2. Courtney Gardner, Sierra CC (Roseville, CA) WR- Might have more upside than anybody on the list and would be the prospect on this list that would be the most likely to start right away. A big time receiver who at 6'3" and 215 pounds, runs a legit 4.4 in the 40. He also is just not a big guy who runs fast straight. He is a dynamic runner with the ball in his hands and is quite the athlete. Basically, he has NFL written all over him. Arkansas is his favorite and Florida State is coming on strong but Mike Norvell has visited him and is trying to get him to visit Pitt. He was originally slated to visit this weekend but pushed it back to next weekend though that may be in the air too. If the Panthers can get him to visit then they have a chance but Arkansas will be tough to beat.
3. Ryan Watson, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD) DT- Big time 6'3" 270 pound defensive tackle prospect who had offers from the likes of Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Stanford, and Wisconsin. Not only is he an elite talent but he will also help the soon to be depleted defensive line. He's visiting this weekend and it's currently down to Pitt and Purdue.
4. Marquez Clark, Navarro JC (Corsicana, TX) WR- A teammate of Tavon Rooks, the 6'0"180 pound Texarkana, TX native broke records in junior college this year and has the ability to be a special player. He is an excellent return man, can run reverses, and has 4.37 speed. Right now Kansas State may be the biggest challenger for his services. He's visiting Pitt this weekend and if Pitt lands him, he could easily start in the slot in his first season.
5. Tavon Rooks, Navarro JC (Corsicana, TX) OT- Needs to gain a lot more weight as he's only 270 pounds. But he's 6'6" with good feet so his potential is very good. His final four are Pitt, West Virginia, South Florida, and Kansas State but he wants to stay close to his Baltimore hometown so it appears it will be between Pitt and WVU. Obviously, the OL needs help and he should at least play, if not start, if Pitt could land him, especially since he will enter school in January and can learn the spread offense for nine months instead of three weeks.
6. Demetrious Cox, Jeannette HS (Jeannette, PA) S- This kid could be a great poker player because you never really know what's he thinking as far as where he will end up. At one time it looked like Ohio State and Penn State were the two biggest possibilities but both have had their problems since then. Ohio State is now back in the picture with Urban Meyer. He has good size at 6'1" and 190 pounds to go with his excellent athleticism. Could be a star safety in college so the Panthers staff have been on him hard all year. May be another one that comes down to Pitt and Ohio State but with him you never know.
7. Drew Harris, Downingtown East (HS) Exton) RB- Committed to Virginia Tech a long time ago but decided to visit Pitt this weekend. Fast, straight ahead runner with a bit of a wiggle. Solid at 6'1" and 200 pounds. I honestly don't know why he would want to come to Pitt with Rushel Shell being a better player, but you can never have too many fast players so the staff won't turn him down if he wants to be a Panther. Penn State, Michigan, Arkansas, Miami, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Florida State were just some of the others who also offered him.
8. Deaysean Rippy, Sto-Rox HS (McKees Rocks, PA) LB- I know a lot of people thinks he's overrated but when you get offered by Alabama, Auburn, Florida, USC, Michigan, and Nebraska how bad can you be? At 6'2" and 200 pounds he's going to have to get a lot bigger, and he has to continually play as good as he can. The linebacker corps needs more talent and depth and he'd be a great tradition. He's already visited Colorado and he's visiting Maryland next week. Basically, he seems to be trying to find anyplace else but Pitt for some reason so it's totally unknown what he's going to do.
9. Charles Siddoway, Butte CC (Oroville) OT- Great size at 6'6" and 300 pounds, and can really move well for his size. The Eugene, OR native played in four games as a redshirt freshman at California before academics forced him out. After an impressive season at Butte he received offers from not only Pitt, but also Rutgers, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Iowa State. Already visited Mississippi State and is visiting Pitt this weekend.
10. Darion Monroe, East St. John HS (Reserve, LA) CB- Small 5'10" 170 pound corner but great athleticism and speed. Committed to Texas A&M but after they fired Mike Sherman he decided to look around. He's visiting Georgia Tech this weekend and wants to visit Pitt, too. He still may go back to A&M however and is just waiting to see who the next coach is. If it's Kevin Sumlin as expected, you would expect him to go back.
11. Jerald Hawkins, West St. Mary HS (Baldwin, LA) OT- A highly athletic 6'7" 285 pound kid with a great upside. But he has already committed to LSU, after committing to Texas A&M initially, but Mike Norvell got him to visit, and he liked Pitt. When it's all said and done it he will probably remain with LSU, though.
12. J.P. Holtz, Shaler Area HS (Pittsburgh, PA) DE- Originally committed to Penn State but is now looking around. He is being recruited for the Panther position, which is the pass rushing defensive end. At 6'4" and 235 pounds, he is tough, athletic, and versatile. Just a really good football player and I would be surprised if he didn't end up at Pitt.
13. Bam Bradley, Trotwood-Madison HS (Trotwood, OH) S- Big hitter with excellent 6'2" 210 pound size. A good athlete but not an elite athlete and doesn't have top speed. For that reason, he could be a strong safety or linebacker, though he was heavier earlier in the season and slowed considerably. His brother Nicolas Grigsby redshirted as a linebacker this season at Pitt. Ohio State wanted him before and after Urban Meyer but he doesn't seem as enamored with the Buckeyes as other Ohio kids. Excellent student who has an offer from Stanford, as well as many other top schools. But if I had to guess I would say it will be between Pitt and Ohio State.
14. Nyeem Wartman, Valley View HS (Archbald, PA) LB- A third Penn State commit, and like Lewis he states he is staying with the Nittany Lions. But he has a visit to Pitt scheduled for next weekend. The Panthers need inside linebacker help and the 6'3" 225 pound Wartman could help the talent and depth in that area.
15. Deon Anthony, Hinds CC (Raymond, MS) QB- The Panthers haven't even offered yet but more depth at quarterback is needed, especially somebody who knows how to run a spread offense and is athletic. Anthony should have no problem knowing how to run it, and he's a very good athlete who can run, but it remains to be seen if he can pass enough to be a quarterback at a major college level. Especially since Graham prefers to pass a lot in his offense. Anthony's only current committable offer is Troy, and he already verbally committed to them, but that may or may not mean anything. To be honest, there's not a lot of teams looking for an athletic 6'0" spread quarterback from the junior college ranks so it's not really a surprise that his offer list isn't long. Bottom line, I'm sure a lot of Pitt fans don't like seeing him last on this list but it comes down to whether or not he can pass well enough in Todd Graham's system because the running ability will not be a problem and the knowledge of the system should not be a problem. If he can pass well enough then obviously he is the most important player on the list, at least for next season.