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May 11, 2017

Sure, dump three bits of news on one day. It’s not like this time of year is starved for content or anything.

Pat Narduzzi is not a quick starter on the recruiting trail. We all know it. It is a bit maddening. Yet, even by his standards, this class has been slow to start. Pitt finally added commit number two. A QB from New Jersey.

Nick Patti, a 6-foot-3 quarterback from St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J., has committed to Pitt.

Patti announced the news Wednesday afternoon on Twitter, becoming the second verbal pledge in coach Pat Narduzzi’s 2018 recruiting class. He’s rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star by some other scouting sites.

According to Rivals, Patti chose Pitt over offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Rutgers and others. He’s considered a pro-style passer, and figures to be Narduzzi’s only quarterback in the class of 2018.

Pitt is in decent shape — for now with the QB. There are 4 on the roster for 2017.

Max Browne is a graduate transfer. Ben DiNucci will be a redshirt sophomore. Tom MacVittie, redshirt freshman and then incoming freshman Kenny Pickett.

No strong feelings here, just kind of relieved to get any sort of verbal at this point.

On the subject of recruiting and committing, the Collegiate Commissioners Association has approved legislation that allows for a small early signing window from December 20-22.

Narduzzi said he will keep an open mind and will give the new rule two or three years before he decides if it’s good or bad for college football. But he warned that high school seniors with Pitt offers Dec. 20 might need to sign before the 22nd.

“If they’re committed, they should sign on that day,” he said. “Here’s the thing it does for you: If they don’t sign on that day, I’m going to go recruit with their scholarship because they obviously aren’t committed.

“I think if we had 15 guys committed to us by Dec. 20, I expect all 15 of those guys to sign on that day. If they don’t, then I’m thinking they’re not solid.”

He also said asking players to sign before they’re ready might not be the best avenue for the NCAA to take while dealing with young people. Even if it ends much of the flipping (from verbal, non-binding commitments) that eventually occurs in the final weeks before the February date.

“Flipping is not a bad thing,” Narduzzi said. “Let these kids have time to make their decisions. What if I told you you had to get married by December? What if you’re not ready.”

Given that Narduzzi tends to get more verbals late in the process, I definitely can see why he is less enthusiastic about this. The pressure to get kids to commit and sign in that window is going to be very high.

Narduzzi also pointed out that this will be difficult for schools that fire a coach. Or it could screw the players if the school waits to make a move until after the early signing period.

Pitt introduced its past two football coaches — Narduzzi and Paul Chryst — Dec. 26 and Dec. 22, respectively.

“I feel bad for that school (looking for a coach),” he said. “Maybe it will prevent athletic directors from firing (coaches) at midseason.”

More likely, the number of midseason firings will tick upward because programs will feel compelled to get a jump on finding their new coach in time to salvage the recruiting class. With the season running until the beginning of December — including conference championship games — there can’t be any waiting to evaluate after the season ends.

The other permutation will be with assistants at programs where the head coach is a bit on the dictatorial side with respect to allowing assistants to interview during the season or when there are games to be played.

Finally there is one other possible change that this early signing period will create:

One ripple effect Narduzzi is hoping for from this shift is on what he called some “new millennium” recruiting tactics. Maybe now, coaches will only go after players they really want.

“I think this early signing period will eliminate some of these guys just throwing offers out there to get them out there. … Those non-committable offers, I don’t know what those are,” Narduzzi said. “We don’t have those at the University of Pittsburgh. If we offer you [a scholarship], we want you.”

And, if you commit, you better be ready to sign.

We’ll see.

Finally, Pitt-Penn State in football.

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour, who spoke Wednesday at the Omni William Penn Hotel during the Pittsburgh stop of the Penn State Coaches Caravan, said she has yet to have discussions with new Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke about scheduling games between the two teams beyond 2025.

“Heather and I have not had that conversation,” Barbour said. “We’ve had the congratulations, welcome to the state of Pennsylvania, and we both know we’ll get to that conversation.”

Barbour said Penn State’s “Power Five slot” is scheduled for six years after 2019, when Pitt and Penn state will play the 100th of the rivalry.

And the goal is to build respect. Because that is what good rivalries have. Fans that respect one another… Wait, what?

“I wish our fans bases could treat each other with a little more respect, and I know that’s something (former Pitt AD) Scott (Barnes) and I were working on, and I know that Heather and I will work on together, as well.

