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January 15, 2013

Pitt added its 5th O-line commit to the 2013 class with Jaryd Jones-Smith choosing Pitt today over Virginia, Michigan and others. For those who get bent out of shape over announcement ceremonies, Jones-Smith kept it simple. He thanked his mom and his coach and put on a Pitt hat (there was no hat game).

There’s a lot to like in the recruits for the O-line in this class, but except (maybe) for Dorian Johnson, none of them will be helping the O-line next year. The scary reality is that the O-line will be a big question mark and continue to be an injury (or suspension) or two from disaster. There’s reason fans — and probably the coaches as well — had such a sense of urgency over getting offensive line recruits.

Adam Bisnowaty will help next year, but Chris Jacobson and Ryan Turnley are gone. We don’t know what the situation is with Arthur Doakes following his suspension for the BBVA Bowl. Same with Juantez Hollins. How fast and well T.J. Clemmings adjusts to being an offensive lineman is still a question.

Scarily enough, it wasn’t like Pitt lost a bunch offensive linemen because of the coaching changes. There were no other OL recruited in 2010. In 2011, the only casualty of the carousel was Devin Brandyn Cook who Coach Chryst encouraged to look elsewhere. That’s it. The best that can be claimed is that if Dave Wannstedt was still coaching this team in 2011 Pitt was in a good position to land J.J. Denman and Chris Muller. (Denman still considered Pitt, but ended up — along with Muller — at Rutgers.)

The last two years, Pitt has brought in a grand total of five offensive lineman — the same number committed for this year. Only three, however, will be on the roster next year. Tom Ricketts, who transferred from Penn State, has quit football to simply be a student at Pitt. Zenel Demhasaj was a JUCO who has graduated. While he had an additional year of eligibility, he has decided (encouraged?) to be done playing. The only OL from 2011 and 2012 classes are Bisnowaty, Artie Rowell and Gabe Roberts.

Rowell will take over at center. Bisnowaty is likely going to get a spot. Matt Rotheram will be in the mix along with Cory King. Hopefully Ryan Schliper comes back healthy. Other players that will be in the mix are Shane Johnson and Roberts.

The silver lining — and you have to look for it — is that with all the injuries and lack of depth over the last couple years. There’s a fair amount of versatility on the line. Schlieper, Rotherham and King are all capable of playing at multiple spots on the line. That at least allows for a better chance to play the best five.

The center spot is still the one spot of fear. They have to take good care of Rowell.





Brandyn Cook* Devin Cook is the DE

Comment by Pitt102 01.15.13 @ 10:04 pm

2014 in general will be the year when pitts roster starts to come together. This year there will be a ton of true and rs freshman. hell, half of pitts 2 deep at linebacker will be freshman and there will be freshman playing at every position this year except qb, most likely unless voytik seizes the job. next year will be a year for a ton of young guys to take their lumps and develop.

Comment by pk 01.15.13 @ 10:09 pm

Agreed. The future is starting to look brighter for the O-line but it may be 2014 or even 2015 before we see a really solid and deep line. I know no one wants to hear that, but 2014 & 2015 amy be the years we start to finally see what a Paul Chryst team truly looks like.

Bisno would appear to be starter material from all that we have heard and I think Roberts may be the back up to push Rowell as well.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.15.13 @ 10:40 pm

Jones-Smith as a two star recruit must have a very high upside to be offered scholarships by the named schools, e.g. Michigan. He certainly has a high up size. Sorry, that one was just too easy! When you want bad jokes just contact me! Seriously I like what Chryst is doing. He has a plan and is sticking to it. It may take a few years but if we are able to keep him and see that he has/keeps the good assistants he wants I think we will be very pleased with the outcome.

Comment by OPFIM 01.15.13 @ 11:01 pm

TJ Clemmons

He wouldn’t have been asked to move over from defense if he wasn’t likely to see playing time.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.15.13 @ 11:22 pm

PC is bringing in some real hogs. Can’t wait.

Comment by Chris 01.16.13 @ 12:35 am

Jeremiah taleni, the 6’2″ 315lb nose tackle i mentioned on the other thread has committed to pitt. yes, he lives in hawaii. also had an offer from nevada and was recruited by a ton of pac12 schools

Comment by pk 01.16.13 @ 6:44 am

Decent sized kid. Hope he doesn’t get home sick. Who do you think is next to commit pk?

only 4 scholies left right?

Comment by TX Panther 01.16.13 @ 7:37 am

Are you freakin kidding me???? Taleni is a monster at 340 lbs. This kid makes A. Donald look tiny. What a great get. I don’t quite know how Chryst is working it, but what ever he is selling, these kids are buying it!

I just looked at the size of all of these OL recruits, shortest one is 6’4′. Thank God we have Chandler Kincade (QB) committed already for 2014. Being 6’5″ will be a real advantage, giving him a chance to see over all of those redwood trees that will be blocking for him in the future.

This is turning out to be a great recruiting class. H2P!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 7:48 am

I remember another guy named Majors who in 1974-75 brought tons of recruits we all liked into Pitt. That worked out pretty well as I recall.

Really getting psyched over this class. HTP!

Comment by Dan 72 01.16.13 @ 11:08 am

Chryst seems oblivious to any criticism and or non-sense, and has come in with a plan of his own, and how he wants things done.

It’s good to have. So-so year last year, and next year we will take some lumps, but when his plan starts to take effect, I look forward to finally having a solid, competitive team yearly.

Going to be tough on here. Many fans will want 11-1 and 12-0 next year, and if not, they’ll say he’s failing.

The couple of these are immature, knee jerk reaction type fans, but they can be irritating.

Does this mean we shouldn’t want yearly improvement from the get go, of course, but you have to mentally know that this is a 3 or 4 year program, otherwise, you’re just going to make yourself upset.

Are there coaches that come in and turn things around in 1 year, ya, there are, they are also like finding a needle in a haystack, and on top of that, they may have come into a situation where the cupboard was stacked, and the schedule was laid out nicely.

Does Coach Chryst get carte blance?? No, but he needs to get support for several years to see if it works out.

Does it mean we can’t criticize day game decisions or question things. Of course we can, we’re fans, that’s what we do. But the overall support from Pitt fans should be strong for several years until he proves himself, or unproves himself.

Most of us wanted someone to build a program, and bring some stability to the program. We have him.

Comment by Dan 01.16.13 @ 12:10 pm

Looking at next year’s schedule Dan, realistically, I’d be satisfied with a 7 win season and a minor bowl if we knock off just one of the Miami, ND, Florida State trio coming to town and show that the program is getting competitive while heading in the right direction in the ACC.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 3:25 pm

TX panther, we may see some kids commit this weekend if offers are extended. Some that come to mind are jester weah and chris britton, the harrisburg olb i was high on. the staff will decide whether to offer britton very soon. If they do id imagine he commits as pitt will be his only offer. jojo kemp is supposed to announce this week and it seems like another pitt-kentucky battle. also watch out for tight end zach poker from wisconsin. He is reminiscent of gabe roberts in that hes from wisconsin, they never offered, but pitt could swoop him up. roberts has had rave reviews from coaches and other players so that appears ton be a steal.

Comment by pk 01.16.13 @ 3:37 pm

All I wanted Pitt to do was get off to a good start.. Right now we are 0-8 from the floor.

Comment by Dan 72 01.16.13 @ 7:08 pm

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