Monday, January 26, 2015

Ben DiNucci is a Panther

The Panthers have added 6'3" 195 pound quarterback Ben DiNucci today. Dance, of Pine-Richland HS in Gibsonia, PA, originally committed to Penn, but the new staff quickly offer him a scholarship when they took over. DiNucci was the Quad A player of the year int he state of PA this year so his production is obviously well known. He also has the size, arm, smarts, and leadership ability to be a P5 quarterback.  His greatest traits, however, are his accuracy and touch. With three years or so of developing, DiNucci has an excellent chance to be a very good quarterback in his redshirt junior season- maybe even sooner.

61 comments:

  1. If he has all the "tools" why didn't he get many offers? There has to be weaknesses from this guy if his best offer was Penn. Regardless, if nothing else it's good depth to have.

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    1. His offer list was better that Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and many other well known QBs. I'm not saying he's going to be as good as them but offers for a QB usually don't mean much.

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    2. Well doesn't he have an awkward throwing motion? That certainly would scare more than a few teams away. I guess I need to remember this year's likely top pick in the NFL draft will be Marcus Mariota who was a 3* recruit out of high school.

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    3. Channel looked at him and thought any flaws were fixable. And he has years to fix him. Nobody expects him to start for three years or so anyway. No harm in seeing what you have with him.

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    4. That last point is the key to me. No one should expect anything from DiNucci except himself and the coaches. He threw for 4,000+ yards, which is just quite frankly ridiculous. His throwing motion is bad, but Chaney can fix it, and if he spends 5 years at Pitt as a viable back up if needed, the he was totally worth taking.

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    5. Definitely not offered because of throwing mechanics. Throws off back foot uses almost only arm and throws somewhat ssidearm. The side arm motion reminds me of a ND QB in the 1960s--Johnny Huarte who started for Ara Parseghian before Terry Hanratty did..

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  2. I am 100% convinced that we will look back at this day and folks will be saying, "How in the world did that guy not get 1000 scholarship offers?"

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    1. Not trying to be an ass here, but what makes you so confident? Listen, if you are asking me if I think he can eventually be a better backup than Trey Anderson was - the answer is yes. I think is unorthodox throwing motion, if corrected, could give Pitt an advantage. The intangibles appear to be there.

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  3. I like it I like it a lot! You can't teach what he has. Winner!!!!!

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  4. Winner, winner, winner -- not to mention he was absolutely prolific in his senior year of AAAA. They even only lost their one game in the state championship in an absolute shoot-out, and even then the opposing team and coaches were giving DiNucci and his team great-credit and respect.

    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3449972/highlights/165564376

    Those are his senior-year highlights as it seems many have not watched him play. Totally throws-off his back-foot, yet still always goes for-it downfield.

    I don't know how you can watch his tape and try to say he has a weak-arm: truth is it's the opposite. He throwing fastballs and spirals 35+ yards downfield --- ALL ARM. Imagine if he hits the weights, and starts putting his lower-body and hips in all of his throws, he will be ripping balls downfield.

    I have thought for awhile that DiNucci was a potential game-changer, and that everyone was totally off-the-mark and clueless about how good he can be----hope I'm 100% right on that!

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  5. Sorry not buying this at all. He was only recruited because Hornibrook left, there was a reason everybody else passed on him. He will be recruited over, if not this year then next.

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    1. Pitt was not interested in keeping Hornibrook. They preferred DiNucci. And Chaney knows more about this than all of us combined.

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    2. Bowers flipped to State Penn. What do thesae kids look at? State Penn is loaded at TE and this kid thinks its a good idea to go there?

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    3. Chaney knows a lot about this - yes, but so do a ton of other coaches in the country. If they thought he could be molded into a potential starter then they'd he'd have 10-15 offers. Truth of the matter is this is a risk. Pitt needs to go after a BIG TIME qb in '16.

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    4. A risk? That's just ridiculous. Do you expect a 5- star QB to be waiting by his phone with a week left in recruiting? Some of you people are delusional and won't be happy until Pitt has five Tom Bradys playing for them.

      Bottom line, MANY top college, and even NFL QBs, don't have impressive offer lists. That's the nature of QB recruiting. I could make a list for you but it will take forever because there's so many of them.

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    5. How many top-ranked, 5 star QB's are NFL stars from the last decade???

      Maybe you could put Mathew Stafford in that discussion (5 star, #1 overall QB) if you think he's actually a star. Teddy Bridgewater / Andrew Luck / Robert Griffin 3rd were ranked about where Chad Voytik was out of high school --- and they are most certainly not equivalent level-players. So many 5 star and high 4 star ranked Qb's are total hype, watch their tape it's 2014 and it's on the internet, and you can easily see a player's talent.

      Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, (heck Tom Brady lol), Drew Brees, Big-Ben R., Joe Flacco, on-and-on --- all three star and two star ranked HS players.

      Watch the tape, watch the tape, watch the tape --- DiNucci can sling it already, and dude's a winner, and he's tall but just needs muscle. Kid is a total-sleeper.

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    6. P.S. to Travis Bickle --- a big-time QB as history has showed is actually the position where you totally want to ignore the "star rankings".

      Bill Stull was by far Pitt's most successful QB the last decade (9-3, 9-3 regular seasons) and he was a low-ranked 3 star guy.

      Jim Chaney (our new O-coordinator) had his biggest star QB's with 5-11, unrecruited, not rocket-armed young Drew Breez, and unrecruited 6-2 Kyle Orton (solid NFL career, recently retired) at Purdue.

      Heck Marcus Mariota was a 3 star guy rated hundreds of spots lower overall than Chad Voytik was ----- that is hopefully another reason why Narduzzi brought on Jim Chaney --- to ignore others' rankings, and find a true star QB out there who really has ***It***.

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    7. Good example is both 1st Round Marshall QB's...Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich. Neither had any other Div.I-A offers (and Pennington came to Marshall when it was still I-AA).

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    8. I'm not expecting a 5-star QB every year or even every 10 years. All I'm saying is this guy's best offer prior was Akron. You guys are acting like Pitt just landed its future starter. Truth of the matter is none of us know how he will develop, but I KNOW that the coaches makes the decisions are more in tune than guys on a blog.

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  6. Dinucci has SPREAD OFFENSE written all over him.

    Same height, weight and a SIMILAR throwing motion to a pretty good Spread QB by the name of Kliff Kingsbury.

    Also a GREAT attitude, if this interview is any indication.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzUmxoR_RcA

    PittofDreams

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  7. Pitt now has TWO Winners in the Quarterback Pipeline.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Yep. Voytik and DiNucci.

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  8. DiNucci interview..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzUmxoR_RcA

    PittofDreams (aka Adam Bertke's Uncle)

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  9. I just watched his highlight video.

    Wow. The accuracy he throws with on the move reminds me of a certain Steelers QB.

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  10. This is nuts.  He doesn't have a hitch that slows his motion down like Bostick did.  He has a lightning quick release.  No one's saying DiNucci is a future pro so who cares about throwing motion.  Overrated concern at this stage in his career.  He needs to get stronger ... much more worried about that than his motion.  Does he have the frame to be a D1 QB.  That's the questions.

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    1. Agreed. Why would you tear down a qb's mechanics who has shattered passing records and won at the highest level of pa football? If the hitch in his mechanics slowed his release it would be a problem, but his release is lightning quick and he slings it off his back foot half the time. Once he starts putting his body into throws watch out.. No need to completely revamp his whole throwing motion.

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  11. Gabe Infante, head coach at St. Joe's Prep who beat Pine-Richland in the Quad A finals, says DiNucci is better than Hornibrook and Kyle Shurmur. He went up against all three this year.

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  12. I am old to have seen joe Montana play in high school. He had nothing on this kid in high school. They were both winners ! You don't have to be a great athlete to play . Just know how to play and win.

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  13. Chris,

    How big of a loss would you say Bowers is?

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    1. It's not that big from a physical standpoint. Pitt has Holtz for another year and Orndoff for two. I suspect they'll just land a really good TE in the next class.

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  14. I don't think Pitt will go after Tyree Jackson anymore. I thought his arm was weak, to be honest. Every pass I saw was a rainbow.

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  15. The debate over DiNucci is classic not seeing forest from the trees. A good recruiting class includes a diverse set of recruits, not just offense and defense, but also a diverse set of rated players. Pitt can't get all 5-star guys (many of whom bomb out), only the Alabamas of the world get first pick. Except for the elite of the elite, you are going to include a few gambles. Some work, some don't. If Narduzzi offers to 6 "reaches" and half work out, then he is doing pretty well. Even if DiNucci is a total bust, the guy seems worth the risk of a scholarship.

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    1. I don't think DiNucci will be a bust; if anything, I think he's a bigger version of Chad Voytik with more accuracy. He's an exceptionally smart kid, you can't accept an offer to Penn without actually being able to get in outside of being an athlete.

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  16. Bowers is no big deal if the Panthers sign up Richardson
    I dont see any big splashes the rest of this season... maybe Richardson, anderson, Talan, harris, Gipson, Bembry, Gentry.....maybe another dl juco.

    So lets get on to next year. This is what I see as a solid start.
    1. Damar Hamlin
    2.Aaron Mathews
    3.Kaezon Pugh
    4.Khaleke Hudson
    5.Khalid Kareem
    6.Zach Gilbert
    Find a top tier QB
    Get a big time DT. LA is loaded...they wont all go to lsu, lets get one of them.
    Sprinkle in some kids from Fl and Tx and we have something.

