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February 29, 2016

Possible Roster Moves

Filed under: Coaches,Players,Recruiting,Uncategorized — Reed @ 12:00 pm

Last week Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune Review had an article where Pat Narduzzi was quoted as saying this:

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said Friday he’s leading a different team than he did a year ago, and he’s not just talking about the departure of 10 seniors and at least 10 other players who have left the program since the end of last season.

“It looks like a different football team,” he said, referring to the physical growth of many players. “That doesn’t mean you will win more games, but they do look different … just physically.”

Aside from the fact that we hear that from every coaching staff in their initial time at Pitt what struck me was the fact that 10 players other than the 10 SR and rsSR players we had on the roster have also left the program.

By my unofficial count we have to get rid of seven scholarships at this point in time.  That doesn’t include the five guys listed below who we know have already left the team and who were all scholarship players.

They are; rsJR QB Chad Voytik, DB Pat Amara, RB Chris James, LB Jamal Davis and WR Chris Wuestner.

Interestingly enough Voytik and Wuestner are still listed on the official roster (which has been updated lately) because they is still enrolled at Pitt and working toward degrees (yea!) while the three players have been removed.

 

97 Mark Scarpinato 6-3/285 DL RS SR Milwaukee, Wis./Michigan St.
57 Artie Rowell 6-2/310 OL RS SR Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin
95 Khaynin Mosley-Smith 6-0/305 DL RS SR Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills/Milford Academy (N.Y.)
3 Nicholas Grigsby 6-1/220 LB RS SR Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison
44 Matt Steinbeck 6-0/210 LB RS SR Pittsburgh, Pa./Bucknell
67 David Murphy 6-3/220 LS RS SR Buffalo, N.Y./St. Francis
21 Jameel Poteat 5-10/215 LB RS SR Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt
5 Ejuan Price 6-0/250 DL RS SR Rankin, Pa./Woodland Hills
6 Lafayette Pitts 5-11/195 DB RS SR Duquesne, Pa./Woodland Hills
86 J.P. Holtz 6-4/250 TE SR Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler Area
91 Darryl Render 6-2/300 DL SR Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward
4 Bam Bradley 6-2/230 LB RS JR Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison
4 Nate Peterman 6-2/225 QB RS JR Jacksonville, Fla./Tennessee
8 Manny Stocker 6-2/220 WR RS JR Coatesville, Pa./UT Martin
61 Pat Quirin 6-1/225 LS RS JR Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic
69 Adam Bisnowaty 6-6/300 OL RS JR Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel
15 Reggie Mitchell 6-0/190 DB RS JR Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy
30 Mike Caprara 6-0/230 LB RS JR Turtle Creek, Pa./Woodland Hills
17 Chris Wuestner 6-2/210 WR RS JR Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle
19 Dontez Ford 6-2/215 WR RS JR McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox
41 Anthony Rippole 5-10/230 FB RS JR McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour
26 Jevonte Pitts 5-11/200 DB RS JR Forest Hills, Pa./Woodland Hills/Milford Academy (N.Y.)
71 Gabe Roberts 6-5/300 OL RS JR New London, Wis./New London
38 Ryan Lewis 6-0/195 DB RS JR Seattle, Wash./Eastlake
62 John Guy 6-7/310 OL RS JR Somerville, Mass./New Hampton School (N.H.)
16 Chad Voytik 6-1/215 QB RS JR Cleveland, Tenn./Cleveland

So those other “at least 10” players are actually a mystery at this point with the exception of those five above.  I sent a query into the Pitt Media people but they deferred to provide a list because 1) a new roster is coming out soon prior to the start of spring drills on March 15th  and 2) I suspect because that maybe an informal breach of privacy for those kids.

I really don’t know who has left either voluntarily or not by choice but am trying to figure this out because it has gotten under my skin a bit.

In blue type above are the rising rsSRs for the 2016 season and we can speculate as to which of those will be graduated and/or asked to hang up the cleats.  Again, Pitt’s informal policy in the past has been to allow a player a full four years so as to get his undergraduate degree.

That has been modified in the past few years especially with Paul Chryst’s purge of 38 players over his first two years and Narduzzi did almost the same in his first year at the helm as at least 13 non-SR players who were on the 2014 roster didn’t make it onto the 2015 roster.

I’ll take the first guess.  Looking at the bolded names above of the new rsSRs I’ll say that seven are expendable so to open up scholarships.  None of them are injured as Dan Mason was going into his rsSR year so was let go and that’s a good thing.:

We know Chad Voytik has quit the team – so that’s one although I really wish he would have stayed with Pitt.  I think with a new OC anything could have happened at the QB spot as we saw in the fall camp on ’15.

