MASN.

FRANKCAN, To the extent that my comments were among those you were aiming at, my point is simply this: Any new head coach, particularly one coming into a situation in turmoil like Pitt’s needs at least 3 years before we know if he will be successful. (Sure there are exceptions.) Look at Maryland. If the AD had listened to trigger happy boosters Edsal would have been gone after his first year. Now in the 2nd year the Terps are showing positive signs. I don’t know if he or Chryst will be successful long term. However both deserve (and we fans do too) enough time and experience to find out.

Comment by opfim 10.20.12 @ 10:23 am

Comment by Tony C 10.20.12 @ 10:29 am

We are stuck with Chryst for 3 years…
However, this year isn’t pretty…
and the next 2 years will be worse (in my opinion) based upon the roster, recruting class of 2011 & 2012, and recruiting class of 2013.

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 10:30 am

There are many reasons that some three star or two stars don’t have offers and the major ones are that either everyone knows the kids are going to be academic casualties, trouble off the field or perhaps injuries.

Pitt does need OL and DL for sure. The problem is that they also need talent upgrades at qb, wr, te, lb, db, kicker, punter, longsnapper, etc. We already have depth at benchwarmer. I do expect the benchwarmer depth to be lightened after this year when our head coach has the “hey, I have watched yo for a year and there is zero chance you will be seeing the field and cal u needs somebody just like you speech”. I am thinking 5-6 get that speech.

Is Art Dokes still on this team? I thought he was about 6’6″ and 350 pounds and a road grader. Would be interested in an update if he has a chance to get some pt. Also, Rotheram has a little brother that is bigger.

Agree with Hugh on players who actually want to be here and are leaders. Recruit winners and leaders from winning programs and you have a solid base with which to work.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.20.12 @ 10:31 am

agreed… but Chryst is just recruiting more benchwarmer depth types..

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 10:34 am


I read Dokish’s blog quite regularly and follow him on Twitter. He does a fantastic job staying on top of the recruiting beat and I think his analysis of the game and the program is solid.

However, he’s not incredibly objective. His writings tend to reflect the fact that he was never really a fan of the school’s decision to hire Chryst. I think too often he allows that to color his analysis of this program’s progress both on the field and in the recruiting trail.

I don’t know that he’s as objective as some of the others out there, so while I appreciate his insight and his candor, I do try to take it with a grain of salt.

Comment by Stoosh 10.20.12 @ 11:10 am

Buffalo’s kickoff weather. 52 degrees and showers.

Comment by alcofan 10.20.12 @ 11:19 am

Stoosh that is what you think and that is ok.
i love pitt you know that .
but i think what dockish wrote is right on and it is what i have been saying for weeks to me it is so clear that he is right.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.20.12 @ 12:09 pm

Star system is not perfect. We all know that. Good guide though.

We all love a hard nosed, coachable 3 STAR that progesses. Invaluable.

Let’s not kid ourselves though…………….


I’ll take my team of 4’s and 5’s sprinkled with a few 3’s, and whip your team of 2’s and 3’s everytime!!!

Recruiting top 20 classes is a must, if you want to be a consitent top 10, top 20 team.

It’s that simple.

We can’t keep telling ourselves, oh, great “he’s a hard worker, he may be a diamond in the rough”.

Those kids are great, sure, to have a COUPLE of them on your team.

You can’t have your team made of mostly those types of guys. Can’t do it. Have to have the talent.

Yes, it’s scary, we keep telling ourselves, well, this kid might be ok, “hey, his coach said he’s a ballplayer” etc. etc.

I hope Coach Chryst can do it over the next couple of years, I’m cheering for him, he gets to have his time.

If we have a team made up of 2’s and 3’s and an occasional 4, we will right where we’ve been, stuck in mediocrity.

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 12:10 pm

Spot on Dan!!!

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 12:53 pm

You guys slay me. A top 20 class would be a miracle since we have a top 80 team. What are reasonable expectations. Improvement would be a top 30-40 recruiting class, followed by a top 30-40 final ranking after next year. At that point you go for a top 25-30 recruiting season followed by a top 25-30 final team ranking.

