Monday, February 11, 2013

Early Top 10 in WPIAL for 2014 class

This is by no means an official list because it's still too early for that.  A lot will happen in the next four or five months to show us just where these kids stand, but as the 2014 recruiting cycle has officially begun, here is a ranking of the top ten WPIAL prospects very early on.


1. Dravon Henry, Aliquippa Area HS (Aliquippa)-  It's rare to see a safety in the top spot, let alone two of the top three, but NFL legends Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu have proven what a great safety can do for a defense. I'm not saying that Henry will ever be an NFL Hall of Famer, but he is a special player that could be an All-American caliber player at the college level.

2. Shai McKenzie, Washington HS (Washington)-  There's been a lot of talk about whether or not he is the equal of Rushel Shell as a prospect, but he's very similar, except for speed, which is definitely in favor of McKenzie. He's loving Pitt right now, but it's a long year and the competition will only get tougher.

3. Montae Nicholson, Gateway HS (Monroeville)-  Fans often discount Gateway players since most of them don't pan out, but this kid has already proven himself last spring when he went head to head with top prospects and totally destroyed them. He's the total package at either safety or wide receiver.

4. Mike Grimm, Bethel Park HS (Bethel Park)-  Giant offensive lineman with ridiculous brute strength. This is the kind of lineman that Alabama rides to National Championship, and in fact the Crimson Tide are all over him.  That's all you need to know.

5. Alex Bookser, Mt. Lebanon HS (Mt. Lebanon)-  Should go head to head with Grimm all year as far as the best lineman in the state. Almost as big as Grimm, and much more mobile.  So mobile in fact that he may also be recruited as a 6'6" 295 pound defensive lineman.

6. Chase Winovich, Thomas Jefferson HS (Jefferson Hills)-  The former safety moved to linebacker last year and dominated thanks to his crazy range.  Runs like a safety but at 6'4" and 210 pounds, he's going to eventually grow into a big linebacker while keeping that speed.

7. Anthony Davis, Gateway HS (Monroeville)- Yes, another Gateway player, but like Nicholson he deserves it. He is fast and athletic enough to be a shutdown corner, but also can play safety. Great height for a corner at 6'1".

8. Chandler Kincade, Blackhawk HS (Beaver Falls)- He has been a bit injury prone but he has good size and a good arm, and both should only get better. If he stays healthy he could explode in his senior year. Already committed to Pitt.

9. Troy Apke, Mt. Lebanon HS (Mt. Lebanon)- The son of former Panthers linebacker Steve Apke, he's got good 6'2" height and he can really fly.  He also runs every play like a maniac.

10. Elijah Zeise, North Allegheny HS (Wexford)-  Good athlete, good speed, and good size.  He can play wide receiver and safety.  Son of former Pitt beat writer Paul Zeise so he's obviously a Pitt fan.

208 comments:

  1. Good list...
    But McKenzie is #1 and Henry #2.
    Zeise doesn't belong on the list.
    Clearly not ahead of Fields or Boxen the kid from Beaver Falls.
    I belive Chryst made a good move by offering Zeise... PG pulled daddy off the Pitt beat!! yeah!! Pure EJ move! Zeise will get offers from Temple, Pitt, WVU, Maryland due to daddys contacts with the coaches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may be correct that Elijahh Zeise is not as good as some other players, but the personal attacks of of both senior and junior are uncalled for.

      Delete
    2. Never personally attacked Jr...
      but he is not that good... overrated??
      Did Jr make PG's Elite 22 as Junior... NO
      Did Jr make Tribe Fab 25 as Junior... NO
      it is what it is...
      if it weren't for his dad, he wouldn't have any offers. He is MAC level prospect.
      As far as Sr... he is fair game!!

      Delete
    3. Those lists have nothing to do with how good of a prospect a kid is. Some top prospects never even make all-conference. Not surprisingly you're wrong so just stop with your obsessive insanity already.

      Delete
    4. By the way, that was a personal attack on my part because you're driving me and everybody else in here completely batty.

      Delete
    5. I'm serious about this .... do you not think that the reason Zeise did not make any of the Top PG lists has something to with his dad working in the paper's sports department? Mike White may have well discussed this with Paul.

      On the other hand I suppose you can say that Chris is biased since Paul is a Twitter Pal.

      However, what always gets me just how definitive Joe is as to who is a good recruit and who isn't. Scout, Rivals, Maxpreps and ESPN often vary widely on the evaluation of recruits using different criteria. How can anyone be so sure about a 16 year old?

      Delete
    6. I'll take Joe D. over that moron on Pitt Blather any day of the week!

      Delete
    7. Perhaps you can explain to me why a coach, who's job is on the line, would offer a kid who isn't good enough just because he knows his father? What is the benefit for the coach? That a writer in a dying medium might say a couple nice words about his program? That's better than having a high quality player on a limited roster? Please think before you post.

      Delete
  2. Based on previous discussions, you have to like Pitt's chances to get 7 or 8 of these 10.....or am I too optimistic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously being the local school, Pitt has a lot of built in advantages which helps. But that's been the case every year and sometimes it doesn't help. This year Pitt REALLY seems to have a connection with most of the top kids, and they really need to not let them leave. This is the class that could make or break Chryst.

      Delete
  3. It would be unreal if we could get about half of those guys on the list. I know we already have Kincade on board but it's a long ways until signing day.

    My dream few would be both the tackles, henry, apke and winovich.

    I think Shai goes down south for football in the end and we miss on the gateway guys.

    Anything can happen though..

    ReplyDelete
  4. From reading around it seems as though the chances these kids are panthers are as follows:
    Great chance- Kincade, Zeise, Apke
    Good chance- Henry, Winovich, Bookser, Grimm, Mckenzie
    Not holding my breath- Nicholson, Davis

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't help but think about adding Grimm and Bookser... With those two in the fold, along with Bisno, DJ and the rest of the mammoth linemen from the '13 class, you have the makings of a HUGE, dominating offensive line... The kind of line that Shai might like to run behind... The kind that might be able to give Chapman or Voytik time to drop back...

