June 15, 2013

Jalen Williams became verbal #2 yesterday when he committed to Coach Chryst and company. Williams is a Safety from Newburgh, New York (maybe the h after the burg closed the deal) and a 3 star prospect on both Rivals and Scout. Rivals also has him ranked as the 6th best prospect in New York. While New York isn’t exactly a football hotbed, it’s still impressive to be a top 10 prospect in the state. One quote from an interview with PantherLair jumped out at me and really affirms the recruiting philosophy:

When they were recruiting me, they weren’t arrogant about anything, they weren’t lying to me; they were being honest with me. They’re just a good staff.

Williams is listed at 6’2 180 and had offers from Syracuse, Temple, Buffalo, and a few others. He was on an unofficial visit and was here to participate in an invite only workout with 10 or 11 other players.  His primary recruiter was DE/LB coach John Palermo.

I know a lot of people aren’t pleased with the lack of results thus far and a few of the players we haven’t landed, but as I mentioned on the Optimistic portion of my OvP column on recruiting: it’s an end game. It’s not over a player chisels his name into stone faxes over his Herbie Hancock. Sorry, I forgot which antiquated method of communication is used to submit a verbal.

One chiseled stone we’re eager to get is Washington, PA RB Shai McKenzie. McKenzie released his top 5 in order of preference yesterday. Right now, the list is Florida State, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas. Local paper the Observer Reporter had an interview with Shai and he told Jason Mackey how he narrowed his list down.

“Who was honest,” McKenzie answered. “Relationships. What did I like about a lot of these schools. Which coaches kept in contact with me and showed their interest. If I was a priority or not.”

That seems to bode well for us. If we aren’t showing McKenzie that he’s a top priority something is very wrong. Given that we’re #2 on his list it’s safe to assume he knows how desperately he’s wanted. If Chryst and company land McKenzie and Keller Chryst, no one will complain about recruiting for a few months.

Who the hell am I kidding? Yinz will always find something to complain about; it’s Pitt sports. There’s always a reason. On a personal note, sorry for the lack of posts from me lately. I’ve been busy and had some personal issues to deal with (sorry for the twitter whining, followers) but hopefully things will ease up a little bit soon.

link to

Scout page for Bertke … 3 star. Doesn’t have Pitt listed but he is supposed to come for a visit

Sean White, also a 3 star, has many more (big name) offers

Comment by wbb 06.17.13 @ 1:05 pm

60 Sean White
(University School of Nova S.)
Fort Lauderdale, FL 6-3/180 Med Interest:

Yes Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Hawaii, Houston, Miami (Fl), Miami (Oh), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Comment by wbb 06.17.13 @ 1:07 pm

@yup, great info brother!!

Comment by Dan 06.17.13 @ 1:50 pm

Id take as many of the Lauderdale kids as we can can get. Aquinas and kids from Dade County and or from the muck bowl. WVU recruits there heavily with their old qb from there on the staff.

Comment by Upittbaseball 06.17.13 @ 1:53 pm

HCPC’s recruiting can’t be totally on him imo, with the recent history of losing, disarray, etc. it would be a miracle if he pulled out a top class so soon in his tenure. I don’t think he nor anyone else could do it.
It may just take some time.

Comment by frankarms 06.17.13 @ 2:04 pm

frankarms the second year coach at kentucky has a top 10 recruting class in football he was never
a head coach any were.
it is not going to take him some time and kentucky
has less going for football then pitt they dont have the history pitt does in football
and in the last 7 years they have won way less games then pitt.
they have been in less bowls then pitt but in his second year he has a top 10 class
so why should chryst get all this time if there coach can do that in 2 years chryst should do it to

give me a brake.

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.17.13 @ 2:43 pm

No, give me a brake. In fact brakes for both front wheels.

Thanks for the reminder Frank

Comment by steve1 06.17.13 @ 2:46 pm

Sorry frankarms I’m with FRANKCAN on this recruiting subject. IMHO, it is ALL on HCPC and Co. regarding his recruiting results. True, you can’t change history and you’ve got to live with that, both the good and the bad.

However, a great head football coach has to have the ability to “SELL” his vision for the future of his football program to the potential recruits, no matter what the past has shown to be reality. In fact sometimes it is easier for a new head coach to sell his vision because he’s not burdened with his own historical baggage at his current institution because there is none. At this point, Coach Chryst is at liberty to paint the picture of the future of Pitt Football ashe envisions it as elaborately as he chooses to do so at this point in his Pitt career, and my suggestion to him would be to get crackin!

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.17.13 @ 3:35 pm

I assume Kincaid’s commitment to Akron is verbal. If Chryst makes verbal at Stanford as we all expect him to do certainly Kincaid can decommit to Akron, he has done it before, and come back to Pitt.
Any comments regarding this scenario with Kincaid. (Chyrist is a long shot)

Comment by pittisit 06.17.13 @ 3:39 pm

ESPN says Chryst leaning to Stanford but Pitt a possibility.

Comment by Frank MD 06.17.13 @ 3:52 pm

rival has pitt football recruiting ranked 80 that
is the lowest ranking of any BCS school
i dont think i like that i need 2 asprin
and a stiff drink

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.17.13 @ 4:03 pm

I’m going to opt for a stiff aspirin and two drinks!

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.17.13 @ 4:31 pm

Relax… Keller Chryst is coming to Pitt.

Comment by PittofDreams 06.17.13 @ 4:35 pm

However, I would have liked to have seen Kincaid also at Pitt.

But that’s in a perfect world.

Comment by PittofDreams 06.17.13 @ 4:36 pm

What’s goin’ on here? Seems to be a lot of talk about stiff things on here.

This is a sports blog right??

Comment by Dan 06.17.13 @ 4:37 pm

@ Dan, are you refering to the original sport?, as I hear yelled from the gallery, “it’s in the hole”! I’m ready to get started on that 1st drink.LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.17.13 @ 5:08 pm


Comment by Dan 06.17.13 @ 5:49 pm

Dan you are a funny man i needed that laugh .

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.17.13 @ 5:55 pm

You are right. Justin: lighten up. Appears you are a big Yinzer yourself.

Comment by TonyinHouston 06.17.13 @ 5:56 pm

With LOI day coming next week, I am REALLY concerned about PCs 2014 class………what?………not next week??……..huh?…….it’s actually 8 MONTHS FROM NOW?!?!?!…..really?

It’s true recruiting is all on PC and staff. HIs 2013 class (his first true class) rank was very good for a program coming off turmoil and a mediocre season. It is a long process and there’s 2/3 of a year until signing day.

I’ll wait until the faxes start humming before evaluating him and his staff in regards to 2014 recruiting.

Comment by pghFred 06.18.13 @ 8:58 am

I’m with you Fred.

Chryst is going to attract the kind of recruits he wants. High character kids with enough athletic ability to do what he needs them to do and win as a team. Smart, Tough, Dependable. Take a look at rivals. They have a ton of offers out to solid three-star recruits. I’d be perfectly happy with a class made up of all three stars with good character and solid upside, and that anticipate the needs of our program. With the right coaching these kinds of classes are the building blocks for a strong program.

Now if it was September and we only had two recruits then I’d be worried.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 06.18.13 @ 9:29 am

This thread may or may not be dead…but here’s a good take coaching vs. recruiting

link to

Take the survey as well…surprising result.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 06.18.13 @ 10:55 am

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