To expect a top 20 recruiting class after the instability in the Administration and instability on the on-field performance is just realistic is moronic. I am not suggesting mediocrity. What I am suggesting is consistent improvement across the board. That should come with Paul Chryst over the next four or five years. Three year discussions of change are stupid. STABILITY needs to happen. Paul Chryst brings that but our AD needs to jump on board and extend him to help recruiting.

Every last one of you mock Chryst for not even offering his nephew who is the 3rd ranked qb as of now. Why would you do that to your own family. “Hey nephew, come to Pitt. I may only be there for your redshirt year, but come anyway and let’s see what happens”. Pederson is a moron and so are those that think three years and gone will be the right path. Go back to business school. Five year plans are essential, not three year.

And a 4.75 is not slow, especially if the plan is to recruit safeties and turn them into faster linebackers. Nobody understands the Chryst philosophy on none of the “proposed experts” have even asked him his thoughts on the matter. Peace to all the rational thinkers.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.20.12 @ 1:17 pm

Frankcan – you sure do seem to always look at the glass as half empty for a school you love.

So can you please explain what you’d like to see done. Not general statements like get the greatest HC in the world but specifics.

What AD do you want, what HC and assistants? Then please explain how you’re going to try and make that happen.

Because griping about every move they make doesn’t seem to be working.

Comment by burgh1972 10.20.12 @ 1:44 pm

This kid is 172 at a combine…
he would need to gain 50# to be a LB..
And what kind of player would he be??
Why not recruit players out of HS that has the approximate speed and size for the targeted position.
This kid has neither… whether RB, DB, Safety, LB…

C’mon Man!!!

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 2:39 pm

I meant to say… approximate “measurables” for the targeted position.
This kid doesn’t have the measurables… for BCS D-1… whether RB, DB, Safety, LB..

Comment by Joe D 10.20.12 @ 2:41 pm

@duffdaddy. If you are referring to my post, look again, I clearly stated, “Chryst has his time”.

No, I don’t expect a top 20 class this year or even next year.

If you want a winner, and a top 20 team, you need top recruiting classes.

Again, I clearly stated that the coach has his time.

Or what, are a lot of you just happy to have a team, hopefully we’ll be 6-6, with an occaisional 8 or 9 win season sprinkled in every once in awhile.

If we’re not shooting for a top 20 team, then WTF are any of us even commenting on here for.

If I just want to watch football, for football’s sake, I can go to any one of 60 high school games in W.Pa every Friday night.

Hundreds upon hundreds of midget and mite football in the area.

Sorry if it offends some, but, I’m hoping Coach Chryst can get Pitt to be a Top 20 program again.

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 3:55 pm

@duffdaddy. Another point you’re wrong on, I’ve never mocked Chryst and his nephew or even commented on it for that matter, once.

So, NOT, “every last one of you”.


Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 3:57 pm

FRANKCAN doesn’t need to say what he’d like to see done. Other people have been hired for this task.

Some may call it griping. Others may call it, “calling it like he sees it”.

A lot of people apparently see it, because the glare off of the 30,000 empty seats every week is pretty telling.

Well, this guy needs 3-5 years. Yes, we all know that, we’ve been hearing it since 82′!!!

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 4:07 pm

Griping can’t hurt, nothing else has been working!! LMAO!

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 4:08 pm

If you two have such big problems with the decisions those people make, then you have two options. Work to try and fix things or learn to accept what they provide.

Just coming on a blog and griping about about the same things day after day is pathetic…

Comment by burgh1972 10.20.12 @ 5:58 pm

You’re pathetic, that looks like about the 3rd time I’ve ever even seen you post on here.

We’re always on here, and Chas and anyone else can correct me right here, in public, and tell everyone, if my posts aren’t at least

90% pro, positve Pitt athletics!!

Which just goes to show, that not only do you not post on here regularly, you hardly even read the posts on here.

I challenge anyone on here, to say that I’m not pro Pitt.

Actually, I know they won’t, because my posts are almost always pro Pitt.

What, did you just start reading this column and see some negative posts, and this upsets you??

1. Exactly sir, how would a fan go about working to try and fix things???

Please elaborate. Seeing that most of us have been on here for years, and have gotten to know each other, I can say, that most of us go to all of the games (except people from out of town, or ill, and even then some make long trips just to go to the games.)

Ya, that’s right, when you see 20k at Heinz Field, most of us are part of those crowds. We are the die hards.

