Friday, October 23, 2015

Top Pitt football targets to keep an eye on for '17

David Adams, Central Catholic HS, LB- Born to play middle linebacker, and the Panthers defense can't be great without one. For that reason the 6'1" 225 pound Adams is being pursued very heavily by the Panthers. He said on twitter a few months ago that there's a 100% chance that he would play where Paris Ford plays, and they are very close, but we'll see. Pitt, Penn State, and Notre Dame are the three favorites.

Jacobe Clement, South Mecklenburg HS (Charlotte, NC) CB- Excellent 6'1" 180 pound cornerback that is very high on Pitt early. Zack Gilbert is his teammate, and the Panthers have offered a lot of players on this loaded team. Plus, Sean Gilbert is on the staff. A lot of it may come down to how stocked the Pitt secondary is at the time.

Tyler Dunning, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) LB- The Miami commit is still looking, and that could be good news for Pitt.  The 6'1" 225 pound 4-star linebacker wants to visit Pitt and he has tweeted good things about the Panthers defense for the past month or two. Plus, ace recruiter Rob Harley knows that area well, and since he would be his actual position coach, the chances of a flip may be even better.

Tyjuan Garbutt, Riverbend HS (Fredericksburg, VA) DE- Big time pass rusher at 6'3" and 230 pounds. Very high on the Panthers right now, but they will have to battle Penn State, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech. It's well worth the battle because you can never have enough pass rushers, and he's an excellent one.

Fred Hansard, Hun School (Princeton, NJ) DT- A giant 6'3" 315 pound beast that has to have Pat Narduzzi and Tom Sims salivating.  A big time player that will be hard to get, but he has Pitt high on his list.

Connor Heyward, Peachtree Ridge HS (Suwanee, GA) WR- The Panthers need more wide receivers and adding the son of Ironhead, and brother of Cameron, would be a great addition. He's an excellent prospect and the Panthers are very high on his list.

Kurt Hinish, Central Catholic HS, DT- Doesn't have an offer from the Panthers yet, but they are interested. He does have offers from Virginia and Toledo early. At 6'3" and 270 pounds, he's a good prospect that will only get bigger. If the Panthers offer, they will be major contenders.

Gabe Houy, Upper St. Clair HS, OT- Has an early offer from Pitt, and has visited the Panthers often. He's also a teammate of Pitt commit Brandon Ford so the Panthers have a very good chance with him. At 6'6" and 270 pounds he has a ton of upside.

Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls HS, DT- Originally he was looked at as a defensive end, and he still could play there, but he now claims to be up to 6'4" and 280 pounds so he could project as a devastating tackle. He tweets about Pitt constantly, and it seems like just a matter of time before he commits, but time will tell.

Jake Lawler, South Mecklenburg HS (Charlotte, NC) DE- Very talented at 6'3" and 225 pounds. Teammate of Zack Gilbert and Jacobe Clement. Major prospect that Pitt has gained ground on recently, but he just got offered by Georgia yesterday, and it really turned his head since that's where his dad went to school. Of course a lot can happen, including Georgia filling their needs with somebody else.

Ryan Lezzer, Clearfield (PA) HS) WR- Sleeper that is a big Pitt fan. Doesn't hold an offer yet, but Pitt likes him. Slot receiver type at 5'10" and 185 pounds. I think if the Panthers offer him he will commit, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will.

Alex Marshall, Proctor Academy (Andover, NH) TE- Originally was going to be in the '16 class, and Pitt was considered the leader before he changed to the '17 class. The Panthers are obviously in need of a few TEs and a 6'7" 230 pounder is a good one to have. It remains to be seen if he's the best option because there will be a lot of candidates.

Dewayne Murray, Steel Valley HS RB/WR- A dynamic runner but at only 5'8" and 180 pounds his size could be a problem. It certainly didn't hurt Dion Lewis, who was the same size when he entered college. He also could be turned into a slot receiver. This one will be interesting.

Kenny Robinson, University Prep (Pittsburgh) LB- One of the better prospects in the state, he could play wide receiver at 6'3" and 205 pounds, but the Panthers like him as a linebacker. And he could be a really good one. Pitt is considered the heavy favorite at this time.

Griffin Sestili, North Allegheny HS, TE- The Panthers need tight ends, as I said, but Sestili is 6'3" and 230 pounds so he may be a tad small for what the Panthers want. Virginia has offered so he's clearly a good player. His dad, Chris, was a center for Pitt in the late 80s.

Rick Squires, Penn Hills HS WR- Doesn't have a Pitt offer yet, but they are interested in the 6'1" 200 pound Squires. He does have an Akron offer. If he got a Pitt offer I think he'd be a Panther but it's still up in the air if he will.

Darian Street, Liberty HS (Bethlehem, PA) WR- Pitt was his first offer, and he's the brother of Devin Street, but the talented 6'1" 175 pound receiver says he would prefer to make his name somewhere else. That may change if he can't find anybody better than Pitt.

Ambry Thomas, Martin Luther King HS (Detroit) CB- One of the top cornerbacks in the country in this class, and the Panthers are among the top group for the 5'11" 165 pound star. The Panthers will be pretty loaded at cornerback, but so will anybody else that would be a contender for his services. He stopped in to visit Pitt unofficially in April, and he's former teammates and best friends with Avonte Maddox.

CJ Thorpe, Central Catholic HS, OG/DT- A ginormous young man already at 6'3" and 310 pounds. Most look at him on offense, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Panthers wanted him on defense. Even though his dad played at Penn State, Pitt is a major player. He likes Pat Narduzzi a lot and he has a lot of friends going to Pitt, including Paris Ford and Rashad Wheeler.

Lamont Wade, Clairton HS, CB- One of the best corners in the country in the class. Until I see otherwise, he seems like a player that has stars in his eyes, especially since his advisors seem to be the same way. If I had to guess I would say that he will go to Ohio State, but we'll see.


  1. For a program like Pitt that needs tight ends it shouldn't let a couple of inches get in the way of recruiting Sestili hard. If he's talented Pitt should be all in in going after him. His father was a four-year starter. That was some line in 1991 with Brown, Christy, Sestili, Gorejeski and Miller.

    1. There's a lot of TEs around. The days of Pitt getting a local kid just because he's local are over.

  2. I'd love to see Pitt offer Beaver's Darius Wise. He is there whole team - dynamic with the ball in his hands & fast enough to run down Kaezon Pugh several times in their game against Aliquippa. I know his adopted family will push him toward BYU, but I've heard that is no guarantee.

    1. Definitely an excellent athlete. The bar to become a Pitt DB is pretty high now and it's much harder to get offered.

    2. I'd actually rather see him on offense. I'm not sure he has the physicality for defense in college & as I said, he's dynamic with the ball in his hands. Without him, I'm not sure his team would ever score.

  3. Any chance Duane Brown is added to this list?

    1. I've only put on players that I know Pitt is looking hard at. Haven't seen them pursue Brown yet, but I hope they do. I've always be a fan.

  4. Clairton HC Wade is very close to Terry Smith ( PSU) so there is a conection to State College but it was interesting to read quotes made by Lamont Wade in an ESPN article on Narduzzi this week being very complimentary toward Pitt and HCPN

    1. Didn't read it but I don't think he'll end up at PSU. Ohio State or Pitt.