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May 2, 2015

Clemmings Draft Info

Filed under: Football,Players — Reed @ 5:08 pm

CLEMMINGS SELECTED BY MINNESOTA IN NFL DRAFT’S FOURTH ROUND

PITTSBURGH—Pitt offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings was selected in the NFL Draft’s fourth round on Saturday by the Minnesota Vikings.

Clemmings was the 110th overall pick in the draft. Initially projected as a first-round prospect, he fell to the fourth round after being recently diagnosed with a foot stress fracture.

With his selection, Pitt has now had at least one player chosen in 14 of the last 16 drafts. Clemmings is the first Pitt player in 25 years to be drafted by Minnesota. Defensive back Alonzo Hampton was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 1990.

A relative newcomer to the game, Clemmings played only two seasons of high school football at New Jersey’s Paterson Catholic. At Pitt, he began his career as a defensive end before moving to offensive tackle prior to his junior season.
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Now that we are starting the “long desert march”, that dry spell we go through every summer until we get to the Fall Camp in the beginning of August, there are a few things on my desk I want to share with you all.

First addressing the question of QB Nathan Peterman’s role in transferring from Tennessee to PITT and why he’s doing it.  Everyone assumes it is just to provide a back up to Chad Voytik because somehow Voytik has a ‘lock’ on the starter’s job.

That isn’t true. There is no doubt that Narduzzi and OC Jim Chaney are bringing Peterman in to compete for the starting job right off the bat.  Chris Peak has written a very good piece with strong quotes about this subject in his April 23rd article.  That article is behind Rivals’ pay wall but here is a taste of what Narduzzi said…

“He’s going to come in here to compete,” Narduzzi said Wednesday. “Chad knows that. Chad’s embraced that, and Chad’s got to look at it as, ‘Hey, this guy is going to make me better.’ I think it’s always good when you can look in that rearview mirror and see that someone’s there on you. I don’t know that Chad had that throughout the spring, to be honest with you.

“So he’ll have that in fall camp, and they’ll learn together, and it will make us a better football team.”

Reading between the lines I think Narduzzi may well have meant that Voytik didn’t have that competition last season either and he wants to make that happen. I get the feeling,  just a feeling only, that Narduzzi isn’t 100% sold on Voytik’s skills at QB.

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April 30, 2015

Pitt and the NFL Draft

Filed under: Draft,Football,Uncategorized — Justin @ 5:00 am

Two years ago I upset a few people when I declared no Pitt players would be drafted. It was difficult to admit that Ray Graham’s knee severely hindered his draft prospects but it was reality. Graham went undrafted and has struggled to stick in the NFL. This year that won’t be an issue thanks to TJ Clemmings. The question is whether or not a second player will be drafted.  (more…)

April 29, 2015

Media Bits & Bytes 4/29/15

Filed under: Football,Media — Reed @ 12:37 pm

The PITT Media Dept. has jumped the gun a bit and changed the scheduling of when they would start posting the individual shows of their Five-Part Spring Practice Series on Root Sports.

The first show is now available on the PittsburghPanthers.com website.  Skip the huge Scott Barnes advertisement and then click on the video of Tyler Boyd pointing at the camera – that’s the show.  It is an almost full 20 minutes of good things to see and hear and is very well done.

Then if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite and you just can’t get enough PITT football, even if it is past history, you will like this PITT Live Wire section on YouTube.   Not only do they have the requisite interviews with the players and coaches through the last spring practices but every once in a while they toss in some interesting productions like these:

PITT Defensive Back History and PITT Linebacker History  with six more videos to cover every position on the field.  It never hurts to know the history of the team you follow in case anyone bets you a bottle of Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit if you can name the best DEs ever.

Then, to make sure UPITTBaseball doesn’t feel left out and starts to go on a rampage at his work they also have put up this video.

According to Chris Peak, Pat Narduzzi tapped into his Michigan State pipeline to add former Spartan Mark Scarpinato to the team. Scarpinato, a 6’3 286 pound DT, is an interesting case. He left MSU after the 2013-14 season to go to med school at Wisconsin. At that point Scarpinato was a redshirt sophomore yet had already graduated, an impressive achievement.

Scarpinato appeared in all 14 games of his sophomore season as part of a four man defensive tackle rotation on the number one defense in the nation. I’ll look into how his eligibility will function in terms of whether or not his year off counts against him. I would assume so and that would mean the former Spartan will only be able to play this upcoming season. At worst, Scarpinato is proven depth at DT and can use his experience to aid his fellow DL in adapting to a new scheme. At best, he could be a starter on a DL that under-performed last season.

