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April 10, 2013

Interview with Pitt offer Rasaan Stewart

Filed under: Uncategorized — Justin @ 8:34 pm

A friend of mine, Matt Alkire of Upper Hand Promotions, introduced me to a recent Pitt offer. Matt’s work at Upper Hand Promotions helps student-athletes gain a competitive advantage in the recruiting process. For any parent or athlete who has gone through the process I’m sure that sounds like a godsend. When I saw on twitter that one of his clients is Rasaan Stewart of Perkiomen Valley, I begged for an interview. Thankfully Rasaan was ready and willing. Here’s what the 6’1 athlete had to say about Pitt, his ideal position, and a few off topic subjects.

First off, congratulations on the Pitt offer. I see you also have an offer from Buffalo and Temple. Which school was the first to offer you?

Buffalo was the first.

You just got your Pitt offer 3 or 4 days ago?

Yeah that sounds about right.

Who has been your main recruiter at Pitt?

No one has come to my school to actually talk to me yet but Dann Kabala (Player Personnel Director) has been talking to me on Facebook a lot and he’s the one that invited me out to go visit.

When are you headed out for the visit?

I have once already but I think I’m going again for an official visit in the summer.

Oakland is beautiful in the summer, you’ll love it. The Cathedral of Learning is surrounded by trees, it’s cool to have class inside.

I went into the Cathedral it’s pretty nice. It’s like a museum

You’re being recruited as an athlete. In an ideal world, what position would you like to play?

I guess I would prefer offense, but i’m the type of person I just like to play football; whatever position I have I want to help my team. I want the opportunity to play. I prefer offense because I like scoring but whatever will help the team.

That’s always the right attitude to have. Before you started interacting with the coaches, did you have an opinion of Pitt, whether it be the school, football or did you really not have an opinion until you started talking to them?

I always thought Pitt was a good school but I wasn’t into it until they started talking to me and that’s when I started looking into it and that’s when i started finding things about it.

If you could tell Pitt fans one thing you would bring to the table what would that be?

I put on a show in high school, so I guess you could say I’d bring electricity and a spark to the program.

How much interaction have you had with other schools recruiting you? Have you visited Temple or Buffalo yet?

I went to Temple to watch one of their spring practices and that was about it. I talked to the coaches. Villanova is another school that has been really close with me but they haven’t offered me yet. They’re the closest to me out of all the schools, they’re right down the street from my school. Their recruiter visits me all the time.

Are you an NFL fan at all?

I like the Saints since I was born in Louisiana. They had a rough season last year but they’ll bounce back.

Well, when you have Drew Brees at QB you never have to fear being out of a game. One other thing I wanted to touch on is that Pitt has unfortunately had a bit of negative publicity with Rushel Shell recently. Do stories like that affect your opinion of a school or is it more that each player is his own man?

I don’t really pay much attention to that stuff. It’s different for each player. They have different paths they want to take for their future, things that they like. You have to look at what an individual person likes about a college. You can’t base your decisions off of other people’s things. It’s trial and error, it’s something you have to experience yourself until you make a sound judgement on it.

Would you prefer a rural campus out in the country and spread out or an urban campus?

I like the city. I don’t want anything in the middle of nowhere.

You don’t want a cow pasture next to your practice field?

*laughs* No, I don’t want that. I want something that’s like a lively campus where you can do stuff on campus and not have to drive.

Do you play any other sports?

I play basketball.

What’s your position? Did you watch the championship game last night?

I play the 3 guard but big guy as well. I’m like the most physical on my team so I guard the big guys and stuff like that. I had Michigan winning last night but I know they played good until the 4th quarter I don’t know what happened.

I watch a lot of Big East Basketball and Louisville just finds a way to close. About 5-10 minutes left in the game they just flip this switch and are like “it’s our game now” and that’s exactly what happened. They flipped that switch.

Both teams were even, it was just whoever showed up at the end of the game.

