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November 11, 2013

Notre Dame Win=Recruiting Win

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Justin @ 11:35 am

First off, a heartfelt thank you to veterans. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to be focused on football today. Let’s abuse our freedoms by focusing on the whims of teenaged man-children and where they will go to college!

Not only was the victory over Notre Dame a huge win for 2013, it was a huge win for the following five years due to the impression it made on recruits. I mentioned early Sunday morning that there were upwards of 50 recruits at the game. I’ll stick to only available 2014 recruits for now, but needless to say this victory will go a long way towards closing a few key targets.

The bad news headed into the weekend was that Dravon Henry, the Aliquippa standout, would not be at the game. He was at the WVU-Texas game instead. This was countered by a surprise visitor: Rutgers verbal Adonis Jennings. The heralded WR wasn’t there to just take advantage of a good game. He’s available. 

Jennings is no longer committed to Rutgers and he has scheduled his official visit (his trip for Notre Dame was unofficial; a player can only go on an official visit once per school) for January 17th. It appears the race is now between Pitt and Iowa. Jennings throws a good problem into the coaches’ hands. It appeared as if they were all-in on Virginia WR Jamil Kamara as their top WR target. With Jennings now in the picture, the coaches have another option. It’s a toss-up in terms of which player is a better prospect and it’s possible Jennings could be more desired than Kamara.

There were five other players in attendance the coaches are very interested in: OT Alex Bookser, LB James Folston Jr. (brother of Irish RB Tarean Folston), Safety Montae Nicholson, Safety Rasaan Stewart, and DE Hez Trahan. Best case scenario, the coaches have nine spots left, but that’s a .00001% chance number. It would mean the coaches add 27 new players, two of which would enroll in January (meaning they could towards the 2013 class). With 17 players graduating and 2 currently open scholarships, it would require eight players lost to attrition, which won’t happen. I see a few players who could transfer or be asked to move on, but I won’t publicly speculate as to whom. However, I doubt it’s eight.

Realistically speaking, I think there are six or seven spots left, which would give the new class 24 or 25. There certainly is a large possibility a quality player will want to come to Pitt but a scholarship isn’t available. There are a few players the coaches will find a way to fit in no matter what: Dravon Henry, Montae Nicholson, RB Shai McKenzie, RB Chris James, WR Jamil Kamara, and OT Alex Bookser.

I highly doubt we get all six of those guys, which explains why they’re still heavily recruiting other options. But, it’s easy to say that the big win along with the great gameday atmosphere will go a long way on closing Nicholson and Bookser. One thing to keep in mind: there’s no such thing as make or break recruits. I recall when Rushel Shell and Deaysean Rippy were “must get” players. They’re both gone and no one misses them. The important thing is bringing in numerous talented players and not relying on a few guys to be your impact players.

Keep riding the happiness of a win, everyone. This Saturday is a huge game in terms of perception. This team needs to show that the Notre Dame win wasn’t a fluke. Beat UNC and all of the sudden it’s no longer *if* there will be a bowl game, it’s which one. The Notre Dame victory cannot be for naught, it has to mean something moving forward.

Ohio State fans are an obnoxious, arrogant bunch. Tressel and Earl Bruce were much more gentlemanly and good guy than the overhyped A hole called Woody Hayes. The entire Ohio State crowed doubled down in the world of deserving assholes when Urban Meyer arrived. Even by today’s selfish, narcissistic head coaches, he is in a class by himself. It is all about him, he cheats, he bailed out just when the Hernandez story and a multitude of other similar scenario’s were catching up to him. Now he is trying to ride the softest schedule in the country into a title game. If I were voting I could put ten teams up there ahead of them who at least have a semblance of a schedule. Alabama, FSU, Stanford, and a bunch of others would kick their overrated ass.

