December 9, 2013

Missing on Henry

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 1:49 pm

Welp, Pitt didn’t get Dravon Henry. The 4-star defensive back opted for West Virginia.

Everyone knows it was down to those two for Henry. He was quite torn on the decision. Tears and all when he announced.

As noted, this doesn’t help defensive coordinator Matt House’s status with Pitt fans when he can’t reel in the best defensive player in the state. Losing him to WVU and a defense that will give up a ton of points and yardage simply because the offense leaves it all on them.

Neither does this.

The only thing I’ll say with regards to Henry to wish him well, and note that it is still two months to signing day. A lot can still change with his decision.

can we get miley cyrus’ wrecking ball to bring down the House??

Comment by dcpinpgh 12.09.13 @ 1:53 pm

Interesting. You can’t fault a guy for picking what he truly feels is the best situation for him. So at that, hope he does well. But in response to the tweet above, that’s some bad PR. Granted, it’s one recruits mother, but it doesn’t look good, especially after how the whole process went down about him being named DC with no experience and having a subpar year. Seriously, we need to take Elko from BG. He shut down NIU in the MAC Championship – big games matter.

Comment by JJ 12.09.13 @ 1:53 pm

Good point Chas. I am just amazed that he would choose to go to WVU. If not Pitt, why not a quality program that actually is committed to and cares about playing defense. Let’s hope he changes his mind. Meanwhile, let’s get Montae Nicholson.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 1:55 pm

If there are that many players unhappy with the defense and are openly discussing it, don’t you think we would’ve heard something by now? I don’t see how numerous players are unhappy with the coaches and scheme, yet none are a possible transfer and none of the griping has come out until now.

Comment by Justin 12.09.13 @ 1:55 pm


Exactly. If the tweet was really the case, those of you who cover the team would be hearing the same thing.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 1:58 pm

A defensive player who graduated last year felt the same way.

Comment by steve1 12.09.13 @ 2:10 pm

It will be interesting to see how Pitt finishes this recruiting class. Losing Henry to a WVU program in complete disarray is a bad sign. The fact that Paul Chryst can’t even land an elite kid from the one school that is traditionally a Pitt lock should be disconcerting to everyone involved with the program.

Comment by Will 12.09.13 @ 2:11 pm

She was very specific in her analysis of the Pitt defensive scheme…”Things”


How does WVU’s defensive stats compare to Pitt’s stats. They can’t be much better if at all. Isn’t our former DC still there?

Comment by notrocketscience 12.09.13 @ 2:14 pm

Time to hire Tom Bradley. I have seen enough. Burn down the House.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 2:20 pm

Regardless of her comments, the bottom line is the top defensive player in PA from a HS that consistently has fed Pitt stars over the years chose instead to join a terrible school, slumping program, and awful defense. To me, this isn’t about anyone from the Henry family, this is about yet another failure of this regime.

Comment by Joe 12.09.13 @ 2:22 pm

PMD – To answer your question… If we lose a kid from Pittsburgh to WVU in a year they didn’t make a bowl game and they play (As you guys put it in less desirable locations) although those locations are usually sold out and have great fan bases…) Listen, things are not good in the Pitt Camp. There is no way to explain otherwise. If you want to talk about Puppies and rainbows and how great House and Chryst are then have at it. That’s just like the administration that accepts and loves 5-7, 6-6 and makes a dogshit bowl and thinks it’s a good thing. This AD and HC would be fired immediately from a college that cares about sports. Think Chryst would still be employed in the SEC or a VT or Miami or a Florida State. First they never would have entertained hiring him but if they did they would cut bait and make a real hire. Not a unproven potato farmer OC who couldn’t make fire with a lighter and gasoline. As far as Mike Grimm, I don’t know much about him but you guys were all over the kid Johnson from Belle Vernon and has had a terrible freshmen year.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 2:24 pm

Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football success, and Chryst & Co. are clearly deficient in that area.

Comment by BATR 12.09.13 @ 2:25 pm

You are one for one Upittbaseball on your recent recruit predictions.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.09.13 @ 2:32 pm

Why would an elite prospect want to come to Pitt? Need to give them good reasons. I can’t think of anything besides playing time and a good education. That’s obviously not enough.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 2:39 pm

@ Joe, calling these coaches and administrators a ‘regime’ is giving them too much credit. :)

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 2:41 pm


Jamil Kamara ?@JKamara1 25m
Henry made a bad decision

Comment by Mailman 12.09.13 @ 2:43 pm


Comment by NOPE 12.09.13 @ 2:46 pm

Why come to Pitt and play in front of thousands of empty seats

Comment by Chick 12.09.13 @ 2:46 pm

Doc – You mean 0-1… I had Dravon going to Miami. LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 2:47 pm

Kamara’s tweet was great. He may not go to Pitt (between Pitt, UVA, and Wisky) but his reasons for going to UVA (he’s close with their top QB prospect) and Wisconsin (a very good program) are legit.

Comment by Justin 12.09.13 @ 2:55 pm

Mrs. Henry is being very classless and disrespectful with her comments about Pitt. There is no reason whatsoever to bash the school that wasn’t chosen. Choose the school you want, and shut up about the schools that weren’t picked.

Comment by Dan 12.09.13 @ 2:56 pm

I see, we are to now to assume that our defensive players talk to Mrs. Henry and they talked her into sending her boy to WVU. What a bunch absurd BS. Mrs. Henry, we aren’t crazy about how there set up either but they are set up well enough that we would beat the Hoopies. Let’s see how well your overhyped kid turns out with a second rate hoopie education and a bunch of no class inbred teammates. Nice choice tootsie.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 2:58 pm

My mistake, who did you have going to West Virginia?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.09.13 @ 3:01 pm

Ok. So no Bradley but we do need an upgrade in coaching and recruiting talent on the staff. I’m reaching.

And some kids like Kamara get it. He’d be a great get. Might forget the Henry loss…naah, that’s going to sting for some time.

I still think we end up with at least two of the remaining 4 star prospects.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 3:02 pm

Don’t make too much of this until the National LOI day rolls around. As much as Henry labored over his decision he may change his mind and choose Pitt. There is a lot that can happen between now and February 5. We could really use his talents.

The football program in Morgantown is in shambles. Talk about “players who don’t like the way things are set up”, ask any player on the WVU team and they will tell you that team morale and cohesiveness does not exist and that is the very reason for the meltdown of the program.

THEY HAVE LOST 16 OF THEIR LAST 22 GAMES, and the future looks bleak in Morganhole. Tony Gibson is the ONLY reason that Henry chose WVU although Shell had some influence. H2P!!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 12.09.13 @ 3:16 pm

Did Shell and Henry go to the same high school?

Comment by Steve h 12.09.13 @ 3:16 pm

@Steve H….NO. As much as Hopewell kids want to act like they went to Quip, they did not go to the same school.


Comment by VAYinzer 12.09.13 @ 3:23 pm

Steve H,

Nope. Shell went to Hopewell and Henry went to Aliquippa. Basically, they’re in the same area. The two schools are only separated by a few miles and the city of Aliquippa is basically adjacent to Hopewell Township. For whatever it’s worth, word was that Shell and Henry are/were friends.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 3:27 pm

Ok thanks, no love for the hoops team Colorado and Missouri jump them in the polls Pitt sits at 28

Comment by Steve h 12.09.13 @ 3:29 pm

Since we didn’t get Henry, lets go after the QB and receiver from South Fayette that burned him so bad in the wpial championship game.

Comment by alcofan 12.09.13 @ 3:33 pm


Henry – The U

Shai – Pitt

Nicholson – Oregon

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 3:44 pm

If Henry and Shell are pals then this was addition by subtraction in advance. Seriously.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 3:48 pm

You guys actually think the players were happy with the D House implemented? Yeah right. And why would any of the players like House and his schemes. You have a coach who never deserved the job who might know less than you ordering you around. Sounds fun to me. Of course the players aren’t going to come out and tell reporters they don’t like House and his schemes. But I’m sure when Henry asked some guys in private they gave him honest answers.

What’s going to be awesome is watching Shell run for a bunch of yards next year and seeing Henry start in WVU’s secondary.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.09.13 @ 3:54 pm


Good luck to Henry. Wish he had chosen
Pitt. Losing a quality local kid is painful
That said let’s get the other key guys on
the short list.

Comment by JR 12.09.13 @ 4:04 pm

Win some lose some. Not every Quip will select Pitt. We will occasionally lose one or two. It’s called “odds”.

D backs will get better next season as they now understand how much work is required to be successful. Got to believe they were buying into the preseason hype.

The D coordinator showed good improvement throughout the year.

We will be ok. The sky isn’t falling.


Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 12.09.13 @ 4:06 pm


The whole thing seems a bit strange.

Had a discussion with a friend of mine in media who covers both high school and Pitt (has field/practice access) that Huxtable wasn’t necessarily a great fit here and that most of the players weren’t exactly sad to see him go. Huxtable also wasn’t exactly broken up over leaving, though. Neither had any animosity; it was just a mutual parting of ways.

The same person also told me that most of the players liked House, but did have some concerns over some of his schemes & gameplans.

I guess we’ll wait and see. Next season will be telling with Donald no longer up front altering offensive gameplans.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 4:07 pm

Stoosh you make some good points. I feel like schemes and gameplans are something can can improve over time. I will say that Dave Huxtable had next to zero success against any type of spread attack, while House’s defense showed that it could stop it at times. A lot more upside with House.

The other thing with Henry is that maybe he wasn’t legitimately a good fit for our locker room. I was reading about how Stanford recruits, and part of their success is the strength of their locker room. *if* Henry’s mom did get that message from players, maybe it was for a reason, but not the reason we think.

Regardless of the Why, Dravon’s WVU commit makes Monte Nicholson a Must Get.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 4:14 pm

what makes it worse house is the one who did the in home vist with henry and his mom. house sucks.
if we lost him to ND or FS i could see it but WVU

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 4:15 pm

Despite not getting Henry. Pitt is recruiting well. James was a huge signing. Im a pitt fan who lives in South Florida. I’ve seen Wade Freedbeck play 2 times this year. This guy is a cant miss. Hes got a monster arm. The comments by Henry’s mom are absurd, seriously are we really at the point where we put stock in a recruits moms synopsis of the program. Why bad mouth Pitt in your comment? Just say WVU was the place for your son.

Comment by Pitt Stadium Section 23 for life 12.09.13 @ 4:23 pm

I’m sorry, but the more I hear about Henry the less I’m upset that he chose WVU. A great talent, but there just seems to be something missing. A type of player that we’ve seen often at Pitt the past few years. He can run with Shell. I’m more concerned with the DC. It will never happen, but my dream is that Pitt will get over its arrogance and hire Bradley. He’s a great coach and he can RECRUIT with the best of them. Pitt is so concerned with its image. What will the officials think when 30,000 fans in the stands becomes a common occurrence? Get over it!

Comment by jack 12.09.13 @ 4:26 pm

Ya, this does not paint a very good picture for House… or Pitt with House as DC.

There’s plenty of criticism that can be laid at Chryst’s feet for hiring House over other established DCs who have a PROVEN TRACK RECORD as a recruiter.

House and his Defense did show improvement through the course of the year.

However, recruiting is NOT something you can just become good at overnight.

If the kids don’t like how you come across either on a personal level or as a Coach on the field… there’s not much you can do about it.

And we didn’t need Mrs. Henry to point out that this might be a problem for House on both counts.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.09.13 @ 4:32 pm

@ Upittbaseball, Henry to WVU instead of Miami per your prediction, still stinks. We’ll call it a draw. Hope that you’re off base with Nicholson, losing Henry hurts, I don’t care who to, makes Nicholson that much more important to get on board as a Panther.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.09.13 @ 4:36 pm

Everyone on here is assuming that Mrs. Henry is telling the Truth. She might just be spinning it.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 4:37 pm

I agree Doc. Need Defensive help.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 4:37 pm

Keep in mind… House NEVER played college football.

Unless you’re simply one of the SMARTEST and MOST DYNAMIC guys around… I do think the fact that he never played makes a difference with kids… especially today’s generation.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.09.13 @ 4:38 pm

He went to WVU because Gibson is a relentless recruiter. Now we will see if what Gibson promised Henry will become reality but my guess is Henry will be left high and dry and stuck in a program going nowhere fast.

Comment by chethejet 12.09.13 @ 4:39 pm

The more I read these posts the more I’m amazed that some people are so down on the Bradley idea. What did he do to deserve all of this? How would we feel if we were lumped in with someone from our office who did the same thing? And don’t give me that garbage that they all knew. Bradley comes from a good family and many people know how respected his brother is. His family probably has more class than the Pitt administrators that are judging him. I can’t stand Penn State, but Bradley is the best thing that could happen to Pitt. He would be an outstanding DC.

Comment by jack 12.09.13 @ 4:40 pm

Our defense without Donald is going to be a train wreck. I would rather have Dravon’s mother as our DC than this arrogant House who never cut his teeth anywhere and was handed the job from Uncle Paul. No one cares when you have people like Chryst hiring his guys that don’t challenge him. He wants Yes men.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 4:41 pm

I don’t understand why you are all upset. The knock on HCPC was he couldn’t recruit and it holds true.

Comment by Shawn 12.09.13 @ 4:43 pm

A lot of the time… the Position Coach or in this case the DC is the make or break in a player’s decision.

While obviously not the most dynamic recruiter in the world… I don’t think Chryst is the problem here.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.09.13 @ 4:48 pm

I would go with Bradley in a heartbeat… THAT is the kind of defense we need. He is a good man, I never had an issue with him. If Penn state were made of all Bradley’s, lets just say my opinion of the school would change drastically. He has SO much experience too… would be wonderful for Paul’s development as well.

