Saturday, February 25, 2012

Patrick Kugler chooses Michigan

One of Pitt's top targets, North Allegheny offensive guard Patrick Kugler, has made a verbal commitment to Michigan.  While it would have been great to land him, some kids simply have no interest and it's apparent that Kugler had no interest in Pitt.  If the trend continues with the top local prospects then it will be a major problem, but that has yet to happen.  As for offensive linemen, I think Pitt will land Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson and I think that would be an excellent offensive line addition.

49 comments:

  1. Well Michigan is a good school academically and they have a great football tradition. It looks after this past season that Brady Hoke may have them back on track. All that is well and good, but honestly I lose interest in local guys when they go elsewhere to play ball.

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  2. Johnson is bigger and stronger which, honestly, is more important in a power running offense.

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  3. Johnson is a known pitt fan, goes to joe rudolphs alma mater, and is being recruited hard by pitt-on a visit to pitt today-so it would be a travesty if they didnt land him.

    Chris, do you think johnson will commit as early as tonight or tommorrow if he enjoys todays visit?

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  4. Is it really necessary for the him to commit tonight or tomorrow??? Can we let him enjoy his recruitment? Have you ever been recruited? It can be an a great experience and he should take full advantage of his visits. The level of insecurity on display by some is a bit unnerving. Please tell me that some of you don't really let the whims of 17 and 18 year olds affect you to such a degree.

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  5. Pitt needs 4-OL's in 2013 class at least!!!
    Only 3 recruited the past 2 years!!
    Johnson hopefully is one... should be a gimme with Rudolphs Belle Vernon connection. But 3 more needed!

    Pitts biggest need is DL... and they need at least 4 of them also.

    Michigan has 13 commits already... I think 11 are 4star or better.
    What is their secret??
    Even OSU with Meyer only has 4 committs!!!

    Don't expect Pitts 1st committ until June sometime.

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    1. Michigan's secret is that they're Michigan. To be perfectly honest, if I could play anywhere it would probably be Michigan. When you look at everything that makes a great program, I think Michigan is tops.

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  6. Does this open up an offer for the Zeff kid from NJ that was here earlier in the week and has ties to the city?

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    1. Not necessarily. There are many OL out there.

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  7. This post by Chris Dokish, after singing the praises of Kugler for many months can be summed up in two words: "Sour Grapes"

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    1. That makes absolutely no sense at all. How in the world is that sour grapes? He's an excellent player that has no desire to attend Pitt, and losing him is not the end of the world, as long as they find other good linemen. Now if they lose Foster, Boyd, and Johnson, too, then it's a failure by Pitt.

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  8. Chris, do you think Pitt will have a hard time getting recruits to committ until they can see PC in game action as a head coach not to mention the new OFF and DEF coordinators. What woudl they have to gain by committing early. It's not like the other coaches would back off.

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    1. To be honest, the first full recruiting class is usually very good because any prospect in that first year knows they were handpicked by the current coach, and therefore can be in the plans right away.

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  9. Dokish: is johnson really favoring pitt? On rivals it says "discusses his visit and the schools in his top three" - that makes it sound like pitts not one if the three

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  10. He likes Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia, but he's a Pitt fan and Rudolph is from Belle Vernon. If they lose him it would be pretty pathetic.

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    1. Thanks and i agree. Has foster said anything recently?

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  11. Kugler was also caught in the proverbial numbers game. He was the 5th OL verbal. Will be interested to see what happens if a 6th OL commits or whether Hoke pulls the remaining offers. I wouldn't give up yet if I were recruiting him at Pitt. Number games can be tricky and he may decide to go to a place like Pitt where he knows he will see the field, versus Michigan, where he may not.

    Same thing for Foster. Meyers will promise him playing time and that he won't sign another WR because he is their guy. What Myers won't tell him is that he is recruiting other positions with the intent of moving them to WR because athletically they are on par or better than Foster. By promising in that fashion, he appears to keep his credibility, but underneath he is just sellin.

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  12. dhuffdaddy, Good points. A lot of these guys have so much confidence in their abilities, that they don't fully appreciate the competion that they will facing for playing time. Playing early and coming into a beneficial situation can make all the difference an athlete's career and development. When you go to a program with too many good players you can easily end up down on the depth chart. Lack of playing time or an injury or two and a promising under classman often moves ahead of you. Going to a program where you have the opportunity to play early can't be under estimated.