“That’s probably the first conversation that Heather and I will have.”

Asked how the two ADs can accomplish that goal, Barbour said, “First of all, we have to respect each other, which we do. It starts there.

“I don’t think the Pitt fan base is going to listen to the Penn State athletic director and the Penn State fan base is going to listen to the Pitt athletic director, but I do think we can message and create expectations for our fan bases about what the game ought to be about. The game ought to be about the student-athletes on the field.”

A couple things. Respect and rivalry are not things that go together. Fun, trash-talking, distaste for that other school, proximity, etc. That goes into a rivalry. Respect is way down on the list.

I am not a big fan of the child molestation/Paterno/Sandusky cracks. The whole thing is disgusting. That said, there is nothing about the Penn State fanbase — especially their alumni — who show that they at all have changed or truly care about the evil that was perpetrated under the umbrella of their football program; beyond taking offense at the besmirching of Joe Paterno’s (and their school’s) reputation. Too many of them feel like they are the victims, not the boys that were abused. Drop the holier then thou crap, and you won’t see fans — of any opponent trying to stomp on the fake halo.

 





Chas – If the Penn State fans would drop the “Joe PA was a saint” “lets honor Joe PA with a ceremony” or “bring back the statue” BS then the “Joe Knew” stuff would go away on it’s own.

That won’t happen until the older generation dies off so be prepared to hear about for the next 20 or so years.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 05.11.17 @ 8:57 am

Two things… The early signing period will require a change in tactics. Those weekends in January and early February that coincide with a home basketball game for official visits may not be as important anymore. For Pitt that’s a good thing considering the state of the basketball program right now. But still, the importance of recruiting in December has increased greatly. Now the official visits will happen more in December and late November while the coach’s are still coaching their teams. Like Coach Duzz said, I will wait a few years before deciding if this is a good thing or not.

Secondly, you hit the bulls eye about State Penn. There is no sense of accountability at all from their fans. I am unfortunately surrounded by them and the only feeling I get is that they themselves are somehow the victims. That they had nothing to do with what happened or even care. They just want their team to win and the cult to endure. If something similar ever happened at Pitt the reaction would be different than just sweeping it under the rug like they have tried to do. There would be recognition of the victims and support for their cause, whatever that may be. There would be respect towards the gravity of the situation instead of ignorance and a void of accountability. Until Penn State shows some real contrition and accountability for what happened no respect should be given.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 05.11.17 @ 9:37 am

Tony…….. there is little chance of ending the “Joe PA for Sainthood” theme now that son Jay Paterno is on State Penn’s Board of Trustees.

Comment by Mtoolmn 05.11.17 @ 9:46 am

Glad to see the Football dump. I think we’re all looking forward to this coming Pitt football season.

Comment by Justinian 05.11.17 @ 8:27 pm

Good stuff, Chas.

Comment by panther94 05.11.17 @ 11:48 pm

@@@@@@@@@

Pitt is no longer a priority for PSU…..so Pitt FB should move
forward with a long term deal with WVU FB and BB. We need
A rivalry game every season sign a deal with WVU!!

Comment by JR 05.13.17 @ 8:26 am

The Pedos never did like playing Pitt. Hell they havent beaten Pitt in over 20 years. They have nothing to gain by playing Pitt. Pitt does need to renew with WVU. Rivalries are what make college sports. Its a shame that State Penn doesnt think that way. Well those JoeBots and Cult Nitters never did. They’d rather continue worshiping the Patron Saint of Pedophile Protectors and look down upon any school who doesnt still believe in the Grand Excrement.

Comment by TX Panther 05.13.17 @ 3:35 pm

Where’s the broom?

Comment by PittofDreams 05.14.17 @ 5:03 am

Trying to turn the stadiums into safe spaces

Comment by Kvah 05.14.17 @ 7:07 am

I’m sure that we will all follow our Athletic Director’s wishes because after all, the previous two ADs were the most respected men in our community.

Comment by 2$Chuck 05.14.17 @ 9:18 am

I agree that we need a rivalry game. I would rather play WVU in BB and FB every year. They are more competitive in BB than PSU is or ever will be.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.14.17 @ 11:58 am

Well next season we play WVU, Dukes, and I believe PSU in hoops. I don’t think we beat any of them.

