June 19, 2013

Grimm To Pitt

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:03 am

The open secret, about where Bethel Park offensive tackle, Mike Grimm will announce his verbal commitment got a bit of a leak was revealed early. Quietly.

The Trib website is already posting an article by Kevin Gorman on Mike Grimm making his verbal to Pitt (so we will see how long until it gets pulled).

In the meantime…

He is Pitt’s first of two WPIAL recruits and fifth overall from the Class of 2014.

“All the Pitt coaches made me feel comfortable,” Grimm said. “They respected me as a player and made sure everything was OK. They were grown-up about the situation and made me see that I could really grow as a person and as a football player from being there with them.”

A three-year starter for the Black Hawks, Grimm switched from left tackle to strong-side last season because Bethel Park’s quarterback, Levi Metheny, is left-handed. Grimm projects as a right tackle in college.

Grimm is excited about playing alongside former prep All-Americans Adam Bisnowaty of Fox Chapel and Dorian Johnson of Belle Vernon on Pitt’s offensive line in the future.

“It made me feel more comfortable, meeting those guys and talking to them at games this year,” Grimm said. “It made me feel like it was a good place to be because everybody is at the same caliber, and we can succeed the same way. We can make each other better.”

Being close to home was an obvious factor in his decision.

In the recruiting rankings he is a high-3 star for, 247 and puts him at 4-stars. He had offers from most of the Big 10 and ACC schools.

Grimm was a very important player for Pitt and this staff to get. He was long considered a Pitt lean/lock, but he couldn’t be taken for granted. If Coach Paul Chryst and the staff managed to blow it with him, it would have been devastating in terms of building the team and fan confidence.

It’s not likely that Grimm will step in and start as a freshman, but it won’t be surprising to see him make a push early. Given Bisnowaty will be at left tackle and Dorian Johnson will likely be at right tackle, seeing him slide to guard wouldn’t be a surprise.

UPDATE (9:00 am): Well since the cat is out of the bag, PantherLair ( has put out their (free) story on Grimm’s verbal.

“After Friday, I really knew I wanted to go there. Being with the coaches and talking to a lot of the team, I think I fit in really well with the guys they have and the offensive line that’s there. And I think it can help to have a big local offensive lineman committed; it can help them recruit guys from the area.”

Grimm knows the impact of a four-star commitment on the offensive line, and he plans to go to work on the recruiting trail. Those efforts will start with another four-star recruit from western Pennsylvania.

“I definitely think that Shai McKenzie could excel behind a big offensive line,” he said. “I’ve talked to him a couple times and I feel like he’s a really good running back. I think he could excel with a great offensive line and definitely reach his full potential.

“They recruited a lot of big linemen last year and they’re planning to take three or four this year, so I think a good quarterback and a good running back could help the school excel and make it on the big bowl level and even with winning an ACC championship.”

And former center Ryan Turnley gave his endorsement to the coaching staff in developing the O-line after hearing the news.

Good News, but not unexpected.
It was expected to land either Grim or Bookser.
If anything, Chryst can recruit Olineman. Jury still out on whether Chryst can recruit other positions.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 06.19.13 @ 7:07 am


Comment by 63 team 06.19.13 @ 7:43 am

Let’s hope the Trib scooped it correctly. Sure hope that Chryst & Co prove to be visionary recruiting wizards with their radical soft-sell approach.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 06.19.13 @ 7:46 am

I’m happy Grimm is coming but the reports all stated Pitt was his school of choice and he has hinted the same. I feel like the Big Time OL like to stay close to home. Welcome to Pitt Mike.

Comment by Upittbaseball 06.19.13 @ 7:48 am

17 -18 ,pun heavy on line men, skill will come later ,

Comment by paul shannon 06.19.13 @ 7:53 am

Turning into a nice early class! HTP

Comment by Pitt it IS 06.19.13 @ 8:00 am

Rivals write-up: link to

Hey, 5 commits and it’s only June 19th!

Comment by wbb 06.19.13 @ 8:23 am


Give the staff some credit. This wasn’t a simple case of an OL wanting to go to the local school. He has two uncles that played for WVU and PSU. The staff did a great job recruiting him.

Comment by srb 06.19.13 @ 8:37 am

I keep seeing the odd phrase “the first of two WPIAL recruits.” What doe sthis mean, exactly?

Does it mean we are only recruiting and expect to land one more WPIAL recruit? Or, does it mean a second WPIAL recruit commitment is imminent?