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    1. I agree with dhuff and justinian. I think pitt would be an ideal place for foster. Asides from a great education, hed play immediately, hed be close to home and has a ton of friends on the team (wants a comfortable place to play), hed get coached by a former great wide reciever and ultimately by an offensive genius in chryst, and we all know pitt puts their fair share of guys into the league. It seems like if he wants a high comfort level, pitt would be the obvious choice. Chryst is a genuine guy who clearly loves to develope players and puts the players first. Itd be terrible if pitt couldnt land him.

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  13. Chris,
    You said above if Pitt doesn't get Johnson, Foster, Boyd, then it's a failure of Pitt.
    Let's be realistic...
    Doubtful Kugler would go to Pitt for numerous reasons... my #1 reason being he didn't want to see his Dad everyday!
    I doubt Foster will select Pitt... the head is growing everyday and someone needs to feed the ego... and that is not Chryst style. "Just offer".
    Johnson is a gimme... if they can't land Johnson that is a failure.
    Boyd... that can go either way abeit a strong pipeline to Pitt from Clairton.
    Overall, if they only land 1, that is a D. if they land 2 that is a C. If they land 3... that is a B+... in my opinion. If they don't land ANY... I will say I told you so.

    Regarding Michigan... they landed 13 top notch recruits during or just after Junior Day. They must have created soooo much excitment.... how can you say NO.
    The issue is creating excitment with Pitts program.

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    1. Let's be truthful Joe -- no matter what happens -- you will say I told you so. Fact, fact, fact.

      Although I actually agree with much of what you said here as this is definitely one of your more "level-headed" (i.e. not EXTREMELY negative) posts...is it possible that you could go one day without mentioning "Just Offer"? That would be refreshing. Need some new material.

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  14. I looked up rivals... 139 players have committed so far...
    and it's not March 1 yet!!!
    Is that a trend... committs are getting earlier!! Don't know history of commits by month the past few years.

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    1. Remember a highly ranked local lineman who went to WVU and got caught up in a numbers game. They recruited 10 linemen over a brief period and the numbers never allowed him to see the field. He transferred to Delaware, sees the field nearly every down. Problem for draft is that his level of competition was too low. These kids need to find programs where they will see the field and get some film against quality competition.

      Evan Blankenship, same way. He was the only OL in his class but it was followed by 3 and 4 OL recruits in the following class and he didn't sniff the field.

      Michigan, 5 OL recruitsfor 2012, three highly ranked. Add 5 more highly ranked for 2013 and there is a numbers problem. Young Kugler, although confident and rightfully so, may be caught in a numbers game and not sniff the field, despite promises to compete for time.

      I wish him luck, but this is where his father or someone not caught up in the emotion of playing for a great program needs to step in and look further down the line. I wish him well, but I am just sayin...Every good CEO has a 3-5 year business plan. He needs to understand he is in a business and as such, needs to strategize his future a little better. Before anyone jumps on me and says does that mean Pitt is a better option, only the athletes can make the business decision on that. I will guide my anklebiters to a place where they can play.

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    2. You are right... players need to look at their position competition and take a realistic look. He needs to think, can he be a starter by his Junior year at a minimum if he has NFL aspirations. I didn't know Michigan brought in 5 OL in 2012.. I knew 5 OL this year. That said, I still don't see Kugler going to Pitt... Purdue with his brother perhaps.
      Blankenship was rated 3star by rivals and went to OSU. That was a risk.
      Remember, some players give up on any NFL aspirations and just look at the scholarship as a way to a free education!! I don't think that is Kugler though.

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  15. No surprise, why would he want to play in front of 30,000 fans when he can play to a packed house of over 100,000+ dedicated fans.

    Face it, the Pitt football program, is second tier, there is very little fan support and every year the die hards get a little smaller and smaller in number. It looks like 10-3 is going to be the high mark with many seasons of 8-5 or worse.

    Since the glory days they have tried, Foge, Gottfried, Hackett, Sunseri (for 1 game), Majors II, Wlat, Wanny, Bennett (for 1 game), the wife beater, the con man, Patterson (for 1 game) and now Chryst. That is a lot of head-coaches, very little stability.

    I have been involved and supporting Pitt football since 1964, I just can't see them ever returning to the one elite program they were, they just do not have the fan support and the athletic budget.

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    1. well...... we still haven't been pounded by the likes of Appalachian State yet !

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  16. Anon...there are very few programs that can legitimately be in the discussion of "top tier". Programs that have the cache of tradition, modern success, high visibility, seemingly unlimited athletic budgets and popular support. Unfortunately for us, we are wedged geographically between two of them.