Comment by Pap76 05.14.17 @ 3:39 pm

Joe Pa defenders sound like groups in the South that get upset when the confederate flag is taken down. When I put it that way, the response is usually silence. That’s how you shut them up.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.14.17 @ 7:36 pm

Just don’t see WVU as a “respectable”, maybe “classy” would be a better word, rival. I don’t live in Western Pa. and never have had respect for WVU. From Metro NYC kids don’t go to WVU if they get into somewhere else.

PSU will always be the in State rival. The sooner the Happy Valley crew realizes it, the better we all will be.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 05.14.17 @ 7:37 pm

TT, now they’re taking down statues and removing historic sites. Where will it end? Maybe when they obliterate Stone Mountain and turn Gettysburg into Amazon’s next distribution center.

Comment by Grizzly1 05.15.17 @ 7:07 am

My take on it is this (right or wrong) — JoePa and Confederacy is part of PSU’s and South’s history and it’s up to them (PSU or individual southern states) to decide what to do — as long as there is some perspective. For example, those representing the Confederate flag declared war against those representing the US flag, and that shouldn’t be forgotten.

FWIW, West Point graduate George Armstrong Custer’s tomb is in the West Point Cemetery … and is one of the largest gravestones there.

Comment by wbb 05.15.17 @ 7:52 am

Wbb – well said and mostly my point, even if poorly articulated. If you defend the confederate flag being flown then you should probably give leniency to PSU fans. It’s the same ideology at play. There is unquestionable history there.

With PSU being a Yankee school, my play generally shuts my PSU friends up when I don’t want to hear about Joe Pa’s legacy. That’s what I was getting at.

Grizzly – I live in Northern Virginia and within walking distance of several historic Civil War sites. My son just had a field trip a couple of miles down the road to Bull Run. They’re safe. It’s the sites that don’t put history in context (the perspective that wbb mentions) that are at risk. It’s one thing to defend heritage and another to defend legacy.

When defending Joe Pa, or Southern roots, do it with perspective and it will be a much more pleasant conversation. When you start talking legacy, that’s where the trouble lurks. Unfortunately, perspective is often lacking when discussing both topics.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.15.17 @ 9:09 am

For clarity. my comment was in reference to civil war historic sites only and was not referring to anything happening at PSU.

It chaps my a$$ that a few hundred protesters can erase the historic significance and relegate to obscurity civil war era monuments and battle flags. People are way too easily offended these days and the ones in charge should be less ready to kowtow to their demands. Just my humble opinion. Apologies for the rant.

Comment by Grizzly1 05.15.17 @ 9:29 am

Grizzly1, not sure I would put the blame on a few hundred protesters … the state or local govt has final say, and if they fall to the whims of a few hundred, then I would have to think that they must feel the same way.

Comment by wbb 05.15.17 @ 9:56 am

Pitt BB just picked up Lafayette grad transfer Monty Boykins who is supposed to be a good scorer. He is 6’5 and will likely be an asset … but Pitt needs an experienced Center or PF really bad.

Comment by wbb 05.15.17 @ 11:03 am

This is strictly a matter of political correctness and is a non winnable discussion.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 05.15.17 @ 4:37 pm

OH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pitt lineman Alex Bookster arrested for hitting a couple of cars and running some stop signs. Pittsburgh tv reported.

Comment by alcofan 05.15.17 @ 9:04 pm

Bookser should be suspended for multiple games if all allegations are true, and no reason to believe they aren’t.

Dokish is going out of his mind in his defense of Pitt BB. Now he is saying that Boykins is valuable in that he can contribute 5-8 ppg, similar to what Gibbs and Wannamker did for the 09 team.

Well Doke … that may well be true, however, you seemed to have missed the part that the starting team does not include Blair, Young and Fields. Big difference, wouldn’t you say?

So Boykins comes in at just under 12 minutes of the 1st half and we are down by 8, and when he comes out at 7:30, we are down by 13 … you get the drift?

Comment by wbb 05.16.17 @ 6:17 am

I admire Dokish for his relentless scarfing of Pitt info. and blue-gold loyalty, but his ‘logic’ and interpretation of facts and events is bizarre, sports and otherwise, so like most, I rarely take him seriously. I’m hoping he’s in his early 20’s and just needs a little bit of maturity…

With regard to Boykins, I honestly wasn’t sure what would’ve been worse, winning that recruiting battle between us, Duquesne & PSU, or losing it. Looks like we won the battle, but I’m still not sure… I hope he turns out well….