Rasaan was definitely better at being interviewed than I am at interviewing. He has a good head on his shoulders and will be an asset to whatever school he chooses. It’s always crazy for me to interact with student-athletes like Rasaan and realize how much more mature they are than I recall anyone being at that age. You have all these new people suddenly wanting to talk to you, pulling you in different directions, and he’s taking it in stride. No matter where he goes, he has a fan in me. Maybe I’ll get to see him catch a pass from Drew Brees in 5 or 6 years…or intercept him.

Here is Rasaan’s highlight tape.

Kenny what part of I didn’t like Wanstache don’t you understand. I’m with pitt script he didn’t win the big one. As far as Chryst we need all the help we can get.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.11.13 @ 9:50 pm

Upittbaseball, big surprise from you. As far as you Wanny guys, start living in the present. He’s gone so get over it!! I mean, holy crap! Stop f’n whining already!! And finally, all you guys who are hating on Chryst already, f u. Give him a freakin’ chance, assholes. Trivia question: who’s the one person on this blog who hates everything and will never be happy?

Comment by panther94 04.11.13 @ 10:06 pm

It don’t matter what part because you are biased against HCPC and your posts confirm it.

As for your post had to go back and translate “Kenny I’m o ig time fan of Wanny” I get it now due to you not being a big fan of any coaches hired.

At the same time I did not like the Wanny hire because he is a bad x and o guy who never made in game adjustments. I knew he was never going to win championships at Pitt and history has validated it and earlier in the Pros.

It just boggles my mind a man whom never could win any championships is being lauded for having two seasons with 9 and 10 wins with no CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS OR FBS BOWLS.

Comment by Kenny 04.11.13 @ 10:18 pm

wannys off field incidents put him on the hit list,shell would still be in apitt uniform if he was still here and so would be foster, not to say he would have coached better or we would be a better team ,just athought nova would be our qb

Comment by paul shannon 04.12.13 @ 6:21 am

Off-field incidents gave Pederson the window for firing a guy he never got along with. He didn’t hire Wanny and was threatened by him.

When Pederson claimed that it was the off-field incidents that propelled his decision, columnists from both Pgh papers blasted him for being so shallow as to use this as the criterion for his decision. It should be known that both of these columnists had advocated the firing but it had nothing to do with the off-the-field incidents.

Sadly, we have come to learn that main incompetence in Pitt athletics comes from the top and not from the FB program.

Yes, Wanny lost a lot of menaingful, close games … but at least we had meaningful games to play then, especially late in the season.

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 6:38 am

Off field incidents made it easy for steve to fire wanny. Wanny also got blown out on national tv as well. And the close games he lost was as much on him as the players. Wanny deserved it but the way steve handled it was wrong. Then steve bungled his search by not having a bird in hand. Then he got the wrong bird. Then he got another foul bird. Now he has chryst and we don’t know if he is any good yet but the first year he seemed more like a turkey than a hawk. What is the common denominator? And why are things the way they are? Do I have to spell it out to you? I’ll spot you with the first 4 letters stev.

Comment by TX Panther 04.12.13 @ 7:01 am

Emel – that 2010 season had Dion Lewis (1061 yds) Ray Graham (922 yds) and Jon Baldwin (822 yds) on offense… DW didn’t have to do much coaching to get results with that. Sorry, but I don’t see DW’s X&Os coaching as much of a positive at all.

Honestly I can’t remember one single game other than 13-9 where I felt our game planning of halftime adjustments won the game for us back in the DW days.

What I think DW’s strength was was getting his better players to play to their maximum and carry the team that way.

Yes, we won more games under him and it can be debated forever whether or not it was a good move to get rid of him. However, it is ridiculous for any PITT fan to compare Paul Chryst’s coaching ability with DW’s until Chryst has at least a few years body of work to point to.

As to how short a leash Chryst is on I’d say his fourth year would be his make or break year.

Comment by Reed 04.12.13 @ 7:07 am

@panther94, that must be a rhetorical question because how in the world could you expect anybody to wittle that list down to just one person on this blog sight???? I totally agree with you though, a Prozac salesman could make a killing off of our crew here. There is never a lack of pessimism on the Pitt Blather. Gloom and Doom is always on the daily menu. Although considering the past two to three years in Pitt football, there is a good amount of rational reasoning for feeling that way as a fan.

