Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Top 10 in PA for 2017 (as of Signing Day 2016)

1.  D'Andre Swift, St. Joseph's Prep HS (Philadelphia) RB- Perfect running back size at 5'10" and 208 pounds. Short, muscular frame and elite speed and quickness makes it nearly impossible to get a good shot on him. No real weaknesses and even has great hands. His offer list is big and will get huge before long. Right now that offer list includes Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, and Virginia Tech. In my opinion, he won't end up at Pitt.

2.  Lamont Wade, Clairton HS (Clairton) CB- Possibly the best cornerback prospect in the country for the class. Not big at 5'10" and 185 pounds, but he is a potential superstar with speed, athleticism, technique, hands, and toughness. Offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Auburn, Nebraska, UCLA, Maryland, and Virginia Tech. In my opinion, he won't end up at Pitt, though I think the Panthers will be involved until the end.

3.  Paris Ford, Seton-LaSalle HS (McKees Rocks) S- Pretty slim right now at 6'0" and 175 pounds, but he's a high level athlete with the speed, athleticism, and hands to be an all-star college player. Great range with hands to match. Also a good hitter despite frame. Ed Reed centerfielder type that seems to be everywhere. Chose PITTSBURGH over Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Auburn, and North Carolina.

4.  David Adams, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) LB- The quintessential PA linebacker with smarts, toughness, and tenacity. Sneaky good athlete. Plays well against the run and the pass. Ideal middle linebacker. Early offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Nebraska, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. I think Pitt and Notre Dame could be the teams to beat, and now that his close friends, Ford and Damar Hamlin, are committed to the Panthers, the chances may be improving. In my opinion, because of his talent and the position he plays, he is the top target for Pitt in this class.

5.  Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls Area HS (Beaver Falls) DT/DE- Already a large 6'4" and 280 pounds on a massive frame. Can easily get up to 300 pounds if he moves inside. May also have the potential to terrorize as a rush end if he slims down. Excellent basketball player who would be a high major prospect if he was taller. Early offers from Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan State, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Maryland, among others. Pitt appears to be the leader.

6.  CJ Thorpe, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) OG- As of now he's 6'4" at best which means he will have to move inside to guard, but at 310 pounds he's a massive brawler that has great feet to go with the size. Could be a devastating pulling guard and projects just as good as a defensive tackle. Offers include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Auburn, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland. Penn State may be the favorite since he has a lot of ties to the school, but Pitt has a shot.

7.  Kenny Robinson, University Prep HS (Pittsburgh) LB- Every year a WPIAL player stands out to me as being under appreciated. For this class, it's this 6'3" 205 pound athlete that has speed, athleticism, and toughness. He could also be an excellent college wide receiver. Early offers include Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Temple, Louisville, and Iowa State. He is very close with Pitt, and all of the local players, and I would be surprised if he didn't end up at Pitt.

8.  Josh Lugg, North Allegheny HS (Wexford) OT- Already great size at 6'6" and 290 pounds, and he has the frame to get bigger. Great feet, tenacious, and strong. He has a a lot of potential physically, but right now he is very green. He's very much worth trying to flip because if it all comes together for him, he could be special.  Committed to NOTRE DAME over offers from Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. I'm assuming that he won't flip, but if he does, Pitt would probably be the school he would flip to.

9.  Mark Webb, Archbishop Wood HS (Warminster) WR- In most other years he'd be flirting with being a top 5 prospect in the state. Already good size at 6'2" and 195 pounds, and with that size he has the speed, athleticism, and hands to be one of the better wide receivers prospects in the east. Early offers so far include Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Rutgers. I'm think that Penn State is the team to beat.

10. Kurt Hinish, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) DT- Already a rock solid 6'3" and 285 pounds. He's been on a tear lately picking up offers on an almost daily basis. Right now his list includes Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Vanderbilt. I think Pitt may have a good chance with this one.