    After the 15-20 truly elite programs, there are 40-50 that are similarly competitive. All have strengths and weaknesses, and their consistent success is tied to those strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately for Pitt, winning friggin football games on a consistent basis will cure many of its shortcomings. Win games and people will show up. Win games and Pitt becomes competitive recruiting against the likes of Michigan and Penn State for the elite talent.

    I believe our move to the ACC has the capacity to help the football program immeasurably. We will be playing against mostly equivalent institutions who, unlike most of our BE brethren, have a little more historical clout. If we can can compete with them...and beat them...on a steady basis, Pitt will grow that 30,000 diehard fan base because our success will be seen as "legitimate" in the ACC compared to the fringe success of Big East.

    There are good days ahead. If Chryst can win...and win with kids he thinks will help him win (whether they be 4* or 2*, whether they be wooed by "Junior Days" or wooed by smaller more intimate interactions with the staff)...so be it.

    I think we all need to stop the hand wringing over what we don't have and start focusing on the talent on hand and the opportunities they have to become great.

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  17. Sam E I hope so because we all have been waiting for such a long time.

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  18. Anon- I agree. Trust me, being a Pitt fan is an exercise in patience and heartbreak tolerance.

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  19. I just want to see Pitt ranked as a Top 25 team year in and year out!!!
    Being in the ACC will help... but they still need to win... they couldn't win in the Big East powderpuff league!! Hopefully they will not be the ACC doormat.

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  20. I agree with Joe D. Just field an exciting team and win the games you should. I'm not expecting Alabame results but if WVU can win 10-11 games every almost every year then why and they hell cant we expect that. WVU doesnt get big time recruits and they always seem to beat the teams they should. I had to wish to be like them but i'll take there results.

    WVU PITT
    2005 11–1 5-6
    2006 11–2 6-6
    2007 11–2 5-7
    2008 9–4 9–4
    2009 9–4 10-3
    2010 9–4 8-5
    2011 10–3 6-7

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  21. 03- I'm glad you brought up WVU. Rich Rodriguez didn't produce 11-1, 11-2 and 11-2 by signing huge classes of 4 and 5 star athletes. We can rag on Rich Rod for being a dope all we want, but the reality of it is he had a scheme that kicked the piss out of the Big East those years.

    Players who execute can succeed despite their arbitrary "stars".

    We may dream of Pitt being a Top 25 team "year in and year out"...but that (with very few extended periods of time) has NEVER happened. In fact, there are very few peer programs that have enjoyed that type of success over time.

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    1. It doesnt happen over extended periods of time because the HC usually leave, ala Rich Rod for more fame and $.

      If Chryst has success I dont think he would leave unless Wisconsin would come calling

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  22. WVU is the example I always use when people say Pitt can't have an excellent program. The truth is, Rodriguez did it and did it with no local talent, so I find it absurd that Pitt can't do the same. I mean, look at those records. In the last 7 years, WVU has won 70 games and Pitt has won 49. That's an embarrassment and the fact that the Pitt administration can look at those stats and not make significant changes to the program is all you need to know about how little they care about having a great program.

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    1. Rodriguez and now Holgerson...
      recruited speed!!!
      they get lots from FL... and they game plan to beat their opponent based upon speed, quickness, stamina, playcalling.

      The infamous Wanny quote at halftime vs. WVU..
      Question... what do you need to do in the 2nd half against WVU to get back in the game?
      Wanny... Run faster!!! lol

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    2. Amen to that Chris. truer words never spoken.

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    3. Then Wanny went and hired a DC who coached against the wishbone and shut all that speed down the following year, or did we forget that.
      these offenses only work well when teams haven't seen it yet.

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    4. Worked well enough to win 21 more games then Pitt.

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    5. frankarms- I can only guess you are attempting to refer to Phil Bennett, and the 13-9 game.

      Paul Rhoades was the DC for 13-9, but also for the two beatdowns that WVU gave Pitt in 2005 and 2006.

      Rhoades took the Auburn DC job after that season (WVU beat Auburn the year he was there).
      Bennett was hired as DC afterwards (2008 season).

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    6. It would be interesting to see what kind of money WVU has spent, percentage wise of the overall budget, on their football program compared to PITT.

      Also, to see what type of alumni/community support and attendance they draw. But the two schools are different in there community standing and in what type of alternative sports entertainment they have.

      WVU is really the only game in town and, like some other schools, has a large base of support and attendance for a population that never attended but still follow them strongly. It is literally the sports outlet in West Virginia.

      Plus WVU as an institution is vitally supported and woven within the political structure in WV.

      I can't help but think that the financial aspect to PITT football is a reason there is a 'cap' on success and that the opposite is true, relatively speaking, at WVU.