The thing that I like about Chryst is that he is quietly tearing the program down to it’s bare bones in order to build it back up. I now understand when he first came in why he answered the question about his goals for a BE championship as that he really didn’t have any goals like that in the first place. He was just surveying the current situation at that point and I think that he assessed that there were a lot of things that needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. And apparently he is not afraid of making some waves in the process of doing that. The transfer of Shell is one of those repercussions, IMO, get with the program or else and Shell chose “or else”.

Therefore, I agree with Reed’s opinion above. Chryst is in the midst of a process that will take years. I think that he gets another pass this season as long as he wins 5 to six games, but he has to show that this team is playing hard and has a spirit that it has lacked in the past. We’ll see by 2015 if the rebuilding process has been successful or not. That is the time Coach Chryst’s seat will start getting hot if results are not apparent on the field.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.13 @ 7:44 am

whether you do it by acquired talent, or by Xs and Os … and usually a combination, wins are wins. Recruiting is as much of college FB as are gameplans.

It is too early to judge Chryst but the fact remains that a coach got fired after the FB team had its best 3 year run in 3 decades.

As I said before … for Pitt nowadays, the question may not be “can we do better?” … the question probably should be “will we do better?”

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 7:59 am

I’m not in the Crown Chryst Camp. When we have 4 wins next year I hope you guys stay committed to him. I’m on the record that he was a bad hire along with the other gypsies a person hired. 6 wins in the Big Least was bad and that’s with D 2 gimmes. No such gimmes except 1 this upcoming year.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 8:21 am

Peterson is a disaster and the worst AD in sports.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 8:22 am

One thing I omitted from my post …

…. but the fact remained that a coach got fired after the FB team had its best 3 year run in 3 decades “and that coach was the lowest paid in the entire confernce.”

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 8:32 am

For all those asking for another HC. Who? Who would you have picked? Christobal? Hiring head coaches has so much to do with the time in which you need to hire. Your pool is only so large.

In my opinion we got the best for Pitt at that time. Yeah, you can blame SP all you want for not being able to drag a coach out of another U, but could you blame them for not wanting to come? Our program was beat down, in the national news for not being managed AT ALL. You want a program that you feel you can do something with.

PC wants to do something with it, he may fail, whatever, but it’s clear he isn’t going to Fraudg us out of existence. People were asking for DW’s head, noone actually liked Graham, now people seem to think PC will be our next failure.

We all want the best of every world, we aren’t comfortable with just winning, if you win, you have to do it the right way. We aren’t comfortable with just being a high class institution with a football team. We want it all, and it’s hard, especially when we don’t want to have a football culture which involves brainwashing children like PSU.

Comment by Benzene 04.12.13 @ 8:35 am

Charlie Strong was an option after Wanny was canned. Kevin Sumlin was an option. Both great guys and great leaders of men. Oh and great coaches as you see. There are more names. We actually looked for a new coach 3 times in 3 years. Many good ones were available but it actually involves work and having contacts none of which Peterson does.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 9:00 am

Sumlin was summoned but showed no interest .. he was also over the budget. I believe Pederson knew he made a mistake within 5 days after firing Wanny, when he realized just what the salary market was for head coaches. I believe he hired Haywood for $1.4m which still would have made him the lowest paid BE HC at the time of Wanny’s firing.

BTW .. maybe Pederson just fell into something. The Fan is hinting that McConnell-Serio may become new women’s coach.

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 9:09 am

Is that supposed to be a good women’s coach. I’m not in the loop on women’s b ball. Lol. As far as Sumlin he would have had interest if we paid what the good programs pay. Both strong and Sumlin make 3.1M and 3.4M. Watts Chryst make? 1.4M? That’s a lot for a OC

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 9:24 am

@ Upittbaseball, I’m glad that you enjoyed my previous “Peterson is a cancer” joke that I shot back to you a couple days ago, but part of that joke revolved around the name “Peterson”.