77 comments:

  1. Wade seems like an OSU lock, been there about a half dozen times since summer. Agree with you on Kenny Robinson with some added weight he could be a big time L/B prospect, very underrated. Hinish looks more like an OG to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lock? From today's Trib: (Kevin Gorman)

      "As the countdown begins for the WPIAL's top two prospects, the pressure will build for them to play for the hometown team. Pitt pulled two bold moves that should serve as incentive.

      When Hamlin and Ford discussed the possibility of playing together, the Panthers got Ford to commit first.

      Not long after Wade announced he wanted to play with Clairton teammates in college, Pitt swiped Mathews from Penn State by offering him a chance to play wide receiver instead of safety."

      "“It definitely has its pros and cons,” Wade said, “but you can tell if a school really wants you.”

      Wade knows Pitt wants him, and maybe Clairton junior receiver Noah Hamlin. Ford believes landing a commitment from Wade would have a domino effect on other WPIAL stars.

      “I'm not being braggadocious or anything, but I think me and Wade are the top two prospects,” Ford said, “and if we stay home, I strongly believe that will put a second thought in guys' heads.”

      Delete
    2. A year ago at this time, Hamlin seemed like a PSU lock. Things change. Yes, I suppose if Urban really wants Wade, it can be a tough sell for HCPN but IMO it's too early to predict a lock .. and as we seen, that even applies to some who already committed. bill

      Delete
  2. 8 out of the top 10 in the WPIAL. Narduzzi has to be licking his chops. Get 5 of them and wow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chris - why is no one talking about RAFAEL ARAUJO-LOPES? Any chance he's in the picture this season at WR?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mentioned him in the WR section in the previous article. The truth is, we won't know about him until practices start.

      Delete
  4. How much lower in the list would we have to go to see Exree Loe of Johnstown. He is a CB that has committed to Pitt for next year if I recall correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The 2017 class will be all about O-linemen, tight ends, receivers and linebackers. Two defensive tackles and most important, a quarterback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. 2017 class will have to be mostly about the trenches & the skill positions. Id like to see another 10 lineman (both off/def) signed, another 3 wr's, and hopefully at least 1 qb, rb, & te that is talented enough to play early on. Probably 3 linebackers & 3 or 4 DB's.

      If you want to compete at the highest levels, you need talent and DEPTH in both lines & your secondary, plus a big time quarterback. Honestly, I wouldnt mind if they signed 2 qb's in this class. I really like Dinucci, but I'm not sold on Bertke, not do I think its reasonable por fair to put the weight of the future of this program on macvitties shoulders yet.

      Delete
    2. I doubt that they sign 2 QBs. They are focusing on Jurkovec and won't want too many young QBs.

      I tweeted the other day that if it were 25, I'd go:

      QB 1
      RB 2
      WR 3
      TE 2
      OL 5
      DL 3
      LB 5
      DB 3
      K 1

      Delete
  6. Great article, Doke. As always.

    How many scholarships is Pitt over the limit of 85 in the aftermath of LOI day? Presumably, that's the number of guys who'll be encouraged to move on? A practice which I hate, but facts of life and all.

    Another reason I asked, wasn't there something when the five P5 conferences split out that the practice of terminating scholarship (except for knucklehead behavior) would end?

    It's probably too soon to speculate, but how many scholarships do you see Pitt giving out in 2017? Just a guess, next year it's the offense's turn for more than half.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 8 out of 10 from the WPIAL. Is this list possibly skewed by your being more familiar with the WPIAL than you are with the eastern part of the state? Just wondering. There are some very good players in the general Philly area for example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm familiar with everybody in PA. Some years there's more eastern PA kids. Most years it's half and half. This class is definitely loaded in the WPIAL. In fact, Scout came out with their top 300 today and Swift was the only eastern PA player on it. The other 6 were from the WPIAL.

      Delete
  8. Chris you tweeted the other day about Pitt moving into the DC area. I was looking at the rivals recruit rankings for 2017 in DC and Maryland. Right now they have Mohamed Ibrahim ranked 3rd in the state of Maryland. Is he of any relation to Pitt running back and Maryland native Rachid Ibrahim?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. It could be a rather common name.

