May 1, 2014

When Jameel Poteat decommitted from Pitt during the Wannstedtian upheaval of 2010-11, it was a difficult but understandable action. Difficult because the 4-star, Bishop-McDevitt kid was also relative of one of the few standout Panthers from the late 90s. He attended the same high school LeSean McCoy did, and was talking of following his path. Difficult because Pitt had done so well in mining Bishop-McDevitt up to that point and getting some very good players.

At the same time it was understandable. Poteat didn’t know the new coaching staff. The offensive system did not seem to fit him well. And he was hardly the only decommit from that group, that he almost got lost in the volume. He switched to Cinci and Malcolm Crockett went from being a Cinci verbal to coming to Pitt.

Things did not work out the way anyone expected. Poteat did not develop as his star ranking suggested. Eventually transferring from Cinci down to Stony Brook.

Now Poteat is coming to Pitt as a walk-on for his final year in 2015. The move has been in the works for weeks, but only became public this week.

“I really should have gone there when I left Cincinnati,” Poteat told “Pitt was where my heart always was, but things were always up in the air. Throughout my college career, I would talk to my mom and she always wanted me to go to Pitt. And I felt like I should have gone there, too; I always wondered about it.

“It’s crazy; me and Terrell Chestnut” – the current West Virginia safety who also committed to Pitt in 2010 but decommitted during the coaching change – “I still talk to him and sometimes we say, ‘What if we had gone to Pitt?’ I don’t want to always say that and always wonder, so I’m going there now and I thank the coaches because they didn’t have to give me a chance. I’m going to earn it.”

Poteat has kept in touch with more players from the recruiting process than just Chestnut. Players like Tom Savage, Pitt’s quarterback in 2013 who was at Rutgers when Poteat was getting recruited, or redshirt junior defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith, who was a member of the 2011 recruiting class and stuck with Pitt through the coaching changes.

“I was talking to Tom Savage because I hung out with him during the recruiting process, and he’s like me: he had been through a lot,” Poteat said. “So I talked to him and he said the coaches were great at Pitt and he told me how they all accepted him and it was a good place.

“I’ve been talking to K.K. (Mosley-Smith) and those guys for a long time, and we would joke around about it, about me going back to Pitt one day. So one time I said, ‘I’m going to do it; I’ll go in and work to earn it.’ It’s a big decision, and a lot of people will say I should have gone there from the jump, but everything happens for a reason.”

Once Poteat decided to make Pitt his final stop, he had to find out if it would be the right fit. That meant meeting a new coaching staff – technically, the fourth Pitt staff he interacted with – and building a relationship with Paul Chryst and the rest of the coaches.

I had completely forgotten about Chestnut. Playing defense for West Virginia can have that effect.

It’s hard to imagine Poteat cracking the 2-deep offense in 2015. Maybe he will have an impact on special teams. Still, he will have a full year to prepare. And keeping running backs healthy has been a bit of a chore for the last year.

The other way to view this is hopefully another step in reestablishing a solid relationship with Bishop McDevitt and the kids that come from that program.

Kind of a sad tale. Kid is number one player in PA and hasn’t developed like you would expect. Picks USC, coach is leaving. Picks Wanny, Wanny is gone, picks Cinci, same thing. Oh shit.

Now he is walking on at Pitt.

Hope he does something good here and Chryst does not leave. For himself and for us.

Comment by gc 05.01.14 @ 3:50 pm

Would be a good story if this kid comes to Pitt and does something on the order of what Tom Savage did.

You get the one last shot and make the most of it !

Work on your pass catching ability and maybe we’ll make you an H back/RB type.

Comment by Emel 05.01.14 @ 7:07 pm

The prodigal son personafied. Welcome back to the Panther family.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.01.14 @ 7:35 pm

I just read the Trib article on this, and they mention that Haywood reached our to poteat. Poteat’s comment was gold “he kind of scared me”.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 05.02.14 @ 5:23 am

Glad he had his E-PITT-PHANY… but don’t hold your breath on Poteat doing anything along the lines what was accomplished with Tom Savage.

The two stories completely different tales.

For Savage it was truly a matter of being in the wrong place and the wrong program… TWICE. For Poteat… it’s simply a LACK of talent.

Wish the kid well, but see him being a VERY AVERAGE Back at this level. Fourth or Fifth in line for the Ball.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.14 @ 9:25 am

Speaking of Tom Savage… and his rise from CAST OFF to becoming an NFL Draft Pick…

It’s little mystery to the Great Gil Brandt what made the difference with Savage.


I’ve known Paul Chryst forever,” (Gil) Brandt said. “We don’t have many true quarterback coaches anymore. Paul is as good as any. Whatever signing bonus Savage gets, Chryst should get half of it.”

