January 9, 2013

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 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.



It’s not like the Hoopie secondary wasn’t already a dumpster couch fire. This is a move of such desperation.

My favorite from his Michigan days.

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.

And Hoopie fans are taking the news as expected in an (at present) 8-page long message board thread. One of my favorites:

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.


1) so we got what looks to be a pretty good defensive recuit without a defensive coordinator presently on the staff

2) Note that according to the PG, Gibson was fired at ECU.

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 12:41 pm

That was Mitchell, who they are also hiring.

Comment by Chas 01.09.13 @ 12:44 pm

My bad … Mitchell, the other defensive hire (to be) by WVU was the one fired by ECU.

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 12:48 pm

I think Hafley could give Gibson a run for his money on worst secondary coach in the nation.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 12:51 pm

Do we have a D-coordinator yet?

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.09.13 @ 1:44 pm

No D-Coordinator is a good D-Coordinator if it were to be anyone from that feared Notre Dame defense we witnessed Monday.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.09.13 @ 1:52 pm

Maybe they are interviewing Ryan from Dallas. (Sarcasm) but that would add some fire to the staff.

Comment by tedsptman 01.09.13 @ 1:58 pm

Patterson, Gibson, and Mitchell coaching defense at WVU? Holgorsen must be confident he can score 100 points a game.

Comment by 66Goat 01.09.13 @ 2:00 pm

@ FRANKCAN, can you provide any insight on this new Pitt commit’s mental attiude, I’m concerned because, I glanced at a recruiting website’s headline on the matter and it said that our most recent recruit was Moody?

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.09.13 @ 2:06 pm

Another site on Moody says he loves to sack slow-moving objects.

Does he realize Tino has used up his eligibility?

Comment by PittofDreams 01.09.13 @ 2:13 pm

The link to the WVU msg board is precious!!!

Actually, for one brief glimpse, it shows some of those guys are just fans too.

When told of Stewart and Gibson being in town on Thursday…..

“you’ve got to be effin’ kidding”, “if this is true I’ll soil myself”, “no friggin’ way” !!!!

Comment by Dan 01.09.13 @ 2:17 pm

well if Stewart is in Morgantown tomorrow, I might soil my pants

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 2:47 pm

I heard there are JoePa sightings in Creepy Valley much like these Stew sightings in the Hole. Both fan bases are completely soiled.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 2:53 pm

House called the defensive plays during the bowl game and PC was really pleased with his play calling. Please tell me PC isn’t looking to move House to DC?….what could be taking this long almost a month and most coaches are already in positions..Geez…..

Comment by DJS 01.09.13 @ 2:59 pm

I assumed they were talking about another Stewart, but, if they can pull that off, maybe they’re not just a diploma mill!!

Comment by Dan 01.09.13 @ 3:24 pm

only if he could find the Jeff Hafley of Florida to coach the DBs (really recruit)

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 3:24 pm

dontez ford from cuse to Pitt to play WR. Very good get!!!!

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 3:35 pm

it would be a good get, but wouldn’t he have to sit for 2 years for transferring wihtin conference (whether it’s the BE or ACC)?

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 4:10 pm

1 year wait for transfer. Then he walks on. Surprised he’d be a WR. He’s listed 6’2″ and around 200 lbs. Played safety at Cuse on practice squad but was red shirted this year. Was recruited as an athlete. Very smart kid…engineer. Has a good story. Welcome Dontez and H2P!

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 4:17 pm

what’s the deal w/ ricketts?

Comment by scott 01.09.13 @ 5:11 pm

Ricketts is done….gone off the team.

Comment by Jackagain 01.09.13 @ 5:18 pm

a disappointment much like his father.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 5:26 pm

How do you know Ricketts is no longer
on the team?

Comment by JR 01.09.13 @ 5:44 pm

I heard it from Dokish.

link to

Comment by Jackagain 01.09.13 @ 5:46 pm

Continue to hope that Chryst is holding a trump card for Defensive Coordinator, not Kerry Cooks or someone else who might fail to excite the fanbase.

