December 4, 2013

Recruiting Rundown

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Justin @ 10:16 am

With plenty of time before a bowl game (more on that later this week), the coaching staff is wasting no time. It’s the opportunity for a late push before the dead period and there’s a lot happening right now. I’m only going to post info that’s publicly available because it’s not cool to post info only available behind a paywall for free. Guys like Tony Greco, Chris Peak, Greg Croft, etc. work too hard for their stuff to be thrown out there.

I’ll start with visits for the upcoming weekend. This weekend is a big one. RB Shai McKenzie, WR Jamil Kamara, and DB Rasaan Stewart are coming to town. McKenzie and Kamara are four star prospects and two of the most important prospects on Pitt’s radar. Stewart just finished up some playoff domination and while he’s likely a DB at the next level, don’t sleep on guys who have the ability to dominate at any level.

Shai has announced he will publicly choose his school on December 20th. It looks like it’s down to Pitt and VT. Kamara will probably choose a bit later and it looks like he remains a Virginia lean, but Pitt and Wisconsin are still very much in the running. Stewart doesn’t appear to favor Pitt at the moment, but I know he’s definitely interested and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ends up in Oakland next year.

The coaches wanted four star DB Dravon Henry to visit this weekend, especially given that he’s announcing on Monday. Unfortunately he won’t be coming to town but the Quip product doesn’t need any additional time with coaches and on campus; he’s had plenty. For Henry, it’s down to Pitt and WVU. ESPN has tweeted out that he’s a WVU lean, but I’ve seen conflicting reports. It’ll be one of those two, though. Hopefully the Pitt-Aliquippa pipeline continutes to be fruitful.

Four star Monroeville DB Montae Nicholson had his official visit back in September and I’m assuming numerous in home visits from the coaching staff are inevitable. Nicholson is hard to get a read on and there aren’t a whole lot of reports out there on him, which is the complete opposite of Dravon Henry, who is oversaturated with reports. Nicholson has a good chance of going to Pitt and I’d call them the favorite at the moment.

The other quiet recruit is Mount Lebanon OT Alex Bookser. Bookser seems to be down to Pitt and Ohio State and it’s uncertain whether Ohio State is fully committed to taking him. All signs point to Bookser’s family will have a nice easy T ride to the North Shore to watch him play at Heinz.

A few other quick hits on other prospects:

-Two star LB James Folston Jr. is down to Pitt and Minnesota. He seems like a strong Pitt lean and apparently has a thing for schools with miserable winters.

-Three star RB CJ Leggett appears to be a Plan B if the coaches have room. If Shai commits, I doubt the coaches take Leggett. If there’s a spot, they’ll happily accept him.

-Four Star WR Adonis Jennings is still a possibility, but after all of the attention he received after decommitting from Rutgers, it has gotten quiet. He’s still very much on Pitt’s radar and I wonder if the coaches have the room to take him and Kamara.

-DE Hez Trahan is on Pitt’s radar still and I have a feeling he’ll end up a Panther if there’s a spot available.

-Former Temple verbal CB Anthony Davis appears to be out of the picture now.

-There’s a lot of activity with in home visits for current verbals, but all of that is behind the paywall type stuff. I’ll say this: I don’t see any current verbals Pitt is any danger of losing, so these visits are pretty much semantics to make sure guys still know the coaches want them. They’re important because you need to show the guys who’ve committed more love, but they’re not important in that they aren’t newsworthy unless something goes horribly wrong.

Seems like Kamara had a great visit with Engram the other night.

I put him and Henry as the most important ‘gets’
This team is exceptionally thin at WR and the DB corp, well, yeah. Not too much talent there in all honesty.

I expect Shai to VT after landing James and Ollison(will go to FB), but who knows…Pitts backfield is suddenly loaded.

I think Nicholson ends up a Panther.

Henry..who the eff knows.

Comment by NOPE 12.04.13 @ 10:36 am


Another mid forties recruiting class
equates to another 6-6 record. Hopefully
the coaches will close hard with the
short list of highly rated guys. Would
hate this lose Shai and Dravon.

Comment by JR 12.04.13 @ 11:00 am

What’s the story on Marquuese Dudley-Gordon (Shane’s brother) who is a 3-star safety from FL? He has received some very atractive offers according to the web sites.

Is he Plan B if Henry and Nicholsen go elsewhere?

