1. Robert Foster, Central Valley HS (Monaca, PA) WR- Even though he can be a little flaky, he is the biggest must get for the Panthers for two reasons. One, he's one of the top ten prospects in the country, and, two, getting him will give the program great buzz. Legitimate chance.
2. Su'a Cravens, Vista Murrieta HS (Murrieta, CA) S- One of the top ten prospects in the country. No chance.
3. Eddie Vanderdoes, Placer HS (Auburn, CA) DT- One of many elite California players that the Panthers have offered, thanks to Inoke Breckterfield, but a superstar west coast player is not coming to Pittsburgh to play. No chance.
4. Adam Breneman, Cedar Cliff HS (Camp Hill, PA) TE- Would have been great for Pitt's offense and you would think with the great tight ends that Paul Chryst and Joe Rudolph produced, they would have had a serious chance. It turns out that they never even came close. Committed to Penn State.
5. Jalin Marshall, Middletown HS (Middletown, OH) WR- The Panthers were one of the first to offer but this kid was staying home right from the beginning. Committed to Ohio State.
6. Mackensie Alexander, Immokalee HS (Immokalee, FL) CB- Well, it's obvious that the Panthers are going to go for it in the Sunshine State. Unfortunately one of the top corners in the country are out of their league. No chance.
7. Dorian Johnson, Belle Vernon Area HS (Belle Vernon, PA) OT- One of the fastest risers in the country and a potential superstar left tackle. Getting him would be huge and with him being a Pitt fan and Rudolph being a Belle Vernon alum, there's no excuse to lose him. Legitimate chance.
8. Patrick Kugler, Wexford HS (North Allegheny, PA) OG/C- Yeah, he wasn't in the area for long but it was still hard to take the fact that the Panthers never even stood a chance. Getting him would have been huge. Committed to Michigan.
9. Tashawn Bower, Immaculata HS (Somerville, NJ) DE- Offered first by the previous staff, but the Panthers didn't even make his top ten. No chance.
10. Kyle Fitts, East Valley HS (Redlands, CA) DE- Yet another California superstar that the Panthers had no chance with. Committed to USC.
11. Dymonte Thomas, Marlington HS (Alliance, OH) S- It was over before the Panthers even got to try. Committed to Michigan.
12. Dorian O'Daniel, Our Lady Good Counsel HS (Olney, MD) LB- The Panthers have been hitting this school hard in recent years, but stood no chance with this kid. Committed to Clemson.
13. Isaac Rochell, Eagles Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, GA) DE- The previous staff offered him last year but it didn't help. His final four are Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, and Clemson. No chance.
14. Billy Price, Austintown Fitch HS (Austintown, OH) DT- Great Ohio players rarely leave and that was the case this time. Committed to Ohio State.
15. Josh McNeil, Hillside HS (Durham, NC) TE- Thankfully the Panthers have a bright future at tight end and this was just a luxury offer. No chance.
16. David Williams, Imhotep Institute Charter School (Philadelphia, PA) RB- At one point the Panthers looked like a serious contender but after signing Rushel Shell they inexplicably quit recruiting this potential star. No chance.
17. Shelton Gibson, Cleveland Heights HS (University Heights, OH) WR- Big time talent but his favorites are Ohio State and Auburn. No chance.
18. Na'ty Rodgers, Maurice J. McDonough HS (Pomfret, MD) OT- He recently visited Pitt while playing in a local tournament, and liked what he saw, but the competition is fierce. Would be a great addition and as of now there's always a chance if the staff pursues him. Small chance.
19. Taco Charlton, Pickerington Central HS (Pickerington, OH) DE- The new staff offered immediately but he was pretty much wrapped up already. Committed to Michigan.
20. L.J. Moore, Central East HS (Fresno, CA) CB- Another California elite prospect. Talk about an exercise in futility. No chance.
21. Ben Gedeon, Hudson HS (Hudson, OH) LB- Mark the Wolverines down as somebody who isn't intimidated by Urban Meyer. Committed to Michigan.
22. Alex Anzalone, Wyomissing Area HS (Wyomissing, PA) LB- The Panthers need linebackers but never even came close to getting him. Committed to Ohio State.
23. Shane Jones, Moeller HS (Cincinnati, OH) LB- Many people didn't want to listen to me when I told them that it doesn't matter if his brother was Eric Thatcher, and that he still was never coming to Pitt. Well, he didn't. Committed to Michigan State.
24. Courtney Love, Cardinal Mooney HS (Youngstown, OH) LB- The Panthers had a better chance of signing the singer. Committed to Nebraska.
25. Noel Ellis, Edna Karr HS (New Orleans, LA) CB- Offered by the previous staff and the new staff really never continued to pursue him. No chance.
26. Travis Johnson, Jesuit HS (Tampa, FL) WR- Three dozen offers, including many elite programs. No chance.
27. James Onwualu, Cretin Derhem-Hall HS (St. Paul, MN) WR- Well, at least the Panthers are recruiting some in Minnesota? Committed to Notre Dame.
28. Rob Wheelwright, Walnut Ridge HS (Columbus, OH) WR- As of now, the Panthers aren't even recruiting him that hard, but as long as Ohio State doesn't offer, I'll be nice and say there is a snowball's chance in hell. Small chance.
29. Marquel Combs, Pierce CC (Woodland Hills, CA) DT- The only juco on the list. Committed to Mississippi.
30. Marcell Lazard, Bloomfield HS (Bloomfield, NJ) OT- Would have been a great tradition and who they lost him to hurts even more. Committed to West Virginia.
31. Mike McGlinchey, William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia, PA) OT- A 6'9" left tackle with great feet would have been perfect, but unfortunately it's perfect for somebody else. Committed to Notre Dame.
