Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Most realistic best case scenario to fill out '16 class

The Panthers currently have eleven verbal commits and with the expected total to be around twenty in total, here's a look at who the final nine could be. This is not a prediction, but a realist best case scenario.

Miles Sanders, RB- I'm not going to get into details about where this stands for obvious reasons, but for many reasons this would be a huge get. The Panthers really aren't desperate for numbers at the position with Qadree Ollison, Chris James, Darrin Hall, and Rachid Ibrahim all still having at least two years left, and Chawntez Moss already committed, but the program still may not have that elite talent at the position. Don't get me wrong, all of these players are good and could definitely have at least a 1,000 yard season in them. In fact, Ollison may get one this season. But even lesser recruited running backs that turned into stars, like James Conner and Dion Lewis, showed their great talents immediately. We haven't seen that yet from any of these backs, and until we do, you have to worry about their ceiling. As far as pure talent, Sanders has the most of the group, so getting him would help the unit immensely.

Juawann Winfree, WR- The Maryland transfer tried to join Pitt for this season, but the Panthers weren't ready for him yet. He's playing well again in junior college this year, and the Panthers officially offered him long ago. Another receiver is needed and Pitt is his best offer right now, plus he knows he will start right away if he commits. But maybe the most telling thing is that the Panthers aren't recruiting any other wide receivers hard right now so you have to think that both sides already know what's going to happen. A wide receiver class of Winfree, Ruben Flowers, and Maurice Ffrench would be excellent.

Chris Clark, TE- Last year's No. 1 tight end prospect has committed to a handful of schools, and with a visit coming this weekend, it's safe to say that Pitt is next. I know fans make fun of him, but you don't pass up a talent like this. He's so good that he'll probably only play for the Panthers for one year anyway, before going to the NFL. A tight end is desperately needed and he will be a great fit. At worse he's a flake, but so is Rob Gronkowski. Enough said.

Justin Morgan, OT- The Panthers haven't done well with adding offensive linemen this year with only Brandon Ford having committed so far.  Usually you want to add at least three or four but this year two seems to be the maximum or they will be scraping the bottom of the barrel. There are a few options here, but Morgan, who is committed to Rutgers, seems to be ripe for the picking since Kyle Flood is probably going to get fired. The fact that he already visited Pitt after committing to Rutgers shows he has serious interest.

Zack Gilbert, DE- The son of Sean Gilbert would be an excellent pickup, and this is one that seems like it's just a matter of time. He visited Virginia Tech recently, but with a coaching change there I doubt that he will still think about them. That leaves the Panthers.

Amir Watts, DT- The Chicago native committed to Western Michigan but opened up his recruitment a few months ago. He hasn't visited Pitt yet, and he seems to be a bit of a backup plan at this point, or the Panthers would be much more aggressive with him. They clearly want another tackle, and the prize would be USC commit Keyshon Camp, who says he wants to visit, but the competition may be too fierce. Plus, the Florida native looks like he wants to play somewhere warm. Penn State de-commit Christian Colon is a talent, but he's been thrown off his high school team, so that's never a good sign. There are others, too, but I'm going out on a limb here and saying Watts just by using the process of elimination. Floridian Aaron Thompson is another real possibility.

Damar Hamlin, CB- I know a lot of fans overreacted to his attendance comments, but I still think he'll eventually end up as a Panther. I think that's definitely who he wants to play for and when Heinz Field is packed this Saturday, he will be much happier.

Khaleke Hudson, S- Despite what you hear, the Panthers are very much in the mix with the McKeesport star. I was leaning towards Virginia Tech for Hudson about a month ago, but with Frank Beamer gone, that could remove them from the list. But that's not the only reason why I think Pitt has a strong chance. He also likes them much more then people realize.


For the remaining one (or two should one of the above force a de-commit), it could easily come from this list:

Elijah Deveaux, RB- He's been strong with Duke since he committed to them but the Panthers never stopped recruiting him hard. And with his dad, Glenn, being a former player at Pitt, the family is huge Panther fans. But if Sanders flips, then any chance that Derveaux will, too, is much slimmer.