Comment by wbb 12.04.13 @ 11:17 am


Another mid forties recruiting class
equates to another 6-6 record. Hopefully
the coaches will close hard with the
short list of highly rated guys. Would
hate this lose Shai and Dravon.
Comment by JR 12.04.13 @ 11:00 am


another 6-6 season will be attributed to breaking in a new QB but more glaringly obvious, is the slow development of Chryst and his staff.

Open the checkbook and hire some legitimate coordinators and you will see the difference on the field and in recruiting.

Pitt receives an additional $16M in TV rights compared to the BE; they refuse to spend it on the biggest revenue sport, it is obvious to see Pitt is content with being a 2nd tier FB program. PC was hired bc he will run a clean program and keep them out of trouble.

Comment by NOPE 12.04.13 @ 11:21 am

wbb, it appears as if grades or eligibility are the issue there. It’s not even certain if he has an actual offer.

Comment by Justin 12.04.13 @ 11:28 am

Thanks, Justin. I hope that you are right in your guesses. I like the class we have now and some of these guys would make it even better.

Do we have a punter already verballed?

H2P Let’s Go Bowling—maybe against Bowling Green

Comment by pmdH2P 12.04.13 @ 11:35 am

@wbb–Dudley-Gordon has often been mentioned as a player Pitt would like and would commit if he got academics in order. His current academic status hasn’t been mentioned recently as far as I have seen–unless, perhaps, it has behind a paywall.

Comment by pitt1972 12.04.13 @ 11:37 am

pmdh2p: Ryan Winslow is a freshman getting a redshirt right now. He’ll be the punter next season.

link to

Comment by Justin 12.04.13 @ 11:50 am

As of now, Pitt has two quarterbacks coming in next year.

Adam Bertke has lead Marion Local (OHIO) back for a possible THIRD STRAIGHT State Championship. This coming off an injury to a bone in his hand that required surgery.

Wade Freebeck and St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida lost a close game to Dwyer last week in a bid to make it to the State Championship game.

“We played our [butts] off,” said Freebeck, who finished 9 of 27 for 140 yards, three touchdowns and a costly interception before the half that led to a field goal.

“I enjoyed playing with all the guys. I really enjoyed the experience. I just wish we could have finished it.”

The pass Freebeck wishes he had back most came with under five minutes to play. On fourth-and-9 at the Dwyer 29, Freebeck stepped into the pocket to avoid pressure and threw a dart toward the back of the end zone where 6-5, 200-pound junior receiver Devante Peete stood wide open.

But the pass was just beyond the reach of Peete, who leaped as high as he could to try and bring the errant pass down.

Miami Herald


Below is vid of the highlights from the game. Freebeck is in white.

link to

Both Bertke and Freebeck are tall 6-6 and 6-5 respectively, but not the quickest when it comes to mobility. Freebeck does look to be the quicker of the two but that’s not saying much considering how slow Bertke appears to be.

Both are pretty accurate passers with adequate arm strength who are used to being in and winning BIG GAMES. Although between the two the SIDE-ARM delivering Betke would seem to be the one who best fits the description “GUNSLINGER.”

“Adam Bertke has been in huge games and this is what he lives for,” Marion Local Head Coach Tom Goodwin said.

The other differentiating fact here is the enrollment at the two high schools. Marion is tiny with 325 TOTAL students whereas St. Thomas Aquinas is one of Florida’s BIGGEST with more than 3,200 students in the High School alone.

However, despite playing for such a small school and being so SLOW of foot… Bertke is the most intriguing!

Comment by PittofDreams 12.04.13 @ 11:54 am

Based off of who Chryst has recruited at QB, it’s safe to say his model QB is the 6’5″ pocket passer type. That’s not to say he can’t work with a shorter, mobile QB. Russell Wilson’s year at Wisconsin was extremly impressive.

If Voytik can be half of what Wilson was, we’re in great shape.

Comment by Justin 12.04.13 @ 12:00 pm

Jason – Didn’t Anthony Davis de-commit from Temple not Rutgers? Why is he out of the picture now?

Comment by winedogs 12.04.13 @ 12:05 pm

Pittofdreams, thanks for all the info. I’ll have to look for the Marion (OH) game on TV to check out Berke, as the local cable televises many high school games here in Cleveland area.

Freebeck looked good on the highlights but 9 for 27?

