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December 22, 2013

The WPIAL Crapshoot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Panther Rants Collective @ 12:56 am

Well I imagine a lot of you have seen the recent news of some certain WPIAL kids going elsewhere. You’ve witnessed the meltdown on message boards, Twitter, and probably read some columns from the local papers.  Here’s some things we should already know as Pitt fans:

1. Pitt has six verbal commits from WPIAL players.   They had around 8-10 with last years

2. Pitt isn’t going land every WPIAL kid.  Some kids just don’t want to stay in PA.

The latest saga with these recent players has been a bit comedic.  Shai McKenzie was upset that Pitt recruited other backs and questioned their loyalty. I guess it’s okay for him to visit other schools if he really did have his heart set on Pitt.   Shai is going to get a lesson in loyalty when he learns about the depth chart in College Football.  Think Frank Beamer is going not recruit any backs next year?

Dravon Henry’s mother took shots at the Pitt staff.  Days later, a defensive player for Pitt took home several awards.  She gloated about Tony Gibson.  Tony was just doing what he does best like any other recruiter: being a salesman.  I’d love to sell her a car.  Can you imagine the interest rate you probably con her into signing for?

Recruiting the WPIAL has never been easy for Pitt going back to the Walt Harris years. Some high school coaches, which won’t be named, even had a hand of sabotaging Harris’ recruitment of their own players.  It got worse when Harris started recruiting Ohio and Florida.  When you recruit elsewhere, your backyard tends to feel a little slighted even if your players aren’t Big East let alone FCS worthy.

It even got hard for Dave Wannstedt in the end.   Wannstedt was recruiting New Jersey and Maryland a lot more.  Wanny had a lot of momentum from Pitt’s BCS appearance. He was landing some big name players out of the WPIAL. Then after some 5-6, 6-6, and 5-7 seasons…the momentum seemed to fall.

Here’s WPIAL recruiting in a nutshell:

1. Pitt offers, they accept and commit

2. Pitt offers, they want to think about it.  A bigger program offers, and they commit elsewhere.

3.  Pitt doesn’t offer which pisses off the high school coach.  After that, it becomes difficult to recruit any other players from the school.

4.  Pitt offers, but recruit wants to wait it out. Pitt lands a similar player and pulls the offer.  Recruit gets mad and complains to Mike White or Kevin Gorman.

There’s probably a lot more scenarios you can add in the comments section.   It’s almost Midnight here and my brain is fried.  Bottom line from what has happened recently….move along there’s nothing to see here.  Pitt can land WPIAL kids, but they won’t land them all.  They may miss out on a lightly recruited player.  It happens to other programs as well.  Let’s wait and see how everything plays out.  Regardless of what happens, we Pitt fans will wake up the next morning and put our Pitt gear back on for another day.





Emel, just read your 5:06 piece. You are so right about the handling of DW. What I would have given to have kept him. And I’m talking about the value of money before the Fed stated printing the stuff.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.23.13 @ 8:11 pm

FYI — transfer WR Dontez Ford is eligible to play on Thursday. He received some decent practice time last few weeks since the underclassmen took all of the snaps in the early bowl practices.

Wonder if he plays, if he’ll be ineligible for a bowl when he is a senior

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 8:46 pm

@OPFIM, Bowling Green is a town in Ohio. The BGSU mascot is a Fighting Falcon, so going green for them I guess is a low priority. Your feeling that a loss against these guys is somehow acceptable, I totally disagree with.

It is time for this team to begin establishing it’s persona. IMO, Pitt should be offended by the lack of respect shown them by the odds makers. Pitt+6, seriously? When this team decides to play up to it’s potential they will bury the best that the MAC has to offer. The issue is that Pitt has not yet decided to bring it for every game, for whatever excuse you want to offer as a rationalization, they have been inconsistent at best.

Why this team can play well enough to beat ND but can’t bring home a win against Navy remains an enigma to me. The final thought on this matter however, IMO, is how can this team possibly accept anything less than a victory?