    I don't want to dismiss or downplay the skill positions, but Grimm and Bookser are topping my list, followed closely by Shai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im with you - I love skill players as much as anyone, but those two Big Uglies are the players that I am most hopeful for.

      Delete
  6. Absolutely a must gets are: mckenzie, bookster, grimm, apke & henry. If we get those 5 that is a heck of class. Btw, Joe D, why so much hate PZ? Is it get personal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never liked him as the Pitt beat reporter.
      He was terrible...
      but the tracking of planes on coaching search... all but naming Holgy as HC, etc... is not journalism. It's blogging. Then how he defended coaching decisions.
      The best was Graham... he sucked up to him... defending his game decisions (such as using the clock when ahead, et)... then when Graham left... all of a sudden he was jumping on... talking about Grahams 6 kids with 3 babymommas... why didn't he ever write that before?? He wasn't consistent and only cut and paste EJ press releases. That is not journalism. I can keep going on PZ...
      I've watched Zeise Jr.... and he is NOT top 10 in wpial... he is not BCS level talent. Just because he is 6'2"?? C'mon man.

      Delete
    2. Kinda like your claim that Shell isn't any good and will be a bust, right?

      You are the only person that gives credit to anything you say.

      Delete
  7. Does anyone else view the departure of HC Terry Smith as a positive for Pitt’s recruitment of Gateway players?

    mc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I view Terry Smith departure as a positive for wpial athletes.
      He will recruit wpial and there may be some kids that go to Temple instead of MAC schools. Temple is a better school from an education perspective than any MAC school.
      btw.. most Gateway athletes are overrated if you look at its history of D1 committs... Smith did a great job marketing them. But I don't blame Smith for that.. he did a great job getting his kids scholarships.

      Delete
    2. Miami (OH) is a better academic school than Temple, and there are other MAC schools at least on Temple's level. Why do you make such silly, definitive statements?

      Delete
  8. Joe, that sounds real personal and petty. You pretty much stalked his blog and polluted it...pretty much like what youve done to this one. Luckily i like this blog more than i hate reading your posts. No disrespect though. Just my opinions like you have yours

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could not agree more. Joe D, what you are accusing PZ of is exactly how people view you in this blog. The apple doesn't fall to far from the tree in this case.

      Delete
  9. Pete Roussel of coaching search has said that Chryst made contact with Terryl Austin for DC. I look at it as either this is the guy he missed on and this could be the guy he's going after. Boy I hope its the latter and not the former

    ReplyDelete
  10. Doke, great job as always. Wish I could see some of these kids play but moved to eastern part of state a number of years ago.

    To your comment about E Zeise being a Pitt fan, I am not certain that is true. if you recall, his dad wrote a now infamous article or blog post not long before he moved on stating he did not root for Pitt and never cared whether Pitt won or lost. Not so sure the son is a Pitt fan after that comment from his dad. I think PZ quitting PG was more about him not wanting to do it anymore or the PG not wanting him to cover Pitt anymore than the story he gave about his son.

    BTW - Doke, you provide more insight doing this blog part time than PZ ever did covering Pitt full time. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul isn't from Pittsburgh and went to Temple. Plus, his job is not to root for Pitt. His son is a different story, though, because he grew up in the area and has been around Pitt for a long time.

      Delete
    2. I fully agree with that last sentence!!!
      Doke has more insight than PZ ever did..

      Delete
    3. As I recall, when the rest of the world thought Tom Bradley was going to be Pitt's next HC, Zeise told everyone that it wasn't going to happen.

      When you are a beat writer, you cannot constantly oppose and aggravate your subjects or you will never get good info. And even more, you cannot write exactly what your pain in the butt antagonist who always is oppisning hum on his blog.

      All I know, Joe, is that about 9 months ago, you kept insisting Shell was a fraud. Now who are we going to listen to, Urban Myer and Nick Saban or Joe D???

      Delete
  11. If you can't recruit... you won't be hired as a coach at Florida..

    Article link
    http://www.coachingsearch.com/home/2467-will-muschamp-if-you-cant-recruit-you-wont-coach-at-florida.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chris, who would be your 3 tops guys that Pitt has to get? Bookser, Grimm and Mckenzie is my 3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll cheat because 5 WPIAL kids stand out and I can't just pick three. The three you mentioned, plus Henry and Winovich because they are excellent defensive players and the program needs more of them. I'm not including Nicholson because I don't think he'll end up at Pitt.

      Delete
  13. I think we can all agree that Steve Adams has improved exponentially over the course of the season, especially in the last three weeks or so.
    I keep my eyes on the mock NBA drafts and a couple of weeks ago they had Adams pegged as the #10 pick in the 2014 draft and old friend khem birch at the bottom of round two in the same draft.
    So I look today thinking maybe Adams play as him moving up in 2014 as maybe a top five pick or maybe into round two of 2013,
    But no, he has dropped to pick 14 in 2014 an birch has fallen off the table...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Joe d,

    Do you have a job? I just want to know what you do to have so much time to hijack Doke's blog and study track times. You should start your own blog to see what kind of readership you get.

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://m.ajc.com/news/sports/college/griffin-addresses-acc-network-possibility/nWLsF/

    Some acc conference talk..acc tv network and bball conference championship played in the northeast in the future

    ReplyDelete
  16. Doke
    I just saw our tweet from earlier today where u said Doug gottleib at Adams pegged as the 17 pick this year. See my post above. How can I reconcile the NBA mock draft site having him fall some slots in round two and this gottleib fella has him moving up??!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you answered your own question.