Comment by Benzene 12.09.13 @ 4:54 pm

Pittofdreams I understand that BUT the HC is the closer in a lot of these higher star recruiting battles and it just isn’t happening for Pitt. I honestly feel we better enjoy this years 6-6 record because next year I don’t think we win more than 3 games.

Comment by Shawn 12.09.13 @ 4:58 pm

OK, let me get this straight…Pitt has a DC who never played college ball and the Steelers have an OC who never player in the NFL. (just shoot me)

Comment by Jackagain 12.09.13 @ 5:30 pm

Who cares if we didn’t land the number 1 prospect in the state. The Pitt administration is fine with 6 and 6 seasons and crappy bowls. You don’t want to risk being better than mediocre do you? Bring me some more two stars who can be coached up by people who have never played the game. If I was a recruit, why would I want to walk into this mess. I’d take a MAC team over Pitt.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 5:41 pm

Jamil Kamara “Henry made a bad decision”
Thats good to hear, Kamara, 4 star receiver.
Its looking more and more like Pitt.
Stop bashing the recruiting, we’re recruiting fine.
Grimm, Freedbeck, James, and its looking like Kamara are all big time recruits.

Comment by Pitt Stadium Section 23 for life 12.09.13 @ 5:42 pm

For those of you enamored with Duke’s success, David Cutcliffe never played college football. Oh, and he has coached two Super Bowl winning QBs who still turn to him for advice.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.09.13 @ 5:46 pm

Pitt Dad – And he is 1 in 1000.

I’d love to hear more of the Tom Savage will play on Sunday talk. Savage lost Pitt 2 games this year maybe 3. The only playing on Sunday he will do is Church Softball.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 5:51 pm

So you saying House has a chance? Personally I’d rather have him prove that he has what it takes at a lessor program first. But then again at the rate we are going we’ll be playing IUP before you know it.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 5:52 pm

The PG just reported that Russel Schell illegally was contacting Dravon Henry. Some kind of tweet home boy to home boy. They are already getting each other in trouble.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 5:52 pm

Tom Savage will be on someone’s practice squad. He has the tools. It’s between the ears that is still somewhat suspect.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 5:54 pm

Too bad we can’t recruit like Baylor, Duke and Wisconsin. They enjoy all this success with top 10 recuiting classes and getting all the players they are after.

Comment by LawDawg 12.09.13 @ 5:54 pm


Not the same sport, but Wayne Gretzky was an unmitigated disaster as a head coach in the NHL. Experience as a player means relatively little when it comes to actual coaching acumen.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 5:58 pm

Henry has every right to sluff off to WVU and enjoy playing Texas Tech, Iowa State, etc. His buddy Shell will be a positive influence on him while the superior coaching of The Mountaineers defensive staff will point him toward the NFL.

My problem is that Pitt seems to always be among 2, 3 or 4 choices and not the top choice of many Western Pa players. Don’t look now but UPS is going to get very active as the restrictions fade away.

I have been typing Mike Elko’s name for the past year on this message board and the truth will soon be known….he is outstanding!! As Bowling Green’s DC we are soon going to find out what kind of a coach he really is/////WE (as far as I know) never offered him a shot at Pitt. House is so inferior to Elko it’s a joke…..wait until we play in Detroit….Stevie is an ass.

Comment by isnore 12.09.13 @ 6:03 pm


I wouldn’t be adverse to hiring Bradley at all. However, I do find it interesting that for a guy who some Pitt fans paint as a potential defensive savior, he’s…not coaching anywhere. I don’t recall his name really being out there during the last couple of offseasons as teams made coaching changes.

That’s not to say he didn’t have offers. Maybe he got offers and turned them down? I don’t know.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 6:06 pm

There are terrible problems with Pitt’s Football Coaching Staff. Recruiting is one of them. Organization and detail are two others. But…those coaches are not going anywhere.

No one hates Ped State more than I do. I was there from Paternos beginning and watched him womp Pitt year after year until 76. Having said that, I would not mind Tom Bradley even as head coach! Like tomorrow! He is a genuinely nice man who knows a ton about football and defense and is a proven winner as a head coach. And there’s the rub…no more on the job training and straining.

I have met him, and he is nicer in person than on the radio. He is also a terrific recruiter. No, I dont’ know what he knew about PSU’s pedophile….

Pitt’s program doesn’t need a band aid! It needs CPR and Life Support. The heartbeat is faint and the angst among fans is at an all time high level.

You do not have to be a genious to watch Pitt play the last three games and know the coaches have their heads up their respestive asses!

I have tried to get a line from Vegas on the game but it is not set yet. Those in the know in Vegas have Pitt as a 12.5 pt underdog. I would bet my next 2 mortgage payments on BGU at that.

Comment by Dan 72 12.09.13 @ 6:07 pm

I could go with Elko as DC but my guess is he gets the HC position if Clawson goes to Wake.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.09.13 @ 6:18 pm

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.09.13 @ 6:19 pm

Henry MOM said what she said truth or not it will hurt in recruiting and i for one think she told the truth if we could see house was screwing up then the players could to how many on here have said house sucks half the people who post on here said the same thing .
so why not belive his mom.

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 6:20 pm

Aaron Donald not a Heisman finalist.

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.09.13 @ 6:21 pm

I say give Paul and Matt a couple of yrs before we lynch them over loosing a recruit.

Comment by alcofan 12.09.13 @ 6:30 pm

There is never a guarantee that a high school player will work out. I’m not too bummed about this. Especially, since the players his mom talked to were probably everyone booted from the team for disciplinary reasons. I could see him getting in trouble like Shell and then saying he made a big mistake and meant to come to pitt all along, only to have WVU reject his transfer.

Comment by Pendlum 12.09.13 @ 6:35 pm

we’ll see what happens on signing day. i wish henry well where ever he ends but after watching his interview w/ espn recruiting guy, ol dravon doesn’t project as the brightest bulb on the marquee. would love to know if mrs. henry spoke w/ aaron donald.

Comment by scott 12.09.13 @ 6:39 pm

INFO for you go read what dokish from panther prey says of house and henry
Wbb it sounds like i could have wrote it or you we both thought houses hire was a bad thing read dokish
he is the same as us on the house thing.

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 6:41 pm

EMel were are you bud want to hear from you on this.

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 6:43 pm

I was a big Elko and Orlando fan. The best coaches have played the game and grew into coaching from lessor leagues up. You don’t hire a kid to be the D coordinator. Particularly when he comes with no proven track record. Pitt should not be the proving ground for someone. Cut your teeth somewhere else first. It really is that simple. Pitt doesn’t get it and probably never will. Why waste your time and money on this program?

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 6:59 pm

The whole thing everyone is ignoring is that House isn’t going to be fired. It is such a joke. He should have been fired immediately after the Miami game. Chryst keeping House shows that he just doesn’t get it as a head coach. Your goal as head coach is to get the best assistants to put your team in the best position to win games and win recruiting. Not to hire your buddies and friends.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.09.13 @ 7:04 pm

Local talent was all but locked up a few years ago. Henry not commiting to pitt shows how far we have fallen since dec 2010. Even bishop mcdevit where berry and .mcoy came from our staff didnt look at a 3 star qb from there. Wheres he playing o yeah on a 10 win bowling green team. Take football seriously cuz theres people like us pitt fans who spend money year after year for this program and year afte year its the same old crap. We say we cant keep a coach but we run the ones off that stay. Pitt will continue to suck unti a real commitment from above is made. Losing henry same old pitt

Comment by zach 12.09.13 @ 7:14 pm

Price and Vinopal made great strides this year while Pitts seemed to fall off. If I said House coached the ACC defensive player of the year everyone will say that house had nothing to do with it, so which is it. Is it about the individual player or is it coaching. Pitt lost games this year cause they couldn’t put the ball in the endzone at key times. The defense held its own for the most part(except FSU and Miami). It’s was a patchwork defense a QB playing linebacker and any coach forced to play Durham is handicapped. Soto looked to come on late and Galambos had some good moments as freshman, arn’t these guys quality recruits? The sky is falling cause some guys mom makes a comment, Wow!!! Todd Thomas’ mom has a lot to say and other than some big plays Todd didn’t have a great season at all and when he was challenged he quit but I’m sure that is poor coaching right I mean why should a coach challenge a player to step up and be better!

Comment by Steve h 12.09.13 @ 7:18 pm

Many people on here get mad cuz we get alot of recruits that mac schools want. To that ill say i wish wed get more because right now this team couldnt win the mac lol. Hope im wrong but look for bowling green to win big

Comment by zach 12.09.13 @ 7:18 pm

Ugh seriously Tom Bradley talk? Forget the Sandusky stuff, the dude coached Big 10. We don’t need more Big 10 coaches. We got enough as is. We need a DC who can recruit the south. If Pitt is good Pitt will get the local goods regardless of who is coaching. Tom Bradley certainly isn’t a head coach either. As head coach you need someone with the drive and internal motivation to be the best. Bradley coached at PSU is entire life and waited for a head coach job to be given to him. He didn’t go out and get experience or anything like that. And look at him now, instead of taking a coaching job somewhere else to prove himself he is doing no coaching right now. He isn’t in a position to wait for an offer. He should have gone out and shown he can succeed outside of Happy Valley.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.09.13 @ 7:22 pm

And the young guys from Clairton look to be pretty good I’m excited to see that Coles kid play next year.

Comment by Steve h 12.09.13 @ 7:32 pm

Considering the ‘little detective’ bad mouthing Pitt and a best buddy in Shell, maybe, just maybe Chryst and staff didn’t recruit him as hard as a player of his ‘ranking’ deserved.

Remember, just this past off-season, Chryst cleared out the team of players who either didn’t or wouldn’t buy into his system and methods.

He may just be WVU material. (insert jokes here)

Comment by pghFred 12.09.13 @ 7:38 pm

I will continue to devote time and spend my money on Pitt because I am an addict. Pitt is purposely taking advantage of people like me. I just wish the drug gave me a better high. Too much of a downer.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 7:50 pm

Vinopal is not good whatsoever. He catches 2 INT’s throw directly at him but get’s beat 10 + times and misses more tackles than I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure he is D1 worthy.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 8:04 pm

As bad as Vinopal was at times he did win D back of the week he made a ton of improvement and he got screwed out of an int at Navy I didn’t say he was good I said he improved I don’t know how you can argue that

Comment by Steve h 12.09.13 @ 8:14 pm

I feel like this program is closer to the floor falling out than to a few successful season in a row. Should have never fired Wannstache.

Comment by Chris 12.09.13 @ 8:17 pm

Best recruit in my eyes this year is Grimm.

Comment by Frank MD 12.09.13 @ 8:18 pm

Pitt BB not ranked in any poll but ESPN RPI has us at 18.

Comment by Frank MD 12.09.13 @ 8:27 pm

Tom Bradley please! Thank you! Wouldn’t have lost Henry that’s for sure! A lot of players love Bradley’s defense and he recruits his butt off! And he is available! Seems like a no brainer to me but what seems like a sure thing to us doesn’t to the AD! I’ve been a huge proponent of Bradley all along, and still am. The PSU scandal is old news and he wasn’t involved! He would turn this defense into a top 10 D in a couple years and he could talk an Eskimo into buying an ice cream cone! Do it!!!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.09.13 @ 8:38 pm

Chris i couldnt agree in way wanny had to be laughing at the mess this program is since they canned him

Comment by zach 12.09.13 @ 8:38 pm

Pitt basketball has been good through the years due to a very good coach, good assistants, a proven system or style of play, the right players who fit and excel in said system, and player leadership. Basketball has also been helped by stability, coming up big on the national stage save playoff time, and a true home court advantage in the Pete. That leads to a culture of excellence which football sorely lacks at this point.

You knew that Jamie was special his first year. Yes he’s not perfect and is stll adapting and learning but boy has he become a very fine coach. What does anyone see in Chryst that says he has a high ceiling?

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 8:46 pm

I also think Tom Bradley would be a tremendous addition to the team. He is a true Pittsburgh guy and Pitt would be better with his experience, wisdom, and energy.
Our defense was too often unprepared and out of position. I do believe we should make changes.
I have followed him on twitter and enjoy his posts, especially with his former players who remain very loyal. I have lobbied for him in the past and I still think he is a great resource and has a lot more to give a college program.

Comment by Mill 12.09.13 @ 8:58 pm

If Steve Adams had stayed Pitt would have been ranked in the top 15 preseason. They could have played worse than they have played so far and still would have been ranked in the top 10 at this point. When Pitt beats Cincinnati next week and is still undefeated in mid January we will be back to about 15 where we would have started otherwise. What really matters is we are pretty good and we are going to be hard to beat.HTP

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 8:58 pm

Feeding frenzy of negativity. Sleep it off. Good Night.

Comment by barreman 12.09.13 @ 9:02 pm

Football: What did you guys expect, when Chryst refused to take back Shell (and the other 22 players) it was over for him and Pitt, especially with the local recruits. We all need to wait another 5-6 years for another try at getting turned around. Next year the record will be worse, and the year after, and the year after that!

Basketball: It is working out without Adams. I too feel we are a better team without him. Of course, he would have had another year of experience; so who really knows.

In general, my grand kids won’t consider Pitt unless they get full rides. What a shame. What could have been.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.09.13 @ 9:12 pm

Pitt football is having some real issues right now in recruiting no doubt. With that I will say this as a guy who has been through the recruiting process…stop bad mouthing and putting these kids down. While it’s very exciting to be recruited these kids really have no clue and are just trying to make the best decision for themselves. Please keep that in mind everyone.