BGSU has played nobody accept NIU in their MAC Championship game. The two major conference teams that they played resulted in losses. If the Panthers have any team self respect they should be coming into this game with an angry attitude with something to prove to the oddsmakers. It is time to start EARNING some respect. This game is a first step in that process.

Even the concept of accepting defeat in this bowl game therefore should be inconceivable to these guys if they are who I think they are. Defeat is NOT an option. This is a MUST WIN for this program. This is a turning point for this program. Winning is the only acceptable outcome for the Panthers. It is the responsibility of this coaching staff to impress that on our guys so that their performance reflects that commitment to nothing less than victory, PERIOD!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 9:33 pm

@TonyinHouston – $100 to $200 million – T Boone Pickens money

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.23.13 @ 10:32 pm

Dr. Tom, I don’t disagree with your enthusiasm or desire for a victory. Pitt is a young team (look at the number of freshmen and red shirt freshmen who see significant playing time) and Pitt has limited depth. I don’t want the players to consider defeat acceptable but I think we Blatherites need to not at this point decide the sky has fallen and the program is in the toilet if we don’t win. I’m hoping that the break will have provided enough recovery time for the nicks and strains that may not make news but do take a toll on depth to heal. We need everybody on the 2 deep and then some. Now let’s win it. B.t.w. orange unis on a team named Bowling Green is just wrong! (J) (J=joke.) HTP and have great holidays.

Comment by OPFIM 12.23.13 @ 10:39 pm

Football or any sport for that manner is no different on any level.. … You have to have good players to win (regardless) of the coach..
People are spoiled in pittsburgh…. I’m a yinzer living in Philly and my buddy reminds me that in the last 10 yrs…. We have won 2 Super Bowls(appeared in three), won a Stanley cup, have the 2 best hockey players I the world and have the reigning MLP……. And on top of that people in western pa are good people cause people out here are pricks and he also confirmed that….. Paul Chryst is “good people” so just relax and let his job…. Happy holidays old pitt grad and realize that you can’t let the inmates run the asylum…..

Comment by Zero93 12.23.13 @ 11:16 pm

Well PITT football ppl certainly aren’t spoiled.

We’re one of the most abused fan bases in the western world. If it’s not the national media dissing us, it’s our own GD local media.

Gino’s or Pat’s….Zero93 ?

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 11:49 pm

@ Emel, if you’re going to crunch those numbers that you listed above, then include these numbers below into the equation, to qualify them.

Bowling Greens opponent’s records.
Tulsa 3-9
Kent State 4-8
Indiana 5-7
Murray State 6-6
Akron 5-7
U Mass 1-11
Miss. St. 6-6
Toledo 7-5
Miami (Oh) 0-12
E. Mich. 2-10
Buffalo 8-5
NIU 12-1

Only four teams with winning seasons and then at the other end of the spectrum, four teams that couldn’t put together a season with more than 3 wins. All of a sudden Bowling Greens stats don’t look so shiney do they?

If Pitt lets these guys beat them, IMO, we have some major internal issues with this team’s self image and coaching staff. Come on, Pitt is not only representing it’s own university but also the ACC. I think that it is time to ante up and start showing everybody that Pitt is playing big boy football in a major conference and shouldn’t be disrespected like these bowl predictions are inferring for crying out loud. Where the hell is the Panther Pride in this team? One MAC site even predicts a 12 point win by Bowling Green, no respect given to the Panthers!

Hail to fu*king Pitt. Just go out and win a GD football game on Friday will ya?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.24.13 @ 7:54 am

The loss of big Western Pa recruits this year is devastating because it reflects a loss year on PSU probation year. This was the time to make hay and we squandered it.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 12.24.13 @ 11:07 am

Spindler, agree, can you imagine what a recruiter would have done these past few years with (1) joining the ACC,(2) PSU’s issues and (3) current WVU struggles? Instead …

Comment by wbb 12.24.13 @ 11:39 am

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