      I wouldn't say that we are comparing apples and oranges with these two schools as I think they are similar in a lot of ways also, but I do believe there are inherent differences between the two schools and their football programs.

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    7. Pretty hard to beat that drum Chris when you have a lot of our local sports media guys blogging and touting how solid AD Petersen is. The guys record speaks for itself. Many of the Petersen supporters brag about Pitt's winning seasons, when in fact those wins came over really bad football teams. Peteresen's lack of loyalty to Pitt the first time around should have never allowed him to return to Pitt (EVER.) Could you imagine that happening at a big time program? Couple his lack of loyalty to his fiasco at Nebraska and it was a NO brainer to bring this guy back. Still......... he was given a pass. Why?
      I don't think Petersen is a malicious guy out to doom Pitt Football, I just think he's clueless as to what it takes to build a big time program. Maybe there is still some jealousy at to how Pitt Football overshadowed the pseudo-intellectual academia's at Pitt in the mid-70's and early 80's. and they'll do anything to stay iin the spotlight, even keep the program down?

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    8. rkohberger, you're kidding, right? You are saying WVU has more going for them then Pitt? It's not even close. Pitt has a lot more going for them. WVU has many more obstacles to overcome and they do it.

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    9. Where did I say that? Christ Chris, I was asking a question in my post. I think we all agree that WVU has outperformed PITT in recent years. I want to know why.

      Do you not think WVU has an advantage in attendance being that it's the only sports draw in town? Morgantown and the whole state is rabid for WVU football - PITT doesn't have that.

      Last season WVU made $29,467K after spending $14,330; Pitt made $22,513K and spent $17,443.

      So for every $1.00 spent WVU makes $2.06 in revenue off of their football program. PITT lags behind in comparison at $1.29.

      In 2010 WVU averaged 4K more in attendance (56K to 52K) and I don't go to there games but every time I see their stadium on TV it is packed so I can assume 56K actually went to their games. I think we all know that PITT didn't average 52K in the seats each game.

      So, what I'm asking is what is the difference then? I believe it is what I wrote above, that WVU has the whole state, including the politicians and their local media actively supporting them, as opposed to ours who basically wouldn't piss on PITT if we were on fire.

      I'm wondering what changes that you feel could be made that would be a magic bullet for PITT's sustained success... that WVU doesn't also already have
      .

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  23. @ Hank the Tank...........good post. I like to read his posts but most times they come across as pompous and arrogant.

    IMO if a local recruit is considering Pitt, he takes a wait and see approach. We all know that it's a dirty business.

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  24. The wvu high ranked lineman similar to kugler was gradkowski. I forgot his name when i commented earlier. Joe D and Chris I agree that Pitt should be doing better. I blame that on Peterson and Nordenberg, The Chancellor will leave Pitt soon with not much of a legacy in Sport or academia.

    Smiley should leave sooner and has a negative legacy. He is a meddler without a plan. He has a reputation for paying cheaply unless forced to increase pay to coaches that will leverage him. That is never a good way to treat your top talent because they end up resenting you and will eventually leave.

    Has anyone noticed his female basketball team performance the last couple of years? Largest loss by 76 points this year and two by 49, but smiley sits back and does nothing because he would be forced to conduct another job search, which is not his strong suit. How embarrasing are those point totals? Thanks Steve. He needs to go and we need a progressive, forward thinking executive to trust his hires to do the job and back that up with financial resources. A competent and confident AD does that. At some point the Pitt women should have gone into the four corner offense and stalled. Joking, but C'Mon!! 76 points!

    WVU outperforms Pitt in Womens BBall too. Why? The AD brings in coaches that can win and supports them every minute of every day, outwardly and inwardly, not micro manage and control.

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  25. That's one area I think nearly everyone can agree on. It's time for Steve Pederson to move on.

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  26. Dhuffdaddy - Gronkowski did not go to WVU, he went west to Arizona.

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  27. HuffDaddy - you have got to be kidding when you say that Nordenberg hasn't created a legacy on the academic side of the University.

    Nordenberg is widely recognized, nationally and internationally, as being one of the best Chancellors/Presidents of a large university.

    The overall national ranking of PITT as an academic and research university has steadily risen during his tenure and his accomplishments on that side of the aisle are too many to mention here.

    Hell, all you have to do is look at the huge difference in PITT's endowment to see what impact he's had with the Capital Campaign that will have a lasting effect on PITT and its academics.

    You can easily argue that aside from Bowman Nordenberg has been the most successful Chancellor PITT has had.

    Say what you will about his athletic impact but to state that he hasn't left an academic legacy behind him at PITT is just wrong.

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