Comment by Shawn 12.09.13 @ 9:26 pm

As a singular event, losing Henry doesn’t wreck the program. An 18 year old made a decision. Maybe he is a #1 draft pick, or maybe he blows. Time will tell.

But when you are theoretically rebuilding a program that is stuck in neutral and irrelevant, the hope is that as a starting point you can keep some of the best local players down on the farm.

Henry is rated as the #1 player in PA, plays a position of need, and attends a high school that Pitt basically dominates in recruiting. Henry to Pitt seems so obvious. That’s what concerns me. Henry should have been Pitt’s #1 target and a no-brainer for both he and Pitt.

The pressure is really on HCPC & Co. now to close the deal on some of these other 4-stars. Sorry – they may be nice players and great kids, but all the Matt Galambos’ in the world aren’t going to turn around this program.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.09.13 @ 9:37 pm

D1 head coaches that never played college football: Mike Leach at Wash ST, Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, David Cutcliffe at Duke, George O’Leary at UCF, Bobby Hauck at UNLV, and Charlie Weis at Kansas. I am sure there are many more at the assistant level….With regard to the players and the new defensive system, so a new manager came into an organization and implemented changes and those changes were not universally well received…shocking…I can think of several times this season where the decision making on defense blew my mind (4th and a mile vs GT against a QB that throws the ball about 7 times a game and you decide to go into a prevent defense with virtually no pass rush?); however, I would say our No 1 problem was horrible special teams play, and our No 2 problem was an inconsistent offense rooted in a bad offensive line. Those two problems concern me far more than our defense going into next year….As for the bowl game, Pitt can and should win that game.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.09.13 @ 9:43 pm

Iron duke I agree! This program needs a major influx of talent and we just don’t have it right now. HCPC would be smart in shaking some things up this offseason with the coaching staff. As for recruiting have any of the coaches other than engrams and Rudolph landed any recruits?

Comment by Shawn 12.09.13 @ 9:44 pm

I really do smell a 3-4 win season next year. Please let me be wrong!

Comment by Shawn 12.09.13 @ 9:47 pm

Pitt football has been Pitt football since the early 80s when Sherrill left. I have had season tickets since the mid 70s and will keep going because I prefer college football. I know what I am getting but keep hoping for better. This all goes back to the commitment made by the admin. Too cheap to run a football program. It will be interesting to see where they hide all of this ACC money. Basketball is less expensive and lets face it Pitt is a BB School.

Comment by JP 12.09.13 @ 9:55 pm

Big congrats to Aaron Donald on winning the Bronco Nagurski Trophy!

Comment by Kenny Powers 12.09.13 @ 9:56 pm

AD Best Defensive Player in the Country! Congrats!!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 12.09.13 @ 10:08 pm

Pitt offered Henry as a sophomore. I’d say they targeted him plenty.

Comment by Scott 12.09.13 @ 10:25 pm


A few things about your post at 7:14pm.

Local talent has fallen since December 2010, eh? OK. So Tyler Boyd, JP Holtz, Scott Orndoff, Adam Bisnowaty, Dorian Johnson, Trenton Coles, Titus Howard and Terrish Webb are all garbage, then? What about current commits Elijah Zeise and Mike Grimm, or current targets like Bookser, Nicholson and McKenzie? All garbage, too? Pitt’s in on all three of them.

Let’s talk about Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson.

He was part of the class of 2011. He committed to Bowling Green in June of 2010. That means the Pitt coach who allegedly told him that he wasn’t suited to play at Pitt was Dave Wannstedt. Yes, the very same Dave Wannstedt that I’ll assume you meant when you talked about Pitt not being able to keep a coach but “running off the ones who will stay.”

Why did Johnson look elsewhere? Probably because Wannstedt already had a quarterback committed in that 2011 class. That QB was Gary Nova (committed to Pitt in May 2010). Yes, the same Gary Nova who is currently coughing, wheezing and farting his way through his Rutgers career.

Johnson’s other offers were from Temple and Miami (OH). Good for the kid for making a career for himself. But let’s not pretend like Matt Johnson was some diamond in the rough that everyone saw but Pitt.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 10:53 pm

Congrats to AD! He is a true talent. I do have to respond to Old Pitt Grad…not taking Rushel Shell (sp?) back was the best thing Chryst did. You can’t send a message to the players that they are in control. One spoiled kid does not make a program. Btw, how many stars did Donald have when he was being recruited?

Comment by panther94 12.09.13 @ 10:55 pm

Stoosh – the only talent worth a damn in your list is Boyd. Johnson had an atrocious freshman year and zeise is MAC worthy. You cant win the MAC with that talent let alone the ACC. Nicholson is solid and today we lost another good one. Shai tore an ACL so i have no expectations from him. We need a fast RB with speed. Connor as a RB is craziness. Put him on d. All in my opinion. Panther94- got your message a few weeks back after the F bomb message. Its all good buddy. We still need to hit the Pit in Raleigh.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 11:13 pm

As disheartening as it is to lose out on Henry, I posted it yesterday I thought he was gonna be Hoopie bound.

That makes landing Nicholson paramount. You just cannot lose out on 2 defensive studs in your own backyard.

I would hope they can land Bookser, since Haering who is recruiting him was his high school coach for 2 years, for God sake’s.

Kamara would also be a huge get, have to have someone defenses are going to pay attention to lined up opposite of Boyd.

McKenzie, while very talented, seems like a bit of a head case, no idea where he ends up.

All that being said, if this staff strikes out across the board with these guys, I think it becomes fair to have real concerns that Chryst and company are a possible disaster in the making…

Comment by Pap76 12.09.13 @ 11:39 pm

looks like the kid’s mother is the headcase and that happens with parents a lot… I am sure all the football people around him were telling him otherwise.

seriously how can anyone go to WVU right now?? 2-3 years ago sure. But now? The AD is about to leave, and the coach will be gone next year…

This time next year Henry will be regretting the decision.

Comment by Pittscript 12.09.13 @ 11:51 pm

Pap76 you are so right if we miss them all we are screwed.

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 11:53 pm

Upitt, cool man. Name the date. During the week is better.

Comment by panther94 12.10.13 @ 12:00 am

sounds like henry is pretty bright…goes to wvu for an education and to play on a good defense. do you really think pitt’s defensive players would try to talk a prime recruit into going to another school?…doesn’t make sense to me

Comment by auggie from latrobe 12.10.13 @ 12:10 am

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 12.10.13 @ 1:28 am

Why does it have to be the coach’s fault? I keep reading the outrage that we couldn’t keep the number 1 player in the state, in the state. HCPC must be a better recruiter than BO’B because PSU wasn’t even on the final list.

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.10.13 @ 1:33 am

Bigdawg, did not see Syracuse rated ahead of Pitt in US News. I believe they are right below us around #63. We are down to #62?

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.10.13 @ 2:04 am

bigdawg, few of those schools have put even close to as many players in the nfl as pitt has. also, whereas pitt has a long (though not great recently) football tradition, several of the school you mention have only recently had football success. and pitt is highly ranked nationally in many acade
mic areas. all in all, pitt offers a lot.

Comment by auggie from latrobe 12.10.13 @ 2:14 am

I grew up watching Dorsett and Marino. Sat behind Danny at a ZZ Top concert in ’81. To these guys that’s ancient history. They study the Carter Reagan eras in history class. Give me some recent history to hang my hat on. Washington and Jefferson had a killer football team in the 20′s and 30′s, I don’t see them pulling in any elite talent these days. The main point of my post was that HCPC must be recruiting his ass off for these kids to still be considering Pitt.

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.10.13 @ 3:35 am


Congratulations to Aaron Donald!

Get over losing Henry.

Forget Bradley. He is tainted with the mess at PSU and will never coach again despite his accomplishments.

I liked Wanny. He was a top recruiter. However he wasn’t able to land a QB…..the most important position on the field.

Football is a team game. One player is rarely solely responsible for a losing a game.

PC gets 4 years to make his plan work. Hope he knows what he is doing. But hey it has been 30 years what is a few more years for we the suffering fans of Pitt FB?

Comment by JR 12.10.13 @ 6:27 am

Kids want to go to a program where they feel they can make an impact and are convinced is heading in the right direction. As much as I hope I’m wrong, this decision is alarming. DW classes all showed that we were heading as a program in the right direction and guess what WE WERE!!! I really think if only 1 or 0 of the big targets left come staff and/or budget changes HAVE to follow or we have little chance of 8+ win seasons for a long time.

Comment by John 12.10.13 @ 6:30 am

Yea, those great recruits Wannstedt landed got us soo much success. Give me a break.

If Henry wasn’t a local kid no one would give a crap.
If you think Pitt is going to land every local star, you are dreaming. It never happened and never will.
There is not one college that gets every target.
It is one kids id, there are literally hundreds of players just as good.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.10.13 @ 6:51 am

Congrats Aaron Donald! Best defensive player in the nation. So why is Pitt then having such a difficult time recruiting players on D. They should use this to their advantage. Be proud of it. It’s now part of Pitt history and tradition. This is a very prestigious award.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 6:51 am

Just can’t lose local elites to WVU. Troubling sign for Pitt. We need recruiters that don’t wait months to offer a kid. Recruiters who have personalities. Recruiters who know high school coaches from elite programs in the south. Recruiters who can also coach themselves. We need a real recruiting budget and better coordination and attention to details. These issues can be solved if one admits there is a problem. Guess you don’t see it that way.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 6:56 am

WVU sells beer in their stadium. WHo wouldn’t want to play there?

Comment by KeyboardKev 12.10.13 @ 7:59 am

Totally agree it would be beneficial to recruit the south. If you look at Michigan State for example, they may get two kids per class from Florida and/or Texas. That won’t make or break a class. I think you can win without doing it.

Obviously getting the QB from Florida means they are recruiting the area and making some strides. Time will tell.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.10.13 @ 8:02 am

Hopefully Pitt finishes strong on the remaining 4 stars. I think they land at least two if not four of them. I’ll take it.

Donald has a good chance to win the Outland come later in the week. What Pitt players have won that? I can think of at least one who does a good job putting Lou in his tiny place.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 8:22 am

link to

Pitt’s tied for 21st with UMD and Clemson in the “National Public Universities” category. Sounds about right. Schools like UNC and UVa and Ga. Tech have better reps and higher profiles.

Yeah Penn State is in the top ten but WVU is almost out of the top 100, just ahead of IUP, if you want to make yourself feel better.

Of course, it’s largely nonsense. Pitt is a well-regarded school.

What I wish the administration would realize is that a top football program can really enhance the university brand. The “front porch” of the school, if you will.

Right or wrong, Pitt doesn’t seem to get that, or care.

Comment by BATR 12.10.13 @ 8:28 am

From the Post Gazette…

Henry’s decision came down to having a greater level of comfort at West Virginia than anywhere else, particularly with Mountaineers assistant coach Tony Gibson.

“It seemed like when I talked to him, a whole bunch of stress came off my shoulders,” Henry said. “It felt like home talking with him. I didn’t have that feeling at Pitt.”

Anyone who’s been recruited knows the importance of the level of interest the Coaching staff shows in you. But even more critical can be the “level of comfort” a recruit has with the Position Coach who you’re going to be counting on to develop your game and get you playing time.

A little charisma doesn’t hurt either.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 8:46 am

The number of key recruits Pitt lands when it’s all said and done will say someting about the perception out there as to the direction in which Pitt Football is headed.

However, an even BIGGER barometer than recruits is going to be WHICH Coaches stay and which ones, if any, go after the Bowl Game.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 8:52 am

I am a big believer in coaching staff continuity but I agree some changes need to be made on the defensive side of the ball, especially if Pitt has a crappy defensive performance in the bowl game.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.10.13 @ 9:24 am

Ha I like the spin that Chryst is doing a great job of recruiting because Pitt is so crappy. Such a joke. Pitt is one of the top universities in the country in one of the best cities in the country and plays in a major conference in an NFL stadium that recruits dream to play of in their future.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.10.13 @ 9:27 am

link to

Look particularly at the 5th paragraph:

“I’m just so excited,” Donald said. “I think it is a great way for my father to celebrate his birthday. And I think it’s huge for the University of Pittsburgh…”

That says all you need to know about this man.


Comment by Pitt Dad 12.10.13 @ 9:44 am

Let’s hope Pitt markets his success.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 9:47 am

Regarding Coaches staying and going…

This does not just apply to any that Chryst might want to show the door. Actually, don’t think is going to happen… even though I would be IMPRESSED if it did.

Both a strength and weakness of Chryst is the value he places on LOYALTY.

It would be concerning if say Engram or Bollinger would opt to leave for other opportunites.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 9:49 am

Regarding Heinz Field as a draw to recruits… Have you ever been to a Pitt Game other than FSU?

Seriously, if you have to rely at all on Heinz Field to pull in recruits… you’re in trouble.

Actually, the weight room and practice fields on the South Side are probably a bigger draw than the chance to play at Heinz.

But with so few college teams playing in an NFL facility, obviously the lure of playing on the same field as Ben Roethlisberger gets old pretty quickly.

It’s all about GAME DAY ATMOSPHERE… and short of a sellout… the mustard seats at Heinz come up short in comparison to even Mountaineer Field in Morgantown.

And as the mystique of the Steelers begins to fade… well we won’t even go there.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 10:02 am

Bottom line… players pick schools for different reasons.

However, probably the biggest constant is the Head Coach and his staff… not the least of which is the Position Coach

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 10:05 am

WVU has had some attendance problems this year. Their coach even called out the fans to show up.
I think game attendance is becoming a problem at all events. MD losing money like crazy.