If you want a guy fired, at least spell his name correctly so that some poor slob name Peterson who mops floors in the Pitt traning center doesn’t lose his job while our athletic director, Steve PEDERSON continues his smiley ways unaffected.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.13 @ 9:42 am

I like the spelling of Pederson as Peterson. We are know what a Peter is.

Comment by TX_Panther 04.12.13 @ 9:47 am

I would think Chryst is making over$1.4m … Fraud was making around $2m here … but I really don’t know.

Looks like McConnell-Serio is official. Looks to be a good hire since she is accomplished and has a name (former Olympian Gold Medalist and former WNBA player and coach.)

Will this be the first PSU alum hired as a HC at Pitt?

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 9:48 am

are = all

But Peter is still Peter

Comment by TX_Panther 04.12.13 @ 9:48 am

LOL. Doc must of been spellcheck. He is a big Peder though! Chryst was making 500k at UW. No way they are paying him or at least shouldn’t be paying him over 1.4M with zero HC experience. If L’Ville pays Strong 3.4M and Petino a ton then they invest unlike cheapskate Pederson.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 9:55 am

Well if we’re going to go that route TX_Panther then I think that our new nickname for Steve should be Dick. Then we could affectionately refer to our AD as our “Cock”sure Tricky Dicky Peterson just to cover all the bases.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.13 @ 9:58 am

Dick Pederson coming to ruin an AD near you. Coming soon!

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.12.13 @ 10:04 am

I like that Doc 🙂

Comment by TX_Panther 04.12.13 @ 10:29 am

Dick Pederson could catch on.

Comment by Justin 04.12.13 @ 11:31 am

Tino Sunseri’s biggest flaw had nothing to do with his character, drive, toughness, etc… He was a perfectly average quarterback who gave his heart and soul to Pitt football during his time there. Please stop going out of your way to bash this kid. There are so many other worthwhile things to discuss concerning Pitt athletics. I guess every school in the country has “fans” like you, we should strive to have the fewest. THAT would be an accomplishment. Grown ups, please show a little class.

Comment by towerbabbo 04.12.13 @ 11:54 am

I read this site every day and almost never comment, but I’ve had it with those of you who insult this kid and think it’s funny. It is not.

Comment by towerbabbo 04.12.13 @ 11:58 am

Oh btw we did win a BigEast Championship in 2010 under DW, granted it was a Co-Championship.

But it’s still a championship.

And if you didn’t think 13-9 was significant, I don’t know what to say. lol

If nothing else it kept our most hated recent main rival from playing for the National Championship. Which would have been a huge boon for their program & recruiting.

Not to mention Dick Rod would have never left and they might have been 11-1 or 10-2 or even 12-0 just about every year.

That 13-9 win was also a launching pad for our next season, in 2008 where we went 9-4. And actually had a chance to have double digit victories for the first time since 1981.

And then the next season, Pitt football was actually relevant NATIONALLY for the first time in 30 frickin years. As we moved up to #8 in the country after beat Notre Dame.

So that 13-9 victory laid the foundation for ALL of that.

Sheesh !

Comment by EMel 04.12.13 @ 12:13 pm

It absolutely amazes people’s hate of DW, so thoroughly clouds what he accomplished at PITT.

I have no clue when this team will EVER be ranked #15 at the end of season again.

And neither does anyone of this board or on the coaching staff.

Maybe when you wait 30 years again for another Nationally relevant team, you’ll embrace whoever the Head Coach is who achieves it.

Maybe not, by the way some think (sic).

Comment by EMel 04.12.13 @ 12:18 pm

Emel, after all this FB program has been thru since 12/7/10 … it now seems those were the good old days

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 12:21 pm

Certainly were wbb.

Wow, to think how we could have capitalized on the problems in Creepy Valley had DW still been coach.
Given his and his staff’s recruiting skills and the relationships he had built with all the HS coaches in PA, NJ, MD & OH.

We could have actually had the chance to wrest back being the top football program in PA and the East. As we were from ’76 to ’83.

That was a once in a lifetime opportunity(to capitalize on PSU), and we just threw it away.