WR Chris Wuestner was on scholarship and had only two catches in his career so far and played on special teams.  I hate to see him go as I was really rooting for him to get playing time.  I watched him in Chryst’s camps and though he was pretty good.  Maybe it was because he was from an Army family with his dad being a full bird Colonel.

If I had to wield the sword I’d look at positions of need and where we can afford to take new blood rather than keep the old. (* = scholarship)

* OL John Guy  – even though he was a BE All-Academic kid way bacjk when he’s not seen the field hardly at all… 16 games all on the PAT / FG unit.

WR Manny Stocker – Transferred in from Tennessee at Chaney’s request and sat on the bench.  I do love it when kids transfer in as it shows they want to be here but Manny didn’t get field time at all I don’t think.

LB Anthony Rippole – Walked on as a FR in ’12.  Another academic honoree and let’s hope he finished that degree.  Played in one game I think with no tackles.

*LS Pat Quirin – Only depends how badly Narduzzi thinks he needs this scholarship.

This is a tough one for me as the Long Snapper is very important to the special teams.  Make a mistake with that and you either take points off the board or perhaps turn the ball over.

If the staff has seen another player who could do that and play regularly then maybe he’ll go.  However – any doubt at all and I say keep him in the mix as the starting LS.

Even if those four are chosen, and remember this is a guess on my part, they may be way more valuable to the staff than I think they are, that leaves

As to getting rid of roster players to open up new scholarships and non-scholarship spots (walk-ons) to keep under the 105 body limit, and to the 85 scholarship limit  that really doesn’t have to happen until the end of fall camp.  Going into the first game week is when the roster has to be set.

However what usually happens is that the end of spring practices is when the staff knows who they want to go into fall camp with.  That gives the players who are leaving a good amount of time to get into another program if they wish… and the Pitt HCs have been good at working hard lobby other coaches so that the kids who kept their noses clean and went to class have a soft landing elsewhere.

 

 

 

 





The only other long snapper I’m aware of is a true freshman walkon coming in this fall. I believe he is from Michigan & played with the new kicker coming in on a gray shirt.

Comment by Nick 02.29.16 @ 12:37 pm

I thought it was ingenious that Nard Dog even had the foresight to have the football team tied into the basketball game with the football player “dance routine” (see 2 minute clip on pitt website). I’m sure it made the football recruits feel more tied into the Oakland Zoo and school.
On a more sobering note……that had to be the worst dance routine I have ever seen in my entire adult life!!! LOL

Comment by pittman4ever 02.29.16 @ 12:47 pm

Tough problem getting the roster down. With the recruiting class coming in, looks like several players have been “recruited over,” as they say, but it depends on how guys develop.

DBs – we now have a ton of DBs. Some guys are going to have a hard time seeing the field including, as my guesses, Ryan Lewis, Jalen Williams, and Dennis Briggs.

WRs – again, we have a ton of WRs – unless they “wow” the coaches during spring ball, you wonder how much of a chance guys like Jaquaun Davidson and Gentry Ivery have to play.

Athletes — We seem to have some guys who are good athletes but don’t have a definite position: e.g., Reggie Green and Dane Jackson.

Be interesting to see where we land.
Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 02.29.16 @ 1:05 pm

Yeah obviously some under classmen will “decide” to transfer, maybe to D2 if they want to play.

Kind of rough, but it is how it goes in top level college sports these days.

There are also, usually some guys that can’t pass the academic bar and go to a Junior College for a year. Don’t know if we have any of those.

Right Pittman, no dancers in that bunch, but fun nonetheless.

Comment by gc 02.29.16 @ 1:32 pm

Going over the roster there are quite a few names that don’t look like they would have been recruited by Narduzzi if he were here 2 to 3 years prior. Therefore I predict quite a few freshman, sophomore and juniors will be told that they should seek other schools if they want to continue to play football at the college level.

Comment by Jrnpitt 02.29.16 @ 2:05 pm

I bet I went to high school with LS Pat Quirin’s dad, class of 1977 CCHS, go Vikings.

Comment by Jim from Dallas, Tx 02.29.16 @ 2:58 pm

May be posted, but my eyes are tired if it is, when does camp start, and when is the Spring Game??

Comment by Dan 02.29.16 @ 3:16 pm

Spring Game is April 16th…

I thought the FB players dancing at half-time was cool – they did OK, but they didn’t have some of the better dancers out there. Maybe next time.

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 02.29.16 @ 3:43 pm

Forgot — Spring ball STARTS on March 15th.

