Monday, February 1, 2016

Damar Hamlin to Pitt

Pat Narduzzi lands a huge one by nabbing cornerback Damar Hamlin from nearby Central Catholic HS right down the road from the Pitt campus. The 6'1" 180 pound Hamlin has everything it takes to be an elite college player, and could even start immediately.

One P5 defensive assistant told Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports that Hamlin has "the loosest hips and the best feet of any cornerback I've ever seen. He's 6'1". He's long. He's physical, and he's fast. He'll be a first round corner".

Hamlin picked the Panthers from an offer list that included Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Stanford, and UCLA.

24 comments:

  1. Great to keep a local star home. I hope that this keeps the pipeline from PCC to Pitt open the next couple years.

    H2P

    The Big Fish

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  2. See what good results Pitt can enjoy when we actually have a recruiting staff in there selling and competing? Instead of the previous well meaning but misguided "just offer" bunch.

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  3. Dean's Sweet CreamFebruary 1, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    You do realize that staff got the area's most prized recruit last year?

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  4. Can we just enjoy this night without throwing stones at the previous staff? Look in the mirror

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  5. Chris - Any concerns that mostly all of the top recruits are on the defensive side of the ball? (Hamlin, Watts, Hendrix, possibly camp, Pugh, etc.). Don't get me wrong, it's been a very good class, much better than I thought they'd get, but the offense didn't exactly light it up last year and I don't really see much help on the way.

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    1. Can't do it all in one year. But they landed Flowers, Ffrench, Mathews, Clark, MacVittie, Moss, and three good developmental OL. That's pretty good. Next year I can see them take 2 RB, 3 WR, 2 TE, and 5 OL.

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  6. Good point. You really can't do it all in one year. And truthfully I guess my only real concern is the WR position since OL and RB seem reasonably solid. Do you think they have enough to step up to fill the hole left by Boyd? Winfree I guess was just a problem from the beginning but he was the only guy I thought that seemed to have the talent and experience to step into the #1 WR role.

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    1. I think it's definitely questionable. The key is Flowers. If he is very good right away they will have a good unit, but that's asking a lot. You never know, though. They just need one of them to be a true No. 1 WR and then the rest can just be okay.

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    2. Let's be honest here. The defensive side of the ball needs much more work and talent than the offense. As Chris mentioned, next year expect to see more offensive players. Chris, I know you said you'll have a nice write up for signing day. I'd love to hear your thoughts on who you think has the highest upside in this class and who you are most excited about. Great day to be a Pitt Panther!

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  7. Are there expectations to get a few more on or by LOI day tomorrow?

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    1. DT Keyshon Camp, and either Rashad Weaver or Shaka Toney at DE, are the last three that I know of. Technically WR K'Von Wallace but that's a long shot.

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  8. Big ups to Gallagher/Barnes for providing the resources and putting good people in place. H2P

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    1. Very true Bimarkie. Before we criticize Chryst and staff, we need to remember that he didn't have resources Narduzzi is working with.

      As much as the "just offer" strategy bothered me, he was able to bring in some decent talent. Narduzzi has brought that to another level though.

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  9. Hey Chris,

    Obviously it's a crapshoot with 18 year old kids making the biggest decision of their lives, but would you care to put odds on Pitt landing the following based on what you are hearing...

    Camp
    Weaver
    Pine
    Miller

    Or I guess we could just wait until tomorrow and know for sure.

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    1. If I had to guess, I would say Camp to Pitt, Pine and Miller stay with Pitt, and Weaver is 50/50. And Shaka Toney is also a real possibility.

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  10. So, a possible embarrassment of riches in the defensive backfield over the next couple years... Whitehead, Hamlin, Miller, Hill, Coleman, Garner, Ford, Wade and Loe. I mean real possibility they all end up at Pitt.

    Not that I'm complaining, but it got me wondering... In your experience, do kids look at the other players being brought in at a certain position or are they all so used to being one of the best players on their respective teams (or entire leagues even) that they just have the mentality they will play and start?

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    1. At the elite football factories kids will bunch up at a position. It's pretty rare at a program like Pitt. That says a lot about where Pitt is now. Usually most top prospects came because they were guaranteed to play early. Now they come because they want to be on an excellent team.

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  11. We saw Whitehead and to a lesser extent Conner play both sides of the ball on occasion. Do you see the same thing happening with Hamlin or will be primarily a DB?

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  12. I'd be interested in seeing your rankings of the top WPIAL prospects over the past five years --- say, Class of 2013 through Class of 2017.

    That would cover Robert Foster, Tyler Boyd and Dorian Johnson (2013), Dravon Henry and Montae Nicholson (2014), Jordan Whitehead (2015), Miles Sanders, Damar Hamlin, Khaleke Hudson and Kaezon Pugh (2016) and Lamont Wade, David Adams and Donovan Jeter (2017), plus whoever else you might include. Specifically, I would want to hear your rankings as of their high school graduation date without considering anything that they accomplished (or didn't accomplish) at the collegiate level.

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    1. I meant to include Paris Ford for 2017 as well.

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  13. Only one more day until all the hype is over. Thank goodness! Great to see Pitt doing very well but they now seem to have a numbers problem with the scholarship limit. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

    Looking forward to your analysis of the incoming group tomorrow after all the dust has settled! Appreciate the work you do to keep this site going.

    Faxing in the letters of intent seems to be a very archaic method of doing it. Maybe they can go back to priority mail, that would be even more interesting with all the coaches waiting for the arrival of the mailman at the curb of the university!

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  14. Ok lets get camp and weaver and move onto 17. Great class that could be really really special. I expect a Canada guy to come in for QB. Maybe Hendon Hooker. Looks to be a really solid prospect. At rb I see them taking Murray, Brown(maybe for a slot) and then shooting for the moon on a guy like swift. A wr I can see street and then shooting high. At te Marshall. On the Oline, Houy will be a solid pick up, with some luck Hainsey and who knows maybe we can get justin morgans teammate Isiah wilson and CJ Thorpe. On defense we are already have Ford and Loe. If we could add Wade, Robinson, Adams, Hansard, Jeter,garbutt... .. top 10 class is possible

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  15. I learn almost all of my recruiting news from Doke, and what stands out to this non-expert are the list of schools who also offered Pitt's new players. It doesn't get much better than the offers Hamlin received. Sure beats seeing Akron, Connecticut, Boston College, Central Michigan -- and even Illinois and Indiana -- on the kid's sheet.

    When you learn that LSU was intereted in Pitt's QB of the future (MacVittie) how can you not get excited?

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