Thursday, August 2, 2012

Counting down the top Pitt football players of the last 40 years- No.4 Bill Fralic


I will be counting down my own list of the top 50 Pitt football players since 1972.  I have spent time doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people when formulating this list, but ultimately it is MY opinion.  The great thing about lists like this is that people will disagree, and feel free to, but just remember that there is no right answer so there's no need to go crazy if you do disagree.  I will post this same intro with all 50 bios because I know the one time I don't, people will complain about not knowing what criteria I used.  I will add at least one a day, maybe two.  

My criteria for selecting the order is as follows:

1.  Productivity.
2.  Talent.
3.  Place in program history.
4.  Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers. 
5.  No current players.



4.  Bill Fralic (1981-84)-  The best offensive lineman in college football history?  A serious case could be made that the Penn Hills native is just that.

As a freshman, Fralic already showed how great he was becoming.  Said legendary Pitt offensive line coach Joe Moore at the time, " He graded out at 100 percent in one game during his freshman season, which means the defensive player never penetrated the line of scrimmage.  We've never had anybody do that before."

Fralic only got better and was named an All-American for the next three seasons, including being voted unanimously as both a junior and a senior.  As a junior he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, but lost to Nebraska's Dean Steinkuhler.  As a senior he again proved that postseason college awards are often highly questionable when he lost to the less than legendary Texas defensive lineman Tony Degrate.  He also finished second to Virginia Tech's Bruce Smith for the Outland Trophy.  Fralic even finished 8th in the Heisman voting as a junior and 6th as a senior, a remarkable feat for an offensive lineman, and the only time a player that was exclusively an offensive lineman finished in the top 10 twice.

Fralic eventually ended up as the No.2 pick in the NFL draft and was a four-time All-Pro for the Atlanta Falcons.

29 comments:

  1. Top 3 gotta be ...

    3. Fitz
    2. Dorsett
    1. Green

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    1. Was Greg Meisner ever an all american?

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    2. I would say:
      3. Fitz
      2. Green
      1. Dorsett

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    3. Houston - based on who's left I fully agree. I might put reverse Fralic and Fitz though.

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    4. Just to let it be known, I went back and forth on Fralic and Fitzgerald a lot. To be honest, both should be No.3 but I didn't want to take the chicken way out. It all comes down to Fralic doing more, but if Fitz stayed he probably would have done more. And the fact that Fitz probably should have won the Heisman as a soph which then definitely would have put him No.3.

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    5. Exactly... if Fitz stays and remains as productive, etc and he's #3 w/o a doubt.

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  2. I'm hearing rumors of more and more players leaving PSU. What's the latest "official" total of who's moving? Any chance Pitt picks up anyone?

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    1. Latest total of "official" is 7....
      If they attend practice on Monday, they can't transfer.. so it will be interesting to see who is sitting out Monday.

      The kid to pickup was the 2012 committ (Pollard?)... DT.. went to Rutgers.. he was from NJ... but Pitt never offered him so Pitt was never going to be in the running.

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  3. By the way, not to get Joe D all wound up again but elite Virginia RB Derrick Green named a final 6 that does not include Pitt. He was scheduled to visit Pitt a few weeks ago but Pitt cancelled because some of their coaches were on vacation. And sadly I'm not joking about that.

    Secondly, both Joe D. and I have been proponents of offering early. Does it always matter if you offer early? No. Does it usually matter if you offer early? No. But does it sometimes matter if you offer early? Yes. If you don't believe me, elite 2014 Gateway LB Brenon Thrift says, while Pitt is closing the gap, his favorite is West Virginia. One of his reasons: "West Virginia was the first to offer and that means a lot to me."

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    1. Chryst's recruiting is scaring me. He better step it up and soon.

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    2. Chris - be careful. JoeD is an energy source much like uranium or plutonium. Can be productive if harnessed for peaceful purposes. Hope you are wearing your nuke suit.

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    3. Yeah, I always fear giving him ammo but I have to be honest..lol

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    4. SMH...
      Lets be honest.. Pitt never had a shot with Derrick Green. But when the "reschedule" occurred a few weeks ago.. I hit the ceiling. Not because of Derrick Green... but because Chryst and crew have no clue what it takes to land 4-5 star recruits.
      You don't tell a 4-5 star recruit to reschedule.. you reschedule your vacation or meetup with the family later. These 4-5 star recruits have huge ego's that need to be stroked.