      Delete
  17. Doke
    I just saw your tweet from earlier today where u said Doug gottleib has Adams moving into the 17 pick of the 2013 draft. How can this gottleib fella have Adams moving up and the NBA mock draft site has him dropping a few slots further down in round two? See my comment above...who the heck is right?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really believe Adams stays another year. It seems Adams' family put a lot of trust in JD handling their kid, and if JD says he needs another year I believe he'll listen. This isn't some inner city Chicago or Philly kid waiting for his lottery ticket. Being from NZ he has a totally different values and ethical paradigm and, I don't believe, he is just looking for a fast payday. I think he is looking at what will set him up best for long-term success. I think he'll take JD's advice very seriously, as will his family. This kid's stock will only rise and another year of college will only increase his value.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I could be wrong but I see Steve Adams staying at least 3 years.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The way Coach Chryst is working, I can see him landing over half of these prospects. Once one commits, the rest will fall like dominoes. Quick question for you Doke, with Bobby Ingram doing so well in his position, can you see PC giving him a co-oc title and pay raise to keep him around. Secondly, do you think the money to keep Ingram may be effecting the DC search? I know a lot of things have to fall in place for that to happen, but when you give me 2 months to think about this, my mind spins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt it's a money issue. I think that Chryst takes his time. And I don't seem then giving him a better title after just one year.

      Delete
    2. Is it possible that Chryst hasn't done any interviews of DC's prior to LOI day??
      There were no real rumors until after LOI day.

      Chryst stated he was not doing anything on the DC search until after the Bowl game. Then we heard he put it off until after LOI day.
      Everyone was saying, the DC will be named after the Super Bowl and after LOI day and that person is coming from NFL team. Well, a week has past just about and no announcement.
      I never heard of a coach take this long to name a DC.

      Delete
    3. Unless they make Engram the Recruiting Coordinator since they don't have one

      Delete
    4. Thats what Dann Kabala is for. If you name a recruiting coordinator that is mostly just for the money

      Delete
  21. I live six states away, so I may be out of the loop on this issue, or maybe it's old news: are the Steelers really (or still) talking to Bobby Engram? Or was that just a rumor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In passing, I wrote on twitter that it wouldn't surprise me if the Steelers were interested. In typical fan paranoia fashion people took that innocent statement and ran with it as if it was actually happening.

      Delete
  22. Elijah Zeise is easily one of the top players in the WPIAL

    to suggest otherwise is foolish

    ReplyDelete
  23. The praise and enthusiasm for Grimm is a bit premature

    he does have size - but has a long way to go

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's premature for all of them. They're only juniors in high school. But Grimm will be one of the most recruited linemen in the east, if not the country.

      Delete
  24. Joe D is slipping

    McKenzie ran a disappointing 60 in January TSTCA meet

    behind Forrest Barnes

    behind Jimmy Wheeler

    behind NA kid (Baum) that played behind Zeise



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let sleeping Joe D sleep. Now you are going to get him all fired up over 60m times!!!

      Delete
  25. surprised Joe D ranks McKenzie ahead of Henry - Henry a Quip !

    there are reasons Aliquippa has dominated Wash High the past two seasons - and the reasons not limited to the play of the line

    Aliquippa skilled players are a level above - especially Henry ... (and Swanson)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call them like I see them... and I'm a Quip for life! Love watching this quip kids do well.
      I just think McKenzie is better. His size, speed, etc.
      My mom thinks Henry is better... she said... who is that #6.. he's good. And he is.
      But Quips dominated due to "team speed" not just the line.
      Swanson is under the radar but he is pretty darn good. D1 talent that's for sure.

      Delete
  26. So after 4 players from Bama are arrested on numerous charges including burglary, assault, and I believe carrying an unregistered weapon.... Does this change anything about Foster going to Bama? I understand signing the letter of intent, but the NCAA makes exceptions all the time. Too bad this didn't happen a couple of weeks ago, I have a feeling Foster's mom might have weighed in a little more heavily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it would have had any impact.

      Delete
    2. Foster's gone man, let it go...

      Delete
    3. If anything, less competition for him possibly.

      Delete
  27. Seems Engram is safe... for now...

    Being reported, Richard Mann being considered as WR coach for Steelers. Richard Mann is a Quip!!! Coached at Quip for a few years under Yanessa in early 70's. Then went to ASU to coach then to coach in pro's. Played at ASU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's official... Richard Mann as Steelers WR coach.
      Go Quips!!
      Glad Pitt will hang onto Engram...
      Engram is a "must keep" for the program... just like junko and lasalla.

      Delete
    2. He's also 65 freaking years old and hasn't coached since 09. You would think the Steelers could have found someone a little better...

      Delete
    3. Just so it wasn't Engram...

      How old is LeBeau? 75 and doesn't look a day over 60.
      Steelers aren't one to age discriminate even though the WR coach typically goes to young, up and commers.
      Mann is suppose to be pretty good.

      Delete
    4. If Mann was any good at this stage of his career, he wouldn't have been unemployed for three years. The Steelers could have done better, but I'm glad they didn't take Engram.

      Delete
  28. Chris, has other coaches at Pitt ever been this tight lip in not leaking out info? Or is this the way PC operates or athletic department operates?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, this is how Pitt operates...everything is top secret, hush, hush. They never leak anything.

      Delete
  29. Why would they want to give away the secrets of their non-success. Mums the word!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dokes, heard this morning from an alum at work who is pretty well connected and it seems to make sense. He says, PC is planning to go through spring ball using primarily House as DC and evaluate the process when spring ball is over. Apparently there is a grad assistant on staff that PC respects and if it works out this grad asst will replace one of the position coaches. If it doesn't, PC will again pursue an experienced outside DC.
    I can understand this since it has been months since we had a DC. My only concern is after the bowl game, PC should have seen the need for an experienced DC. Is he trying to save money or what??
    Please tell me that this can't happen in a major program. I look around and see all theses top programs getting all these experienced and highly qualified assistants. This will be PC's downfall....





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not going to get crazy about the DC position until they actually name somebody. They may hit the jackpot for all I know. But if they don't, they'll hear it from me, that's for sure.

      Delete
    2. and me... lol

      and thousands of others!!!