Comment by pitt1972 06.19.13 @ 8:40 am

SRB – I give them all the credit as they got him to sign. I’m not discounting their efforts. I’m just saying it always seems like the OL like to stay close to home. As far as this kid and the recruiting of him I don’t think he really wanted to go anyway else if you listen to the write ups or articles. I think he was ours to lose and the coaches did a great job getting him on board. Chryst reminded Mike of his Uncles, that’s a major factor in why he chose Pitt. You will NEVER get an argument from me about a kid as long as he has 4 or 5 stars next to his name and has offers from other legit programs. When a kid has 2 offers and both are MAC schools I get a little woozy and need to see them play to be convinced. Hope you guys all have a great day. Is it beyond impossible to have a Pitt Blather Tailgate. Somebody up there could organize and we can all send some cash up there to add to the kitty? I think that would be fun. Emel and I may smoke cigars and scotch and even wrestle a little bit all in good fun. I’d love to send some cash if someone spearheads it.

Comment by Upittbaseball 06.19.13 @ 8:47 am

Open the flood gates Mike Grimm! Welcome to the Pitt family!! Great days are ahead! H2P!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 06.19.13 @ 8:57 am

pitt1972, while I have not noticed that phrase, I would think that there would be another commit imminent … because there are too much time and too many WPIAL offers to think that Pitt will get only 2 WPIAL commits when it’s all said and done.

Comment by wbb 06.19.13 @ 9:02 am

Isn’t Briggs from Shadyside Academy the other WPIAL recruit

Comment by giveitarest 06.19.13 @ 9:19 am

Nice get and more importantly he is enthused about the goings on at Pitt. If recruits feel they are taking responsibility for the success of the program rather than an emphasis on NFL development, that is a much better mindset for the program. The power of pride in the program, teammates and University are sustaining elements that has been missing for quite awhile.

Comment by chethejet 06.19.13 @ 9:19 am

Covert, May, Grimm… Fast forward to 2014… Bisnowaty, Johnson, Grimm.

Who says history can’t repeat itself?

Comment by PittofDreams 06.19.13 @ 9:31 am

Great news for Pitt and the program. In addition the athleticism, he seems to be a kid of high character. Exactly the kind we need and want to build a program. Welcome to the Panthers Mike!

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 06.19.13 @ 9:35 am

Not complicated.

Simply a matter of Paul simply living up to his promise to brother Geep to make sure Keller is well protected.

Comment by PittofDreams 06.19.13 @ 9:46 am

Hog Heaven

Comment by alcofan 06.19.13 @ 10:38 am

you know how i am try cloud 9
he was the one the big one the outhers are toping
on the cake

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.19.13 @ 10:43 am

The flood continues. West Catholic athlete Patrick Amara committed!!!

Comment by Justin 06.19.13 @ 10:45 am

Thrilled with the commitment by Grimm and hope he’s as good a recruiter as he appears to be on the OL. Think he could help open the floodgates with other WPIAL top talent. If he was as committed to Pitt as he sounds, he showed good maturity in declaring now and helping upgrade his future school as one that has 4* recruits in hopes of bringing a few more along.
Although he sounds like a high character young man, I can’t help but introduce a dose of reality. Chapman said all the right things but somehow his actions failed to live up to his “high-character” words. Lets hope Grimm walks the walk and the words aren’t hollow.
McKenzie or any other highly touted RB won’t be able to find too many other colleges with highly talented, highly recruited OL than what PC has at Pitt right now. Maybe not the quantity he ultimately wants, but there is no questioning the quality and games can and will be won in the trenches.
However, I share Frank’s concern, where are the DL recruits that will allow Pitt to dominate in the trenches. Not only is there a lack of quantity, but the quality is equally thin at DL. House and staff better get busy and find some talent in a big hurry.

Comment by Taxing Matters 06.19.13 @ 10:48 am

If true??? Congratulations to Mike Grimm and to the Pitt Panthers for the verbal!!! The name GRIMM is a honored name in Pa. and environs. Coach Paul Chryst knows what he (and his staff)are doing. First build a line and the rest will follow suit. Just ask the talented Panther backs of yesteryear. It will take a bit of time and patience, but from my perch, it would that the grid fortunes at Heinz Field o are on the rise. The Steel City WILL once again be the CITY OF CHAMPIONS!!! Rev. George from central Ohio.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 06.19.13 @ 10:54 am

Pitt gets another commitment today. ATH Patrick Amara out of Philly. Only other offers seemed to be Patriot League schools and Central Florida. I think some Big Ten schools had some interest.

