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February 1, 2017

Snap Class Evaluations

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 6:30 pm

Signing day is done for Pitt. I mean there is still the outside possibility of one other kid joining the class at the end of the week (Kane Taylor), but for all intents and purposes the dust is mostly settled.

That means it is time to see what the recruiting rankings say about the class.

I know. I know. Recruiting rankings are meaningless. It’s about the grit and determination. It’s about uncovering those diamond-in-the-roughs and coaching them up. Aaron Donald was only a marginal 3-star recruit with not many major offers. Yada, yada, yada.

Yeah, no. The recruiting rankings do matter. No one claims they are perfect. No metric would be when it comes to evaluating how teenagers project out in — well… anything in life. Still  they do a pretty good job compared to anything else.

Starting with the lowest team ranking. says Pitt comes in at 42d nationally. They appear to ding Pitt’s class for the kickers. It’s bad enough Australian Kirk Christodoulou is dealing with the culture shock and winter. But Scout puts him at 2-stars.  And even though he is a preferred walk-on, kicker Grant Kersh got logged in the class. Couple that with TE Tyler Sear and WR Michael Smith also getting 2-star rankings, and that would drag the numbers down in the formula. is a little kinder at 37th overall. Christodoulou is still a 2-star, but Kersh isn’t counted. Offensive lineman Owen Drexel, though was dinged as a 2-star.

247 was higher on Pitt’s class with a 32d spot rank. They credited Pitt with four 4-star recruits. Only Christodoulou is a 2-star guy.

So, much to my surprise, ESPN gave Pitt the highest class recruiting ranking out of the four with 31st. They really liked this class of kids, with 6 of them garnering 4-stars.

The one thing that is consistent. Across all sites. Pitt finished with the 7th ranked recruiting class in the ACC. Florida State was the consensus #1 class of the ACC. Miami was #2 in all but ESPN’s. Clemson was #3 in all but ESPN which said #2.Clemson.

And then it gets a little more varied.

Virginia Tech was #3 by Scout. But 247 and ESPN gave them #4, and Rivals #6.

North Carolina was #5 per 247, Rivals and ESPN. Scout put them #6.

Louisville was #6 by ESPN and 247. Scout put them #5 and Rivals #4.

If you really want to go further…

Georgia Tech was #8 in all but ESPN which had Duke#7. Everyone else had Duke with the #9 class.

ESPN doesn’t list class rankings beyond 40 spots (at least, so far as I have looked).

Here’s the rest

NC State: #10 — Rivals and 247; #12 — Scout

UVA: #11 all 3

Syracuse: #12 — Rivals and 247; #10 — Scout

Wake Forest: #13 — Rivals and 247; #14 — Scout

Boston College: #14 — Rivals and 247; #13 –Scout

What it ultimately suggests is that Coastal Chaos will continue for Pitt’s division with all but Virginia with a class ranked outside the top-10 but in the top-40 nationally.

Meanwhile the Atlantic division remains very clearly divided. There’s FSU, Clemson and I’ll be willing to say Louisville. Then the rest.

UPDATE: Scout and 247 have just come under the same parent company (CBS Media). So this might be the last year for 4 different sites.

Chas… GREAT job on keeping it simple.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 6:36 pm

Two Comeaways…

BOY OH BOY… is Pitt going to miss Blewitt BIG Time!

Considering how MEDIOCRE of a job Narduzzi appears to be doing recruiting wise, the THIRD Year Coach is now going to have to show he really CAN Coach.

And especially considering how it was Blewitt who baled Narduzzi out in some of his BIGGEST Wins.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 6:44 pm

The GOOD news is… Pitt has its pick of a FEW Quarterbacks who could make things interesting.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 6:46 pm

I’m very upbeat about this Pitt recruiting class. It seems to me that they have upgraded their athleticism. In addition to that, they filled a lot of needs. It will be interesting to see how the Panther defense develops. I would not expect to duplicate last year’s offensive output. That’s a lot to ask. But I think the offense will be good, none the less. I expect to see a marked improvement on the defensive side. Next year if things fall in place, the Panthers can surprise some people.