32. Malik Zaire, Archbishop Alter HS (Kettering, OH) QB- This one hurt because it looked like the Panthers had an excellent chance. he could have been special under Chryst. Committed to Notre Dame.
33. Corey Clement, Glassboro HS (Glassboro, NJ) RB- The Panthers really aren't looking for a running back but he's too good to pass up. He said nice things when offered, which is usually the case, but he is still saying them despite offers since from Ohio State, Penn State, and Florida State. Legitimate chance.
34. Donovan Munger, Shaker Heights HS (Shaker Heights, OH) DT- With the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State offering, I wouldn't hold my breath, but since he hasn't eliminated the Panthers yet, I'll be optimistic. Small chance.
35. Scott Pagano, Moanalua HS (Honolulu, HI) DT- Yeah, a kid from Hawaii is going to play football in Pittsburgh. No chance.
36. Tra'von Chapman, Roosevelt HS (Kent, OH) QB- With Zaire out of the picture, this would be a must get. No, he's not as good as Zaire even though many Pitt fans try to convince themselves of that, but he's still pretty darn good. Legitimate chance.
38. Dorian Miller, Metuchen HS (Metuchen, NJ) C- Even though he's much shorter at 6'2" than Chryst likes, he could be a great college center. For some reason the staff took months to let him know that the offer from the previous staff still stands. Legitimate chance.
39. Paul Harris, Frederick Douglas HS (Upper Marlboro, MD) WR- The Panthers aren't in his current top three. No chance.
40. Anthony Averett, Woodbury HS (Woodbury, NJ) CB- Nice sized corner from a prime Pitt recruiting territory would be nice. Unfortunately, it was over before it started. Committed to Alabama.
41. Scott Orndoff, Seton-LaSalle HS (Pittsburgh, PA) TE- Hey, we got one!! Most probably wouldn't have him this high, but I think he will be a star. Committed to Pittsburgh.
42. Tyler Boyd, Clairton Area HS (Clairton, PA) WR- He could be really, really good in college and it would hurt if he was doing it at west Virginia instead of Pitt. Legitimate chance.
43. Corey Cooper, Millbrook HS (Durham, NC) WR- South Carolina leads and he'll probably stay in the south but being in the ACC will help the Panthers. Small chance.
44. Taivon Jacobs, Suitland HS (Forestville, MD) WR/CB- Another recent offer and this one has speed in the 4.3s. It's that speed that's making him a hot commodity and probably too hot for Pitt. Especially since everybody else wants him as a receiver, his preferred position, and Pitt wants him as a corner. No chance.
45. Cameron Sutton, Jonesboro HS (Jonesboro, GA) CB- Too many good southern programs have offered for the Panthers to convince him to come up north. No chance.
46. Delton Williams, Cathedral Prep (Erie, PA) S- The panthers were first to offer but since then the likes of Michigan State, Penn State, and Nebraska have offered and it's not looking good anymore. Small chance.
47. Tracy Sprinkle, Elyria HS (Elyria, OH) DE- He decided to stay home. Committed to Ohio State.
48. Kyle Meadows, Lakota West HS (West Chester, OH) OT- For some reason this 6'6" lineman doesn't have a lot of big time offers. Unfortunately, however, after offering, Pitt has had little contact with him. Small chance.
49. Kennard Swanson, Lake Gibson HS (Lakeland, FL) DT/FB- At 6'0" and 250 pounds, the explosive Swanson is being looked at as a fullback by the staff. Unfortunately he is only interested in USC and West Virginia right now. No chance.
50. Chavas Rawlins, Monessen Area HS (Monessen, PA) QB/WR- He's 6'4" and runs in the 4.4s so he would be a good addition no matter where he plays. Unfortunately he wants to get away from the area. No chance.
Summary- While one has to be impressed that the staff is offering elite players in such places as California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and New Jersey, it doesn't do much good if they don't have topnotch recruiters in those areas.
I got criticized a lot for saying how foolish it was to hire Inoke Breckterfield, but now you can see why. All of these offers from California, and one from Hawaii, will amount to nothing. Wouldn't it make more sense to hire somebody with Florida, New Jersey, or Maryland/Washington, DC ties for that position?
Any recruiter can tell who the elite players are in those states but it takes a coach who really knows the area to find the hidden gems. But it's those hidden gems that Pitt needs to get along with an occasional top prospect that only the best recruiters can get. But the Panthers don't have that. They simply don't have what it takes to make a dent in faraway fertile recruiting regions. Why would a top west coast kid or a kid from the deep south want to play at Pitt? The only way the Panthers could get the occasional kid like that is, once again, if they had a top local recruiter in the area. Until Chryst adds topnotch recruiters they are wasting their time offering kids that wouldn't come to Pitt in a million years. And I'm not even insulting Pitt when I say that. I'm just being realistic. A west coast kid with offers from USC, Oregon, etc. is not going to come east to play at Pitt. They will come east, but for Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, etc.
That's not to say that Pitt still may not do well. Getting Robert Foster and Dorian Johnson would be huge, to say the least. And Tyler Boyd and Tra'von Chapman would be great additions, too. But right now it looks like Pitt needs to focus more and concentrate on areas where they can do the most damage. Right now they are not a force in any of their recruiting areas, including western PA. They can salvage that by nabbing Foster and Johnson, but if they don't get both then this first Chryst class could very well be a dud. That's what happens when your only chance for elite players is in your own backyard. Until Chryst adds top recruiters in places like New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, and the Maryland/Washington, DC area, they are going to be living and dying with a few local superstars. And as we know, the area doesn't always have those players.