Comment by 1618mt 05.16.17 @ 7:51 am

Dokish has to be at least in his mid 30s; he worked for Rivals (I believe) as the Pitt correspondent for many years.

He has become just too much of an apologist for Pitt sports. I have no problem with him being a Pitt fan (he is an alum) and is a good source of Pitt athletic news especially on recruiting, but he is just been over-the-top with his Pitt Pollyanna approach.

I do like the articles he writes on his blog, and find them pretty informative.

Comment by wbb 05.16.17 @ 8:47 am

I’m 41 going on 42 – based on Dokish’s posts, he’s older than I am. His Pitt memories go into the 70’s.

He’s not an apologist, he’s a fan. He can be critical at times but you have to remember he’s a Pitt fan first, so that definitely comes thru.

Part of it is the medium. He gets hit with so much negativity in the tweets to him that he over compensates on the positive. Reed does the reverse. In the name of keeping it real, Reed tends to slant too far negative. Nothing wrong with either. I, personally, don’t mind it. It’s nice to read different POV’s.

Dokish has good insight into recruiting for both football and basketball. In the end it’s all opinions. I tend prefer positive ones over negative ones.

It’s part of the reason I like Chas’ writing style. This blog tends to be the most rational of the ones I follow. Chas walks a fine line between the two.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.16.17 @ 9:54 am

Tossing, I would agree with you if this was 4 or 5 months ago. I was always encouraged by his (Dokish) Pitt optimism even though I didn’t always agree.

But now he is at the point where he rationalizes an extremely marginal transfer from Lafayette as key contributor. We all know that what this team needs to make it the least bit competitive are accomplished starters.

He is really reaching when it comes to Pitt BB these past few months. I do agree that this coming year’s recruiting class has good potential … but that’s about it. Otherwise, nothing that is currently happening is worthy of much optimism.

Comment by wbb 05.16.17 @ 10:08 am

Bookser should be kicked off the team, he could have killed himself and others. No excuses for what he did, reckless.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 05.16.17 @ 10:44 am

Well, he will be a key contributor … just on a bad team. The reality of the situation is Pitt has to fill the remainder of it’s roster with grad-transfers.

You only get a 140 characters on Twitter and that’s where Dokish posts most of the time.

Everyone jumps on the first tweet. I really don’t see how this is over the top support/homerism of Pitt. It’ seems pretty rational to me.

This was the complete thread …

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
I love how some Pitt fans don’t think highly of adding Boykins. He could have played on Pitt’s Elite 8 team.

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
Don’t believe me? Scorers 5-8 on that team averaged between 6.4 ppg and 4.3 ppg.

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
You need 2-3 players to average in double digits, but you also need a handful of players to average 5-9 ppg.

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
The point is, Boykins as a senior can contribute as much as Gibbs and Wanamaker did as freshmen.

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
Replying to @ChrisDokish
Actually Wanamaker was a sophomore on that Elite 8 team and he averaged 5.8 ppg.

Chris Dokish? @ChrisDokish 12h12 hours ago
Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow to hear how I said Boykins was better than Wanamaker.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.16.17 @ 10:49 am

Like I said, I hope Boykins works out, I’ll be rooting for him next Fall, but Dokish is spinning this, sorry. That’s my opinion.

Tossing, good points at 9:54.

Comment by 1618mt 05.16.17 @ 12:17 pm

@@@@@@@

Misdemeanor for Bookser …. penalty one
game suspension.

Comment by JR 05.16.17 @ 3:32 pm

@@@@@

If anybody you guys were a grad transfer
would you sign with Pitt …. a team likely
to lose a lot of games next year? No
you wouldn’t so Pitt has to take the best talent
available given the potential of next year’s team.

Comment by JR 05.16.17 @ 3:45 pm

Pitt is a dumpster fire. No sane recruit wants to get burned. Only the desperate ones will KS get.

Comment by TX Panther 05.16.17 @ 5:39 pm

Chas, are you aware that your site is getting dominated by Penn State Football Ads?