Unfortunately recruiting is a salesman job but the truth comes out sooner or later.

Comment by Frank MD 12.10.13 @ 10:12 am

Though I was disappointed that Herny decided WVU was his pick,that is his right. Given the tweet that Shell sent I am sure these guys were pretty tight. Let’s wait until Feb to see where we sit. I remember a lot of people were down on Jamie Dixon at the end of last year when some players left the program and that perhaps Jamie “lost” his team. I beleive Coach Chryst has a plan and he is going to stick with it regardless of what we think. I came to a company 5 years ago as the CEO and I am still trying to clean things up. I know we are in a hurry but Pitt was in such disaray that who ever took over was going to have to be methodical. I loved Wannstadt and never wanted to see him leave but after the Cinncy game and when Pitt made the Sports Illustrated cover with all the off the field problems it was time to go.Haywood and Graham are the past. Bradley will never be here(if he is that good and if the PSU scandal was not part of his past then he would have been hired by another college). I am a proud Pitt alumni and have seen both my sons recently graduate from Pitt with great jobs. The University is doing its job and will I will always be a proud Pitt Man!

Comment by Bruce F 12.10.13 @ 10:12 am

The tweet simply confirmed what I have heard – this staff has not built a strong team culture. Yes its a business but feedback I get is some of the assistants pride themselves on being assholes. Well, I guess that’s good for their ego, but none of us should be surprised when a recruit pulls a guy aside and says, “hey, if you had it to do over again, would you….” I think Chryst is a decent guy, I just don’t think he has assembled a strong staff. Recruits also watch practices, often with parents, they can project what life will be like. You put these 65 year old guys out there who can’t relate, sideline in chaos, it just doesn’t feel right.

Comment by PittMan 12.10.13 @ 10:16 am

I hope his plan starts producing results. Ultimately he is accountable for winning games. He needs better assistants.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 10:19 am

We need Tom Bradley! The man can coach defense and recruit! Anyone who thinks Matt House is the answer on defense is crazy. We need someone who forces opposing offenses into tough passes. I feel I could sit back there and pass my way down the field against our Dbs because of how soft they are. Get Bradley in here and bring back Buddy Morris and get physical and aggressive on defense! Hail To Pitt!!!

Comment by Mr Pitt 2001 12.10.13 @ 10:23 am

Give ADonald a post.. he deserves the love.

Comment by Snala The Panther 12.10.13 @ 10:25 am

From’s ACC Blog on AD’s award

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.10.13 @ 10:40 am

Congrats to Aaron Donald, of course the good news at Pitt is always overshadowed by the bad. It is a shame on his day that 95% of the comments will be about Henry.

But Pitt “Fans” are much better at bitching than celebrating. We have had more practice at it.

Gibson did a better job than House, he also had Shell helping as well. Do you think Shell has good things to say about Pitt? His response to the news is to break an NCAA rule. Maybe Henry doesn’t fit the culture that Pitt is trying to establish.

Just a negative thought but Todd Thomas is from Beaver County, is he happy with the Pitt staff, Is his mother happy? Do the moms talk to each other.

Another negative thought, Does Thomas go pro after the Bowl game? He can’t be happy with being on the bench on third downs. I know I thought it was extremely poor coaching.

How many good players has Gibson recruited out of PA?

It hurts to lose Henry because Pitt needs impact players on defense.

Especially since one of the greatest ever is graduating.

Comment by gc 12.10.13 @ 10:43 am

Gibson’s resume, was WVA, Michigan (where he recruited Vinopal), Pitt (Vinopal transferred ), then WVA. I’m sure between Gibson and Shell they told Henry all the bad stuff (?) about Pitt. We loose a recruit to WVA and the sky is falling! We finish 6-6 when most people thought 4-8 was realistic and the sky is falling. Instead og lamenting about the past (wanny, Tom Bradley) try to be a little forward thinking and support HCPC and his team. BTW, sagarin has BG at #27 – Pitt is 50 something…be happy this team goit into a bowl game instead of whining where it is…

Comment by markp 12.10.13 @ 10:45 am

Interesting that Toledo, which beat BGSU, isn’t going to a bowl despite being eligible.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.10.13 @ 10:48 am

Another MAC Coach that is better than what Pederson and his “Search Firm” could find. He is a fucking Embarrassment. How many better MAC Coaches are there than Chryst????? 4-6?????

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 10:56 am

Not sure who the other Dan is, but this Dan has no problem with Mrs. Henry’s comment.

That is the smallest of all the potato’s out there.

We have a lot bigger problems than Mrs. Henry.

That’s a bad West Virginia team. Playin’ bad ball, with a coach who could be on his way out the door soon. Either given the door, or taking it, either way.

Yet, we still lost him. Ok, he’s got a pal down there. We couldn’t overcome that with what Pitt has to offer??

Sure LOI day is a couple months off. Will it be okay to panic then???

Actually, why panic, we’ll be 6-6 next year. We already know what we are.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 10:58 am

Oh well….this was the player that was going to make all the difference for Pitt. We’re done for now…!!

Comment by JCE 12.10.13 @ 11:00 am

I am thinking about the future, and all I see is 6-6, 5-7 and an occaisional 7-5 to get the unruly a bit excited and given a small gleam of hope.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 11:00 am

UPitt has finally jumped the shark. He is calling for MAC coaches. I love how the MAC is simultaneously the symbol of the bottom of the college football barrel, and also the coaching pot of gold.

Comment by JCE 12.10.13 @ 11:02 am


Before you guys annoint BG/WF’s coach
look at his record. Not very impressive,
He hot the jackpot with 10 wins this year.

Sad we that we are even discussing MAC
teams as a comparison.

Comment by JR 12.10.13 @ 11:07 am

Chuck Amato, DC at Akron, former head coach of NC State, former DC at FSU.

And an Eastonian to boot.

Comment by steve1 12.10.13 @ 11:09 am

I think there was another MAC coach that had an impressive year out of nowhere. I think he was at Miami Of Ohio. What was his name now….hmmmmm….oh yeah! Mike Haywood!! Pitt hired him! AND PITT FANS HIT THE ROOF! And that was before all the domestic violence stuff…

You really want to go back to that well…?

Comment by JCE 12.10.13 @ 11:17 am

Dick LeBeau – after the Steelers can him, perhaps he can replace House or come in as a “consultant”.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.10.13 @ 11:17 am

Paul Zeise said it best, you win some and you lose some! You can’t get them all! I’m frustrated too but if we land some of the other big ones then we will be ok. Remember when the world was going to implode cause we didn’t get the great Anthony Morelli! Chins up and move forward!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.10.13 @ 11:18 am

Anyone who has talked to recruits says that recruits consistently that Heinz Field is a pro not a con. Recruits don’t care about “atmosphere.” That’s a fan thing. They are about getting to the NFL. And if you are recruiting right, the good recruits will only be at your major games such as FSU or ND. They won’t be seeing the crowd when Pitt plays New Mexico or whoever. Seriously, how hard is it to sell a recruit “oh hey you come here we will win big and we will play in a packed Heinz Field.” My father was a good salesman and he could sell anyone anything no matter if they needed or not. That’s what a good recruiter does. Sells the school and gets the guy to commit.

And Bruce F, you are going to use Jamie Dixon as an example of people being wrong on Chryst. Such a joke. Maybe if Chryst was coach for 10 years and won a couple conference titles and won at least 9 games every year, I’d make that comparison.

If Chryst actually did something with recruiting or coaching, then a lot of you guys wouldn’t have to keep on making excuses for why he isn’t succeeding.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.10.13 @ 11:19 am

@ Dan,

I’m not contending that Mrs. Henry’s were the biggest issue yesterday. I just think there’s no reason to disparage Pitt. Just say that you felt WVU was the better fit and leave it at that.

Suppose things don’t work out for Henry at WVU, and is looking to transfer. Those comments might come back to bite them. It’s not a good idea to burn a bridge.

I think Henry’s friendship with Shell was the main reason he chose WVU.

Also, Gibson must be one hell of a smooth talker to sell WVU’s “defensive scheme”, when that scheme results in a horrible defense. I can understand a young person being taken in by him, but it looked like his Mom got taken in by him also.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 11:19 am

Recruiting is kind of a crap shoot. You would think the higher stars would work out better percentage wise. I think there was a study cited on this blog a while back.

Comment by Frank MD 12.10.13 @ 11:21 am

My concern about House moving forward was that he was too dumb or too arrogant to recognize that Todd Thomas was the second best impact player he had.

Starting with making him second string before the season causing the bs with Todd quitting.

Thomas finished the year as the fourth leading tackler and the third leader in TFL’s.

He did this while being benched for two games and on the bench on most third down plays.

So because of House’s brilliant scheming, he takes his best tackler, best pass rushing linebacker off the field.

When Price goes down and he loses his best pure pass rusher, he puts no blitzes in to use Thomas’s special talent.

If Thomas plays in those two additional games and on third downs, he is easily the leading tackler on the team. If he makes a couple of splash plays on third down, who knows, we might have won another game or two.

The most important characteristic of a good coach is recognizing the individual talents of players and putting them in the position to make plays.

Not to fit them into a system. Coach LeBeau created a whole defense for Polamalu’s special skills.

Our coach puts his best open field tackler on the bench on third downs. Why not put one of the ineffective defensive ends on the bench if you want to go nickel.

Comment by gc 12.10.13 @ 11:39 am

I’m not sure what to make of House, though the defense did improve quite a bit over the course of the year and played respectably in the second half of the year (much to my surprise). And the team had no DE’s to work with to pressure opposing QBs. I did hear an interesting discussion between Mike & Mike & CC this morning, explaining why the Cover2 doesn’t work anymore unless you have exceptional personnel, and it got me to thinking, I sure hope we don’t run that scheme (I don’t know if we do).

Disappointed (but not surprised) that so many of us got our panties in a bunch over a one guy (and a DB at that). Also disappointed we missed on a good player, but get a life. It seems true we need some recruiting help, but Henry’s choice was bonedheaded but almost any measure, so it’s hard to get too worked up about it. If we miss out on all or almost all of the others we’re after, that’s another matter, but until then…

Comment by 1618mt 12.10.13 @ 11:44 am

FYI … Donald is the first Pitt defensive player to win a national award since (“tackle made by Hugh”) Green some 30+ years ago

Comment by wbb 12.10.13 @ 11:55 am

Losing Henry can be just a case of a kid connecting with a school’s top recruiter (Gibson from WVU) who also happens tobe DB coach.

I do hope that it doesn’t point to a bigger issue … that Pitt is losing and/or ignoring the Beaver Valley (and especially Aliquippa.) There is usally wealth of talent here but as yet, this staff hasn’t gotten a commit from this area (but only been 2 years.)

Also hope that House’s treatment of Todd Thomas and PC’s treatment of Hollins didin’t have a negative effect on Henry or have a bad effect on future Beaver Valley prospects.

Comment by wbb 12.10.13 @ 12:01 pm

@Dan, good point, point taken.

I was just putting into context as to the problems our Athletic Dept. has overall, and the football program in general.

Thank goodness for hoops, cause we don’t have anything else. Oh, guess the baseball team almost made the tourney last year, or the year before??

But, good point concerning the actual recruiting.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 12:26 pm

The bridge has been burned. Henry, and Mrs Henry have commited to WVU. Don’t bother those people at signing time. Let them sleep in the bed that they chose. Again West Virginia gets such “outstanding” people!

Comment by art 12.10.13 @ 12:33 pm

Wrestling !!

Comment by DC33 12.10.13 @ 12:33 pm

Bigdawg, did not see Syracuse rated ahead of Pitt in US News? I believe they are right below us around #63. We are down to #62?

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.10.13 @ 12:36 pm

Dan’s, you guys are confusing the #$%^ out of me, how about one of you changes your handle.

wbb, you are right, I forgot about Hollins being a Quip. Another Duh moment by the coaches keeping him on the bench all year, a fifth year senior.

I know there have been problems with the “breaking of team rules”. Hollins sat out a year as have others. My guess is drugs. There were rumors with Shell and of course the big bust.

Now that Colorado has legal pot maybe their recruiting will improve dramatically. Plus what a boon to the vacation industry. But you have to wonder now that the legalization of weed seems imminent, relatively harmless and the tax benefits, (surprised that Detroit has legalized to save their bankrupt asses), when will coaches just look the other way. You know many of them do already.

As an aside, Mark Stepnoski was the president of his local NORML chapter and has moved to Canada.

I guess we won’t be honoring him in the near future.

Comment by gc 12.10.13 @ 12:46 pm

US News rankings are not widely accepted among academics because they are too easily manipulated.

The Times WORLD University Rankings are more widely accepted. link to

Pitt is #78 in the world. WVU isn’t ranked.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.10.13 @ 12:55 pm

Remember a few years ago when Terrell Chestnut committed verbally to Pitt then eventually switched to the Hoopies and he was considered a “can’t miss” 4 * recruit and he has done nothing but get scorched in their secondary. A detense that last year was dead last in the nation in passing defense and improved little this year.

Move on from Henry and let that situation take care of itself. We should be celebrating AD who is the “great one” of our era in our midst.

BTW @ Tx Panther, HCPC offered Henry two years ago, it was one of the first things he did after becoming head coach.

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 12.10.13 @ 1:01 pm

Not from what hear. Pitt was the 6th school to offer. You can ask Henry yourself. Chryst’s initial offer might have gotten lost in the mail. This just offer crap or whatever Chryst calls it doesn’t work. Recruiting MAC athletes doesn’t either. Things have to change but I fear Pitt doesn’t get it. Outside Engram, name another dynamic recruiter on staff. Chryst needs help.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 1:10 pm

But Penn State is ranked 49. They beat us at everything. Except basketball this year.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 1:13 pm

If Pitt had been admitted to the Ivy League in the 60s we would probably be in the top 10 academically but there would not be a FB Blather.