Also in recruiting news, a JUCO WR eligible to play this fall could be coming to town. Rafael Araujo-Lopes picked up an offer from Pitt, and it’s a safe bet that with Rob Harley in California today to visit him, the deal could be closed soon.

April 28, 2015

Yesterday morning my daughter left on a weeklong school trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. She had to be at the school and boarding the bus around 5 am. You can imagine the fun of trying to get a newly-minted teen roused and ready at 4 am. As eager as she was for the trip and to get away from us, it was still 4 in the frickin’ morning.

The original plan was that I would get to sleep in while my wife would do the work of getting her up and out. Taking full advantage of that maternal instinct of seeing off her little girl and all that. Naturally my wife got sick over the weekend and it fell to me. The only upside being I could get into work very early and be able to finish early. Plus, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about taking the boy to school.

All went relatively smoothly with getting the girl to her school and on the bus.Aafter the slight alteration to the plan, it seemed that this day would work out well.

By seven the wife had texted me to to let me know that the boy had vomited, and the internet was out at the house. Oh, and when was I going to get home? Yeah, work on a Monday was the safe haven. The internet is still out as it seems that the modem died. The replacement won’t arrive until Wednesday. Given the rapid rate this one crapped out, I finally broke down and ordered an additional modem so that there is a back-up ready to be swapped out to avoid the agony of no computer access. No streaming video service. It is suddenly very quiet in the house.

This is a roundabout, complaining way of explaining why there was no immediate posting on the latest player to transfer into Pitt football.

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April 27, 2015

PITT Spring Football Insider Show

Filed under: Football,Media — Reed @ 5:04 pm

Here is some good news for PITT football hungry fans…  This is what I talked about a week or so ago when asked if the Spring Game was going to be televised.  EJ Borghetti emailed me with these plans but I waited until contracts were formalized to do the broadcasts.

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Another new innovation from your university’s Media Department.  BTW – The Blather may be expanding into another venue shortly, will keep all informed.

Now someone tell me what “Root Sports” is.  Funny thing – I don’t think Verizon carries Root Sports where I live.  I’ll ask and see if the Shows’ videos will be available via the PITT Live Wire website.  

Stay Tuned…

April 26, 2015

The Chancellor cast the die; the future is determined; there are no more options; events will proceed in an irreversible manner; the point of no return has been passed and we have received unto us a new Athletic Director.  In other words and as Justin states so well: “Pitt has hired Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes to replace some jagoff none of us liked”.

So it was announced yesterday that ex-Utah State AD Scott Barnes has been hired to fill the position that layed vacant for the last four months. His full resume can be found in this Blather article copied word-by-word from the subsequent PITT press release.

Before we get into the meat of the matter here are two good pieces that the PITT media dept. put out.  PITT rolled out the blue and mustard gold carpet for the introductory press conference. Here is the video introducing the long drink of water as our AD and the second is a photo slideshow of the same presser with photos of all involved including the only non-blond adult female in Utah, his wife Jody Barnes.  Funny how much more intelligent she looks then the last HC’s wife from west of the Mississippi. Plus he has a daughter named after a fantastic Pepperidge farm cookie – Milano – so he’s got a sense of humor also.

The local media seem to be happy with him, at least Jerry DiPaola doesn’t take any overt shots at the guy.

Just for local balance here is Sam Werner’s take on Barnes’ presser.  An even better read is Werner’s Redshirt Diaries where he lays down some of the more interesting and important pieces of information regard the Barnes hire.

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April 25, 2015

The new AD has been announced and he’s taller than me so I don’t trust him right off the bat.  Everyone knows that people over 6’7″ tall are shifty and not to be trusted.

Here is Barnes’ press conference and it was nicely done.

Statement from Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford:

“Scott is a veteran athletic director who is highly respected nationally, as evidenced by his chairing the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. He will be an excellent addition to Pitt and the Atlantic Coast Conference. I congratulate Chancellor Gallagher and the search committee on an excellent choice.”

Here is the official PITT Press Release

For IMMEDIATE Release
April 24, 2015

 BARNES NAMED NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
The Panthers’ new A.D. brings a distinguished and decorated résumé to Pitt.

 PITTSBURGH—Nationally distinguished as one of the top administrators in collegiate athletics, Scott Barnes has been named the new athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.

Barnes arrives at Pitt following an impressive tenure at Utah State University, where he was honored as an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for his work elevating the Aggies’ program. He owns 26 years of administrative experience at the collegiate level and recently served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.