Equally worrisome is if Chryst should move House or another assistant to DC. That would be consistent with someone like Chryst.

This is critical. Chryst has got to pick a winner. In my opinion, a take charge guy who intimidates players to be motivated.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.09.13 @ 5:52 pm

Jerry DiPaola (Trib) also reported today.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 5:52 pm

I’ve been hearing Elko from Bowling Green.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 5:54 pm

I’m happy with how the recruitig has so far. I thin Chryst & Company are doing a good job. In the next few years, as they get more of the players they need, will begin to see the results. It takes a few years to recruit and train personel for the systems you want to run. That’s when you’re playing with your players and not someone else’s guys.

Comment by Justinian 01.09.13 @ 6:11 pm

NE just got big 4 star RB from California. Competition for Clement.

Comment by Frank MD 01.09.13 @ 6:36 pm

Sorry about Clement as he in WI.

Comment by Frank MD 01.09.13 @ 6:37 pm

he must pick his replacement he will be gone in two years

Comment by paul shannon 01.09.13 @ 7:24 pm

Mike elko bowling green? No ties to Pitt or Chryst. His defense is known for turnovers and stopping teams on third down. Penn grad. Coached at Richmond for year. Have no clue what he brings to recruiting

Comment by Why me 01.09.13 @ 7:24 pm

found this to be pretty amusing

link to

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 7:36 pm

looks like Pitt is not the only one looking for a DC
link to

any chance they consider Bradley?

Comment by wbb 01.09.13 @ 7:58 pm

If the new DC has no wisky ties, that is a good thing. Wbb, yes we are responsible for those pathetic domers going to the title game and I found the writeup funny and sad as well, but we are also responsible for lsu in the year we beat the hoopies in the Hole and those tigers went on to win.

Comment by TX Panther 01.09.13 @ 8:01 pm

John butler is the new DC at Pedo State. He was formerly the DB coach…

Comment by DJS 01.09.13 @ 8:11 pm

This is the last day of the coaches convention so you will see a lot of coaching anouncements in the next few days…

Comment by DJS 01.09.13 @ 8:20 pm

There is one thing that always puzzled me about Pitt’s defences in recent years. They share an athletic complex on the South Side with Dick LaBeau next door. They have the guru of the zone blitz at their doorstep and they played passsive defense. Dick Lebeau has made pressuring opposing quaterbacks, an art form. You would think a few tutoring sessions in February or March could really pay off.

Comment by Justinian 01.09.13 @ 9:01 pm

good observation Justinian… hey that reminds me of an article of a college team… Big ten? and their defensive coaches come out almost every year or something and work with Lebeau?

you would think being next door….

Comment by PittScript 01.09.13 @ 11:12 pm

Chryst is a methodical, calm guy…. he is working a plan and not paying attention to outside static… this is a good sign of a true program builder.

Comment by PittScript 01.09.13 @ 11:13 pm

Elko out of Bowling Green an interesting guy.

Like the resume. Seems real “rah rah” with results.

However, appears to be a bit of a twitter junkie. This would not seem to fit well with the Chryst style.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.10.13 @ 1:17 am

Well Mr kelly’s 3 year plan might be up for nd. Kelly interviewed with eagles on Tuesday. Could be a really bad week for nd fans.

Comment by why me 01.10.13 @ 7:10 am

@Justinian, your observation is a bit off. When it comes to pressuring the QB and getting sacks, Pitt was pretty low in sacks this year, BUT was 5th in the nation in sacks in 2011, 17th in 2010 and 1st in 2009.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.10.13 @ 8:16 am

[…] Pitt formally announced the early signings of Soto, Orndoff, Chapman and Jarrett to the football program, there was a curious fifth. In addition to the freshmen enrollees, Chryst […]

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