Comment by Justinian 02.01.17 @ 7:03 pm

POD – true that Blewett bailed Nard out for several victories, but I believe it was really Oh Canada who put him in the position to be able to rely on Blewett. Canada appeared to be a genius, not only with his play book, but with his ability to analyse a defense, and use that defensive analysis to set up his plays.

I think our D will show a nice upgrade next year, but our record will depend on who the new OC is, and his ability to read/set up opposing D’s. I don’t expect we’ll score 40+ ppg, but neither do I expect we’ll have to. Nor do I think we’ll be relying on end-of-game FGs for Ws.

I also agree, the QB position should be a position of strength.


Comment by Savannah Panther 02.01.17 @ 7:32 pm

Lol. Chris Blewitt kicked less than 70% for his career and regressed every year. Next kid will be an improvement.

77.8 to 76.2 to 65.2 to 58.8.

Pitt will be fine and it’s safe to say he didn’t carry Narduzzi let alone Pitt. Big kicks yes and very thankful for them but that was his job. Plenty of missed that we’re face palm moments.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.01.17 @ 7:48 pm

Anyone know if Pitt is still pursuing Dubose?

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.01.17 @ 7:49 pm

Chris Dokish wrote a really in-depth article about the members of this year’s Pitt recruiting class. he really likes this class and it’s easy to see why.

link to

Comment by Justinian 02.01.17 @ 8:01 pm

Thanks Tossing. I couldn’t believe what I had just read.

Comment by Barvo 02.01.17 @ 8:37 pm

Tossing… Keep trying.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 8:45 pm

I feel this class is a very solid class which covers the needs of all aspects.of the game. The kicker will help and the punter will give Winslow a run I feel once past the top 10 teams in rating it all comes down to need and coaching. I like our staff to finish their part. We got bigger faster and better today. I’m ready for spring practice and game H2P

Comment by Friends of Pitt 02.01.17 @ 8:50 pm

Dokish loves EVERY Pitt Recruiting Class, no matter what the Sport.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 8:52 pm

See Kithcart.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 8:58 pm

Josh Newkirk with a career high 21 tonight vs psu.

Comment by Erie Express 02.01.17 @ 8:59 pm

Now Newkirk had some ATHLETIC ability.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 9:00 pm

Pitt Football Breaking News…

Formerly HIGHLY recruited Players being shown the Door.

– Offensive Lineman Mike Grimm
– Offensive Lineman Alex Paulina
– Offensive Lineman Carson Baker
– Offensive Lineman Aaron Reese
– Running Back Rachid Ibrahim
– Wide Receiver Zach Challingsworth
– Tight end Zach Poker.

Trib Review

And who said Pat Narduzzi was a “nice” Guy?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 9:44 pm

Actually Narduzzi is no LESS or MORE nice than other D-1 Coaches… many of whom had a significantly BETTER Recruiting Class today.

The pressure is OFFICIALLY on.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.01.17 @ 9:49 pm

Mike Grimm broke his hip, out of football
Alex Paulina is also hurt I believe
Barker, Reese, Ibrahim, Challingsworth,and Poker are graduate transfer candidates I believe.

Nard dog is a great guy, great recruiting class! and

Comment by PTG 02.01.17 @ 10:15 pm

As for Newkirk a servicable point guard at best. Scored 21 tonight against a shitty pedo st team that we beat and that was in triple overtime.

Comment by PTG 02.01.17 @ 10:19 pm

PoD – Keep trying? Blewitt didn’t digress and didn’t kick less than 60% this year?

PTG – PoD is just trolling. Has to be. You’re right on all the above. Grimm quit football because of injury and the others are grad transfers or just plain graduating and not playing any longer. Normal 5th year senior moves. Not sure about Pualina. is reporting that Narduzzi said to expect an OC announcement by the end of the week.

Lots of speculation it could be Clay Helton’s (USC Head Coach) brother, Tyson Helton. Currently QB coach at USC and formerly Western Kentucky OC. Saw it on the POV board too.

link to

“WKU sits sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense (520 yards per game). It also features the nation’s second-leading passer in Brandon Doughty (4,594 yards) and fourth-leading receiver in Taywan Taylor (1,363 yards), a Pleasure Ridge Park product.”