Nonetheless, I am anxious to see what Voytik can do next year … we haven’t had a mobile QB since Palko (and he wasn’t to be confused with Pat White)

Comment by wbb 12.04.13 @ 12:15 pm

Part II – I would have also liked to see what an even more mobile QB would have done (Tra Chapman). I see QBs like the UNC and Duke QBs as well as the Auburn and OH St QBs have all this success …. and none have really shown to be a good passer.

Comment by wbb 12.04.13 @ 12:20 pm

Bookser is taking an official visit to Happy Valley this weekend and given his friendship with Apke, don’t rule out PSU as a possible destination for him. Word is early playing time is the most important thing to him, so Pitt should have the edge there.

Comment by Pitchfork 12.04.13 @ 12:40 pm

winedogs: it was Temple, my mistake. I mixed up my big east leftovers. I say it appears he’s out of the picture because I haven’t seen his name in a long time. When he first decommitted Pitt’s name was all around, but now it has vanished.

Comment by Justin 12.04.13 @ 12:45 pm

Letting Davis go would be a huge mistake, him and Nicholson would be a great addition.

Comment by pd 12.04.13 @ 12:47 pm

this is just a guess but pitt backed off DT jaleel
fields and WVU is going to sign him i think Henry and fields are frends i think they want to go to same school maybe part of why henry is a wvu lean.
i would have taken fields if it gave me better shot at henry.

Comment by Frankcan 12.04.13 @ 2:51 pm

Bookser and early playing time are mutually exclusive

Comment by anonyz 12.04.13 @ 4:12 pm

Justin, surely you must be joking with this q

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.04.13 @ 4:13 pm

We lost Henry mark my words. Sounds like his mom had a great time down at the WVU game and the parents are very impressed with the coach (Gibson) that conducted the in home visit. Field is also announcing on the same day so it looks like its all bad for us. If we do indeed lose out on these two it is bad because now we lose that dominance in recruiting in quip to WVU. I will be happy if I am wrong but I dont think I am and if this is true I think HCPC might either need to actually hire some real assistant coaches or be replaced. I said a couple of days ago we cant win in a major conference without major talant and I stand by that statement. Last year we had a couple of big recruits that saved the class but this year we arent looking good at all. Just my opinion.

Comment by Shawn 12.04.13 @ 4:16 pm

Justin surely you must be joking with this quote,”I wonder if the coaches have the room to take him and Kamara”. The “him” refered to is Adonis Jennings another 4 star recruit as is Kamara.

I sincerely hope that our staff would make every effort to get any and all 4 star recruits that are interested in committing to Pitt at this point on the roster, come hell or high water. And that would include pulling scholarships away from current verbals that have less upside potential or skill sets than these premier, highly rated, HS players.

This team needs as many 4 & 5 stars as Pitt’s practice facility can hold!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.04.13 @ 4:20 pm

Back to mediocrity; back to the drawing board.

Welp, at least hoops is entertaining.

Comment by MikePITT 12.04.13 @ 5:02 pm

Dr Tom I don’t think they pull offers from kids that have already given a verbal. I do think they will ask current players to leave though. Regardless, this years recruiting hasn’t gone very well and last years wasn’t that much better. If this coaching staff doesn’t get it together we are toast. I know HCPC says he is looking for the right players but there are plenty of 4 and 5 stars that are the right type we just can’t get them. He’ll, I’m starting to worry we can’t get a lot of 3 stars. Remember, the knock on HCPC was he couldn’t recruit and so far I would say that is very true.

Comment by Shawn 12.04.13 @ 5:02 pm

DR .Tom i was looking at the class that the outher
ACC teams are recruiting on rivals thake a look at there commits most of them are better then ours.
i am worryed . check them out and let us know what you think.

Comment by Frankcan 12.04.13 @ 5:32 pm

The new coach at USC said we will hire the best asst coach. what did they say at pitt 25 games ago we will hire frends they work cheap. i dont know but they did not say they would hire the best and they did not then we wonder why we stink look at the difference .

Comment by Frankcan 12.04.13 @ 6:08 pm

Dr. Tom: this staff won’t pull an offer from a verbal unless there are extenuating circumstances, like grades or legal issues. You want to piss off a coach? Take away a verbal’s offer. Guys lose offers all of the time if they haven’t verballed and as long as the coaches were honest throughout the process, it doesn’t hurt relationships that much.