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  17. What are your thoughts on the tweets from Pugh - about the future teammates with Whitehead and then following that with some stuff about "Go Mountaineers"? You think Whitehead is going to pull a surprise and sign with WVU on Wed?

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    1. No. He's 100% going to Pitt. Pugh was just messing around. I think he will end up at Pitt too. Unless his grades are so bad that only WVU will make him.

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  18. How about this tidbit - maybe been brought up already - DiNucci (and Bertke I guess) have a legitimate shot to play this year over Voytek. Crazy idea right.... But, Chaney was OC at Tennessee and passed on Voytek (hometown kid) for some reason, even though he had numerous other SEC, ACC and P5 offers..

    I've seen just about every game DiNucci has played. He has arguably been the most improved kid on the team the past two years. He does have a tendency to throw off his back foot, but I have also seen him step into a throw an launch it 60 yards downfield. He's went from about 160 as a sophomore to 190 as a senior and easily can put on another 25. Can easily dunk and is a 4.9 40 kid. Best athlete in the school.

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    1. Nobody brought it up because it's ridiculous. Voytik proved himself and he's not losing his job to anybody.

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    2. Can Chad Voytik become adept at the deep-ball?

      That was a huge aspect of why there was so little effective underneath completions to tight-ends --- do you perceive that Voytik has the capability to consistently drive-balls 20+ yards past the line of scrimmage and truly progress?

      More than anything, I think that is why supporters will clamor so hard for Bertke / DiNucci (back-ups) --- Definitely want to see some accurate throws down-field.

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    3. Seriously? Do you think any incoming OC in his right mind is going to throw a freshman QB into an offense that is returning two starters that will more than likely be drafted after next season Because he didn't recruit the returning starter at another school?

      I agree that Voytik needs to become more adept at the deep passing game, but that doesn't just go on him. The rest of the WR corps outside of Boyd needs to step up as well. It doesn't help when any defense you face knows they can double Boyd and not have all that much of a concern about any other WR's Pitt runs out onto the field.

      Mike W.

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    4. The offense only loses two O-line starters (Rotheram and T.J. Clemmings, both hopefully make an NFL squad). And five offensive lineman got significant minutes last year who will start, (Rowell is back) and Alex Bookster is a solid RS freshman.

      Skill - players: Boyd, Dontez Ford (& all the young receivers), J.P. Holtz, Orndoff (and the new young TE's) Jaymar Parrish ---- everyone is back and will be a year stronger, smarter, hopefully way better.

      The offense is set up to fly --- and if Bertke can come in and sling the rock he needs to get a long look from Chaney. If Jim Chaney thinks DiNucci has **It** then he needs a look too :

      Iowa 2nd half, Akron, Virginia : 3 losses against teams who turned out to be horribly-mediocre at best (Iowa, meager 7-6) --- those were the games where the running game didn't carry the offense, and the 'passing game' showed its limits under Voytik.

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    5. Oh, stop. Voytik had a better sophomore season than Marino, Rutherford, Palko, Van Pelt and all the rest of them. That's a fact.

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    6. Honestly totally agree on the statistics. But what feels more telling is overall results in terms of the team.

      A bad QB can drag a team down --- a "game-manager" which I think Chad Voytik is, can be solid with enough to support him , a la Alabama in their Nick Saban run --- but a QB with a little extra somethin' can actually lift a team ---

      Marino -- 11-1 sophomore season
      Rutherford (1st year starter 2002, with Fitz though I believe) - 8-44
      Palko (SO year) 8-4 (Walt Harris's last year)
      Bill Stull (1st year, RS JR) - 9-3 after 5-7 the year before

      Chad Voytik had a similar statistical season to Tino Suneri his first year (both RS. Frosh, both 6-6).

      Look at Michigan State -- two 10 win seasons with Kirk Cousins before he left for the NFL, and two 10 win seasons with Connor Cook now ---- and sandwiched in-between is a 6-6 season (with Le'veon Bell!!) when they played a QB (Andrew Maxwell, fans didn't think Conner Cook was any good, yup) who they wanted to give his shot, but he just couldn't cut it.

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    7. Voytik had a higher QB rating than all of them as sophomores. The others had a better defense to help them get those records.

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    8. Heck, it's good to hear that someone invested and passionate about Pitt truly believes that Chad Voytik can be a solid QB for the team.

      The only reason I have doubts is honestly purely from that 3-game stretch where the running game was totally shut down (Iowa 2nd-half, Akron, Virginia) ---- that was just a brutal, shoulda-been-3-wins-instead-of-losses stretch --- but it was also early in the season.