Comment by Frank MD 12.10.13 @ 1:46 pm

according to Dokish, Pitt was 6th in offering him, and they quit reqcruiting him for a period … and according to a tweet that was posted on the PG last night, it was House who told Mrs Henry of the inconsistencies on the defense (for whatever sense that makes.)

Comment by wbb 12.10.13 @ 1:48 pm

On another note, for those of you who follow Pitt in the NBA, Aaron Gray was traded from Toronto to Sacramento last night.

Comment by Bruce F 12.10.13 @ 2:08 pm

I am simply amazed how a decision by an 18yr old kid can cause so many so much consternation and grief. What is also amazing is fans expecting EVERY top player in the area to commit to Pitt.

Is it because Pitt has played in 5 straight BCS games? Oh wait, they haven’t.
Is it because Pitt fills Heinz every weekend? Oh wait, they don’t.
Is it because Pitt has been in National Title contention over the years? Oh wait, they haven’t been nationally relevant since the early 80s.

I’m a Pitt fan through and through and always hope for the best. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit around and complain, much less stress over a decision made by some fresh off the teat, snot-nosed kid.

NOT A SOUL here knows what Henry’s motivation was for making the choice. If I had to guess, WVU kissed his ass more than Pitt.

Maybe Pitt should hire Angelina Jolie as DC?? I’d bet top dollar that those lips would feel mighty nice on the glutes.

Comment by pghFred 12.10.13 @ 2:13 pm


There are also some very deep-pocketed WVY fans who would not hesitate to grease the recruiting wheels. On the face of it, WVU makes no sense given the many other schools who wanted him.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.10.13 @ 2:26 pm

I don’t post often, but I feel like I have to chime in here.

I waited 24 hours to gather my thoughts about losing Henry to WVU. Personally, I’m ok with it. Anyone connected to Shell as closely as it appears he is is not someone I want on my team. Best Wishes Dravon to a successful career of burning couches in Morgantown.

Now, a couple of comments to posts above mine…

First, Congratulations Aaron Donald…a well deserved award. Thank you for not only being such an outstanding player, but also an outstanding individual I am proud to root for. Best of luck with all of your future endeavours.

Second, our coaches/recruiters were just handed one helluva recruting tool…”Come to Pitt, where your hard work and our coaching can lead to a Nagurski award” Better take advantage of that.

Third, I’m not ready to throw House out on the street yet. I do expect to see improvement next year. For those of you waiting to see instant success from a coaching staff- calm your expectations. There are more Jimbo Fishers that take time and build a program than there are Gus Malzahn’s that win in their first year.

Fourth- quit using the “he never played college football” as a reason for disqualifying House. Ever hear the expression “Those who can do, and those who can’t coach”? The best coaches in any sport are the ones with little or marginal success as a player. (Think Jim Leyland, Mike Tomlin, Dan Bylsma, Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, Scotty Bowman, the list goes on) I’m not putting our coaches in that category- I’m simply saying that success as a player is not a predictor of success as a coach. In fact, in most cases, it’s quite the opposite.

One last thing…as far as Elko? You can forget it…I predict he either becomes BG’s Head Coach or follows Clawson to Wake.

Comment by hacky3 12.10.13 @ 2:28 pm

@ pmdH2P – One could speculate that Henry chose WVU over the others to be closer to home. It’s true he could have stayed closer to home at Pitt, but a 60min drive isn’t that bad.

And his family can now carpool to Morgantown with his BFF Shell’s family on gamedays.

Comment by pghFred 12.10.13 @ 2:37 pm

facts what his mom said is out there for all recruits to read.
fact house had a in home vist and could not get henry or his mom to bye in.
fact the WVU recruter did he beat house like a drum.
fact we say that house was screwing up so the players did to they are not blind.
fact if we lose the outher 5 big recruits we have a less than great recruiting class in fact it will all most stink with out them.
fact dokish is right abought most of our asst coachs.
fact 6 and 6 is the top of the line for us next year.

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 2:47 pm

fact – the sun will come out tomorrow……

Comment by pghFred 12.10.13 @ 3:00 pm

Matt House Rumored to be in the mix for the new Texas job……

You know the one?

Southlake HS Job…. Actually, he doesn’t have enough experience for that job as they are a powerhouse.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 3:06 pm

As someone early pontificated, “recruiting is the life blood of successful football programs”. This fact is even more important in those programs that have been left for dead and are attempting to rebuild themselves. That is P I T T that I’m referring to here.

Guys, based on what has occurred after Wanny’s firing, our two week fling with our MAC coach who apparently hits the mother of his kid, then finishing up with the unsuccessful eleven month experiment with Fraud Graham’s explosiveness, who then vacated the premises on the midnight express, we are damn fortunate that we were able to assemble a team that could competantly run out of the tunnel on gameday without tripping over their own feet this year. We should be happy that we successfully aspired to mediocrity this season!

Please take a deep breath, exhale slowly, then cautiously step back from the ledge. Yes, Dravon Henry didn’t select Pitt as his university to play football for. That’s too bad, we sure could have used his help, BUT the Pitt Football program is NOT crumbling at our collective feet because of Mr. Henry’s decision.

Yes, Chryst could use some help in closing on highly regarded recruits, we need all we can get. The cupboard looks kind of depleted in those 5 star types at the moment but the verdict on how Chryst and Co. are going to do with the troops that he is assembling still remains to be seen.

I love it when people are already predicting what the 2015 Pitt Football record is going to look like, give it a rest. This is the same team that got it’s a$$ soundly whipped by the juggernaut program from Youngstown a meer 17 months ago. But here we are today, sitting at 6-6 going to second consecutive bowl game since that YSU debacle and hopefully headed back to a winning season if we find out a way to beat a tuff MAC Champion in BGSU still wringing our hands and lamenting at what a mess the Pitt football program is.

I’m also very concerned for this year’s recruiting class. If we fail to bring in at least two of these remaining high profile recruits on Pitt’s radar, then I’ll be pissed too. But let things play out. My best two gets now are Nicholson and Kamara, but I’ll gladly take Jennings or McKenzie as a substitute for one of them. I still think Bookser is leaning towards Pitt also. If we strike out on all of these guys however, THEN you guys have every right to bitch and whine.

We get one of these guys then our class looks average, we close on two of them then were OK, we get lucky and pull in three and we’ll have a great class and if we pull in four or more and that would be simply fantastic. Let the process come to it’s natural conclusion first however before throwing everybody in the frickin program under the bus.

The more pressing problem at hand however is figuring out how to win our bowl game. There is a very big difference in the impression, momentum and attitude of this team going into LOI signing day and Spring ball if we’re 7-6 with a bowl victory rather than another disappointing loss and ending 6-7 two seasons in a row. This bowl game is a must win for the Panthers!!!

So in conclusion with Thanksgiving still fresh in my memory, I feel it is only appropriate while reflecting on this football year, to consider some of the “good fortunes” that we have been blessed with, since naturally, being Pitt fans we always tend to focus on the negatives for the rest of the year.

So first, let us rejoice in the fact that we are in the ACC for crying out loud! Thank you Lord for delivering us from the morass that has become known as the AAC. What a difference one capital “C” makes in a conference’s name.

Second, thank you for letting us be 6-6 with wins over our eventual ACC division winner and a surprise win over the hated Domers. We would have enjoyed another win or two but hey until we’re undefeated and national champs again, we will always want another win or two, I guess.

Third, thanks to WHOEVER called that crucial timeout right before Syracuse kicked us in the collective balls with that perfectly executed fake punt of theirs, for because of that sixth win, we now have the opportunity to criticize both the eventual bowl game that we’ve been invited to play in as well as the opponent that we will be playing against non-stop for the next two weeks.

Fourth, Thank you for bringing us Aaron Donald. He was a joy to watch play all season long. He will be an asset in publicising Pitt football for years to come while playing in the NFL as well aswhen he is eventually elected into the football halls of fame in the future. BTW, he looks very comfortable in a tuxedo when he is accepting trophies, lets hope he has the opportunity to do that a couple more times this week!

Fifth, thank you for bringing Tyler Boyd into our Pitt Panther lives, along with his boys from Clairton, Titus Howard and Terrish Webb. Boyd will be competing for the Belitnikoff Award before long and since Henry goin be a Hoopie, we are going to be depending on Webb and Howard to do Clairton proud in the Panther’s secondary for years to come.

Sixth, Thank you for Paul Chryst sticking around for two years in a row, if for no other reason than it eliminated the potential debacle of Steve Pederson hiring yet a third consecutive football coach in as many years.

And lastly, thank you to Tom Savage, for because of him, no matter how frustrated I was with the performance or outcomes of the games that Pitt was involved in, that frustration level NEVER CAME CLOSE to that which has been present for the previous three long years when a guy with the same initials as Tom’s was playing under center.

See, don’t we all feel better now?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 3:09 pm

A lot of kids manage to announce their school choices without them or their families making derogatory statements about the schools they chose not to attend. In fact I think Mama’s statement says more about her stupidity than it does about Pitt. What could she have gained by dissing us? All she accomplished was to stir up a lot of animosity towards her kid. I know I have joined the “hope he fails miserably club” where as it didn’t have to be that way. Seems to me she hasn’t acted in her sons best interest. She probably screwed up the only 2 seconds of fame she will ever have and certainly has put a target on her kids back. Poor excuse for a parent.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 3:22 pm

@Dr Tom

And, thank you for bringing your thoughts and less strident approach to our discussions here. I agree, let’s focus on kicking ass in the bowl game. One more chance to watch Aaron Donald take the field in our uniform.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.10.13 @ 3:35 pm

@ Dan…you’re right about in the overall grand scheme of things, Pitt football has many bigger issues to be concerned about than Mrs. Henry. It just didn’t seem a very smart thing for her to do.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 3:50 pm

Thank you Dr. Tom for making me feel that I am not alone in the “what have you done for me lately” drama that seems to persist with a few of the Blathers. I was upset last night like everyone else but went to bed and knew that things are not as bad as some think. I am surprised that Henry went to WVU given that their coach is really on the hot seat. It could get ugly in WVU next year. Not sure why Henry’s mom would bash Pitt publicly when her son decided to go to WVU. Really kinda of sad that she has to be so unsecure in demeaning others. Also to the point about WVU and Oliver Luck. He really wanted the Texas AD job so I know that the WVU job is not his final destination.

Comment by Bruce F 12.10.13 @ 3:51 pm

Let’s never lose sight of one of the biggest advantages Pitt fans have over West Virginia. We don’t ever have to go to West Virginia.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 3:57 pm

the bgsu coach hired at wake forest. i’ll be curious to see how many years it will take wake forest to be relevant again..

Comment by goalie44 12.10.13 @ 4:09 pm


I have some friends in WV and have spent some good weekends there. But, no way I would want to go to school at WVU and/or end up living there.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.10.13 @ 4:15 pm

And, here is my prediction for what it is worth. Two years from now this site will be filled with comments about the possibility of Coach Chryst leaving us. We will have forgotten all of the current angst and have a new cause for alarm—losing our successful coach.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.10.13 @ 4:18 pm


Your comment is disqualified right out of the gate for simply including Mike Tomlin among the other names you’ve mentioned. The others are slightly more accomplished.

And Tomlin happens to be the only one without professional experience.

But don’t take my word for it. Just ask James Harrison.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 4:18 pm

The change of coaches is a plus towards us winning the game. We can use all the help we can get.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 4:25 pm

Yes, it is not the end of the world that a star recruit decided to go elsewhere; in fact, we are all too used to it. Maybe that’s the problem?

What is troublesome is that the recruit is from the school that has been the major pipeline and the recruit picked a school that doesn’t look to be a step up from Pitt.

Nonetheless, things will be brighter if ..

(1) we get Nicholsen, Bookser and at least one of the 4 star WRs (as many of those who predicted Henry to WVU think will occur), and

(2) if this is an aberration for really good players from Aliquippa and the Beaver Valley.

Comment by wbb 12.10.13 @ 4:31 pm

Recruits don’t care about “atmosphere.”

Just had to reprint it to make sure it actually said what I thought it said.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 4:32 pm


Dorian Johnson had a rough year but he’s also a true freshman. His struggles are a perfect example why coaches almost always prefer to redshirt offensive linemen. At age 18, very few if any are physically equipped to handle opponents who are 3-4 years older with that much more experience and training both on the field and in the weight room. I’m willing to give the kid the benefit of the doubt because the odds that he follows a normal developmental track and becomes a lineman indicative of his pedigree are very good.

As far as the list of players I cited, that was in direct response to your comment in the previous thread (1:43pm comment) in which you said, “This kid not going to Pitt to play for WVU off a bad year tells you everything you need to know about what the local kids think of Pitt and Chryst.”

The list of players I brought up were among the best LOCAL players in the respective years they were recruited. That was the parameter established by your comment quoted above.

And regarding talent level, let’s look at the list again.

Boyd – Big-time talent; no disputing that. Offers from Arizona, Arizona State, ND, Tennessee, Ole Miss, VT, Michigan State, Wisconsin, etc.

Holtz – Scout ranked him the 10th best TE nationally. Offers from Michigan, Michigan State, WVU, Penn State and Maryland.

Orndoff – Scout’s 20th best TE nationally. Offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, WVU, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Bisnowaty – Scout’s 36th best OT. Offers from Florida, Michigan State, Penn State and WVU.

D. Johnson – Scout’s 12th best OT. Offers from Nebraska, ND, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, VT and WVU.

