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July 17, 2014

Pitt got a verbal from another big offensive lineman. Tony Pilato — no, not this guythis guy.

In the last few months alone, the big offensive lineman from Hempfield took a pair of spring visits, attended the Panthers’ prospect camp in June and returned for another visit a week later. So when Pilato finally made his commitment Thursday, the decision was a natural one.

“I just think it was a really good process with them,” Pilato told Panther-Lair.com. “All the coaches were really genuine and they’re all great guys; I really enjoyed spending time with them and the players. When it came down to it, it was the right fit for me.

“I think it really felt natural with Pitt. I just wanted to take my time and consider all my options. But they offered me first and that was a big thing, and t was just good with them. Toward the end of the process, it just felt right with them.”

As has been the trend with Pitt’s O-line recruits in the Chryst regime, Pilato is a big ‘un at 6-7 and 310 pounds or so.

He’s a consensus 3-star recruit at offensive tackle. He had offers from Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland and Syracuse. Along with drawing interest from Penn State and Michigan State.

Pilato’s dad was an offensive lineman back in the Jackie Sherrill days, but did not pressure him to make the correct decision that was reached.

Pilato’s father, Sam, was an offensive lineman at Pitt from 1980-82, though he didn’t pressure his son.

β€œI was really thankful for my dad throughout this process,” Pilato said. β€œHe’s laid back. He told me it’s my decision, that it’s going to be a big one and do what I want to do. I’m grateful for him doing that.”

Since he made the right choice, no pressure was needed.

There is no question that Pitt has an identity coalescing around the offensive line. It still feels odd to think that in another year or maybe two, the O-line will be considered Pitt’s strongest, deepest unit. It’s been more than 20 years since that has happened.





Concur, if we want to be anywhere close to a player in the ACC, we can’t lose to Navy or GT or in this coming year, BC or UVA.

And I would truly love to see us really hammer Miami someday again in my lifetime.

We’ll see how much creativity PC has with has he uses Tyler Boyd this year. You just can’t let a player like that only get 7-10 touches a game.

Comment by Emel 07.23.14 @ 11:35 am

Concur, if we want to be anywhere close to a player in the ACC, we can’t lose to Navy or GT or in this coming year, BC or UVA.

And I would truly love to see us really hammer Miami someday again in my lifetime.

We’ll see how much creativity PC has with how he uses Tyler Boyd this year. You just can’t let a player like that, only get 7-10 touches a game.

Comment by Emel 07.23.14 @ 11:36 am

Btw the way, Michigan State and Iowa are not consistently good. They both have had up and down years. Michigan is getting that way too.

That is what’s funny about the Big Joke, while some of these teams have really good years like Mich. State last year, unless you follow the conference each and every year, you have no idea other than Ohio State and Wisky, and maybe Nebraska, who is going to be good that particular year.

Comment by Emel 07.23.14 @ 4:04 pm

Yes, still can’t believe Michigan forcibly retired Lloyd Carr in favor of DickRod — that was and still is astonishing. Carr had an unbelievable record vs ranked teams and was a great guy to boot.

You seem to have strong anger toward the Big Ten but I guess my main point was in any given year, at least 2-3 Big Ten teams will be strong, even if they rotate from year to year. And other than ‘Bama who clearly is a juggernaut these days, look at the other top teams in the SEC over the past decade…the Gators were great but have come back down to earth, LSU very strong but not unbeatable by any stretch, Arkansas had some very good years but came crashing down…same for Georgia and Auburn in large measure. Really only ‘Bama has had sustained excellence these past 4-5 years…maybe put LSU in there. Bowl results are usually about matchups so I don’t put great stock in the results all the time.

They are the strongest conference but not by as much as some seem to think…and guess who played them the toughest lately…the Big East! The Pac 12 has been good lately and I believe the ACC is on the rise — and Pitt could be a player in it. I like Boyd but he seems a bit thin to me, so would hate to give him too many touches and get him broken by midseason. I’m sure he’s tough but nice to have a weapon like that around toward the end of the game when you need a quick score or two. I say ride Conner 25-30 carries a game and let him batter the D, then hit ’em deep with Boyd and whoever else…ala Steelers and Raiders of the 70s.

Comment by Matt N. 07.23.14 @ 10:21 pm

How Michigan ended up with both Hoopie coaches(dickrod & beilein) was quite odd. I’m sure if they could do a do over they would have kept Carr, much like PITT should have kept DW.

My anger at the Big Joke is the annual hype that surrounds the conf. Hardly ever justified. Unless you count number of TV sets. Big Joke has to have 3-4 teams with double digit wins, since they have the Rose Bowl, usually another BCS bowl, and 2 new years bowl game (outback & citrus) to fill. Although I think Wisky went to the Rose Bowl the other year with only 8 or 9 wins in an odd occurrence. The teams sort of rotate in the latter 2 bowls more frequently and now they have the Gator as well. So they need these teams with 9 and above victories to fill all these bowl slots. (5 of them now)

SEC has started rotating teams in & out of the top or near top as well. Such as Auburn & arkansas.
Ala, LSU, Fla, & GEorgia have been consistently pretty good. As well as South Carolina since Spurrier has been there.

Much suggestion with Boyd is not to run him out of the backfield, but to motion him out of the backfield from side to side, so it’s harder to double cover him. You could also hit him on shorter throws coming out of the backfield. Long passes are not easy to complete, the %’s are far lower, Savage was very good at it, most QB’s are not. A gamebreaker like Boyd needs more touches than 7-10 a game.

Comment by Emel 07.24.14 @ 10:56 am

This is not to say Boyd would also lineup as a traditional WR in a lot of the sets.

The idea is to confuse the defense. Rarely do you have a player like Boyd to do this with.

You move him around the field, like a chess piece (the Queen), controlling the board and making the defense react to him. Thereby somewhat controlling the opposing defense, rather than the other way round.

Comment by Emel 07.24.14 @ 11:01 am

Moving him around is a good idea but definitely not giving him very many ‘carries’ even though he would be good at it. I cringe even on the jet sweeps as he is giving himself up for some hard shots, including from D-linemen.

I guess I’m more traditional but I like guys with that speed, talent, and body type out on the sidelines or deep down the middle and far far away from D-ends or heavy hitting backers. To me, that’s tight end country and Pitt needs to get back to using their TEs more…like under Walt.

Comment by Matt N. 07.24.14 @ 3:31 pm

Agree I thought our TE’s would be a prominent part of the passing game if only because the throws are easier to complete and you can get some size mismatches.

And we have what most people think, are some pretty good TE’s. Holtz particularly looked like a monster as a freshman 2 seasons ago.

But then again with Boyd you want him with the ball as much as possible and Jennings could be another star in a short period of time as he looks pretty mature for his age, body wise.

Comment by Emel 07.24.14 @ 4:35 pm

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