Take Jaleel Fields, the Aliquippa DT, for example. The coaches told him they were taking 2 DTs this class, no more no less. Fields drug his feet, 2 other DTs verballed. The coaches told him sorry, no more room. They didn’t hurt any relationships because they were honest the whole time.

Comment by Justin 12.04.13 @ 6:45 pm

Sick about PSU getting Apke, so much for legacy. Hope they don’t get Bookser too.

If Henry is dumb enough to pick WVU, maybe he is not smart enough for us. Let’s see, visits to the stinkin Texas desert or the great plains vs. Miami or Tallahassee?

Trivia Question, how many Pitt grads have superbowl rings? I just saw Stepnoski, on a show about Dallas’ line. I know there are guys like Tom Flynn, Giants, Carlton Williamson and another back for the 49ers, was it Lynn Thomas? Of course Ditka and Dorsett, Jimbo Covert, Mark May, Russ Grimm.

Is there a complete list somewhere?

Comment by gc 12.04.13 @ 6:45 pm

I really thought the scandal would hurt PSU recruiting – at least for a couple years – and we could pick off some of the kids who would normally go there and re-establish pipelines. But, after watching the teams (and the fans and atmosphere) you have to ask yourself where you’d rather go if you were a 18 year old kid. If you’re a family that doesn’t “hate” Penn State the way we do, I don’t think we have any advantage any more. I hope I’m wrong…….

Comment by htp123 12.04.13 @ 7:06 pm

justin that is true but that might have cost them
henry and the quip pipe line maybe.

Comment by Frankcan 12.04.13 @ 7:10 pm

any Notre Dame haters out there check this out there coach does not want to go to pinstripe bowl it is to cold there he wants to go to a bowl were it is warm.
and he will get his way here are the only warm whether bows that he could get
independence bowl
and he wants to play a name team talk abought a spoiled child.
the independence bowl gives him the best chance of that becuse he would play one of these 2 teams
boston college or georgia tech.

the point of this post is it would open up the pinstripe bowl for pitt or syracuse then we gould go to NY and freeze.

Comment by Frankcan 12.04.13 @ 8:40 pm

Gloom! Doom! Recruiting! We’ll be fine. This is going to be a blue collar team full of unknowns and diamonds in the rough. Going to have to be.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.05.13 @ 5:18 am

@ Atlanta Panther yeah or else we will finish no better than 6-6 every year right?

Comment by Shawn 12.05.13 @ 6:05 am

Everyone talks about the money Pitt is making in the ACC. As far as I know, we don’t get that money until the end of the year, which is 6 months away yet. We aren’t spending that money until we receive it.

Comment by Caw Miller 12.05.13 @ 7:31 am

Shawn, I sure hope that you’re wrong about Henry. He is just the type recruit that Pitt needs to upgrade this current class. As I said before, if we could snag both Henry and Nicholson in this class, I would call it a successful effort in this year’s recruiting efforts.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about the quality of Pitt’s recruits (3 stars) as you mention. Three stars is the fat middle of the recruiting stock that is available. In fact, that is exactly where Pitt is harvesting the bulk of their recruits. As Atlanta Panther opines, we’ll be OK with this class as it stands right now if most of these kids pan out to be productive players on the upside. However there all always those that wash out or just don’t live up to their potential. I think that you see less of that in those recruits that have excelled at the HS level. They just are more of a known entity. There are exceptions that don’t work out (Shell, for instance) but you have a much better bet with solid 4 and 5 star guys filling your recruiting class than you do with a herd of 3 and 2 stars.

Pitt just needs a couple premier guys to commit at the end to improve the class. A Boyd type player that could make an immediate impact would be fantasic. Guys like Henry, Nicholson, Kamara and Stewart all fit that profile.

I’m not all that concerned about McKenzie now that Chris James has verbaled. James sure helps improve the RB position. Also Bookser has lost his luster too IMO, since Chryst has done a good job of bringing in a lot of Big Uglies for the OL in last year’s class along with guys like Grimm in this year’s class.

The key is to get at least two of these “game changer” guys that I’ve listed above already, just to keep the natives from becoming restless. Recruiting is the life blood of any program and is especially important when attempting to rebuild a program. Chryst could do it with the class that he currently has assembled but almost everyone would have to pan out. That just isn’t going to happen. So bringing in a Nicholson or Henry type sure improves that potential for success.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.05.13 @ 8:32 am

Aaron Donald was a three star recruit. It is all so subjective. The coaching staff knows who can project and who is a HS wonder that has limited prospects.