      Delete
    3. Whoever is named DC... will affect recruiting.. positively or negatively.

      Don't count on those top players from wpial on the defensive side of the ball to select Pitt if House/Haering is named... the aliquippa pipeline will be diverted.
      Last time top Quip recruit didn't go to Pitt was Ty Law... Hackett was HC and some bozo for DC.

      Delete
    4. Ty Law not matriculating at Pitt had absolutely nothing to do with who the DC was & everything to do with who the AD was.

      Delete
    5. Ty didn't go to Pitt because he wanted nothing to do with Pitt. He never ever even looked at them. He didn't even live in Quip in the summer. His grandfather would send him to Texas with Tony Dorsett to live.

      Delete
  31. If, as what I have heard about Austin being away on vacation, then it may be that they are really pursuing him and have to wait to iron things out. Don't want to leak anything till signed on the dotted line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure hope you are on to something, but I thought we heard a few days ago that he turned PC down. Maybe that was just a rumor?

      Delete
    2. It's quite possible, Rome will name a new Pope before Chryst names a DC...
      and Chryst had a 60 day headstart...
      C'mon for Chryst sake!!!

      Delete
  32. Chris,

    If not already, when can the coaching staff have contact with the players prior to spring camp? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If Austin returns to Pitt, then awesome. He can just as easily establish himself at his alma mater as anywhere else in the country. When you become a coordinator, it is rare that you are the heir apparent to the HC. Do an exemplary job and promote yourself to a head job somewhere else in the country. There must be 20 head jobs open each year. Hail to Pitt.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Chris,

    Do you have any insight as to whom the likely DC will be? Are the rumblings about Teryl Austin legit?

    He seems like he'd be a good candidate. Local guy who went to Pitt. DC at Florida for a year. Some NFL experience as a secondary coach. I don't follow this stuff closely enough to know if going from the NFL as a secondary coach to a DC in college is a step down, lateral move or a promotion.

    Any thoughts??

    ReplyDelete
  35. If you have to pay Austin over $600k, do it. He is a recruiting fiend in PA and also has numerous ties to Florida and many other places. He has some experience and his time with the Ravens probably helped as well. He looks like a great hire and could really help this team for a few years before he gets a better job offer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know he got Breaston but who else did he get? My memory is that he only got a small number of players when he was at Michigan.

      Delete
  36. Their are rumors on the Lair that someone was hired, but I don't have a subscription. Also, someone tweeted that Shai McKenzie got ONE HUNDRED letters from Pitt just today! Taking a play out of the SEC recruiting book on that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100 letters? Sounds like we already hired Scrap. lol

      Delete
    2. Pitt did this for Foster to maybe others.

      Delete
    3. Pitt didn't do this with Foster....

      Alabama did this with Foster and Foster would rave about all the letters he was getting from Alabama... and yes 100 in 1 day from Alabama.

      I'm glad to see recruiting finally getting agressive.. Junior day before anyother regional college (first impressions matter).. 100's of letters to top recruits... etc.

      Delete
  37. The angst over the DC search is hysterical.

    Y'all need to chill out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2 weeks after Super Bowl.
      10 days after LOI day.
      65 days after DC position became available.

      I think your comment is ridiculous!

      Delete
    2. When Spring ball starts and Pitt is without a DC then I will get upset. Until then I rather him wait to hire a good coach then hire someone without being totally ready and get a deadbeat.

      Delete
    3. If there is no coach by the start of spring ball then feel free to start the hand wringing. Until then, it's much ado about nothing, especially the fears about an internal promotion.

      Delete
    4. "wait" to hire a "good coach"...

      How long does that take?
      Most other college HC's take about 2-3 weeks to hire a "good coach". They may wait to announce it such as Oklahoma State waiting until day after LOI day...
      but at this point... just excuses.
      Chryst is soooo busy doing everybody elses job or micormanaging.... that he is not doing his job!!

      Sorry, but ya can't defend Chryst at this point. A new DC needs time top prepare for spring ball... get with his coaches, lay out the plan, philosophy, etc.

      Delete
    5. 1st day of Spring Ball is March 5th...
      or
      19 days away!!!
      and still no DC...
      looking more and more that the rumors of House/Haering are true.

      Delete
    6. I think it's critical for Chryst to hire a new DC by the end of the week in order to stop all the blog bitching. Then us geniuses can shift our complaints to why he hired the wrong guy, and why we're smarter than Coach.

      Delete
    7. You hit it on the head! Great take!

      Delete
  38. Bozo not happy to be associated with Paul Hackett and staff

    ReplyDelete
  39. 100 letters! Seriously, what possibly can you say to a recruit in those letters than you have already said in your first letter. I appreciate the love and I hope we land him. Whatever works

    ReplyDelete
  40. Paul Hackett = NCAA Death Penalty

    ReplyDelete
  41. Usually the letters come from each member of the team and staff

    ReplyDelete
  42. I see old friend khem birch ha seven points in 19 minutes of play last night in the blowout loss to Air Force. That's right I said Air Force. A great school with brave men who I have nothing but respect for but they shouldn't be beating unlv by 15 points. I wonder how birch is liking life in the mountain view , or whatever that silly conference is called , now.
    He did have three blocked shots. If he stayed here with he and Adams down low opponents might not have gotten if a shot within 15 feet if the hoop...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He totally screwed up. Young kid that let his posse get in his head and lost sight of what is really important. No do over for him, unfortunately. Meanwhile, Pitt is better off w/o him.

      Delete
  43. With Nerlen Nolens out for the season...
    Will Adams consider declaring this year instead of next year.
    Presumably Nolens will wait another year.
    Something to think about as the injury to Nolens may have Adams reconsidering for this year. I know it's only 1 guy... but how many 7'0" are ahead of Adams these days on mock NBA draft.
    I hope Adams stays...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here are a couple of quotes from SI writers:

      "Noel's draft stock seemed unaffected by his injury. Several blogs still consider him a top-five selection, with others projecting him as a first-rounder."