Comment by PittMan 11.12.13 @ 10:15 am

First mention of James Folston and Hez Trahan, that I have seen. Glad to see a linebacker and D-end on the list, but neither are big names. Folston from FL which is positive. Trahan game highlight film not that impressive, but our coaches seem to recognize talent. Both have Pitt high on their list.

Anyone know anymore?

Comment by gc 11.12.13 @ 10:47 am

What a great game to have so many recruits attend. Henry not attending is no big deal, he has been scheduled to see the Miami game for his official visit all year. Plus seeing WVU lose and having to hear about Pitt’s win can’t work against us.

One thing to consider is this, a lot of the guys who committed who are lower rated MAC guys will consider decommitting too for playing time reasons if they see several other players at their position coming in.

It’s not just the top guys who end up decommitting. Until NSD we won’t know for sure how many players we’ve got on the list and the coaching staff will have tough conversations with some of the lower end guys if they get the top guys locked in.

If we can land 4/5 of our top remaining targets that would be an enormous win for Chryst and Co and a second – yes I said it – good recruiting class.

Comment by PittHW 11.12.13 @ 11:23 am

All you have to know about Urban Meyer can be found in two quotes of his. Not wasting my time looking up the exact teams and quotes, but you’ll get the jist.

Last year at Utah: “well, we play as tough as teams as anyone, we beat who they put on our schedule, we definitely deserve to be in the BCS”..

Not more than a year later at Florida: “I don’t think TCU deserves to take a spot away from a top conference team, they haven’t played anyone, the SEC is a dog fight every week.”

I can’t believe there wasn’t more made of this from the media. He’s worse than a politician.

You would have thought someone who wanted to make a name for himself would have got him at a press conference or something, and asked him directly about those two quotes, polor opposites, how you can say one thing one year, then the total opposite the next. It looks like a 5 year olds logic, or such a simplistic way of saying “whatever’s best for my personal situation”.

Never really got called out for it.

Comment by Dan 11.12.13 @ 11:27 am

The Fresno State Bulldogs bring their Mountain West Conference hoop team to the Pete tonight for a 7 pm game. The MWC you might remember is where one Kwim Birch landed when he transferred to UNLV after finding the going a little too rough in Oakland two years ago. The Bullpups bit into 11 wins a year ago and are fresh off of an overtime licking of the Anteaters of Cal Irvine last week. The Zoo and friends are eagerly awaiting the return of Talib “Ho” Zanna who expected back off an undisclosed team rules violation single game suspension. Between the return of the corrected Kenyan and the visit of the outclassed California canines a good time should be had by all.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.12.13 @ 1:00 pm

Darrick Randall is what 6 foot 9 260 pounds if zanna
is out it is nice to have another big boy to put in
i hope for a good year say 26 wins.

Comment by Frankcan 11.12.13 @ 1:52 pm

Game tonight on YES for us New Yorkers

Comment by steve1 11.12.13 @ 2:47 pm

@ Frankcan, You are right about that , we will need both in the ACC. It wouldn’t hurt to see Young and Artis develop quickly either. We should have it pretty easy tonight though.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.12.13 @ 2:48 pm

@steve1, Root Sports has it covered here in the Burgh.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.12.13 @ 2:53 pm

Reading an article about Number 1 recruit switching from Michigan to Alabama. The article mentioned the factual reasons for the last 10 years SEC has dominance, migration to the south and the impact of desegregation of atheletic programs but it mentioned one other thing.
The coach, such as Urban Myer at OSU still has signifcant connections and a pipeline from the south.
I mentioned Pitt’s great years of the mid-seventies to early eighties based on the demographics and segregation but I forgot that we had two excellent coaches with signficant name recognition in the southeast Majors and Sherill.
When Sherill left for A&M I wonder if Pitt that at the time was a nationwide top football program had hired a successful southern coach rather than passing the torch back 30 years to Fogo if Pitt could have maintained it’s dominance.

Comment by pittisit 11.16.13 @ 2:56 am

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