Trib Review

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.14 @ 9:29 am

I would hope that would be a good recruiting tool .. that is, if any high schoolers actually know who Gil Brandt is

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 10:23 am

PoD, that can’t be true because I have read on this blog many times that HCPC is an incompetent boob with a poor sense of fashion!

Comment by HbgFrank 05.02.14 @ 10:38 am

lol @ HbgFrank

Comment by Atlanta Panther 05.02.14 @ 11:54 am

There is a good article in trib about Savage and it quote Brandt singing huge praise for Chryst and the writer states that Savage should pay him half his bonus… calls Chryst one of the best QB coaches in the country….

link to

As for Poteat great to hear from a human interest side and again shows the quality of the Pitt staff and how that is paying off for them in that people sense this and thus want to be at Pitt for the right reasons…. NOT because 15 hot chicks were recruited by Chryst to “show you around campus”.

Not sure how 1 year translates though because with the new RBs this year and Connor… he is not really going to get a chance to shine unless injury and/or the really do move Connor out of the RB position more completely…. but as a contributor in different ways that is always great to have good players and the story of helping to get this kid graduated and off on his “life’s work” in the right way says all the right things about Pitt Football.

Comment by Pittscript 05.02.14 @ 12:35 pm

39 bowl games this yr. 78 teams. I hope we make it.

Comment by alcofan 05.02.14 @ 1:11 pm

As is the usual advice alcofan, one game at a time. At this point the Panthers should just be concerned with avoiding the dispicable home opener loss AKA, YSU loss.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.02.14 @ 1:18 pm

We do not want to stumble out of the starting gate by getting henpecked by Delaware. Don’t laugh, could happen. Always respect your opponent. No swagger suggested.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.02.14 @ 1:29 pm

if we get HENpecked in the opener, it would definitely MUDdy the waters for the season

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 2:10 pm

Correction … it would certainly make us BLUE if we were HENpecked in the opener

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 2:12 pm

The beer bet is still on.

If Savage gets drafted in the 1st round all the drinks are on me prior to the Delaware Opener. Hope he does well and has a nice career but I’m just very skeptical that he’s anyone’s 1st round pick.

Re: Poteet, one never knows what can happen when a RB gets a 2nd chance behind a good OL, which I very much believe we will have in 2015 (especially since by that time Conner will be the team’s placekicker so that he can have played on all three sides of the game and thus more attractive as a draft pick)

Comment by Reed 05.02.14 @ 4:48 pm

Reed, you like a sure bet don’t you? Are you also putting your money on the bet that flowers will bloom this month?
Savage will be drafted, but just too many good QBs in the mix in the 14 draft for Tom to go any higher than the third round, IMO.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.02.14 @ 5:52 pm

Let’s Go, Rangers

Comment by steve1 05.02.14 @ 5:56 pm

DeJuan Blair double-double and 4 steals vs former team in limited time

Steve Adams invokes another suspension — Zach Randolph will miss game 7 for throwing a punch at him. People have been taking shots at him all year but de doesn’t reciprocate

Comment by wbb 05.03.14 @ 6:18 am


On the Flip Side… what are you expecting in return if Savage goes Second Round or later?

Comment by PittofDreams 05.03.14 @ 9:31 am

Regarding the NFL Draft… a couple “Rules of Thumb”…

Rule No. 1… NEVER draft a guy named Clown’.

Rule No. 2… NEVER PASS on a guy with the last name “Football.”

Comment by PittofDreams 05.03.14 @ 9:48 am

Steve, Steve, Steve, it’s early my friend!!!

Comment by Dan 05.03.14 @ 10:08 am

Already on the Record with Manziel going to Minnesota at Eight.

For that to happen, it’s likely that TWO other Quarterbacks get called ahead of Johnny Football… Bortles, and one other.

Have a feeling that Derek Carr could be the BIG SURPRISE of the 1st Round. Although no one has made the comparison, Carr has a similar release and is about the same size as Aaron Rodgers.

Yes, I have Manziel going to Minnesota. But actually on paper the Vikings would be a BETTER FIT for a Big Strong-Armed Pocket Quarterback.

Tom Savage fits that bill.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.03.14 @ 11:56 am

PittofDreams – I’ll take a free beer from any takers.

Comment by Reed 05.03.14 @ 12:32 pm

I’ll go on record saying that whichever qb the Browns take will be a bust. That franchise just cannot develop a qb.

Comment by Nick 05.03.14 @ 3:04 pm

Reed, if I remember correctly you said the 2nd round for free beers for all :O

Comment by Gordo 05.03.14 @ 3:16 pm

Yes, Dan, it is early. But I love our 4 strong lines.

Comment by steve1 05.03.14 @ 4:10 pm

lol Gordo, I seem to remember that as well. 🙂

Because no one on here suggested Savage go in the 1rst round, but I did post that several NFL people suggested that Tom might go in the 2nd.