Aaron Mathews, S- The fact that Pitt isn't taking him as a receiver shows me that Winfree is inevitable, but as a 6'4' safety Mathews would be interesting. He seems to be higher on Pitt now more than ever, and he's visiting this weekend, so maybe he feels he has a real chance again.

George Hill, RB/WR/S- He de-commited from Ohio State, and just about everybody thinks he'll end up at Michigan State, but he hasn't ended up there yet, so there's still a chance. Big time athlete.

Nate Swart, TE- Local tight end is a Toledo commit, but he's visiting the Panthers this weekend. If he gets an offer I assume he'll flip to Pitt. Even though the starting tight end will presumably go from JP Holtz, to Scott Orndoff, to Clark, there needs to be another tight end for date.

Zack Williams, OT- Florida big man with some offers from Miami, Louisville, NC State, and West Virginia, as well as Pitt. A lot of good Florida kids commit later in the cycle, and he'd be a good late pickup.

Quayshon Alexander, DE- Excellent NJ end that is already committed to Nebraska, but the Cornhuskers are struggling big time and Alexander wants to visit Michigan and Pitt.

Desmond Chapple, DE- Apparently the Panthers are looking for yet another end because beyond Gilbert they are still heavily pursuing a few. This Illinois native is visiting Pitt this weekend.

Andre Mintze, DE- Undersized Philadelphia kid but he is lightning quick and was pretty impressive at Pitt camp this summer. if he can out on good weight over the years he could be very good. He's visiting Pitt this weekend.

Aaron Thompson, DT- Undersized, but talented tackle from Florida. He continually claims that Pitt is his leader.














31 comments:

  1. I would be shocked if Hudson, Hamlin, and Sanders are ALL Panthers... but to add them to Pugh, Wheeler, and the other WPIAL guys - would really cap the '16 class and go a long way to making sure more of the '17 guys join Ford in staying home.

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  2. Chris if they get the first three kids plus Hamlin very good class.thanks for the article wasn't sure who they were going after.

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  3. Doke, any chance that Mark Gilbert flips to Pitt, if they land Zack. Also I have noticed recently both Scout and Rivals have CJ Riley with high interest in Pitt. 247 saying Pitt leads for Thompson sounds like lock.

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    1. Mark chose Duke, in part, because Pitt is getting a lot of top CBs so probably not, but it's always possible. Pitt isn't really on Riley anymore. Thompson may have Pitt as his leader but that doesn't mean Pitt wants him enough to take him before others. We'll see on that.

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  4. Why only 1 year from Chris Clark? Is he a transfer and would have to sit out a year? With new coaching staffs coming to VaTech and MD and expected changes probably at Rutgers and Syr, do you think that it would open up the DC/Va Beach/Newport News and the NJ/NY areas? Besides the OT Morgan, is there any commits to those schools that would be high on Pitt's list?

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    1. Assuming he has to sit out next year, he'll play as a redshirt sophomore. That will give him the three years after HS he will need to go to the NFL.

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  5. Mark Gilbert is going to enroll early at Duke so there is almost no chance he backs out. Zach Gilbert seems very likely to commit and probably soon. I wouldn't count Hill out for Pitt. I don't think they get Sanders and Hill, but a betting man would probably put money on Pitt getting one of the two. Pitt and Mathews need to just come together and figure things out later. He is a great athlete and they can find a spot for him. I also think that Thompson will be a Panther. Don't be surprised to see a few guys transfer out that people aren't expecting.

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  6. What have you heard about the impressions recruits have about Coach Chaney? There is no doubt that if I was a defensive recruit, I would love to play for Narduzzi and Conklin but I am a little concerned about the offensive side of the ball. Would Conner coming back and the offense taking off help Pitt's cause on that side of the ball with regard to recruiting offensive players?

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  7. It’d be great to add all of those guys in the top part of the article. More speed is needed and I think two JuCo wide receivers should be brought in due to how poor the receiving corps is after Boyd.