      As for offering FIRST... Some are NO-Brainers... no excuse not to be the first to offer the wpial players as well at those top recruits within a 300 mile radius. Yes it matters!! especially in your backyard. smh..

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    5. If memory serves me JoeD, you said Pitt shouldn't even offer Derrick Green because he was too highly recruited, so lets take it easy and step off the soapbox.

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    6. Just to get the story straight on this:

      1. Derrick Green schedules a visit.
      2. After this is done, Pitt coaches schedule their vacation.
      3. Pitt tells Green to reschedule the visit.
      4. We know the rest.

      Am I correct in that this is what happened?
      If so, I would have to agree that this is quite concerning.

      The other scenarios are he tried to schedule a visit and Pitt told him they were on vacation (I disagree with Joe on this one, the coaches and their families deserve time off. I just don't think this happened)
      or
      Green scheduled and someone forgot to look at when vacation time was on the calandar. Which would be bad also. (and yes, Joe D would be correct in this scenario)

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    7. I'm trying to get this straight as well. No where else have I heard that the Pitt staff cancelled on Green's visit. Chris, do you have a source, or a link? From what I can tell, Pitt did host at least one recruit that same weekend. So coaches were there. Are we talking about the RB coach then?

      Furthermore, I definitely see it more playing out in a scenario where Green decided on a Thursday night or Friday to come visit Pitt. Tells them with no notice, and um well, the RB coach is in California, can't just come back on a plane and abandon his family on vacation. If this happened it wouldn't be a shock to me.

      but what is the full story?

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    8. Green himself said it in a Scout.com article and I confirmed it. The trip was scheduled and Pitt contacted him and told him that all the coaches wanted to be there, but some were on vacation, so they asked for it to be rescheduled.

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    9. Anonymous..
      Yes... I said we should not waste time on Green..

      MY POINT is lack of aggressiveness of Chyrst and crew in recruiting... whether it be Green or some 4star from wpial.
      If you got some 4star wanting to come in... you MAKE time and reschedule to accomodate.
      This is sales and marketing 101... so perhaps some of you missed my point or never took any sales and marketing or never in a sales position.
      C'mon Man...

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    10. The devil my be in the details on this one. Using the limited details provided, there could be any number of variations of the story that range from the coaching staff being totally inept to the staff playing it perfectly but the kid has a prima donna issue so big that there was no way to please him.

      I'd like some more dots on the page before drawing lines.

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    11. I don't know any scenario where one can say that the staff played perfectly. And the kid is not a prima donna. He said at the time that it was okay to reschedule, but Pitt never got another chance. I seriously doubt he was ever going to end up at Pitt, but it was a very strange thing for the Pitt staff to do.

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    12. OK Chris , so reality is somewhere between those two extreme scenarios. Nothing earth shattering about that. Still lots of possible angles and they all aren't necessarily leading to a conclusion that Chryst & Co. Messed up.

      And yet that is what some are pre-disposed to do.
      It would be good to hear the staff's side of it...any chance you can get someone to comment off the record?

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    13. The fact is, he was scheduled to appear and they told him to reschedule because all of the coaches wouldn't be there because they were on vacation. Either it's the truth, or they lied to him for whatever reason. Either way I think it shows once again that they aren't very aggressive. Even with the PSU players they aren't aggressive. Chryst said the other day that there was no hurry. No hurry? Is he kidding? He's way too casual when it comes to adding players. The proof is in the pudding.

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    14. Look, perhaps I'm being picky about some of the posting here - and I'll apologize in advance if so, but the descriptive language has ranged from Pitt cancelled, to Pitt told him to re-reschedule, to Pitt asked to re- schedule. So which was it? Each of those words suggest a different approach by the staff - even if in the eyes of some that all three are bad. So I'm not ready to conclude on it. Just one guys view.

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  4. I thought psu players have til aug 27 not Monday to decide. Is this a psu or ncaa rule for a Monday deadline? So they show up to practice on Monday does that mean there good to stay at psu for the year?

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    1. They have until Aug.27 if they don't participate in PSU practices.

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    2. Yep...
      So it will be interesting to know who the no-shows are on Monday.
      So far, 7 official transfers... another one may be announcing today.

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    3. Any word on the LB who visited Pitt last weekend?

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