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.01.17 @ 11:41 pm

FYI, the kicker added this year is most likely the backup. Last year’s grey shirt PK was given a full scholarship this year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.01.17 @ 11:51 pm

The might Dukes, winner of the 2016 City BB games over Pitt are on a six game losing skid of there own –

link to

The city of miserable college BB was once a proud city of the same.

Comment by Erie Express 02.02.17 @ 4:37 am

Tossing, help me out, what is a grey shirt?

Comment by Goalie44 02.02.17 @ 6:07 am

Grey shirting is a recruiting term that is not as commonly used as the term redshirting. A grey shirt is an incoming college freshman who postpones his enrollment in classes until the second term of his freshman year. This means they don’t take classes until the winter term. The NCAA allows college athletes five years to complete four years of eligibility after initial enrollment.

When a grayshirt puts off his enrollment, he’s extending his eligibility past his senior year for another term. Grayshirting is most commonly used in football. By delaying enrollment until the winter after his senior year of high school, a football player can play the fall season one year after his graduation date.

However, in redshirting, an athlete is enrolled in classes and practicing with the team, but not competing in games. By postponing their participation in games, they extend their eligibility into a fifth year of school. They are allowed to practice and train, but don’t compete in games so they don’t lose a year of eligibility. Redshirting is also used when an athlete gets injured and won’t be back for the season.

Comment by PTG 02.02.17 @ 8:33 am

Goalie… A gray shirt is a variation of the redshirt taking advantage of having 5 years to complete 4 years of eligibility after enrollment. In the case of a gray shirt, they don’t enroll until the Spring term of their freshman year and thus extend eligibility to the Fall season after their senior year. However they are not allowed to practice in their freshman season like a redshirt can.

It also allows the university to “stash” a player for a year without him counting against scholarship limits. Hope that helps

Comment by Pitt89 02.02.17 @ 8:44 am


Rhetorical question. Always wonder how many of the so called
recruiting analysts actual see a kid play rather than watch film?
Also how do they measure competition level? Aaron Donald
had 2 offers Pitt and Kent State; how could that happen in
an are such as WPa which is heavily worked by so many schools. Net beyond obvious elite talent the stars have very little value as stars can’t measure desire, heart, and the determination to succeed.

Comment by JR 02.02.17 @ 9:08 am

POD 2 6:44PM 2/1/17: you may not realize that the kicker walk-on from Akron who came aboard yesterday is not the primary candidate to replace Blewit. Pitt has a grayshirt kicker from Michigan who has been here since August who will be on scholarship in 2017 with 4 years eligibility.

Of course, have no idea how good he is at this point

link to

Comment by wbb 02.02.17 @ 9:31 am

Hmmmm…looks like this kid Kessman is more than just a kicker, kid is a football player. I like it.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.02.17 @ 9:44 am

apparently, he is a threat on a fake punt

Comment by wbb 02.02.17 @ 9:47 am

POD – the mounties suck.

Chas – Blewitt will always be a hero in my book, for the Clemson kick alone. However, he was not a consistent kicker and always scared me when he lined up to kick. I’m looking forward to the next guy, and I have no clue how good (or not) the next guy is.

Really excited about Drake, Warren & Carter.

Comment by 1618mt 02.02.17 @ 9:56 am

link to

HCPN’s NLI press conference…

Comment by NickC 02.02.17 @ 11:18 am

Mounties?… 1618… Canadian or West Virginian?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 11:43 am

POD – Wvirginian. The Canadians are alright- God bless them, patrolling around on horses in that weather…

Comment by 1618mt 02.02.17 @ 11:44 am

I finally ran across Peak’s tweet, indicating Jay Johnson & Shawn Watson as OC candidates, and I have to say I find that disheartening if true. Johnson I like, based on what I found about his past experience/results, however Watson sounds like we’d be making a big mistake- I can’t believe PN would do that. Anyone have any insight into this??