Those guys were all good enough that the SEC, Big 12 and Pac 10/12/whatever noticed them.

Yes, Challingsorth & Zeise are mostly MAC-level players (though Zeise’s other offer came from WVU), and that’s all they may ever be at Pitt. Yes, the other Clairton kids (Coles, Howard, Webb) drew mostly MAC-offers. More on that in a second.

I brought those names up because of your statement about coaching staff’s ability to get some of the best overall local talent to play here. Those are all players that have been among the best local talent over the last 2-3 years.

I agree with you that if Pitt wants to be a regular competitor in the ACC, they’re going to need more players whose pedigree is closer to the caliber of Boyd, Holtz, Orndoff, Bisnowaty and Johnson.

But I’ll throw this out there as well.

Devin Street’s only offers were Pitt, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Temple and Akron.

Nagurski-award winner Aaron Donald’s only offers came from Pitt, Rutgers and Toledo.

I think it’s very safe to say that each of them were impact-caliber players at the ACC level.

Comment by Stoosh 12.10.13 @ 4:33 pm

Correct… losing Henry is not the end of the world by any means.

However, as Chas put it above… “this doesn’t help defensive coordinator Matt House’s status with Pitt fans.”

It would be quite a different story if House had a proven track record as a recruiter.

The fact that he doesn’t leaves open the door to the possibility that what Mrs. Henry said just might have some truth to it.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 4:38 pm


Thanks for the work you into your reply to Upitt. I simply threw Mike Grimm at him as an example. He hit back with something about puppies and rainbows, as I recall.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.10.13 @ 4:40 pm

“Let’s never lose sight of one of the biggest advantages Pitt fans have over West Virginia. We don’t ever have to go to West Virginia.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 3:57 pm”

Uh….can I still go get ribs at DJ’s outside of Weirton???

Comment by pghFred 12.10.13 @ 4:43 pm

Too many fans make huge and unfounded assumptions about why a recruit picks one school over another, usually based on their own priorities and not those of the kid. I don’t think it’s as simple as whether the program has been successful on the field or not, or the internal issues of the staff. Some want to go where they can play right away, some develop a relationship with a particular coach. Some want to stay close to home, and some just want to get as far away from home as possible. I’ve heard more than a few kids just simply say they liked the feel of the campus, and a few might even make the choice because of an academic program. The point is that they are going to be looking at many of the same things that kids use to choose a school who aren’t athletes. It’s not necessarily always a failure of the football program if they go somewhere else.

When local kids go somewhere other than Pitt, just keep in mind that they are 18 years old. When I was that age there was no way I was going to commute to college and keep living at home if I had any other choice – I wanted to get out from under my parents thumb and be on my own as quickly as possible. If I was a football player, I wouldn’t have gone to a local school regardless of how good they were. So, just remember, these guys are going to choose a particular school for many reasons, and they aren’t all going to be about the football program.

Comment by Steve S 12.10.13 @ 4:43 pm

This is not a aberration. This is Chryst dealing Pitt the death blow.

Ask anyone, in a different part of the Country, what they feel would happen if a head football coach didn’t take back a local 5 star running back who had a hot head monment.

I ask again who was the adult? The kid (Shell) can always say we was just a kid. Chryst will say what?

This will not be over for a number of years. Chryst will be way gone.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.10.13 @ 4:48 pm

Talk about the Aliquippa pipeline being broken with Henry’s decision is incredibly premature.

As I mentioned the other day, there is a certain value that community and program place in seeing their kids stay home and play. The only place they can do that is Pitt, and recognition of that value goes straight to the top of the Aliquippa program and Zmijanic.

There was plenty of talk that Henry went to WVU against repeated efforts by some Aliquippa coaches who have dealt with Tony Gibson in the past and know of his reputation.

Pitt will always be at least an option for kids from Aliquippa. It doesn’t guarantee Pitt gets all of them; some kids just want to get out of the area above anything else. But Pitt will be in mix if they choose to be.

And yes, I recognize that may have been the issue in this case with Henry. If Henry did have legitimate interest in Pitt and the Pitt coaches did in fact drop the ball, that’s something that needs to be addressed and corrected.

Comment by Stoosh 12.10.13 @ 4:55 pm

Old Pitt Grad…

Your premise is already on shaky ground considering Shell’s reputation and the fact that many if not the vast majority of Pitt players were glad to see him gone.

The premise will be completely shattered when everyone gets a chance next year to see that even on his best days… those in which he is motivated… Shell is GOOD but certainly NOT the GREAT Game-Breaker many mistakenly took him for out of high school.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.10.13 @ 4:57 pm

Thanks Stoosh and PMD for the follow up.

As far as the TE’s you discussed and mentioned can you send a memo to Paul Chryst to actually use them maybe in a game.

Call me crazy but this Grimm kid looks soft and chubby.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 4:58 pm

Losing Dravon Henry to WVU is not by any means the make or break recruit for Pitt. For those saying Chryst cant recruit, wether he can or can not Engram and Bollinger sure can. They are landing guys. Wade Freedbeck is a huge recruit at probably one of the top 5 high school football programs in the whole nation of not of all time at St Thomas A. Dominating the best high school football in the nation in south florida. If your gonna knock them for the ones they miss, praise them for the ones they land. Offensively, they are recruiting great.

Comment by Pitt Stadium Section 23 for life 12.10.13 @ 4:59 pm

Old Pitt Grad, Chill out Shell didn’t have “a hot head moment” as I recall he quit the team during spring ball and took his good old time shopping the country for a spot before asking back in a text message after the stupidity of his action finally sunk in. I for one am glad we got rid of him.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 5:09 pm

Couple afternoon thoughts.

I find it hard to believe that a lot of recruits, (not all, but a lot), don’t take into account playing in front of sold out stadiums and crazy college atmospheres. Not the one and only criteria certainly, there may 5 or 6 things, or 10 things they look at, but I have to believe atmosphere is somewhere on the list.

No, it’s not the end of the world, but, this is a Pitt athletic blog, so people are going to talk about sports related things, related to Pitt, and specifically, related to the topic Chas and Justin write an article on.

So, people are going to give their opinions on this. As in many things in life, their are two sides to many things. Like this subject. Some think no big deal. Some think it’s just another sign of no improvement. Really shouldn’t get on each other for adding their two cents.

I think a lot of us have been patient, very patient. I have mostly been positive about HCPC, however, the slide at the end after the Notre Dame game, has me questioning some things. (Please don’t include that Syracuse abyss of a game as a positive, I watched it with my own eyes).

We did not finish well, especially after such a big win. A very missed opportunity.

Time flys also, after the bowl game, we’ll be moving into HCPC’s 3rd year.

You know, around year 4 and 5, people start to say, “what the hell has “any coach” done”.

I think people are getting a little anxious about whether this is going to be the foundation laid for the future, or has this just been another Pitt athletic department 5 or 6 year plan, and move on to the next???

I see a lot of you guys talking about 5 or 6 big recruits out there. This was #1, and we didn’t get him.

Maybe the next 3 or 4 line up like ducks on a pond, nothing would please me more. We’ll see.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 5:39 pm

Pittstadium. Wade isnt a bigtime recruit. Florida finally offered him but he didnt get many offers. Yes Aquinas is the cats meow and im happy we got him but he isnt a bigtime talent yet.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 5:40 pm

Wade got 4 offers and 2 were mac schools

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 5:41 pm

If we are recruiting great, then if it’s the right coach and coaching staff, then we should really be starting to see some significant results next year??? I hope so.

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 5:43 pm

Part of Pitt’s problem is not having a GOOD QB for more than one year. Most of the better teams have QBs who have played more than one year unless you have a stud like Jameis.

Comment by Frank MD 12.10.13 @ 5:55 pm

Highly rated Shell vs nobody knew he exsisted Conners and there freshman years.

Shell- 641 yards 4.5 YPC and 4 TD’s
Conners- with one game left 570 yards 4.8 YPC and 7 TD’s

Tino vs Savage (I’m not saying Tino is a good QB, I repeat I’m not saying Tino is a good QB, I’m saying Savage isn’t either)

Tino 65.1 comp pct, 3288 yards, 21 TD’s, 3 int, 151.5 QB rating, 68 rushes for -191 yards rushing 1 TD

Savage 61.2 comp pct, 2834 yards, 21 TD’s, 9 int, 138.1 QB rating, 72 rushes for -208 yards rushing 3 TD’s, with 1 game left.

This is why I have faith in HCPC, Savage is Tino and Tino is Savage as far as how they play the QB position, and he was able to win 12 games maybe 13 with these guys at QB. HCPC has only had one true recruiting class and he lost out on Chapman so it might be awhile before he has a line a RB and a QB that can take Pitt to something better than 6-6. Two bowl games with a lack of talent and depth isnt all bad, 2 QB’s 2 RB’s and some O-lineman are coming but they will need time to develop it’s the position Pitt coaches have been put in, this class at the moment isn’t bad and if they can get a couple more good players it will be a very good class.

Comment by Steve h 12.10.13 @ 5:57 pm

Get used to the mediocre. HCPC seems like a good guy but he doesn’t have any magic formula that is going to fix our football program. The only way we climb above that level is to attract a top coach and Smilin’Steve wouldn’t know one if one sat on him. Given enough time some day this guy could win 9 games. Be glad with the 6 he scraped together this year, and don’t be real surprised if he can’t match it next. I would be very pleased if we could beat Bowling Green. That statement alone speaks volumes about Pitt football. There was a time when MAC teams were the dip with our chips.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 5:57 pm

Shirt pocket notes, apologies to the late great Cope.

As usual bad news brings out the joy of the naysayers, over 200 comments about one kid.

If losing one kid helps justify your world view that Chryst sucks and is going to fail, knock yourself out.

My concern is that most of the good (highly touted) recruits have been on the offensive side.
It takes both to be really good. I am disappointed that FSU won’t play Alabama, because they are the two best defensive teams as well as having great offense.

It is quite amazing that Aaron Donald is our first National defensive award winner since the Great Hugh Green. Hugh Green played on a line, five guys back then, that all were solid players in the pros, Ricky Jackson, a Hall of Famer. Green would have been as well, if not for a car accident. There were also other pros on the team, Carlton Williamson and Lynn Thomas and I probably forgot some others.

Aaron Donald truly won the award on his own. If you double teamed Hugh Green, other future pros would feast. Aaron would get doubled routinely and still put up amazing numbers. Took over games on his own. Unheard of for an interior lineman.

He also did it on a team that didn’t finish in the top 25. Remarkable!

He didn’t let the turmoil of three coaches deter his greatness. He did it with little fanfare or publicity. No big marketing effort.

I hope he wins the rest of the awards he is up for.

He is the kind of player we need more of, not the ones that think they are more important than the team.

Comment by gc 12.10.13 @ 6:23 pm

@Frank MD, excellent point, and I always seem to agree with you.

On your point, I would have to ask, whose fault will it be next year, when we hear “well, we have a new quarterback this year”??

I like Tom Savage, and am thankful for him being a Pitt guy this year.

If experience for qb’ing is of utmost importance, then wouldn’t it have been better served to go with Voytik this year for Pitt’s future so next year we have a starting qb with a year under his belt.

Some will say, Savage gave us the best chance to win. Ok, I buy that. But, really, Voytik couldn’t have gotten us to 6-6 or 5-7?????

He took a redshirt. Then a freshmen. If he wasn’t ready to start learning as a starter this year, when will he ever be??

Maybe he’s not the future??

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 6:26 pm

@gc, I agree. I’ll take 22 Aaron Donalds. Let’s get them!!!

Comment by Dan 12.10.13 @ 6:27 pm

Vegas has Pitt as a well deserved 6 point underdog to the Fighting Falcons of Bowling Green.
What an embarrassment!

Comment by Dan 72 12.10.13 @ 6:48 pm

We will do well to cover

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 7:04 pm

Changing the subject, Randal is suing Rutgers for personal injury. I don’t think our basketball team needs this distraction.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.10.13 @ 7:20 pm

@Old Pitt Grad, I read the details of the lawsuit and what bothered me was that if he plays well it could hurt his case.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 7:45 pm

UPitt, a lot more MAC QBs in the NFL the last 20 yrs. than Pitt QBs…maybe it’s a devious alternate universe strategy that Chryst and company are going after MAC-recruited QBs!

Comment by Iron Duke 12.10.13 @ 7:45 pm

Bowling Green is a good football team Dan, not sure why that embarrasses you. It doesn’t embarrass me.

We are not a very good football team.

Comment by gc 12.10.13 @ 7:54 pm

I have voiced my anger over our poor recruiting already so I won’t go into that. What I will say is with all the instability with Pitt football HCPC isn’t going anywhere and I think he knows this. I feel it would be smart for him to shake up his staff some. Other than Engram and Rudolph none of the other coaches seem to be good at all in recruiting. There needs to be more energy in the recruiting attempt and much more aggression. I get the point he doesn’t want guys at Pitt that don’t want to be there but that is the job of a recruiter to sell the product and get them to want to be there.

Comment by Shawn 12.10.13 @ 8:04 pm

Clawson made 400k and did wonders. We are paying Potato Picker Paul and his Gray Sweatshirt 1.8M for terrible performance. If Steve Pederson actually worked for a business that had a focus on profit and performance he would have been fired 100 times over last 2 years. Don’t tell me he got us in the ACC Bullshit. He answered the phone after UCONN was denied.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 8:25 pm

Who is Clawson?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.10.13 @ 8:28 pm

“Regarding Henry” might have been a better title.

Comment by Don Walnut 12.10.13 @ 8:46 pm

I though Upittbaseball was banned?