Oy Vey

Comment by EMel 04.12.13 @ 12:28 pm

Emel – that 2010 season had Dion Lewis (1061 yds) Ray Graham (922 yds) and Jon Baldwin (822 yds) on offense… DW didn’t have to do much coaching to get results with that. Sorry, but I don’t see DW’s X&Os coaching as much of a positive at all.
Comment by Reed 04.12.13 @ 7:07 am

Yes we did have talent on that team certainly.
However imo the biggest problem of that team was DW passing over an upperclassman, named Pat Bostick at QB for his friends’ son.
And the team knew Bostick should have been playing and that started some disgruntlement on that team among many players.

They showed though that they wanted to play for DW, as discouraged as they were, they came out and layed a whipping on an SEC team in the Bowl Game in honor of DW.

Comment by EMel 04.12.13 @ 12:38 pm

Anyway DW wasn’t drawing up the X’s & O’s, his OC & DC were.

And if you didn’t like Wanny ball, well I think the 2009 team was very exciting. You had Dion running for over 1700 yards and Stull throwing for over 200ypg with 21 TD’s with Baldwin at WR.. That was a pretty fun team to watch.

And what we have now is Wanny Ball, just like Wisconsin.

Comment by EMel 04.12.13 @ 12:44 pm

Reed has to understand that recruiting is just as, and probably more, important than the Xs and Os. And boy wouldn’t we relish a stable program nowadays.

I do agree that Chryst needs a couple more years before proper judgement can be made, so let’s hope he does prove to be a really good hire.

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 12:46 pm

Yey, another short guard who is an average outside shooter! That is just what this team needs.

Comment by Marco 04.12.13 @ 1:36 pm

DW’s downfall was his blind loyalty and stubbornness. His stupid refusal to accept that Cavanagh was not a good OC and the Palko didn’t have the talent to be any better than an average to below average college QB cost him so many games it was terrible.
Losting 3-0 in the Sun Bowl was a national disgrace, and then to state that Cavanagh forgot more about offense than most coaches will ever know. Sheesh indeed. Loyalty clouded almost every decision he made and what made it worse is he was stubborn to boot. He maxed out and would never take Pitt beyond an also ran. But the reason I was glad to see him go was that his character judgement with recuits would have soiled Pitt’s reputation and they would have been nationally known as a school without discipline and players who brought mostly embarrassment to the university.
He’ll never get another shot at being a head coach again, and there’s lots of reasons this is fact not unwarranted criticism. Please let it go.

Comment by Taxing Matters 04.12.13 @ 3:44 pm

People pointing out DW reasons for being let go don’t ‘hate him’. Come on. The guy had his chance, got his years and plenty of posts above indicate why it was completely valid to part ways with the guy… particularly the last few posts.

The way he handled things at the end was his decision. He decided to burn bridges.

He had a great skill set to be an AD, associate AD or something and there could have been a role now for him at Pitt. All the SP haters here could be promoting him to replace SP as AD.

After the Graham debacle he would have been in the conversation for coach… and again pressing perhaps as an AD replacement.

If Chryst blows up… he could have been again in the mix.

we are two years + down the road. He is done and gone forever. He is a chapter of Pitt history.

Comment by Pittscript 04.12.13 @ 5:14 pm

He did not burn bridges … just propaganda from the anti-Wanny faction.

If Wanny was a distraction then why was Pederson able to hire a head coach with 10 days from Wanny’s firing, and why did Pitt win the bowl game 27-10?

There was friction before Wanny’s firing and of course after, epecially when Pederson didn’t man up and outright fire him. The distractions were by the players who voluntarily showed up at Wanny’s presser, and by all of the alums who raised holy hell (especially Fralic).

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 5:22 pm

It just dawned me …. Pederson axes Wanny froma job he loves and some of you are blaming Wanny for burning bridges?????????????

That just proves the anti-Wanny sentiment from many of you. Wanny didn’t quit to go on to another opportunity .. he was let go!!

Who burned the bridges??

Comment by wbb 04.12.13 @ 5:34 pm

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