Comment by Emel 05.03.14 @ 4:12 pm

“The Outback and Capital One bowls will remain on New Year’s Day, but they will be the only nonplayoff games on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, conference officials told ESPN.”

Just wonderful news, cause we all just enjoy watching overrated Big Joke teams on New Year’s day.

Comment by Emel 05.03.14 @ 4:17 pm

“The Taxslayer Bowl, formerly the Gator Bowl, was a fixture on Jan. 1 for the past 19 seasons. But the Jacksonville, Fla., game announced it would move to Jan. 2.”

Come on the Gator Bowl is no more, give me a break.

The Taxslayer Bowl…..oy vey !!! 🙂

Who’s gonna be the sponsor….the IRS 🙂

Comment by Emel 05.03.14 @ 4:21 pm

speaking of the Deleware Blue Hens….how many here can name their mascot??

Comment by Tallahassee Panther 05.03.14 @ 6:18 pm

Foghorn Leghorn?

Comment by wbb 05.04.14 @ 6:44 am

Close, but no cigar, son, I said no cigar. Boy,,,, you listening son?

Here’s the facts boy, listen up son, I say here’s the facts.

link to

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.04.14 @ 7:22 am

Gordo that’s my recollection of Reed’s proposition as well, free beers if the Savage one gets selected in the 2nd round or better!
Appears no one is interested in securing the starting QB position @ VT! All 3 roster QB’s have failed to impress Frankie and Co. and RB isn’t exactly stocked with talent. Hokies who couldn’t wait for an inconsistent Logan Thomas to leave town may regret his departure!
News out of WaHoo-land is that TE Jake McGee is graduating and headed to Florida to play his final year with the Gators. McGee had career numbers of 71 catches for 769 yards & 7 TDs @ UVa. Clearly he would have been their #1 receiver this season! Mike London can start getting the suitcases out to pack early this Fall! Talk about a coach on the hot seat! Hail to Pitt! UPone

Comment by UPone 05.04.14 @ 8:00 pm

Great game 2, Dan, whatever the outcome.

Comment by steve1 05.04.14 @ 8:14 pm

I agree with Reed’s prediction of our 2015 O-Line. It will be good. I’m also not ruling out Conner as PK, or at the very least longsnapper.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 05.05.14 @ 7:39 am

Pitt misses out on OL Sterling Jenkins. Picking between Ohio St & penn st tomorrow.

Comment by Nick 05.05.14 @ 7:58 am

Ya Steve, good game. King Henrik was on top of his game, some incredible saves.

Tonight already?? Quick turn around.

Comment by Dan 05.05.14 @ 9:47 am

Are we a sleeper?

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 05.05.14 @ 11:25 am

Will Tom Savage be Tom Brady’s backup? (I predicted that in my office a few weeks ago but didn’t post it here. Oh well.)

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 05.05.14 @ 11:26 am

Really nice piece on Aaron Donald.

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 05.05.14 @ 11:29 am

This is different and puts JD in some nice company

link to

Comment by wbb 05.05.14 @ 12:21 pm

Pitt Dad, apparently we are, as we were mentioned by 3 different writers. As I said all along, barring injuries at QB, DE and CB, we have a could chance at 8 or 9 wins due in large part to the schedule this year.

Comment by wbb 05.05.14 @ 12:26 pm

How did Jay Wright get on that Pentagon panel ??

Seems like PITT can never get one up on Villimanilli.

Every coach on that panel has been to the Final 4 but JD.

When will it be our time ? Help Pentagram.

Comment by Emel 05.05.14 @ 4:10 pm

Pitt baseball took 2 of 3 from BC over the weekend, scored a season high 16 runs yesterday in a 16-11 win.

We are now 11-13 in the ACC. Not bad for the 1rst season. 21-24 overall, Ohio U, this evening.

We have a better record than; VPi, NCSU, BC & ND.
Our division (Coastal) appears better than the Atlantic. As we’d only be a game or two behind 2nd place Clemson in the Atlantic.

Comment by Emel 05.05.14 @ 4:19 pm

Dan, the Pens are very good.

Comment by steve1 05.06.14 @ 6:05 am

@Steve, ya, seem to be coming around. Hadn’t been playing that well the past month, but they do look much better.

I don’t have to tell you though, still a long way to go. I expect the Rangers to come out smoking next game!!

Comment by Dan 05.06.14 @ 10:32 am

@Steve, you know who I liked for the Rangers, guess it was his first game??

Shit, now the name escapes me. Rafeal something??

Anyhow, was his first game, looks like a real nice player. Quick shot, very confident.

Rookie call up, or been injured??

Comment by Dan 05.06.14 @ 10:34 am

Amazing turnaround for the Guins since the Columbus series. Fleury has been incredible ! 2 shutouts in a row.

And Sid the Kid finally scored a goal in the playoffs. If he can get going……..

Let’s hope !

Comment by Emel 05.06.14 @ 10:36 am

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