Interesting.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.17.17 @ 4:41 am

Tossing @ 10:49, I believe you made my point. All those tweets for a part time contributor to a bad team .. BFD. Complete rationalization on his part.

as grad transfers, Pitt needs experienced starters who can start and lead … these incoming freshmen are the ones who should be playing 12-15 mpg and scoring 4-8 ppg … not a grad transfer

Comment by wbb 05.17.17 @ 6:01 am

You can’t have 10 freshman on a team. 5 would leave after the first year because they didn’t get the bulk of playing time. The team has to be built with Sr, Jr, SO, FR, RS FR throughout the roster. Thus the grad transfers.

So far, KS recruits aren’t any worse than what Dixon was recruiting. Just look at the schools Dixon recruits transferred to. It remains to be seen if they develop any better.

I am far from a fitness expert, but IMO Pitt needs a new S&C coach or his focus needs to change. I think the players lost bulk last year and based on Artis’s measurements at the combine they didn’t get ripped. He had the worst body fat percentage of all players. That is inexcusable.

Comment by notrocketscience 05.17.17 @ 7:42 am

wbb – you can’t start sub 4 star true freshmen in the ACC. It will kill the kids development and the team would not be competitive. Stallings’ only choice is to be as competitive as possible this year and he has to do that with grad-transfers. That’s just the reality of the situation. None of the kids coming in should even be playing, let alone starting. They need a red shirt year that’s not likely an option at this point. I’m not a fan of Stallings, in the least, but he has no choice to approach this season the way he is. I do agree with him there.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.17.17 @ 8:30 am

Tossing – again fair points, but I’m not sure I agree none of the incoming kids shouldn’t be starting. That may be the case, but time will tell; in particular, it’s quite possible that Wilson-Frame is good enough from day 1. IF Alstork commits (which I’m doubtful on), we’d have 2 that we should expect to start. Because KS bizarrely released his best incoming PG option from his SIGNED letter of intent, we may be in trouble once again at the PG spot. I’m just not to sure about Carr & Milligan as options there. We’ll see, eh?

Comment by 1618mt 05.17.17 @ 9:23 am

Our last 2 ADs have BB so screwed up I do not want to hear about it even more than normal. As for the local rivals WV needs Pitt more than Pitt needs WV. Take a look at the # of state of WV kids recruited each year by WV. They recruit western Pa as home . PS with all their BIG $ and 110k stadium does not need Pitt except to lay a wuppin on them when they can for recruiting purposes. Frankly I enjoy the games like Iowa ,Notre Dame and Michigan State which have much greater fans than PS or WV. As for PS/ Sandusky they sold their soul for football primacy and $$$$ in state college and let the poor kids pay the price. IT WAS NOT A PS FOOTBALL COVER UP . It was a STATE COLLEGE cover up because that town lives off of football revenue as well as the University. If the State Attorney general Tom Corbett had not got into it and word got out to the Harrisburg media we still would not know about it. The selfish arrogance of PS fans went so far as to work against Corbett in his reelection bid all over Pa. Centre County kept this scandal under wraps and destroyed one DA and tried to destroy a second defending their sanctity and covering up. This went on for almost 10 years!!!!!. In the lead up to the football game last year they then made snide comments disparaging “Pitts dirty campus” etc. Not because I am an alum but looking at it matter of fact Pitt’s campus has an outstanding advantage over PS in its overall beauty,architecturally, historically and its’ setting. What is really ugly at PS can not be seen.It is the Sandusky stuff, the frat killings and non college extras that go with this stuff and that they try to ignore it as it goes on in their midst.

Comment by Pitt60 05.19.17 @ 1:55 pm

PS WhenI was going to Pitt Johnstown in 57/58 some of the students (maybe 5%) did the last 2 yrs at PS instead of Pitt Main. The future Pitt grads used to jab them that we wanted an education while they wanted to party, which was true.Some of them even admitted it. H2P

Comment by Pitt60 05.20.17 @ 9:17 pm

PS WhenI was going to Pitt Johnstown in 57/58 some of the students (maybe 5%) did the last 2 yrs at PS instead of Pitt Main. The future Pitt grads used to jab them that we wanted an education while they wanted to party, which was true.Some of them even admitted it.

Comment by Pitt60 05.20.17 @ 9:17 pm

For those who want some current football news go to pittpov.

Comment by Pitt60 05.31.17 @ 9:47 am

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