      "Before the injury, he was going to be a top-five pick in this year's draft. After the injury ... same deal."

      Doesn't appear that the injury will affect Adam's decision.

      mc

      Delete
    2. Who is going to draft Noel and pay millions of dollars to sitout next season. ACL's take at least a year and his looked pretty severe.
      Noel may wait another year to insure #1 pick... more money.
      It will be interesting if Noel declares this year.

      Delete
    3. I can think of about 30 teams will draft him...McGahee was taken in the first round...ACL's are not as bad as 15 years ago, he'll be top 5 for sure

      Delete
    4. Noel will be a top 5 pick with or without the ACL injury. It changes nothing.

      Delete
  44. I see Adams staying next year at Pitt and has nothing to do with other players

    ReplyDelete
  45. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HIRE A F@#$%^& DC ALREADY!!!!!!!!! OR AT LEAST ANOTHER ASSISTANT IF YOU'RE GOING WITH HOUSE/HAERING COMBO!! AND YES, I'M YELLING CAUSE THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty bad when the coaching search websites are making fun of Chryst and Pitt for taking so long.
      ie. Roussel.

      Delete
    2. It's definitely embarrassing now. It's another mistake by a first time head coach. You think Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, Chip Kelly, Urban Meyer or any of the other top NCAA coaches would take 2 months to hire a new DC. These guys would already have someone in mind. I think what happened was Chryst had someone one in mind. That person either turned it down or wasn't interested and he had no back up plan. Now he is scrambling. It is arguably the 2nd most important member of the staff.

      Delete
    3. Really appreciate opening up this blog to read all the whiners.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous,
      Are you saying, waiting this long is a good thing?
      It helps Pitt brand?
      I'm waiting for the Letterman jokes to start... Top 10 reasons as why it took Chryst over 60 days to name a DC.

      Delete
    5. I'm saying we have a right to be curious, but don't have near enough info. to judge the process. I'd rather have a great DC in 3 weeks if that's how long it takes for whatever reason, then have a less then desirable guy that's one month into the job right now.

      Delete
    6. I think it has gotten to the point where Pitt supporters have a right to be concerned and question Chryst's inaction on this hiring. But, I wouldn't rule out that he has a plan and there is a logical reason why it is taking so long. Only he can answer that, but he needs to do it SOON! Doesn't look good at the moment.

      Delete
    7. Joe D I wish Pitt Football was relevant enough for a national show to even make jokes about. It is times like this that I don't have to wonder why Pitt Football hasn't risen above mediocrity in decades.

      Delete
    8. Not enough info to judge the process??
      Your kidding me..
      To quote Chryst... "its not that hard"
      I can understand waiting until after LOI day to announce... that is why you never heard a chirp from me. However, we are 10 days past LOI day..

      19 days to spring practice and counting.

      It's beyond the stupidity at the moment.

      Delete
    9. we interviewd purdue's dc and cooks from ND a very long time ago. i have a contact in the A.D. and he has no other good information about any interviews. He did say the Austin name has been thrown around though but no real news yet. I agree with the people that feel it is rediculous because it really is getting to that point. If they don't have someone named by the end of next week it will be crazy.

      Delete

  46. A simple observation...

    Despite his productivity and quickness, when I watch Shai McKenzie I don't see a runningback. I see a linebacker running the football.

    Not an average linebacker mind you, but a kid with college and pro stardom ahead of him if he ever decides to put his heart into it.

    A lot like Ray Lewis when he used to tote the rock in high school.

    PittofDreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I originally wrote about McKenzie right after his sophomore season I had him as a LB, because he was just a nasty hitter. At the time I considered him a LB because I assumed he would get taller. But he didn't. He's 6'0" at most. He could still be an excellent college LB if he wanted, but as a RB he could be a star.

      Delete
    2. POD... I said that about Rushel Shell.

      Delete
  47. DC Hire Grades

    A Austin
    C+ Archer
    D- CO with House/Haering
    F--- Inoke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. House/haering would be an "F" in my book.
      House is an "F" also...

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I cannot imagine Paul would be dumb enough to have House/Haering as his DC. Next year these guys would get out schemed like nobody's business.

      Delete
    3. Why are people continuing to talk about a rumor that has been shot down a week ago. The new DC will not be an internal promotion.

      Delete
  48. I'm surprised Shanahan didn't get invited to NFL combine... as TE prospect. Only Graham invited.
    It wouldn't surprise me if Steelers use a #7pick on him for TE or practice squad signee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FWIW, since the Steelers and Pitt start sharing facilities, no Pitt player has been drafted by them. Last Pitt player to be drafted by Steelers was Hank Poteat in circa 98

      Delete
    2. But Steelers brought in several for practice squad.

      Delete
    3. Think if the Steelers would've taken Shady in the first round instead of Mendenhall. I knew the time we drafted him that he would be a bust. He ran for 1,000 yards twice and didn't do much else. Hell, you could get a 6th rounder from a MAC school who could duplicate those numbers. That entire draft was a bust for the Steelers. I like Coach Tomlin, but I think Cowher was a much better drafter. If you think the Head Coach doesn't have input on the draft you are delusional.

      Delete
  49. I know that I am in the big minority of viewers of this site, but today I was sitting around thinking of hoops and I started wondering how Michigan state can do so much better than us with basically the same level of recruits. According to rivals, between 2009 and 2012 Michigan state recruited 15 players with an average star value of 3.8. During the same period pitt recruited 14 players with an average star value of 3.5.
    During those years michigan state made the dance all four years and went 11/4. Pitt made it three times and went 5/3.
    Why is it every year despite their seeding I know that Michigan state is going to go far in the tournent, and like in the previous ten years, pitt is going to lose to a lower seed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not every year. They screwed-up my bracket two years ago by getting bounced in the first round.

      mc

      Delete
    2. Tom Izzo is a great coach who has about 10 years head start on Jamie. Maybe Jamie will never reach Izzo's level of success. Few coaches do or will. There's still plenty of room for Jamie to be a big success and never equal Izzo.