Most of us have spent money ad nauseum on the University of Pittsburgh, tickets to football, basketball, donations to the athletic department as well as academic donations for years, not to mention all of the merchandise that most of us have on top of it.

So, again, please specifically tell me how I should work to try and fix things.

Please let me know some options, that are available to me, that I don’t know of.

2.) Learn to accept mediocrity???????

That’s your life pal, not mine.

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 9:01 pm

Typical Pitt fan. Probably haven’t been to a Pitt game in person in years, and haven’t sent one dime to the university in eons, but, you’ll be happy to spout off on the computer because you see some people venting about the Pitt football situation.

Yep, I know you. Stay at home and watch on tv, then bitch about the “fans” opinions and the negativity.

Right about now is when you’ll fade away and not even support the team the rest of the year.

Save it!!

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 9:08 pm

Dan , thanks for proving my point, you’re pathetic. A “grown man” letting a college football team dominate his personal life is really embarrassing and I feel sorry for you.

See I have a life, so unlike you, I don’t spend my life blogging. Also, some of us can just “call it like we see it” with fewer posts.

So today I had enough of Frankcan’s gripes and decided to call him on it. But you felt a need to get involved and defend him, are you his daddy or something?

As for what type of fan I am, that’s not really important. A person is either smart enough to look at a situation, think rationally and give an opinion or they call themselves Dan and act like they’re THE authority on Pitt.

So go ahead and keep giving me your Pitt Fan resume, but really, you need to just grow up.

Comment by burgh1972 10.20.12 @ 10:49 pm

Answer the question. How is a fan supposed to work and fix things???

You said it, answer it. I’d love to hear it.

Ahh, between my two business’, 5 children and 7 grandchildren, me thinks I have a little bit of a life!!! Ha Ha!!!! LOL.

Posting comments 3 or 4 times a week on a blog is spending my life blogging??? ha ha

Look at you, on a Saturday night commenting on a sports web site!!! LMAO!!!

Ya, what type of fan doesn’t matter. I doubt you even went to Pitt. Just a yinzer mouthing off!!!

So, again, to your point, please let all of us know your great wisdom, and tell us how we can work to fix things.

Please, don’t go off on a tangent. You stated it, so tell us how a fan would do that??

And accept what is given, which is mediocrity, I’m sure you’ve strived for mediocrtiy in your life, but, alas, all you have is to mouth off on a computer!!!

You can whine about the Steelers tomorrow night. I’m sure you’ll whine about the Pens whenever they get started too.

I’m sure most of your life is spent whining. Let me guess, are you on welfare or disability???

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 11:02 pm

Dan, you’re getting more elitist and pathetic by continuing to post like a punk kid who can’t contol his emotions. You should be embarrased that a 40 yr old has to tell you, a man with 7 grandkids, to grow up….Shameful.

And to lose your mind in response to a question, which wasn’t even directed at you to start, that should be so simple to answer….What do you want Pitt to do and what are you willing to do to make that happen?

On one hand you say people don’t have to tell me they want to see happen, then ask me to tell you how to change things??? Well, tell me what you want to achieve and I might have some suggestions.

I would have figured a person who “runs 2 businesses” would be smart enough to figure out how things and boosters work in college football nowadays but maybe not.

Oh, and please keep in mind, I’m not whining about the performance of the Pitt. I’m a realist and accept their going to struggle for awhile. You’re the only whiner between us. If you disagree, please show me the posts where I’m complaining about the uniforms, the stadium, the attendance, recruting, administration or coaching staff. But you whined on most those topic just over the last week. My posts have been and are very level headed with regards to Pitt.

Comment by burgh1972 10.21.12 @ 11:06 am

Took the bait, eh?? Pathetic, fighting with an old man on a computer!!! LOL

And you still haven’t answered your own question that you called FRANKCAN out on.

So, what should fans do or can do that want a Top 20 program???

I knew you didn’t even go to Pitt.

What section are your season tickets in??

Ya, I didn’t think so!!! LMAO!!!

Comment by Dan 10.21.12 @ 2:28 pm

Posting on a sports blog on a Sunday morning, at 40 years old, son, you really need to get a life.

Saturday night and Sunday morning posting, you’d think you’d have something better to do!!!

Posting on a sports blog is no way to live!!!!


Comment by Dan 10.21.12 @ 2:36 pm

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