Since the high school kids are in the middle of their season there isn't much to report. Most decisions are put on the back burner for the next month or so. But some thoughts, nonetheless:
Corey Clement is still considered a verbal to Pitt, but I don't know how long that will last. I'm not saying he's guaranteed to be gone, but if I had to guess right now then I think there's a good chance that he'll eventually switch. While you never want to lose a player of his quality, and he could be an excellent player, I think we all know that, one, Pitt is not desperate right now for running backs, and, two, Paul Chryst shouldn't have too much trouble finding quality running backs in the future.
One local running back prospect that I talked about a few times before is 2014 prospect Shai McKenzie of Washington HS. I always thought he would make a killer linebacker but he wants to be a running back and he may be just as good at that position. He's been beastly so far in his junior season and should put up enormous numbers over the next two years. He already has 760 yards and 13 touchdowns this season in just four games. Barring injury, he could go for over 2,000 yards this season. And this was after a 1,200 yard sophomore season. As far as his style, he's strong and tough as hell at around 6'0"and just over 200 pounds. He'll only get bigger and stronger as he matures. He'll only get faster, too, and he's already a track performer who has run a 10.83 100m, which is very impressive. He doesn't have a lot of wiggle, and he's more a between the tackles bruiser with very good straight line speed and shiftiness, but his abilities are growing by leaps and bounds. He's very pro-Pitt and Pitt wants him very much. He could, and should, eventually be recruited nationally. While it's still early, and the competition could get fierce, Pitt should be in the mix heavily.
The Panthers are back in the running for Clairton WR Tyler Boyd, but he's still likely headed to West Virginia. The only way that could change is if Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen leaves for another job (I don't think he'll end up at Arkansas).
Of the 2014 prospects, Gateway safety Montae Nicholson has the most offers so far and he could end up being the top prospect in the state next year. Pitt has a chance but he just got an offer from Ohio State and I think that's probably a good bet for where he will end up.
Blackhawk HS quarterback, and 2014 Pitt verbal commit, Chandler Kincade, has the excellent 6'5" height, a strong arm, and a nice release. He still hasn't put up the huge numbers that you would expect for somebody who is held in such high regard, but I think he's the type that will bloom in Elite 11 tryouts and eventually at Pitt. And, yes, I think he's definitely going to end up at Pitt. I know that every time he visits someplace else, people get nervous, but I would be truly shocked if ended up anywhere else.
Another one of my favorites, Beaver Falls DT Brock Boxen, is also pro-Pitt and I've talked some to his dad who reads this blog. Hopefully his Pitt love is deep because he's a player in the Bill Mass/Marc Spindler style. I'm definitely not saying he is as good as them, of course, because those two were legends, but he's definitely cut from the same cloth. I can see major offers for him.
I've said from day one that Pitt would end up with Central Valley WR Robert Foster and Belle Vernon OT Dorian Johnson, and now I believe that more than ever. Of course if it wasn't for a four year bowl ban Johnson would probably be at Penn State, and that's something that surprised every single college assistant I talked to at the time. They were all convinced he was going to Pitt. I see no reason why he won't end up with the Panthers now. I don't know if he's the instant star that many hope for, but he has the size and athletic ability that Chryst and staff can work with.
As for Foster, he never struck me as a kid who wanted to go away. While he has Ohio State in his final three, I'm not even sure the Buckeyes are recruiting him that hard right now. And while it's definitely possible that he does eventually choose Alabama over his hometown team, I'm guessing he won't. Bottom line, I would be surprised if he ended up Alabama and shocked if he ended up at Ohio State. But as Johnson proved by committing to Penn State, not even the coaches involved really ever know.
Keep an eye on 2014 OT Jeff Rotheram of North Olmsted (OH) HS. The younger brother of giant Pitt starting OT Matt Rotheram, he's already 6'6" and 290 pounds. He has no offers yet, which is not unusual for OL early in their junior year, but that could change, maybe in a big way. He's a good enough prospect that Michigan and Ohio State may eventually offer. He's been to Pitt many times because of his brother and he likes the school and the program.
A top local OT for 2014 that the Panthers would also love is Mike Grimm of Bethel Park HS. He is a strong drive blocker like Chryst likes, and he also likes them big which the 6'7" 315 pound Grimm is. He has had uncles play at Penn State and West Virginia, but he's a Pitt fan.
It's never too early to look down the road in recruiting, especially with kids committing earlier than ever. Two big time, and I mean BIG TIME, 2015 prospects, are Central Valley HS athlete Jordan Whitehead and Canon-McMillan lineman Alex Paulina. Many already know Whitehead because of his teammate Robert Foster, but Whitehead may already be as good. Whitehead projects as a cornerback right now and if Pitt lands Foster, look for Whitehead to follow. He will be an elite nation recruit. Paulina will also be a national recruit and already holds a verbal offer from Virginia Tech. As a freshman he was all-conference in Quad A, which is impressive, to say the least. He's already 6'4" and close to 300 pounds. He's a monster already, and he's much more than just size. He's also explosive, strong, and tough.
Another huge 2015 talent, this time in central PA, is Bishop McDevitt running back Andre Robinson. He's just over 200 pounds and about 6'0" tall, and he's still only a sophomore. He looks like the perfect combination of LeSean McCoy and Rushel Shell, and he should be another elite national recruit. He already holds a Pitt offer.
Chryst's nephew, Keller Chryst, now holds offers from both Stanford and USC, so needless to say he is a big time prospect. It will be interesting to see how that pans out and if Chryst will offer the quarterback.