      Delete
  50. Because Izzo is a better coach and knows how let his players play to their strengths instead of tying their hands behind their back like Dixon does. JD is coming along and still learning, believe it or not. Izzo is a mastermind coach. He knows how to win and never gets out coached.

    You know I was wondering the other day if Howland gets canned does UCLA call Dixon. I just can't see Dixon handling the level of recruits that UCLA draws. He'd have to deal with the personalities of 10 Birchs. I think he'd fail there miserably. But you can bet he'd be on UCLA's list of possibilities. I think Howland's seat is in fire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the biggest complaints from Bruins fans is Howland's style of play. I doubt they consider Dixon.

      Delete
  51. There's no way that UCLA is going to can Howland for Howland's less successful disciple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good article in the PG today about Howland.
      I heard about Walton's comment on Howlands style of play.
      If Howland is booted... UCLA will probably try to bring in the HC from VCU... Shaka Smart. It's showtime... they want to sell tickets.

      Delete
    2. I don't know if Ben Howland is on the hot seat or not, or if Dixon is in line as a replacement if he is.

      I do know BH was on a very hot seat last year, due to his off-court issues: Sports Illustrated (or Sporting News, I forget which...) had a HUGE article/expose that painted BH in verrrrrry bad light, made Mike Rice's antics @ Rutgers look like a Sunday School teacher in comparison.

      And it didn't help that article surfaced while UCLA was dog-butt ugly last year, didn't even make the tourney (Bruins are better this year, but they're still a long way from a great team).

      As an aside, I truly hope BH didn't act like that at Pitt, but it seems unlikely that he suddenly became a bad guy once he got to California.

      Delete
  52. . My buddy and I talk about this all the time. The basketball coach at Pitt is probably the least stressful coach of any team in Pittaburgh. Sure pitt draws decent attendance to the games, but at the end of the day, how many people in this town pay that much attention to Pitt hoops? just look at the comments on this blog as proof. I try time and time again to bring the conversation back to Pitt hoops and it immeadaitely gets turned back to football. Run a clean program and make the big dance every other year and I think it is a pretty secure coaching postion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pittsburghers have virtually no basketball knowledge. That's certainly a factor.

      Delete
    2. pitt should do whatever they can to keep dixon for as long as possible which they are. Dixon has pitt going in the right direction despite last years cluster eff. I say that because the overall talent and athleticism on this squad is as good as weve seen even though this isnt dixons best team to date. I think next years team could be special IF.. and these are two pretty big if's.. IF dixon can find a quality juco center that can defend, rebound, and not be a liability offensively and IF Josh newkirk can be effective off the bench at point guard. At point it will be james robinson starting but i expect trey zeigler to play some point too along with newkirk. Newkirk is more of a offensive-playmaking point guard so that could be a valuable spark off the bench for pitt next season.

      as for this season, i think you have to like the way the team is progressing. outside shooting could be a problem so i fully expect durand joshnsons ability to make threes off the bench to be an x factor for pitt as the season winds down.

      Delete
    3. Just because Pitt fans may not be as demanding as UK or UCLA fans certainly doesn't mean we have less BB knowledge that they do. That is just plain silly.

      Delete
    4. Considering how many of the locals deem Dixon a failure or seem to pine for the day he leaves so Pitt can "upgrade", there certainly are a lot a dumb hoops fans in the area.

      Just wait until the tournament hits, then you'll see them again.

      As for why there is less hoops talk there, there's a couple reasons, IMO:
      1. Pitt hoops isn't a trainwreck.
      2. Hoops recruiting is a different dynamic. Hard to provide a list of potential recruits when few are in the area (in contrast to football) and Pitt will usually sign around 3 recruits a year (as compared to about 23 for football)

      It would be nice to see a game summary at least once a week, though.

      Delete
    5. The majority of Pitt fans (by Far) do not want Dixon fired .. and the ones who do are no different than fans elsewhere. No matter what the sport, as soon as a successful program starts showing signs of decline, fans panic. Just part of fandom

      Delete
  53. Every other year??? Pitt made the NCAA tourney the last 11 yrs except last year. Coach Dixon deserves job security.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Anyone know when Austin is supposedly back from Vacation. This search is ridiculous. If its not him than PC is completely clueless on how to assemble a defensive staff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's the later...
      but Chryst is clueless about a lot of things... but he is improving on the recruiting front...
      but it seems like 2 steps forward 1 step backward with him. He is tooo busy micromanaging that he doesn't do his own job nor knows what that entails.

      Delete
  55. Talk about clueless. Wow, with these last few comments, I'm not sure if we can get too much lower.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Here is a good discussion topic. Dixon's had several assistants move around during his time as Head Coach at Pitt. What has been his best staff to date? I'll go with Antigua and Rice. Rice moved to Bobby Mo before heading to Rutgers. We know Antigua is with Calipari at UK. Both were good recruiters, but I certainly miss seeing all the kids from NY here though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Recruiting landscape has changed.
      NYC recruiting has been on the downslide for years...
      With the advent of AAU and Prep schools... that is where the college coaches go instead of the NYC playgrounds and HS.
      So, recruiting hot spots now are: DC, Philly, NJ, Mass in the Northeast. Some NY kids transfer to NJ or Ct schools, etc.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the update. I didn't know that. It makes sense seeing how a lot of recruits are coming from prep schools. Any news on basketball recruiting front?

      Delete
    3. NYC is not a hotbed for recruits, but NJ is? Have you lost your freaking mind?

      Delete
    4. Just look at the number of D1 recruits this year out of NJ vs NY. This year... so far... 18 D1 players with offers from NY versus 20 in NJ. Rivals.