Comment by chethejet 12.05.13 @ 8:51 am

An UNDERRATED 3 star coming out of HS. For every one of those types that excel at the college level there are 3 who never reach game changing status. You don’t need a roster full of Aaron Donalds to become competitive but you need enough to influence the outcomes of games. Just imagine how effective Pitt’s front four on denfense would have been this season if we had only one other guy on the DL that could live up to the potential that Donald has shown this year? Who do you double team then?

Boyd is a game changer, who do you see coming in with this recruiting class, chethejet, that can make that kind of impact next season? Makes for a steep hill to climb, getting to the next level of competition in the ACC when your entire recruiting class is a bunch of “good guy projects” with unknown upside potential.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.05.13 @ 9:29 am

Predictions for the future Pitt football teams:

2014: 6-6
2015: 5-7
2016: 7-5
2017: 6-6
2018: 6-6
2019: 7-5
2020: 5-7
2021: 6-6
2022: 6-6

Comment by Dan 12.05.13 @ 10:00 am

I saw Aaron in High School and knew we got a good one. Didn’t expect him to play as a freshman, thought he would redshirt. He was not heavily recruited because of his size. No one expected him to be an All-American.

The real disappointment if we lose Henry is that it is WV. I hate losing the good ones to WV and PSU.

Dr. Tom, absolutely must have two impact players of the caliber of Donald on either side of the ball if you want to be top twenty, 4 each if you want to be top ten.

We have had some great ones recently like Donald, Revis, Fitzgerald, McCoy. Just not enough of them.

Comment by gc 12.05.13 @ 10:08 am

Dan, a poor attempt at humor.

Comment by gc 12.05.13 @ 10:09 am

@ Dan, if your prediction is right then, finally some consistency in Pitt Football.

Was that a better attempt?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.05.13 @ 10:42 am

Well at the end of the day it is a wait and see with HCPC and his coaching staff. He isnt bringing in the high recruits so we will see if they can develop 2 and 3 stars but I just dont think it turns out well. Yes some 3 stars will become an Aaron Donald but for the most part 4 and 5 stars are the ones that make teams great. Lets hope for the best I guess.

Comment by Shawn 12.05.13 @ 10:52 am

@gc, I wasn’t trying to be funny.

Comment by Dan 12.05.13 @ 11:27 am

Now, this would be an attempt at humor.

Pitt football future predictions.

2014: 8-4
2015: 9-3
2016: 9-3
2017: 10-2
2018: 11-1
2019: 9-3
2020: 8-4
2021: 10-2
2022: 10-2

Now, that’s friggin’ hilarious!!

Comment by Dan 12.05.13 @ 11:31 am

The interest that Henry and Fields have in WVU is curious to me mostly because Holgorsen – and by extension, Gibson – seem to be on fairly shaky ground there. Another season like this one and both Henry and Fields could very well find themselves playing for coaches who didn’t recruit them to WVU.

It’s just one factor, of course. There’s talk that Henry and Fields are close, that Henry and Shell are close. Who knows? Maybe they just like WVU better. Maybe they both want to get out of Western PA.

Losing Henry and Fields to WVU would hurt, but it won’t jeopardize the future of the Aliquippa pipeline. Zmijanic, the Aliquippa program and the community hold Pitt in very high regard and recognize that playing at Pitt allows kids to stay home and play in front of family. This is something no other Division I school can promise to those kids, and it will always keep Pitt in the running for Aliquippa players. It doesn’t guarantee that every Division I-caliber kid who plays there will go to Pitt (it’s still largely up to the kid), but the pipeline will still be open for future classes of kids there.

Comment by Stoosh 12.05.13 @ 12:10 pm

For the record, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Henry picks Pitt.

A lot of national media types have him pegged as a WVU lock, but I’ve seen a lot of people (Dokish, Friedman, among others) closer to the local or regional level saying he’s completely up in the air.

Who knows? After the way everything happened with Foster, it’s impossible to say.

Comment by Stoosh 12.05.13 @ 12:16 pm

I’d just like to go on record and say that I have no idea what any of these kids are gonna do between not and LOI day. Zilch.

And I am downright resolute when stating that I feel even less certain about how the ones we sign will do in their Pitt careers.

I thought it was time I manned up.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.05.13 @ 1:17 pm

Dan, That is funny!

