Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jan. 20 Recruiting Update

Damar Hamlin was in attendance at the Pitt basketball game against NC State last night, and despite watching the Panthers play terribly, things clearly went well with Hamlin and Pitt. The Oakland Zoo made it their mission to woo Hamlin and did it by chanting things like "Hamlin Island" while Hamlin was in the Zoo and taping himself in the foreground enjoying the chant. He also retweeted a sign directed at him from the Zoo with a photo of the city landscape and with words about not forgetting where you came from. I still don't see how he doesn't choose Pitt.

Linebacker coach Rob Harley went to the home of New Jersey linebacker Elias Reynolds last night and it's looking like it's just a matter of time before the Rutgers de-commit chooses Pitt. Harley takes pride in getting linebackers that he has his hooks into so I can't see this one getting away.

Another potential flip is Virginia WR K'Von Wallace, who is currently committed to Cincinnati. Pitt offered last week and since then he also got offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Arizona. He wants to visit Pitt. He's the perfect example of a good prospect that, because he's uncommitted late, his offer list goes through the roof because of programs trying to add a specific position late.

One potential huge addition could be current South Florida commit Darnell Salomon. Rivals first reported this so I did some poking around, and this one is intriguing, to say the least. From legendary Miami Central HS, the 6'3" 210 pound Salomon was once considered one of the top 50 prospects in the entire nation. At one time it appeared that he was heading to Alabama, and he also had offers from Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Miami, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, USC, and just about every other big time program. So how is a kid this good available? Well, that's the bad news. While on a recruiting trip to Georgia he broke into a dorm room and stole a cell phone and a wallet. He denied taking anything until the phone was traced to his house in Florida. He was still wanted by Alabama, and others, until he pleaded guilty. He got five years probation and he sent a  letter of apology to then head coach at Georgia, Mark Richt. It sounds pretty bad and there's obviously a lot of trepidation about getting the reputation of bringing in such players. There's a reason why Temple and Washington State are his only other options at the moment. But from all accounts he's not a bad kid and the crime took place when he was just a sophomore in high school. It's tough to turn your back totally on a kid who makes a mistake when he was just 15 or 16 years old, and that's what Pitt can sell. Along with Jonathan Baldwin, he'd be the most physically gifted wide receiver the Panthers have had since Larry Fitzgerald. That's hard to pass up, and a wide receiving class of Salomon, Ruben Flowers, and Juwann Winfree would be amazing. Then there's Maurice French who could play at wide receiver or cornerback. If Salomon no longer causes trouble, he could be the steal of the century. But if he flops, the black eye to the university would not be good. Anyway, it appears Pitt is trying to get him in for a visit.


  1. I wouldn't be upset if we landed Hamlin, but I'd be more thrilled if we were able to get Hudson to stay home. I know we haven't had great success with McKeesport, but he just looks like a player. Can anyone comment on who is better coming out of high school? Whitehead or Hamlin?

  2. Hi Doke,

    What's your current guesstimate at the size of our 2016 class? We won't win 'em all, and we might lose 1-2 current verbals. But even with that, seems to me that we're waaaay beyond 25.

  3. Chris. I see that Hudson's ratings are all over the board. ESPN has him as a low 3 star, 247 has him at a very high 3, Scout has him at a 4, Rival at 3. Some people are going on and on how he is the best in the state and others have him at 16 or slightly higher in the state. Some see him as a LB and others at S. The fact that a lot of big schools are after him speaks volumes. I would be surprised if he picked Pitt, but if he did, I'd assume he'd be given an opportunity to push both Webb and Mitchell at S. I don't believe you had him in the top 10 in the state when you posted a list some months ago. What do you think of him now? I have no issue with Salomon coming on board. I think if he comes on board, Wallace is out as that position would have a lot of bodies on the roster.

    1. I had Hudson No. 6. He's a 4-star player in my mind.

  4. Whitehead was ranked higher - I believe 90th vs. Hamlin at 134th or so.

    I'd take a chance on Salomon - happened long ago - give the kid a 2nd chance and if it is indeed down to Pitt, Temple or Washington St. - hard to believe Pitt wouldn't be it.

    At this point - if we get:


    With Watts now a 4 star (if Miami offers, they're the team to beat imo) according to Rivals, that would give us 7 four star recruits and Hudson will probably end up a 4 star as well.

    - a tremendous recruiting class that would probably land us in the top 20-25.

  5. Chris, with Wallace and Salomon you wrote that both are committed but yet both are available. Are they 'available' because they are still making visits or what? What is the criteria or thinking around that?

    How often are kids being offered by other schools after they have signed a LOI? I assume there are no rules in recruiting and everything is fair game but does committing early really ever stop other schools from contacting you and continue to sell their univiersity?


    1. Kids are offered all the time when committing early is just verbal commits like they are currently. Once a player on signing day has signed a LOI they are bound to the university thus really ending their recruiting.

    2. Every kid is technically still available until they sign. And schools never stop recruiting a kid unless the family tells the high school coach that they aren't interested. That's what MacVittie did, but all that did was stop the interest from getting to him. It never stopped schools from trying. And one Pitt assistant told me that they only offer a committed player if they think they can flip him. So that's something to remember.