      I'm not saying some of those kids out of the NJ prep schools didn't transfer out of NY. Some examples.
      Woodall is from NYC but went to St. Anthony's of NJ.
      JJMoore is from NY but went to South Kent Prep in Ct.
      Taylor is from NY but went to National Christian Academy in MD.

      The Mt. Vernon's, Boys & Girls, St. Raymonds of NY are not producing like they did in the past as the kids they use to recruit to go to their school are bypassing them for prep's.

      Delete
    5. Joe D, wrong again. NJ had 62 D1 recruits

      Delete
    6. before Joe D rightfully rips into me (one of the many anonymous here), he is referring to BB recruits, and I thought he was referring to FB since Rivals just had an article abiut D1 recuits per state.

      PA was down this year to 60, NJ had 62.

      Delete
    7. yes, I was speaking of 2013 BB recruits with offers and the trend of NY HS basketball...
      the topic is basketball on the original string..
      NJ football sucks for the most part... north jersey is ok and a few teams scattered the rest of the state.

      Delete
    8. NJ football isn't even close to sucking. There are excellent players in that state every year.

      Delete
  57. I'll bet WVU gets their offensive line coach before we name our DC. What is it now three months?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Doke
    Great tweet on becoming Pitts next DC. I am behind u brother 100%.

    I see that ray fitapoldo must read your blog. I wrote last night that Dixon job is saffer than any other coach in pittsburgh, and ray put int he paper this morning his position is safer than anyone not named mike krzyzewski. Hey Fitapaldo quit stealing my ideas.

    Watched the end of the ucla game last night. Howland has a train wreck out there. Great athletes who are lazy and don't play a lick of defense. Howland on the sidelines looks like he is ready to explode and pull. A woody Hayes soon...

    ReplyDelete
  59. A little more than two weeks left until the start of spring practice and still no DC. I guess staff continuity really isn't that important.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Finally, a new DC........congrats Dokes! I like the new scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Congrats to Doke on being named as Pitt's new DC! I'm guessing this announcement took so long because of protracted salary & bennies negotiations?

    I'm also presuming it's a two-fer deal, that you're bringing JoeD with you as special assistant & track-speed consultant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's in charge of baking the pecan pies.

      Delete
    2. THAT made me chuckle....

      Delete
  62. Article on Sameulson... about recruiting.
    he is an OL that committed to Pitt early but switched to Nebraska.

    http://www.ncsasports.org/blog/2012/05/23/from-9th-grade-jv-to-11th-grade-scholarship-offer-from-nebraska-football-how-the-samuelsons-of-plymouth-high-handled-recruiting/

    ReplyDelete
  63. Did I see in the Pgh paper that our incoming trio from Clairton each had double doubles in a game on Friday night? I'll admit to not following WPIAL BB, so perhaps that's nothing new....but it's impressive that their success continues into the winter.

    ReplyDelete
  64. 15 days left to the start of spring practice and still no DC. Oh wait, did I hear PC will coach the defense though the spring? If Pitt keeps going without a DC, think of the raise Peterson can give himself. Hell, he will soon make what Goodell makes.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Doke when is pederson's contract expire? I thought it has already

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's message-board heresay, but the belief that Nordenburg is retiring soon, and that Pederson will stay the AD until that time.

      Makes sense, as the new Chancellor would likely want his own person in there (I view Pederson as a net positive for Pitt, but even I will say that he's not going to be forced upon a new Chancellor), so a new AD now would likely be a lame-duck.

      Delete
  66. The way things are going, House could end up being the DC. Nordy would be thrilled to death, due to House being very budget friendly.

    Brecterfield, Hearing, House and probably some other out of work or HS coach filling the DB coach spot. Unbelievable if it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Just throwing a name out there just because I don't know where he went: Matt Raich. Worked for the Steelers and Cardinals with Whiz, from Monaca, worked at RMU, CFL, NFL Europe, and a couple other smaller colleges. But IF the DC is House or House/Haering, he would make a good coach on the staff

    ReplyDelete
  68. Now this........

    Pitt: It's been over two months since Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable left for NC State. Don't be surprised this week if Paul Chryst promotes defensive backs coach Matt House to defensive coordinator.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Not sure he would hire an offensive coach for defense though. He was a qb coach for the most part!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Coaching search is reporting House prob the DC and they add John Palermo as an assistant. His specialty is DL. So I don't know what that means for Breckterfield is rumor is true

    ReplyDelete
  71. Roussel of Coaching Search is posting.
    1. Don't be surprised if House named DC.
    2. Don't be suprised if former TN DL coach John Palermo joins the Pitt staff. Gotta love that italian name...

    ReplyDelete
  72. Well, Todd Orlando was just named defensive coordinator at Utah State.

    ReplyDelete
  73. One of the coaching tickers is suggesting that House will be named DC this week. They also rumored that Jay Palmero will join the staff. Who is Palmero, passed ties to Whisky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Palermo coached at Wisky...

      Does anyone feel as if Alvarez is calling the shots at Pitt perse???

      However, Palermo over Beckerfield would be a plus... so that is a good thing. I can see co-DC of House/Palermo also. Not that I like it... but seems Chryst is hellbent on naming House DC.

      Delete
    2. What an absolute disaster this has turned into. House has very little experience and none as a coordinator.

      Delete
  74. In all honesty, I really don't mind this. House seems like the guy that will not run off at the first sign of success. His experience or resume isn't all that bad. In fact he qualifies perfectly for the up and coming type. I'm sure PC sees how he and the team interact and it must be positive.
    So lets say he hires Orlando and in one year another team(pro or college) comes calling, he's outta here!!! House would need to have a few good years for this to happen. Let me tell ya, if he has a few good years we will all be happy for him to move since it would mean we have put some good seasons together. Then Paul would then move next guy up!
    I know that there are sexier picks or "splash" picks but lets put our faith in Paul!
    What other choice do we have anyways???H2P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They could always hire somebody who is qualified like any program that gives a damn would do.

      Delete
    2. It would be easier to sell that [House as DC] if he were selected 2 months ago.