Comment by Mailman 06.19.13 @ 10:59 am

Not to open up some heated debate here (you know, that NEVER happens on the Blather!)…but is this not the 3rd commit in a row that has basically intimated that the much-maligned “no pressure, open honesty” recruiting method of PC was an important factor in their decision? Of course, it makes sense that if a recruit says “yes,” by definition, they probably liked the PC approach. But still…

Comment by DD 06.19.13 @ 11:35 am

DD, Personally, I would love that type of low-key approach … but I’m not everybody. (I’m like Mr Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show … “I hate spunk”)

Comment by wbb 06.19.13 @ 12:11 pm

I know people have criticized Chryst for his approach to recruiting but I like it. If a kid needs the hard sell then he doesn’t really want to be here in the first place.

When I really want to buy that new car… you dont have to hit me with all the sales gimmicks to convince me.

Comment by Coach Ditka 06.19.13 @ 1:25 pm

Mailman kind of affirms a thought I had yesterday.

We’re grabbing “Plan B” from the big time schools. It seems like the guys with few BCS offers have a lot of bigger programs sniffing around and keeping tabs on guys. They’re players that the big programs want to grab if they miss on Plan A. They don’t want offer yet because then they risk losing Plan A.

Get the Plan B guys before they become top priority of the bigger programs and now those kids will be much more loyal; “Pitt wanted me on Day 1, you want me at the last minute.”

Comment by Justin 06.19.13 @ 2:01 pm

@ PittofDreams, add in Alex Officer at 6’3″ 322lbs and Jaryd-Jones Smith at 6’6′ 313lbs and the offensive line starts looking like a bunch of SUVs parked next to each other! LOL. Yup, lets have history repeat itself!

I loved reading the vibe that Mike Grimm gave that he feels responsible for bringing in other recruits to the Panthers. When he dropped McKenzie’s name I literally said out loud, “that’s what I’m talkin bout”!

I hope that Chryst’s concept of filling up the team with the kind of players that REALLY want to be Pitt Panthers works out because as chethejet stated, it has been a while since us loyal Pitt fans have felt the “Pitt Panther Pride” eminating from within the program, and by that I mean from the players themselves. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.19.13 @ 2:03 pm

PittofDreams when Pitt was dominant during the late 70’s and early eighties it was primarily because of the offensive line. Many of them are now in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Because of migration to the south for cheap labor in the eighties and the desegragation of the SEC football programs (in the southeast during that period Georgia was the best and got their butt kicked every year in Sugar bowl).
The SEC was a weak conference so was the Big-12. The Big-10, PAC, and eastern independents ran football before the demographic shift and desegregation.
Chryst is building a foundation based on the bedrock left of Eastern football, big tough lineman.
Western Pa., Ohio, and N.J. still has top notch QB’s a sprikling of recivers, and running backs. Pitt has to get the best or the B level
of these players.
Pitt will never see the hellcion days of the 70’s or 80’s if Saban was coaching. The demographics have changed to dramatically. If he can build an OL comparable to those years (he may have 3 players now)he can keep the best of the RB’s from the area (B level players) and perhaps the occassional top notch QB that still pops up.
If so we can compete in ACC and sneak into the orange bowel on occassion but the day’s of Dorsett, Green , etc., and National Championships are beyond Pitt’s bamk account and geogrrphic location. 9-2 would be a great year and season.

Comment by pittisit 06.19.13 @ 3:42 pm

What about the 12th game?

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.19.13 @ 4:04 pm

pittisit I am not ready to concede Pitt will never win consistently in the ACC, go to the ACC championship occasionally and possibly win a NC down the line. As far as I’m concerned the only way is up for Pitt Football…

Comment by Kenny 06.19.13 @ 5:05 pm

Orange Bowel…

That sounds pretty nasty.

Your history of college football needs a little work pittisist. Oklahoma & Nebraska of the Big 8 were pretty srong physical teams in the 70’s and 80’s. I believe Okie visited us in ’74 or ’75 and laid one on us. Also Alabama in the late 60’s and 70’s was a powerhouse, and WAS the Sec power BEFORE Goergia’s rise in the middle 70’s. But I like your 9-2 record or 10-2 would be better. Hell why not 12-0, we came just a few points shy of that mark in 2009.

Anyway it was great to pick up another huge lineman in the Grimmster. To add to our other blocks of granite. lol

And nobody in the 1960’s thought Pitt would EVER get back to being nationally relevant either. Especially during and after the Dave Hart era of ineptitude.

Until Johnny Majors came to town in 1972 and landed a kid named……Tony Dorsett.


Comment by EMel 06.19.13 @ 11:13 pm

Absolutely love the depth PC is stockpiling at OL. Early in the game but didn’t think Wanny did a great job at that, especially with the offense he wanted to run. Can only think this makes Pitt a more desirable destination for Keller Chryst and Shai McKenzie…

Comment by pap76 06.20.13 @ 12:38 am

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