Comment by Joe 12.10.13 @ 8:49 pm

USAToday football rankings: Bowling Green #29; Pitt #70. We’ll be at least 10 point underdogs. I don’t want to hear that we are playing a lowly Mid-American Conference.

Comment by MariettaMike 12.10.13 @ 8:52 pm

Upittbaseball – you dislike for HCPC is well documented. The sideline dress is dictated by the sponsors (Nike) and the AD dept. Have you seen what Bo Pelini wears…you are an idiot and as I said previously your baseball team mates(if you played) disliked you so much that you seek revenge on the football team!

Comment by markup 12.10.13 @ 9:09 pm

that is the pont we are and we are under dogs a shame is it not.
on csnbbs aac conference talk east carolina is bitching becuse they have to play a mac school
they think it is beneath them to have to play a mac school in there bowl.
hell if they think that and they are nobody should we not fell the same way becuse we are pitt.
that is the point we think it is ok to play a mac school in a bowl and be under dogs at that how far the mighty pitt football has falling and it is worse when her fans think it is ok how low can we go.

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 9:10 pm

I got it, I got it! Hire Tom Bradley as a special teams coach/defensive assistant. We need a special teams coach now and House needs some help! Hire Bradley but up his salary so he will listen. If all goes to hell with House, promote Bradley as D coord. If all goes to hell with Chryst, promote Bradley to interim Head Coach with Engram as the Offensive Coord. If he does well, we got the man who we should’ve gotten a few years ago! Listen I actually like Chryst but I think adding Bradley to the staff would only help, then you have a backup plan. Just an idea! Thinking way to much in the snowy weather in DC!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.10.13 @ 9:11 pm

Bowling Green is favored and deservedly so. Pitt sucks and Vegas agrees. That’s what MAC recruits get ya that are coached up by potato farmers in gray college sweatsuits.

I’m only a fan of stability when it leads to wins. Seriously the Wanny days look better as time flys by. Even Fraud brought a better offense than this turd given to us by Barry.

He needs his hand held. His assistants aren’t strong enough. His coaching flaws are exposed. Why does Pitt give coaches the chance to learn on the job. Make your damn mistakes at a MAC school.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 9:15 pm

markup be nice upittbaseball has as much right as you or me to say what he wants , is this not a sports blog and all have different ideas.
i myself do not attack chryst becuse i know he will be here for 2 more years weather i want him to or not.
but i do think the asst coachs should be fired at least most of them not all of them.

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 9:19 pm

News flash Pitt played 12 games – 9 of the teams will play in a bowl game. Good strength of schedule for a 2nd year coach with one true (able to recruit the whole year) recruiting class and that class delivered!

Comment by markup 12.10.13 @ 9:19 pm

HCPC has been the pitt coach for 25 games.

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 9:44 pm

Frankcan I would give him some slack ,but all remember is negative comments coming from him and that negative attitude gets old. Ingram is a winner and a keeper, as is Bolinger, for all we know Barry A. Suggested that HCPC bring inexperienced coaches with him and to develop them.

Comment by markup 12.10.13 @ 9:44 pm

@ Old Pitt Grad, your post made at 4:48 made me laugh out loud. “Pitt death blow”, hilarious! If Graham leaving in the dead of night before our bowl game, waving farewell via a text messgae to the team, can’t kill Pitt’s football program, then nothing will. Your really a funny guy, you should post more often, I enjoy the entertainment.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 9:49 pm

Several posts above imply or directly state that Coach Holgorsen is on the “hot seat”. I doubt that. He signed a six year, $2.3M per year, contract extension at the end of last season. That is one expensive hot seat for WVU to pull the trigger on.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.10.13 @ 9:54 pm

markup i know but think how boring this site would be if we all drank the koolaid and sang HCPC is the best all day long. this site would suck people like JOE D and pittbaseball give some spice and give you and outhers a reason to yell and make your point for chryst. that is not a bad thing .

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 9:54 pm

EMel were are you i worry when old timers are not on
EMel has not been on for days it is not like him to miss this kind of stuff.
if you are out there just post something so we know you are ok.

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 10:02 pm

Chryst needs to listen to the AD. And the AD should say some heads need to roll. His assistants should have already been developed and proven commodities. I blame our current AD for allowing it. I actually blame our Chancellor most of all for hiring the incompetent ass to run the department and then extending him based on a fine record of mediocrity. The fish rots at the head.

Thanks Nordy for building a medical empire but Pitt still lags Penn State in everything but men’s basketball. Still looking up to Penn State in academics. Still behind Pedo State in brand value even after the scandal. Does Pitt have a plan?

I want to hear from the new leader how we plan on surpassing Penn State, how we plan to improve the overall quality of our athletic program and how we plan to fund it, how we plan to increase our brand equity, how we plan to compete for ACC championships, how we plan to be a well balanced university, how we plan to improve the quality of life and overall student experience, how we plan to increase our endowment and keep costs down.

No easy answers but I’m glad the door is closing on this administration. We need new vision, energy and commitment. We’ve grown too complacent.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 10:04 pm

TX Panther but will we get a new AD if we dont nothing changes .

Comment by Frankcan 12.10.13 @ 10:20 pm

@gc, I’ll tell you what embarrasses me, that’s Pitt fans that feel entitled to look down their noses at football programs that “supposedly” in their minds, are unworthy to give credit that they’re due, without the least bit of consideration as to the team’s makeup or the product that they have put out there on the field of play. That form of myopic unfounded disrespect for another team I find very embarrassing from a mutual Pitt fan that supposedly follows the college game! Funniest thing is, they don’t even realize that they do it. And BTW spiritofsection22, we’ve become very, very accustomed to the “mediocre” over the last four years already. So another mediocre year or two waiting around to see if the Chryst experiment turns things around at all doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things to me, how bout you? But while I’m sitting around waiting for that verdict to come in, I’m sure not going to do anything but hope for the best for my Pitt Panther Football team because they’re my team through thick and thin, and I just happen to like this bunch of guys we got right now, so I’m enjoying watching the process.
Beat Bowling Green and Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 10:29 pm

Fresh blood and new ideas are good for the university. I’m confident that our current AD will be gone shortly. I hope our new Chancellor values athletics more than Nordy. Chryst needs help. The AD should be finding the money to help pay for good assistants. Chryst is still trying to learn how to be a head coach. Having good assistants will speed up the learning curve. Let’s see how serious Pitt is about winning. If there are few significant changes, we’ll get the same old Pitt and the same old results. Let’s hope for some changes and stability be damned. Again, stability for the sake of stability that gets sub par results is a losers mentality.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 10:35 pm

@ markup, I have deduced from reading many of Upittbaseball’s posts that he is not an idiot, he may be a disgruntled, pessimestic, full of negative energy Scrooge with a heart only half the size of the Grinch’s, but he’s definitely not an idiot!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 10:38 pm

But give him a new AD and his heart will grow three sizes that day.

Comment by TX Panther 12.10.13 @ 10:55 pm

Frankcan, our pal Emel seemed to be having a computer issue or a problem with the Blather site considering his texts from a couple of his posts noted on the “Thanksgiving Leftovers” thread dated 11/28. He made a couple posts during the Miami game, then nothing but crickets since then, got me??

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 10:58 pm

@ Tx Panther, nothing but good constructive suggestions from you today.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 11:04 pm

Lest us not forget, Congratulations to Aaron Donald! Truly an amazing performance throughout his college career. I’m not sure everyone truly fathoms the accomplishments and sheer will of his play this year as well. He can be proud of being a college graduate and always an exemplary teammate. This is a Pitt man if there ever was one. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Gordo 12.10.13 @ 11:14 pm

TXPanther, Pitt hired an assistant without head coach experience to learn on the job because that really rich booster basically forced Pitt to hire him. And I’m still waiting for someone to show me even a shred of evidence that Chryst hired House due to money concerns. As Frankcan can tell you, there was literally no information on any of those coaching rumor websites that Chryst even talked to or interviewed anyone else for the DC job. There was a rumor Chryst wanted the guy from the 49ers but that was about it.

I’m not even sure the D is the biggest problem. I was just looking at NCAA team ranks: Total Offense 102, Passing Offense 61, Rushing Offense 112, Scoring Offense 85. Those are pretty bad numbers for a team coached by an offense guy.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.10.13 @ 11:27 pm

Hey guys. In light of having half the heart size of the scrooge I must say Arron Donald should get the kudos. If Steve Pederson doesnt take of 50k and get 10-12 Billboards throughout PA and the Southeast then he is crazy. The kid is great and speaks very well and is an awesome ambassador for UP. Way to go Aaron! Ok back to pederson. LOL. Doc hope you are well. And Frankcan. Markup – I woukd love being positive but we are watching the same games right? I am reading a book on being positive no lie. Haha

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 11:41 pm

I will hopefully put the sky is falling group at ease for a few minutes. I did a little research about recruiting and stars. You all have a 50-50 chance of getting this right, so let’s play. There are two teams that just played for the ACC Championship. One of those teams had 1 four star recruit (according to scout system) since 2009. Which team was it? For those that are fact challenged, it is Duke and they had one player in 2009 ranked as a four star. All other recruits were two and three stars.

Cutcliffe took several years to get his players comfortable in his system. Pitt would be wise to let Chryst have his time to develop the program. Doomsdayers need to stay away for you know not what you say.

Further, Henry may not be the end all. If you follow twitter accounts, the Shell’s and the Henry’s accounts are covered with the “N” word. There is no need for this and the associated friendships in any Pitt locker room and it is not the type of young man you want in your program. Leave that to the WVU’s, OSU’s. Tell me it is everywhere in today’s society and I will take you to task. Class is taught by Paul Chryst, not Holgorsen, Meyer, etc. Meyer may have crossed himself up after the MSU game. Rumor has it that he disrespected the Carmen Ohio tradition at the end of the game because he was pouting.

Gibson and Holgorsen will be gone next year if they go anything less than 6-6. AD Luck has already inferred that recently. Actually, Luck almost left first for the Texas AD job which would have been bad for Pitt. Why< because the AD at Oregon is a hillbilly and wanted to go back to WV if Luck left.

UPitt, we agree only that our current AD is terrible. A laughingstock amongst his peers, but laughing at the fan base because of the cash we pay him for repeated failure. Ease off on the negativity or they will start calling you Joe Jr.

Finally, let's stop all this bs about Pitt being this great academic institution. We are good to slightly above average. The rankings are manipulated constantly. I know this as I study the ranking mechanisms and how to manipulate the results. As an example, many universities hire recent graduates for a two year stint post graduation to boost employment percentages post graduation. Some universities hire many non-tenured faculty prior to survey completion so the student teacher ratio is lower, thus receiving hire scores. There are about twenty other manipulations that occur, so unless you know all the assumptions behind the rankings and what they really mean, the rankings are inaccurate. Sorry Pitt Dad. That is just how it works.

In closing, my recommendation is to back off the head coach. He isn't going anywhere. I do wish PC would take a hint from Obrien at psu and fire a couple of assistants that aren't performing, only if there are better replacements. All the players that pick Pitt, welcome. All those that go elsewhere seeking greener pastures, good luck. Recent memory suggests that the locals should remain local for the family support they need. Didn't Gibson coach at Pitt for awhile? If it was so bad, why did he work here? It was good enough for him, but not anyone he is recruiting. Sounds backwards to me, but people who don't know better (typically parents) get caught up in the emotion. My hope is that once the dust settles, better choices will be made.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.10.13 @ 11:52 pm

Haven’t seen you on here before. We all know Upitt and we know he’s mostly glass-half-empty. He’s a good guy, though. I’ve made the mistake of getting personal and it’s the wrong move. Just sayin’.

Comment by panther94 12.10.13 @ 11:56 pm

@Frankcan, where’s Emel? I haven’t seen him post in a while.

Comment by panther94 12.11.13 @ 12:11 am

Tom Bradley is available as a defensive coordiantor….

Do you think he MIGHT have landed Mr.Henry IF he was one of the assistants recruting Western PA?

Comment by The TRUTH 12.11.13 @ 6:09 am


Don’t like the Tom Savage bashing. The O line was terrible and gave him little time to throw….especially the deep ball.
Savage wasn’t perfect but gave us his best effort and I for one
enjoyed watching him play.

Voytik is mobile and has a strong arm. Did anyone watch the Spring Game? Voytik will be ready and the early non conference games will give him an opportunity to get oriented.

Comment by JR 12.11.13 @ 6:26 am

JR, I agree 100%

Hopefully the O-line will improve get the running game going, taking the pressure off Voytik.

Comment by gc 12.11.13 @ 7:07 am

If recruits read this blog, it should show them we are passionate fans and for the most part not Kool Aid drinkers. We care deeply about Pitt and want to make her better. A new AD should tap into that love and rally the troops. I just want to be heard and see some results that show someone is listening. I’m tired of being beaten down and ignored. But it’s not in my nature to quit. Chryst shouldn’t quit either but he should reach out for help.

Comment by TX Panther 12.11.13 @ 7:11 am

Looks like BG’s head coach and Elko their DC are going to Wake and won’t be coaching the game. The line may go down by a field goal.

Comment by TX Panther 12.11.13 @ 7:19 am

Good for you, Upittbaseball, self improvement is always a noble endeavor, plus more positive energy from you once in awhile, I find as a breath of fresh air.

Donald is going to get another award tonight, hopefully. Tomorrow is the Big Kauna though, the Outland Trophy has always been viewed as the linemen’s Heisman and Donald is the best choice for that one too. He’ll be in rare company if he receives it, with only one other Pitt guy ever being awarded the Outland, Coach Holtz’s main anticognist, Mark May.