Comment by MajorMajors 02.29.16 @ 3:45 pm

Thank you MajorMajors. Marking those down so I don’t have to ask again in a week or two!! LOL

Comment by Dan 02.29.16 @ 5:11 pm

Dancing made possible by the likes of Jones, Jeter, Luther and Johnson, an able-bodied supporting cast now just coming into their own.

Depth vs. Duke so important. Will it take us far?

Comment by steve1 02.29.16 @ 5:46 pm

Depth is a good thing. May be Pitt’s saving grace this year.

Comment by TX Panther 02.29.16 @ 6:00 pm

I just checked Pitt’s Athletic Department & The ACC’s websites & the PITT – VA Tech game is only on ESPN3.

No ESPN TV platform, no ACC network, no RSN network TV.

Reed – sorry about hijacking your football post.

Comment by PITT-cocks Fan 02.29.16 @ 7:04 pm

Hard to believe the game won’t even be shown in PGH. I don’t remember the Big East being like this.

Comment by gc 02.29.16 @ 7:35 pm

Reed… appreciate the effort.

But, we just had the BIGGEST Basketball WIN in… oh, I don’t know… YEARS?

Luther’s presence and growing CONFIDENCE has obviously changed the Total Dynamics of this Team.

For the first time in a long time, there is actually something REAL to be excited about when it comes to Pitt Basketball.

Let’s just hope Jamie has seen the LIGHT and recognizes what he has in Luther and continues to make him a more integral part of his strategy going into the remaining Games.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.29.16 @ 7:49 pm

PoD. Looks like you have been asleep at the wheel. Luther is already a major part of this team. It’s great to see JR playing better at the point. I’m most surprised by Jones giving us some above average shooting guard play. Those 3 making a huge difference.

Comment by Rayhpgh 02.29.16 @ 8:27 pm

For any other out of towners like me, mini-package season tickets went on sale today which will guarantee you a PSU ticket. Just booked mine for PSU, GT and VT. PSU tickets in the mini-package start at $95 per.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.29.16 @ 8:27 pm

Rayhpgh… a little enlightenment.

Here’s what I posted to the Blather after the Win against Florida State on January 23 when Luther was still just a Guy coming off the bench.

********

Luther belongs on the floor.

Maia is another story.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.23.16 @ 6:19 pm

********

Comment by PittofDreams 02.29.16 @ 8:50 pm

Every email I got from Pitt said you couldn’t get psu tix in the 3 game packages. You could request them, but the odds of getting them are slim. You have all the season tix, then every season ticket holder can request additional tix equaling their season ticket allotment. They will go to Panther Club members first & then regular season ticket holders by date of request. If you have 50,000 season ticket holders then there’s only another 18,000 to go around. I’m a season ticket holder & not a Panther Club member, so I have little faith I will get any additional psu tix.

Comment by Nick 02.29.16 @ 9:24 pm

I rechecked the email, it just said psu tix are more expensive.

Comment by Nick 02.29.16 @ 9:31 pm

In Pittsburgh the game is on ThisTV which is WTAE digital station. I think WTAE owns the ACC Network rights which is why it’s not on Root Sports. Not sure how all that works.

Comment by Milobloom 02.29.16 @ 10:02 pm

Where did you see that, Milo?

I don’t see it on the ThisTV channel line up.

And I don’t even see ThisTV on my Comcast listings.

What am I missing?

Comment by dinosaur 71 02.29.16 @ 10:59 pm

You can definitely get PSU in the 3 game package.

I bought a 3 game package and the PSU tickets were more expensive. I anticipated that though as I did the same thing last year and the ND tickets were more expensive.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.29.16 @ 11:44 pm

What did u pay for the 3 game package you guys didnt say? I bought a full season ticket for $179 lower deck. Boo Boo

Comment by Boo Boo #1 03.01.16 @ 1:11 am

PoD – you can read and comment on more than one post at a time my friend. Football interest doesn’t stop when BB is going on.

BTW I always wait at least a full day after a BB game ends to post a FB article so that the BB fans can get their talk going.

Comment by Reed 03.01.16 @ 6:42 am

No doubt.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.01.16 @ 7:35 am

To all the players who may be moving on, thank you very much for your contributions on and off the field. Nard must know when LOI who is not coming back. Like Reed I prefer to honor a 4 year commitment though as GC pointed out it requires a commitment by the player as well as nothing in life is free unless you live in the world of Sanders. My only real thing is that when there is a head coaching change the players at the school should get one year to decide whether to stay; seeing if they fit into the plans. If they leave I dont like them having to sit out a year, they should be able to play right away. Anyway that’s my opinion.

