It’s the final month before National Signing Day. Aside from reviewing the past season and speculating about spring practice, most football talk turns to the final push for recruiting.
Yesterday Pitt added another member to the class. A defensive end.
When it became apparent that George Washington defensive lineman Justin Moody was one of the top prospects in Pennsylvania, coach Ron Cohen rented a van last summer for a road trip.
After several in- and out-of-state stops, Moody forged a relationship with the Pitt coaches, received a scholarship offer and eventually made a verbal commitment to the Panthers on Tuesday.
“It worked,” Cohen said of the trip that included Moody and five teammates. “When he visited Pitt, he got excited.”
Moody, 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, played defensive end and tackle for George Washington, which finished 8-3 in Class AAAA District 12 (Philadelphia) last season.
He had been a Pitt lean for a while (Insider subs), but he finally chose Pitt over Temple, Purdue, Rutgers and Cuse.
Moody is a 3-star prospect according to every recruiting site. He played on both lines in high school, but is expected to play on the D-line. This ESPN Scouting report (and other places) suggests the future is as a defensive tackle rather than his present spot at DE (Insider subs).
He is a solid wrap-up tackler. With a good burst he has some pass rushing upside, but really needs to further develop his game in this area. He can fire out low and create some push to help collapse the pocket, but looks to, too often fire out straight ahead and struggle to clear from blockers and needs to better use his weapons and develop a pass rush arsenal and have a plan. At this stage looks to be relying on his initial quicks and effort, but will need to build off that for the next level. Moody shows some flashes and raw tools to work with. We feel a player that can benefit from a red-shirt to further develop and allow him to get the most from his abilities, but a prospect who shows some upside.
A lot of stressing of Moody needing time to develop, but there is real potential. Moody was one of the few remaining top Pennsylvania kids not to make a verbal at this point. And per the Rivals.com list, Pitt has verbals from eight of the top-30.
Last week classes started back at Pitt. This now includes four early enrollees who now count — for purposes of scholarship limits per year — in the 2012 recruiting class. After all, they signed their NLI before the end of this past year. Just to refresh, the four early signees are: Shakir Soto, Tra’von Chapman, Scott Orndoff and Tyrique Jarrett. The last on the list was initially part of the 2012 recruiting class but needed some more time in prep school for academics.
Of course, it appears that Pitt could be losing a recruit. James Julius committed in late-December, but today he appeared to reopen his recruitment via Twitter — just ahead of his official visit. It doesn’t mean he still won’t sign, but it could also be a mutual thing. I speculated when he verbaled that it might have something to do with wanting to get his teammate, WR Dominic Walker. Walker, however, has verbaled to Nebraska.
In related recruiting news, West Virginia has not exactly had a lot of luck recruiting Pennsylvania this year. For all the talk of being able to recruit in Texas and… um, really in the Big 12 that’s about it. Needless to say, West Virginia still needs to recruit regionally. That means Pennsylvania. And as such, some attention must be paid to their actions to recruit in the same area.
To wit, it appears they have made the move to hire Tony Gibson. Gibson who has long been a capo to DickRod, was his primary Pennsylvania recruiter at WVU, Michigan and now Arizona. Gibson even worked for Pitt last year under Fraud Graham.
TONY EFFIN’ GIBSON????????????????????? HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s not like the Hoopie secondary wasn’t already a
dumpster couch fire. This is a move of such desperation.
And in case you are wondering how bad Gibson was viewed in Michigan?
If you believe the message board chatter about Tony Gibson’s coaching acumen, Curt Mallory is a huge upgrade. My favorite apocryphal story is that when Scot Shafer resigned he told Rodriguez he would take all the blame publicly if Rodriguez admitted to Shafer that Gibson was “the worst secondary coach in the country.” Shortly after his resignation, Shafer did pop up in the News stating it was all his fault. Poppycock? Probably, but you can’t rule it out.
So Scot Shafer survived the mess of Michigan under DickRod to become the new head coach at Syracuse. Tony Gibson is still a CB Coach.
Apparently, the carbon monoxide detectors need new batteries in Morgantown.
It’s delicious. Keith Patterson must have vouched for him from last year. Losing Tyler Boyd must have really taken a bigger toll on the WVU coaches than we realized.