      Pitt's probable lack of transparency on this doesn't help either.

      Delete
    3. I get it! But since when has Pitt done that? I don't know all the facts but look at their past five head coaching hires in football and basketball. Have any of those hires been an example of a school that gave a damn. Don't tell me Wanny bc he was falling on rough times in the NFL. But he was a perfect "fall" to us. Harris? Howland? We got a decent coach in Dixon and now everybody wants to run him off!! Graham was a small splash for Pitt and we all know how that turned out.
      I agree with what ur saying but I really seem to think we all put our expectations too hiigh for this athletic department. I'm not arguing I'm all for somebody to tell me I'm wrong. Most of you are much more qualified than I am.

      Delete
    4. Haywood and Chryst were both the cheap, safe choices that showed that they have no interested in being more than just a decent program. And hiring House would be the ultimate proof.

      Delete
    5. But why? I guess my question is this: why does Pitt go on the cheap when compared with other programs? Who benefits from this?? The chancellor or the AD? Does it come out of the budget for the entire school. For instance why do some other schools spend much more?? Florida state im sure is a great institution to learn in but also a great schoool to play football. What is the reasoning for being on a budget?? Who gets a healthy pocket?

      Delete
    6. Yeah, Pitt should've hired someone "high profile" like that superstar Mike Leach, right? How did Washington St do this past year?

      Delete
    7. Chryst isn't a cheap hire...
      article linked to before had him at 1.8 million.
      Now, I don't know what the assistant budget is... but it had better be $2million which is what Graham had.

      Delete
  75. I am wondering if this was the plan from the beginning with House as DC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They would have hired him long ago if they always wanted him.

      Delete
  76. For a lifelong Pitt fan this would be a really sad development. House may end up doing ok but if this was the direction why not announce two months ago. On top of that if the addition to the staff is over sixty how will he help with recruiting. Having been a student in 76 I have hoped that there would always be a comeback, at this point maybe it's time to throw in the towel.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I think PC likes House as an up and comer but is acknowledging that he lacks enough experience.
    Therefore he hires a very experienced coach of Dline and LBs since House is a DB coach and in the end we have a very good and qualified DC. (HOuse in the near future) I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. House an up and commer..
      Ur kidding me...
      Look at his resume... you do know what quality control assistant is in the NFL... he did that for 4 years.
      He was the video guy!!
      Prior to that he bounced around...

      Delete
  78. This sounds exactly like PC. Lets give House time to get experience maybe a good 4 -5 years should work to at least get competitive in the ACC. And, don't forget, PC is also getting experience so I think after 5 years we should be a solid 6 or if we are lucky 7 win team in the ACC. This is all just like Pitt.

    ReplyDelete
  79. At least we are getting someone who is a proven winner on staff with Palermo. Only head coaching stint was Austin Peay in 1990 where he went 0-11. Unbeleivable!

    ReplyDelete
  80. While House may be an excellent DB coach, he wasn't even qualified to be the DC at Gardner-Freaking-Webb, arguably the worst D1 program in the country. Likewise, no other D1 program talked to House as a DC candidate. Heck, not even Pitt wanted him as a DC as of two months ago.

    I'm sure there are lots of excellent up-and-coming positional coaches out there who would make excellent DC candidates, and who would be interested in a promotion to DC - even if they don't have any ties to Wisky/Pitt. It's Chryst's job to know about them, and it's a pretty strong indictment against his ability to build a successful D1 program that he either didn't talk to any of them, or didn't hire any of them.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I have to admit I did not like this hire at first, but the more I thought about it the more I like it. First, I do think House is qualified. He was a quality control coach in the NFL before he came to Pitt, that is a position that has groomed just about every NFL head coach let alone a college dc. Secondly, Palermo has tons of experience including a national championship w/ Holtz in '88. you think recruits will notice that when he is on the trail. I know people are going to say Chryst doesn't like to get out of his Whisky comfort zone, but last I checked Whisky did pretty darn good w/ all these guys. Third, the money they saved in a splashy hire now be can redistributed w/in the staff to guys like Engram, House, and Rudolph, our three most dynamic recruiters.
    There's my three cents. Also Doke, just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it is the end of the Pitt world. I recall when Pitt was searching for a head coach after Wanny you suggested Holgorsen then Fraud Graham. Thank God we don't have either of those guys.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Pitt just won't pay competitive salaries. If they did does anyone think they would not have hired a good experienced coordinator over a month ago? The University of Virginia pays each of their coordinators close to 500k.

    Chris, in past you have said Pitt pays their coaches pretty well. If the salaries are not even public how could you know or at what is relative to other programs salaries for staff?

    ReplyDelete
  83. I guess it is official:
    http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/021813aaa.html

    ReplyDelete
  84. Everytime I start to think we might win with PC he goes and does something like this. It is just sad. He must be planning on scoring a lot of points this year.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Everytime I start to think we might win with PC he goes and does something like this. It is just sad. He must be planning on scoring a lot of points this year.
    Houston Panther

    ReplyDelete
  86. This hire gets an F. Sorry, but you don't take someone with as little experience as House and give him the DC position. Not only that, but they failed to get anyone who can recruit areas like Florida. Generally, for Pitt, this hire needed to be either a really good coach or a really good recruiter. Both is preferable, but they need one minimum. This hire failed on both accounts and has Pederson written all over it.

    ReplyDelete
  87. LOL... House just announced..
    Appears Beckerfield is out...

    ReplyDelete
  88. Well there we have it! House as DC and Hank ad GA! Palermo hired as well! It's official!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Don't like the House as DC but do like the additions of Palermo and Poteat. Poteat always reminded me of a guy who got the most from his talent and those are the guys who seem to make good coaches.

    Grades:

    House as DC: F
    Palermo as DE/LB: B
    Poteat as GA/CB: B

    Also, someone tweeted that Chryst interviewed three other guys besides House...who are they?

    ReplyDelete