Comment by gc 12.05.13 @ 1:45 pm

Wow, Henry taking advice from Shell, maybe we don’t want him. I hope we have Revis call him.

Comment by gc 12.05.13 @ 1:49 pm

Pitt offers a lot of things WVU doesn’t….great academics, an urban campus, playing in a pro stadium, a stable coaching staff, trips up and down the eastern seaboard to cool places like Miami, Boston and Chapel Hill, a coaching staff that shoots straight and actually has the student-athletes’ well being at heart. There is a lot to like about Pitt.

But on the other hand WVU does offer things that Pitt doesn’t. College town atmosphere, gameday atmoshere, rock-throwing fans, the great outdoors, a head coach with a drinking problem, basket weaving classes. There, um, is a lot to like about WVU…

Water finds it’s level boys. You’re either Pitt material or your’re not. I hope that Mr. Henry is up to the challenge.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.05.13 @ 3:49 pm

On another recruiting note: Interesting breakdown of a couple of year’s ago recruiting class from NC State. Would be interesting to do one on Wanny’s last class and also on Fraud’s.

link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.05.13 @ 3:51 pm

@Atlanta Panther

I agree with you. And, I am not certain how to say this “correctly”—but, does anyone actually think that an African American kid in WV is really welcome? They love you if you can play ball for them. But, don’t date their daughters, go to their restaurants, etc. The Burgh, while not a perfect place, is a tremendous melting pot of races, religions, ethnic groups, and so on. There is a reason why the ground floor of the Cathedral is ringed by the Nationality Rooms.


Comment by pmdH2P 12.05.13 @ 3:57 pm

I wonder what the message is that the coaching staff is sending out? Any young man that age wants fame, glory, and a challenge.

Comment by Shawn 12.05.13 @ 4:22 pm

pmdH2P i have wondered abought that myself how do you fit down there with all thoes red necks if you are black once you leave the grounds of the school.

hell i am white and when i drove thru some of thoes little towns they looked at are car like we were
from mars we had pa plates on car but you talk abought being un frendley all i could think abought was childern of the corn and was glad to get back to pa.

Comment by Frankcan 12.05.13 @ 4:38 pm


Again, I am not saying that the Burgh is a perfect place with no racial issues. But, WV is a whole other world. Is amazing to me that an African American kid would choose it. It is like a kid from a real city choosing Penn State to play basketball.


Comment by pmdH2P 12.05.13 @ 4:46 pm

Now don’t be gettin down on them there West Virgina folk and stuff. One big benefit of that kinda country life is there be lots of real purtty sheep down that Morgantown way.

So where you gonna find that kind of sweet action up in the big city of Pittsburgh? So they got that goin for them!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.05.13 @ 6:07 pm

@Dr Tom

Right. But, if I was an Alliquippa player, I would be worried about who is the sheep and who is the shepherd.

With all due respect to my many friends from WV, you live in a place where we could turn back the clock 100 years. Why would anyone kid from western PA want to go there?


Comment by pmdH2P 12.05.13 @ 8:54 pm

Going to WVU just does not make any sense. 2 yrs ago yes… now? The program is about to implode… and they still have to travel 900 miles to dust bowl towns.

As a DB too… do you really want to play in a defense you know is going to be in a track meet every week and have 40-50 point put up on you?

I truly believe if he picks WVU then we would not want him anyway… just like Shell… and didn’t an LB Rippy or something like that flip back down there. It would indicate something about his priorities are just not in alignment with Pitt… so no matter the stars better off without him.

We want players with good heads on the shoulders and who don’t have crazy parents…

Now if you pick PSU I might hate it… but at least I can understand it… OS, even V tech, etc…

Comment by Pittscript 12.05.13 @ 11:40 pm

Great article on Panther Lair about Chris James. Some points – they have him as a 4*. Also he talked about going to dinner at HCPC house and was really impressed. That’s pretty cool.


Comment by VAYinzer 12.06.13 @ 7:06 am

I liked that article too. What is going on behind the scene, within the inner circle of the actually “team” seems to be just fine, that is my impression whenever us outsiders get a glimpse of that atmosphere when somebody shares an experience like James has with the wider Pitt community.

Now if Chryst can just transform that into some more consistant meaningful wins next season to get the momentum rolling in the right direction, maybe we can get this “rebuilding Pitt” show on the road.