Comment by rkb 03.01.16 @ 8:41 am

Guy, Rippole, Stocker, Pitts (lot of CBs coming in) Querin (though not having a LS can be dicey)and/or maybe a soph who needs a push.
E-mel come back!!!! I was away, was it the Voytik should stay discussion that has put you into hibernation? Hope its not your health.
Hail To Pitt
AS to Luther – old fashioned BB player. I wish JD hadnt burned his RS last year. Next year will be as good as Luther and Jeter get -it is becoming their team – MY must decide whether to come along as he can be a FORCE (not condescenting GC :)), IMO If anyone saw Ron Cook’s column only he could try to find a downside – prick. Why does everyone think they must be Smizik when it comes to Pitt.
Go Pitt.

Comment by rkb 03.01.16 @ 8:51 am

I take that back on game being on ThisTV… I read the ThisTV schedule wrong….I read the wrong night and also assumed when they said ACC BBall they meant Pitt game.

They actually are showing the Wake Forest Duke game tonight (Tuesday) but not the Pitt game tomorrow…It does appear the Pitt game is not on TV in PGH area. Root Sports that night is showing BC vs NC State game on Wednesday but no Pitt game.

In Pittsbugh this week, one could watch every ACC BB game accept the Pitt game on TV.

Something Barnes needs to get corrected.

Comment by milobloom 03.01.16 @ 10:27 am

Nick – I’m a member of the Panther Club and I have 2 season tickets in Section 135 N 13,14. When I had other commitments I sold my tickets on the Panther Stub Hub site. You can call me at 814-745-2211 to inquire if my tickets are available. Gary

Comment by gpm 03.01.16 @ 11:54 am

rkb – Emel is taking what we all hope will be a mental health sabbatical. However, I’ve purposefully brought up subjects that is is very interested in and he’s not taken the bait.

I think I speak for us all that we want him as a part of this. Actually I’m the one who makes the top of his head explode but I really do miss his input – very informative.

But… we have gotten about a hundred new commenters on here so life goes on in the strange and wonderful word of the Internets… which is not a series of tubes.

Comment by Reed 03.01.16 @ 2:21 pm

We want Emel…..we want Emel……we want Emel….

Comment by Jackagain 03.01.16 @ 10:27 pm

Anyone following who the 2nd string qb will be? I’m hoping my fellow Pine-Richland alum Dinucci can beat out Bertke.

Comment by AJ 03.02.16 @ 8:41 am

Reed — I’ll take a script magnet if you still have one. In fact my large Pitt Magnet has lost it’s magnetism, so I’ll take one of the big ones too if you still have them and more than happy to send you something for the shipping.

Comment by Hank the Tank 03.02.16 @ 9:02 am

Thanks Reed, I enjoy Emel and the others on the blog. If you have a magnet I would like, if not no biggie I can wait and looks like many asked for this morning and most appear to be older bloggers.

Comment by rkb 03.02.16 @ 11:59 am

older in terms of seniority. 🙂

Comment by rkb 03.02.16 @ 12:02 pm

Reed, if you still have a magnet I’d like one. Please let me know.

Comment by twink22 03.02.16 @ 1:40 pm

I’ve been tied up since the bowl game and NLI and come back to find Emel went MIA?

That’s one witty chap with a helluva memory for all things Pittsburgh. I enjoy his posts immensely – even if I don’t agree with him.

Reed – can’t you or Chas privately ping him since you have Emel’s email (say that three times fast) just to make sure he hasn’t gone the way of Duquesne Gardens, Forbes Field or The Decade?

I’d like to weigh in, albeit late, on the Spring Game discussion. Been quite a few times and thought it was terribly wrong for Chryst to cancel it. Thought last year’s was the most fun by far.

The reason it was so good was the intimacy of the site. Being really close to the field made it a really neat afternoon. Sat with the tuba section of the band for a while and even got on a sideline.

That won’t happen at Heinz Field. And even if we become a perennial winner of the Coastal Division, the best we can expect is to fill the lower bowl. Maybe that would be OK?

In any event, HCPN needs to be miked up and have a camera on him between most plays. Perhaps they could do some sort of thing like drawing for field passes among we the faithful season ticket holders. Anything they can do to make it a more personal experience can only help with attendance.

On the subject of the roster moves, it’s really the crappy side of CFB and I’d like to see a practice of schools not pulling schollies from kids who made a certain GPA and stayed out of trouble. I realize it’s the way it’s works, but that doesn’t make it right.

Comment by Joe L. 03.02.16 @ 11:24 pm

Maybe if PITT can stabilize our coaching for several years and have the same coach recruiting and playing the recruits for 4/5 yrs. this washout process can be minimized. I too hate to see it but hey any yearyou get tuition room and board is one you did not pay out of pocket for.

Comment by Pitt60 03.06.16 @ 12:48 pm

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