Comment by 1618mt 02.02.17 @ 2:59 pm

What is wrong with Watson? His offense was great when he was with Louisville?

Comment by notrocketscience 02.02.17 @ 3:15 pm

Yep, he sucked at UL…

In 2012, Louisville posted an 11-2 record, claimed a Big East Championship and finished the year ranked 13th in the BCS Standings, USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll. The Cards capped the year with a 33-23 win over fourth-ranked Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Good Lord

Comment by notrocketscience 02.02.17 @ 3:16 pm

Former Pitt recruit and fortunate decomit, Herb Pope pleaded quilty to robbing the Sewickley Savings bank last Feb. They found him with 30$ in bank notes and 2 hand guns.

Comment by alcofan 02.02.17 @ 3:20 pm

Comment by TX Panther 02.02.17 @ 6:39 pm

Article above on the misunderstood Shawn Watson. Good one. Read and enjoy.

Comment by TX Panther 02.02.17 @ 6:40 pm

Remember, we gained a couple of 5 star transfers from the West Coast; a tight end and a QB.

POD, this is a good class. It will keep us competitive.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 02.02.17 @ 7:00 pm

pretty informative. He certainly has a wealth of experience and does well with QBs — mostly.

Maybe not a home-run hire … but this time last year, I was less enthralled with the Canada hire than I was with the Chaney hire the year before who I thought had a better resume.

Comment by wbb 02.02.17 @ 7:01 pm

Nard dog is the man! He knows what he’s doing and I fully trust him with the Watson hire. A second great full recruiting class and again underrated. To the Pitt upper echelon, never ever let Pat the Nard dog go! H2P!!!

Comment by PTG 02.02.17 @ 7:21 pm

It was a good class. Not Great, Not Shitty.

Dokish is a Homer and is more interested in stroking the Democratic Party than talking sports.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.02.17 @ 7:39 pm

Pitt hired an offensive coordinator with west coast principles who wants to establish the run.

My concern with the west coast is creativity. It can be such a bland offense. Part of the reason I prefer college football is the diversity in displayed on offense.

Canada was a breath of fresh air with it but he had never let the offense loose like he did at Pitt. I’m hoping the complaints that fans of his other schools have of him are more indictments on controlling head coaches vs. a conservative play caller.

Nothing worse than a conservative play caller and Watson has a history of being one. Is it because that’s his philosophy? Or is it because of the Head Coaches philosophy?

Narduzzi will give him free reign. Hopefully, he takes advantage of it. I hope he also learned something at Indiana with the explosive offense they had … and that he’ll keep some of the Canada playbook and jet sweeps.

I’m indifferent on the hire. Certainly not a splash hire but also one that could actually be at Pitt for a few years. If he takes advantage of the creative freedom Narduzzi will give him, this could be a great hire. If not, it could be a slightly better variant of Matt Cavanaugh.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 7:44 pm

Go Upitt, lol about dnc. Remember the glass is always half full! Hope you’re feeling better!

Comment by PTG 02.02.17 @ 7:46 pm

TX – a very good read that did nothing to alleviate my concerns above. LOL. If anything it exasperated them.

He’s a little conservative but willing to open it up when necessary and has also been hamstrung by head coaches demanding a conservative game plan. He’s not super creative but maximizes talent to make up for it.

He called plays at TX but wasn’t OC and that style of offense isn’t really a fit for the Big 12.

I really have no feel for this hire. He doesn’t seem to ever have been given a chance to form an identity. Maybe at Louisville a little but his time with Strong at TX makes me question that.

We know Narduzzi wants an attacking offense that runs the ball. We know Narduzzi and Chaney didn’t get along because he thought Cheney was too conservative. We know Canada took full advantage of truly having freedom to call plays.

I’m in a hope phase that Watson takes the same liberties Canada does and just goes for it.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 8:18 pm

Most of my fears are rooted in how bad a bad west coast offense can be. Generally, even good ones are marked by efficiency and not explosiveness. Canada proved an exception but it’s a rarity. Can lightening strike twice?

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 8:35 pm

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