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April 24, 2015

Presser for the New AD

Filed under: Conference — Reed @ 10:02 am

We all saw the breaking news about PITT hiring ex-Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes as the new AD and here are the formalities of introduction.

MEDIA ADVISORY

From: E.J. Borghetti
Executive Associate Athletic Director/Media Relations

Re: Friday Press Conference

The University of Pittsburgh will hold a press conference to address its athletic director position on Friday, April 24, at 3 p.m. The press conference will be held on the first floor of the William Pitt Union (3959 Fifth Avenue) in the Lower Lounge.

Media outlets with marked vehicles only may park in the circle located on the Fifth Avenue side of the William Pitt Union.

 

UPDATE: There will be a livestream of the press conference.

Help On the Perimeter

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:21 am

Well, a domino fell Pitt’s way. Damion Lee is a graduate transfer from Drexel, and yesterday he opted to go to Louisville. That was enough for another graduate transfer, Sterling Smith, to rule out the Cards and opt for Pitt.

BorzSterlingSmith is a 6-4 guard, though I’ve also seen him listed at 6-2. Love the accuracy of measurements of high school and college players.

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April 23, 2015

Come on Down Scott Barnes

Filed under: Athletic Department — Justin @ 9:02 am

As numerous places have reported, Pitt has hired Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes to replace some jagoff none of us liked. Barnes has an impressive resume since he took over for the Aggies in 2008, including chairman of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee and four consecutive bowl games under two different head coaches. Most importantly, Utah State set fundraising records during his tenure that resulted in success on the field and infrastructure improvements. No word yet on his opinion regarding an on campus stadium.

Per ESPN, DHR International was the search firm who headed up the effort.

New AD Today?

Filed under: Athletic Department,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 7:47 am

Yesterday was the ACC football coaches teleconference. Coach Pat Narduzzi was asked about the possibility of the Backyard Brawl returning. This was based on comments made by WVU’s new AD speaking on the topic.

Narduzzi gave the standard type of answer. Respecting the history. Speaking positively of such a game

“Obviously, you love to have those rivalries, and West Virginia is a great team in a great conference,” Narduzzi said. “We want to play the best. So we’re always going to schedule some of the best opponents we can and really embrace future and past rivalries.”

…but making no commitment.

“That’s something the new AD will have to answer,” Narduzzi said Wednesday. “We will have those conversations when he gets here and with chancellor (Patrick) Gallagher, as well.

I don’t know if its related, but there have been lots of tweets and rumors that Pitt will be announcing the new AD today. Not sure one way or another, but since we are nearing the start of the dead time, why not?

Open thread on the AD stuff. Hopefully there will be real news.

And if not, there is the topic of the Backyard Brawl and the non-con. On the matter, I can’t help but think that it would be nice to have some sort of round-robin in the non-con. A way to rotate partners for the schedule. Say, Syracuse and Pitt from the ACC with PSU and  WVU. Rotate home-and-homes with each. As much as I prefer the idea of annually battling the Nits, I like the Brawl. It’s good to have hate.

Final Slingbox Review

Filed under: Sponsored Post — Chas @ 6:40 am

*THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY SLINGBOX*

So I have had the Slingbox M1 for over a month. It’s been useful. I was especially grateful for it during the Final Four while visiting family and taking the kids around DC. All apologies to the various people I may have stumbled into while walking around the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum while trying to watch some pregame babbling.

It has been paying off on the weekends while my son has his Saturday soccer games and my daughter has softball practice Sunday evenings.

It’s been fun just to mess with the kids when I activate it on the TV they are using while I am out of the house. A little bit of a troll move on my part to switch it to SportsCenter when they are watching some god-awful Disney channel show (Phineas & Ferb, excepted), but I consider it payback for being exposed to even snippets of dialogue from KC Undercover.

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April 21, 2015

New Football Media Info

Filed under: Conference,Football,Media — Reed @ 11:10 am

New Press Release from the ACC & PITT regarding some media info:

Atlantic Coast Conference Spring Football Media Teleconference—Reminder

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22, 10:20 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

The ACC will hold its annual Spring Football Media Teleconference tomorrow,  Wednesday, April 22. The teleconference will begin at 10:20 a.m. with each of the Conference’s 14 head football coaches available as well as Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. Each coach will be available for 10 minutes. This teleconference is for accredited members of the media only. The teleconference will also be streamed live through theacc.com and transcripts and audio files will be available.

The Schedule of Coaches:

10:20 a.m.—Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

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