    I hate to be negative in what has been a positive season, but I have a bad feeling about this Saturday and will the alums coming in it sets up to be a big letdown. The defense better start tackling better and fast because the Irish’s running back is a beast, as are the receivers. Pitts and Maddox need to play their best games yet. The defensive tackles need to clog the middle. On offense, can this O-line play a great game for 60 minutes?

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  8. Realistically I picked them 8/4, they will lose to ND and Miami, they will beat Duke and Louisville. Go to a decent bowl and this will be looked at as a successful season. If Chryst and company where still here probably another 6/6 season. Narduzzi has made a difference but he needs more talent and it appears they are addressing that with their efforts.

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    1. An 8-4 record would be fantastic. I think it's going to be tough getting to seven wins. I think Pitt will beat Miami in the cold. Winning the last three would be incredible.

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  9. Chris... you absolutely NAILED IT with your description of the Runningback situation and Miles Sanders.

    A few years back, many of the Pitt Faithful mistakenly heralded the arrival of Rushel Shell to Oakland as the coming of the "next Tony Dorsett."

    I wasn't one of them.

    Now as for Miles Sanders... he has a chance to be... maybe not the "next Tony"... but something pretty close.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Dorsett is THE best college RB I have seen. I would reserve calling Miles something pretty close until he earns it, assuming he flips to Pitt.

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    2. Whether Sanders "flips" or not has nothing to do with it.

      PittofDreams

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    3. My context was Pitt RBs.

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  10. Doke, rumor is that JohnCarlo Valentin may make the visit with Mintze this weekend, hearing anything.

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  11. Hail to Pitt! Hail to Pitt! Hail to Pitt!

    I needed to get that out.

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  12. My context was Pitt RBs.

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  13. sounds like everybody's coming to the party this weekend!hope the show is a great one

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  14. Any chance one day the ACC will look this way?

    North:
    Pitt
    Penn State
    WVU
    B.C.
    Syracuse
    Louisville
    Virginia Tech
    Virginia

    South:
    Miami
    FSU
    Clemson
    Georgia Tech
    N.C.
    N.C. State
    Wake Forest
    Duke

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    1. PSU ??? Why?? WVU ??? Lol

      Temple is a much better candidate.

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    2. Brian Fantana's CologneNovember 6, 2015 at 8:46 PM

      Psu...no
      Wvu..no
      They aren't going anywhere.

      Temple.....hell no.

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  15. It is up to the players today to make sure we secure recruits for the betterment of the program down the road. Bad coverage by Pitts and Maddox or missed tackles that results in long ND runs and the air will be out of the stadium. Just like that, POOF, gone. These kids have to make this a close game today.

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  16. I guess my question is does anyone really care about Pitt football or will enough people care to fill Heinz week in and week out?

    Even when they won it was hard to sell out the stadium.

    Today the stadium will be sold out but with 40% ND fans.

    Pitt should have remodeled Pitt stadium, playing in a pro stadium off campus is not what college football is about, Stevie P dropped the ball on that one.

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    1. There will not be 40% Notre Dame fans there, and it has nothing to do with caring. Pitt has a lot of fans. But they tend to watch on TV. When you have pro teams there's only so many games the average person can go to.

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  17. Really I'm at the game a lot of ND fans here and people are leaving the game already at halftime, maybe they are going home to watch the 2nd half.

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  18. I was at the game and stayed til the end, but it was over at halftime. It was a nice day, and after watching Pitt's O for 1st half, probably was too painful for many.

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  19. really good stuff...thanks

    Largie Condios

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  20. Whatever happened with the lineman recruit out of Harrisburg, Anthony Long? He tweeted that he had committed to Pitt a few months ago shortly after Narduzzi had come on board at Pitt, but that was subsequently denied by the administration. Rumor has it that it had something to do with his academics that may not be up to the test for acceptance. I understood that he wanted Pitt to be it and just needed to get his senior grades in order. Now he isn't mentioned by you. What's up with that?

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