Merry Christmas, let’s put this belated Christmas gift on all of our lists for a dominant win over a very solid Bowling Green team. That would be the appropriate way to end our season if, in fact, Pitt is trending upward.

Keep reading Upitt, that should be your New Year’s resolution, a more optimistic outlook on Pitt athletics! BTW, your heart is half the size of the Ginch, not Scrooge.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 7:25 am

@ dhuffdaddy, unless you correct me otherwise, one fact about the University of Pittsburgh, that continues to rank Pitt #1 without competitors is that we continue to have the highest building on our campus of higher education than any other institution in the country. So we got that going for us!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 7:35 am

We’ve also got one of the most beautiful campuses from an architectural perspective which unfortunately isn’t seen by most ACC visitors when they attend a game at Heinz on the North Shore. She’s like a beautiful woman hidden away in the kitchen during a gala and nobody has a chance to see her curves and charm.

Comment by TX Panther 12.11.13 @ 7:44 am

Yep, Pitt has the tallest education building in the U.S. and forth tallest education building in the world.

Comment by MariettaMike 12.11.13 @ 7:50 am

Mike I think the cathedral is the second tallest in the world after Moscow U. Stalin put a spire on top so he could say it was the tallest. We have the highest classrooms.

Comment by alcofan 12.11.13 @ 8:21 am

Typically, a recruit comes here first because of our tallest buildings and second for our architecturally sound other structures. All excellent points.

Kids buy what coaches sell. The plan to maximize the gifts of an athlete so he can get to the next level; an opportunity for early playing time and an opportunity to play for championships. For Pitt, the opportunity to play for a championship is better in the ACC, than all of our local competitors except for OSU in the Big11.

I used Duke as an example because they won 10 games in the ACC with 2 and 3 star players. The roadmap can work if given time. Cutcliffe was well under 500 since 2008. Don’t worry about me and Upitt. We get along just fine and as pointed out agree on many things. He double dosed the negative this week, that’s all.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.11.13 @ 8:25 am

Pitt best practices must be to continue to get Federal and private grants for research such as the recent one to track diseases. More research money always helps a schools image but competition is fierce. Hope AD gets more awards for his work and we need those local recruits be they even 2 or 3 stars.

Comment by Frank MD 12.11.13 @ 8:33 am

Hi Panther, I’ve been on for a while (markp) – I somehow entered the wrong Name when I was writing to upitt…I wanted to get my note out. I don’t have anything against him or anyone else, but the tunes getting played over and over again get old! HCPC is well respected amongst his peers and is making progrss IMHO. I was at the Navy game and felt the pain as the game was given away, and was very upset as well. Two glasses of wine at Red,Red wine calmed me down…I hope for better results from the FB team.

Comment by markp 12.11.13 @ 8:45 am


Undeniable fact Pitt cannot be come
relevant by depending on WPIAL
players. Given the shortage of local
talent and the fact not all of the players
want to attend Pitt the staff must expand
the recruiting boundaries. Also factor in the
annual needs of the team; losing Henry
is painful however most assuredly the staff
has a plan B.

Comment by JR 12.11.13 @ 9:09 am

@gc, sure, they’re good for a MAC team. If they were in a BCS conference, they’d be 6-6 at best.

Losing to a MAC team, or a Sun Belt team is still a stigma, to any of the 5 BCS conferences.

It may happen more than it did 20 years ago, but it is still not an everyday Saturday event.

My embarrassment is not losing to Bowling Green, you are correct about that, we’ll be lucky to stay on the field with them.

My embarrassment is how far the Pitt football program has fallen.

Think about it. We’re gonna be in a dog fight, with………..Bowling Green.

Comment by Dan 12.11.13 @ 10:16 am

Maybe a dog fight, we may very well get blown off the field.

Comment by Dan 12.11.13 @ 10:16 am

And embarrassment is probably the wrong word choice. Don’t know if I used it first or you did.

If I did, poor word choice.

Let’s say, it saddens me, to see what we’ve become.

Comment by Dan 12.11.13 @ 10:17 am

Duke was pleasnat alternative to the typical ACC drum beat of the Clemsons and Florida States, etc. dominating the ranks of the Conference this year. Too bad that the Blue Devils got beat like a drum by FSU in the championship game, but that was a redundant trend all season long for FSU opponents.

My hope is that with Pitt upgrading to the ACC that the coaching staff takes full advantage of that geographic footprint to enhance the scope of their successful recruiting efforts into the deep South. There is no way to deny the fact that they grow fast, talented football players down there in Florida and such. We need our share of that crop of recruits ANNUALLY if we are expected to eventually compete for ACC Championships. This incoming QB from Florida is a start, but only a start. We need about another half dozen of them fast, skilled Florida guys to fill out our 2015 recruiting class.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 10:20 am

I think the real reason choose WVCC is that he got a look at the all white uniforms worn by Pitt and thought ‘there’s no way in HELL I’d ever wear something that HORRID’………

Comment by pghFred 12.11.13 @ 10:27 am

Dan, sorry it was Dan72 that made the embarrassment comment. I don’t think it is how far we have fallen, but how high Bowling Green has risen. Their season is much more of an aberration to them, than ours is to us.

Comment by gc 12.11.13 @ 10:47 am

@gc, good points about where both programs are.

It’s not “terrible”, it’s just the perpetual mediocrity.

I hope HCPC’s plan can pull us out of it.

I’ve stated before, and I believe many if not most of us, do not have delusions of 1976 and National Championships.

Would just like to be a perennial top 25 team or so.

I can even give you a visualization of my thoughts in say, any given 10 year period.

Not ranked
Not ranked
Not ranked

Perhaps this is asking too much from the admistration. Seems like a lot of academic institutions these days are striving for excellence in the classroom, along with excellence in sports.

I don’t think my above 10 year little thing, is asking for the moon.

Maybe it is.

Comment by Dan 12.11.13 @ 11:57 am

Pitt has to do a better job of recruiting FLORIDA and the deep south!

Gotta get better a.coaches…and a recrutiing coordinator that CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE down there.

If not..the program is doomed to be 2nd tier in the ACC for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time.

Comment by The TRUTH 12.11.13 @ 12:05 pm

“Clawson made 400k and did wonders. We are paying Potato Picker Paul and his Gray Sweatshirt 1.8M for terrible performance. If Steve Pederson actually worked for a business that had a focus on profit and performance he would have been fired 100 times over last 2 years. Don’t tell me he got us in the ACC Bullshit. He answered the phone after UCONN was denied.
Comment by Upittbaseball 12.10.13 @ 8:25 pm”

Clawson is a gem. He was my undergrad alma mater’s (Richmond) head coach and loaded up the roster before leaving to become Tenn’s OC under Fulmer.

Watch out for Wake…he will do good things for that program.

And we can all thank Gene DeFilippo for vetoing UConn. What a stroke of luck for us…

But a fairer assessment of SP is that without the improved facilities for BB, baseball, soccer, etc – that he oversaw – the ACC doesn’t call us after that veto.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.11.13 @ 12:56 pm

Maybe when Nordy leaves things will change. We are really behind the times in making FB viable. It is a good thing that no other PA schools (like IUP) have stepped up in NCAA FB class or they would clean our clock.

Comment by Frank MD 12.11.13 @ 1:15 pm

@ Dan, you are saddened, but according to Dan”72″ it’s an “embarrassment” to be playing a MAC team that on paper is better than the Panthers (see 12/10 6:48pm post).

I just hope that we’re not further embarrassed by getting our a$$es kicked by the MAC Champs the day after Christmas. They ground up NIU into little pieces and spit them out in their championship game against them!

I like this match up alot. This is a good team but very beatable by Pitt if we come prepared to play. As I’ve said previously, this is a must win game for Pitt. There should be little need for the coaching staff to have to light a fire under the Panthers to get them motivated for the Fighting Falcons. Think about it, how many bowls involve a conference Champion in them as one of the participants? The MAC plays big boy football IMO, and they should be a stern test for the Panthers, and apparently their QB, Johnson has an axe to grind with a previous Pitt coaching staff, for not being heavily recruited by the Panthers.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 1:25 pm

Yep Dan, that IS the state of our program, for longer than I care to remember, middle of the road team in a BCS conference, Big East or ACC, who cares? Then you got an upstart Bowling Green team that has put together a winning combination and all of a sudden you have a contest that is even steven, a great MAC team against a mediocre ACC team.

I could give a $hit who we beat, as long as we beat them to go 7-6 to end the season.

Going into LOI signing day with a bowl win and a winning season sure will feel a lot better than another 6-7 season and a loss to a MAC team to end it, even if they are the MAC Champs.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 2:09 pm

No question Doc. If you’re going to go and play, you might as well win.

No disrespect to Bowling Green Panther either. BGU does have a very good team this year.

Don’t mean to contradict myself either. When I spoke of BGU being in a BCS conference and doing as well, I really meant having the long, long year, and playing a tough game every week.

On any given Saturday, they could probably beat anyone. We’ve seen it before with Boise St., TCU, NIU this year.

They do beat teams, I was really talking about having to go through a power conference schedule.

So, absolutely no disrespect to BGU.

Hell, I fear them as a Pitt fan. Scares the crap out of me with what’s going to happen at that bowl game.

Comment by Dan 12.11.13 @ 3:37 pm

Sure nuff Dan. No worries about them getting up for the bowl game, I’ll guarentee that! BTW, wasn’t it Ohio that knocked off ped state in their home opener last year? Could’t happen to a nicer program.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 4:06 pm

Comment on the uniforms above although funny, probably carries valid weight. Kids do put stock in uniforms, ask Oregon. They want to be recognized and not confused with Akron Zips, etc. Colors matter.

Perhaps that is what Mrs. Henry was talking about. Maybe she was talking color schemes of uniforms with Gibson and defensive schemes with House which led to confusion. I like Ms. Henry and wish her a belated birthday. I don’t care for the family decision but as I looked closer, Pitt is actually progressing, while the other program is in decline, moving to irrelevant. I am not sure they can win 6 games next year and if they don’t the partying coach will be dismissed. WVU has malcontents from other programs that Pitt wouldn’t let back in. Shell will gain big yards at wvu. The backs always do in the holgorsen system. The problem is the holgorsen run defense is terrible. WVU will be a 5-7 team next year and Holgorsen will be gone as will Gibson.

If Gibson was good, Rich Rod would have kept him at Michigan who still hasn’t recovered from the defensive back train wreck. If he was good, Todd Graham would have taken him to Arizona. There is a common thread. He doesn’t last long and he hasn’t progressed upward to defensive coordinator and won’t. Looking at his resume’, he is either a head coach killer or is on a magnificently long stretch of bad luck. The Henry family gets to decide who they are hitching there wagon too over the next month and a half. Now that the pressure is off, the family can actually sit down and think it through correctly.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.11.13 @ 5:33 pm

dhuffdaddy, sorry to say but I think that “Henry” ship has sailed out of Pitt Harbor.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.11.13 @ 6:02 pm

If I were Chryst or Pederson, I would have turned down the invitation to the bowl and upcoming ass kicking by Bowling Green. There is nothing to be gained by playing except 15 more days of practice….practice what? It’s like practicing a bad golf swing over and over. It does not get better!

Comment by Dan 72 12.11.13 @ 6:21 pm

Some of the posts above criticize the players. I wish that would stop. I think the Pitt coaches deserve the blame for not developing talent. My bar is not Texas, Alabama or USC. But when we lose to Youngstown State, struggle with ODU and go into the game an underdog against Bowling Green as an underdog, I ask myself about this trend and wonder how coaches at those schools the most out of putting an energized team together that can beat Pitt. I read the bio’s of our staff and wonder how he managed to assemble these guys. I give our players a lot of credit for playing as well as they do and winning the six games. They’ve overcome a lot of internal barriers.

Comment by PittMan 12.12.13 @ 6:46 am

>> I would hope they can land Bookser, since Haering who is recruiting him was his high school coach for 2 years, for God sake’s.

Which is why he *won’t* be signing with Pitt. Another wasted 90K on an assistant who is worthless.

Comment by John Ramella 12.12.13 @ 8:11 pm

@dhuff and whoever you were mentioning above.

I don’t doubt some kids look at uniforms and I respect your opinion.

However, Oregon is one of the few, to go with those futuristic, non traditional college football uniforms. No doubt, they won, they got away with it.

You’d be hard pressed though, to find anyone else successful that has done that.

(now, I’m not talking about a once a year uniform, or a one game throwback, talking about teams that changed their whole look).

By the way, Oregon had already started their comeback without those uni’s. They were in the 94 Rose Bowl, traditional green and gold.

Think about the big boys. Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Clemson, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, USC, ND, PSU, Iowa, Michigan State, Texas, LSU, Georgia.

Seems like most of the top teams, have not changed, and granted, they don’t need to.

Most of the uniforms look ridiculous, and are gimmicks at best, to sell a few shirts.

By the way, I looked it up, I don’t have the link right now, but I’ll get it, changing uniforms has not meant enormous profits. The first year, they sell a few, then mostly down the tubes.

Winning, is what sells jerseys.

Besides, if a player’s decision, is on the uniforms, I’m not sure he’s the kind of kid we want.

In all fairness, I just thought of Baylor and Oklahoma State. Seen them play lately though?? Look like garbage.

Maybe HCPC will succeed, we’ll see in the next couple of years.

If he doesn’t, the uniforms will have nothing to do with it, or recruiting.

The chancellor and the a.d., and the amount they pay or don’t pay for a coach, assistant coaches, and recruiting budgets, will determine whether Pitt ever gets back to be a top 25 team.


Comment by Dan 12.13.13 @ 3:45 pm

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