Still holding out hope for a windfall on the recruiting trail. Come on down Nicholson, Henry and Kamara, Pitt needs guys like you, very dearly need you. Come join in the process.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.06.13 @ 8:46 am

All the talent in the world won’t help if we still have less than the best asst.Coaches.Watching today what Phil Bennets’ defense is looking like at Baylor as they face a conference leader(Texas ) who recognized a problem after BYU and replaced their DC with a top notch guy.Bennet was the last good DC at Pitt.Wanny finally had a top shelf DC and OC So Pedo fired him and we went back to square one again.

Comment by Pitt 60 12.07.13 @ 5:19 pm

QB V we know is not 1/2 the QB Wilson we can oly hope he is as good as Tino. With the talent left for 2014 6-6 would show what Chryst has yet to show he can coach up players. I blame Pederson for the boggling of the Scheel and Chapman gaffs. What coach wants to play without his best.
The argument that Bennett and Connors are better than Schell is a fantasy or Chryst would not be desperately seeking RB’s by the dozen. We had no running attack in 2013 and that was with a QB not since Flacco who could stretch the field with an NFL arm. I am a Chryst fan whether he can coach or not because Pitt has decided to restore sanity at Pitt after Graham. This year hopefully has put to rest the “touch” football v. “tough” football controversy. Pitt successful teams were forged by tough football peperred with skill players. We will never get the top flight skilled players again. We will not see 11-1 or 10-2 because integration, migration, football is king, and money talks, SEC has a franchise on the National Championship. Under proper conditions we can can be a consistent 9-3 and 8-4 teams. Howevr we have to recruit better than Chryst has yet to show.
As for recruit Pitt basketball with the exception of the 2012 class that the coach screwed up so bad it pains me to much to consider Pitts basketall recruiting has continued to slide.
The 2014 class is awful, as was the 2013, except for possibly Young.
The The 2011 class was dreadful. I hope I am wrong but the 2013 team, with the giant lea at PG compared to any past season, looks very much like the 2011-2012 squad. 2012-2013 ranked in top 10 until January from which the program has yet to recover any prestige.
Even with a lottery pick a 7′ center who is getting approximately the same floor time he got at Pitt as a rookie in the NBA Pitt could not rise above the stigma the 2011-2012 created.
As much as it pains me to say it because Pitt basketball was bigger to me than football, last year showed that Dixon (regardless of his runs from Novemeber through December) is not a good judge of personnel (Woodall) plays favorites and is not a good floor coach (Villanova elite 8/Fields favorite Pitt goes home).
I have watch Zanna for two years and see the same Zanna. The same for Patterson. Johnson heaves up 3′s with the touch of a brick layer that sometimes go in. In January the three of them have to something they have never shown consistent.
The top schools of the ACC because they are built around shooting can have bad nights and get picked off. But unlike the Big East the bottom feeders have players that can beat you any night.
Back to recuiting not a Dixon strength/2014 Duke 4 5tar recruits, Pitt, kid from Vanderbuilt, local kid who maybe over his head in D1 and 6’11″ kid from Europe who cannot dunk.
The major problem Pitt faces is to “coach up” kids you have to recruit players with potential.
You don’t allow a coach to give away a scholarship to a player on football team who physically is drained after 4 quarters carrying the clipboard.

Comment by pittisit 12.07.13 @ 7:33 pm

I have a serious question for Pitt football fans. Why would a highly rated local kid choose to come to Pitt? I can understand choosing Pitt over Toledo and the likes, but I’m not talking about 3* marginal 4* guys. I’m talking about the “Big 4″ WPIAL kids. These kids have offers from all over. If you look at US News best universities listings; NW, Michigan, North Carolina, PSU, Wisky, The U, Ohio St, Virginia, Syracuse are all rated better schools than Pitt. These schools have all had more success on the football field lately. Most of them have rabid fan bases and pack the home games. Most of them have had as much, or more recent success as Pitt putting people into the NFL. I look at the Bookser kids final 4 and I don’t understand what Pitt is doing there. OSU 102k for most home games. PSU 106K for most home games. Tenn 102k for most home games. Pitt 32k for most home games. Same types of offers for Henry, Nicholson, and Mckennsie. Paul Chryst and staff must be recruiting wizards if they are in the running for these four kids. If none of the so-called big four pick Pitt would any of you really blame them?

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.09.13 @ 1:43 am

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