      Huge to go off your point: Palko, Sunseri --- most recent guys who also took over as RS Sophomores (coincidence!), and they all regressed. Palko went 8-4 (crushed by Urban Meyer & Alex Smith in the Fiesta Bowl, but still) and Sunseri went 7-5 their first seasons----- then they both regressed pretty badly.

      Do you think Chad Voytik bucks-the-trend of RS Sophomore QB's at Pitt regressing --- does he just maintain that same level --- or does he grow?

      I'm gonna do it, I'm going full Sigmund Freud:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyFZ-E0Qwpc

      He seems to lack a bit of competitiveness....just my perception!

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  19. Run the bus over Myers, 1st team all-state of Ohio highest classification ( not lowest clas. state of TN) because he was "not interested, did not go to class [straight A student from one of best academic schools in Ohio, not worth the effort other blog reports." He may not be drafted in 2015 although there is talk he will but we know Voylik is not being considered by NFL scouts. Scouts have been very interested in Myers ever since he threw for over 300 yards per game junior and senior year; at 6'4" 230lb and was coached and played at John Carroll and played in the pros as the back up QB to Peyton Manning for four years.
    There is no argument in that Myers is a much better QB than Voylik and had a higher ceiling when Pitt "told him they had no place for him"

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    1. Haha. Myers puts up numbers against D3 walk-ons who weren't good enough to get offers from D2 Slippery Rock while Voytik plays against the ACC. You must be Myers' mom, because no one else would make such a dumb comparison.

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  20. That it Chris tell it like it is. Where the these guys get their ideas! Are they watching the same people were watching the same players?

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  21. I hope Ivery is more about Pitt trying go make connections in Texas than about the staff believing he can contribute.

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    1. Every class will have some reaches and there are guys from southern states that are overlooked and become studs every year. He may be a stud, he may never sniff the field. He has a good build, is smooth and has good speed.

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    2. New regime recruiting already (on short-notice, to say the least):

      PA (obviously) , Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio -----

      Add in some Maryland & Washington D.C. to the mix in this next full season of recruiting, and Pitt Football is cookin' with gas.

      Narduzzi clearly wants to light a fire in everyone's belly ---- much more appropriate for the sport of football. Yin & Yang --- Zen is great (Chryst's effect--calm teaching), but you need the Passion / Fire to complete the puzzle. There was such a 'lack of urgency' in the Chryst regime!!

      It changes everything additionally when your Chancellor is clearly a football fan too lol.

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  22. Chris, saw your tweet about Nico Law, I don't have a twitter account so I'm commenting here. I watched his hudl video and he's incredibly, incredibly fast. Very raw like you said. But, I've watched the hudl videos of all the rumored QB's - DiNucci, Tyree Jackson, Kyle Anderton, Brett Kean - and Law is better than than everyone but DiNucci. Well worth taking if we're adding a second QB. Seems like he could easily move on to another position if he doesn't develop as QB.

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  23. Anyone else having Barry Goheen flashbacks after last night's terrible loss to VT?????

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  24. They have no senior leadership there only senior shouldn't even be starting. Their team captain showed no motivation last night. I'm still waiting for Jamie to recruit a shooting guard if there is such a thing with him

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  25. "The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker ..."

    Buzz got us again.

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  26. ESPN rates Gentry Ivery as a 3 Star prospect and the #112 player in Texas. Now that might not sound great to many, but there 42 Texas recruits in the ESPN 300. Of the top 111 players rated ahead of him in Texas, only 6 are going to non-P5 schools, and no those players are not the 6 immediately ahead of him. He's not some dud. He's rated a 77 overall, tied with current Pitt commits Alex Paulina and Malik Henderson, and ahead of Kevin Givens, Tre Tipton, Tony Pilato, Shawn Curtis, Allen Edwards, and Dane Jackson. Just some food for thought.

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  27. Not for nothing, but ESPN has moved Ben DiNucci to the #10 player in PA in their final season rankings: http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/playerrankings/_/state/pennsylvania/class/2015/view/state

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    1. When DiNucci takes over as a rsSO starter after Voytik graduates some people are going to pretty smart. And everyone else is going to be kicking themselves.

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  28. Chris, great article on a NM QB prospect, well worth a read on how kids slip under the radar. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2322488-the-best-football-prospect-nobodys-ever-heard-of?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial

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  29. let me be perfectly clear. This young man is NOT a backup........he WILL be the starter no later than his junior year and will lead Pitt (if Pitt surrounds him with other great players ) to a National Championship game. He is that talente. And God Almighty!!!! he is so much fun to watch. I would pay for a seat just to watch him practice. My very Best Wishes for young BEN.......stay healthy and everything will fall in place.

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