      Delete
  9. Let's not be so quick with Wade to OSU. OSU already has two top50 DB's for 2017. Wade will never get a fair shake at OSU. Urb is all about Ohio pride and taking and playing Ohio player's first and foremost.

    Additional late note is that Urb will not be at OSU in 4-5 years. I am pretty confident with that statement.

    Some of the 4 stars listed above will only strengthen Pitt's recruiting class by committing early. If you know where you want to go, let's get going! Would be nice to go into the spring with Jeter, Ford, Robinson and Loe in the fold. At a minimum 2 4stars and probably 3.

    ReplyDelete

  10. talent... where's Urb going to be?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Urb has one out in his contract and that is to go to ND. I don't see Kelly leaving for another collegiate job, although the nfl may come calling soon. Regardless, Urb doesn't go there even if Kelly bolts for the league.

    Which leads to scenario two which in my opinion is most likely to occur. I expect him to be retired and working for espn, not the nfl. I will go one step further and say that osu won't fight too hard to keep him. This stuff is a year or two away from getting out so that he keeps recruiting hard and leaves osu in a good place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meyer will never coach at Notre Dame. He may love it in South Bend, but you can't hide kids in certain majors at ND like you can at Florida or Ohio State.

      Delete
  12. Shout out to a first class young lady representing our University with poise, brains and dignity: Sarah Dubnik who is in the finals tonight of Jeopardy's College Tournament.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Sarah pulls it off, that'll be Pitt's first national championship since ultimate frisbee a few years ago!

      Delete
  13. Sarah was great, made us proud. She needs to do it again tomorrow. She's never worn same Pitt shirt twice, giving our logo great exposure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It sounds crazy, but with Dixon going nowhere it's time he purges this roster and flushes out Jones, Artis and Young after this season and rebuild. It will be the same crap next year if they all return.

    Best scenario is next season Dixon goes with Wilson, Milligan, Kithcart, Clark, Cam Johnson, Jeter (he stays so the brother ends up at Pitt), Luther, Manigault and Nix. Whoever else is added is gravy and not having 13 players on scholarship wouldn't be the end of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that Artis and Young don't have the leadership, toughness, or talent to be the top players on a great team, but this is college, not the NBA, you can't just kick a bunch of players off for no real reason. They haven't gotten in trouble or anything, they just aren't that good. It would look really bad to potential recruits if they knew a coach might just randomly kick them off the team and take away their scholarship just because the team underachieves.

      So I think you're stuck with them for another year, maybe Robinson graduating will at least be some addition by subtraction.

      Delete

  15. Best scenario is next season Dixon goes.

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anon@9:15, You're self-assessment is correct: that sounds crazy all right!

    There's no good reason to tank games in college. In the pros, yes, but not in college. It's not like we'd get higher draft picks, or more pingpong balls in the lottery machine.

    In fact, probably just the opposite: the more games we lose, the harder it is to attract better players going forward.

    ReplyDelete
  17. First off let me get this straight yall would like Dixon gone.2)This year they have no bad loses maybe to a every under performing NCS team that is 3-9 that coach needs gone3)Has Jamie recruited well? I think short at guards terrible at center yet his 6-6 in acc with a team really losing one senior that matters.4) chris I think your wrong with Jamie I think we are spoiled by how good of a coach he really is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wrong about what? I'm the one that said he won't be fired.

      Delete
  18. That just a true statement that you said it's not how you feel. Get Miller top 10 recruits and his having a hard time in the pac.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Does everyone forget that Adams should be a Sr. right now. If he would have stayed 4 years this would be a top 10 team right now. Then you have Birch in and out. The problem is that Jamie never got a project at center and taught to play. Rather than losing Adams and Birch and taking a hit for two years while he brought someone along, he tried to plug and play JUCOs and grad transfers. With a strong presence underneath, this is a completely different team. We probably aren't going to pull one year talents and stuff them in there, so Jamie needs to get that 6'10 to 7 footer and teach him the post. He has had success with a solid PG and a decent big man.... he needs to get back to that and let the rest of the team fall into place. A solid big man allows Young, Jeter, Artis to play their game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't say Adams should be a senior because even Dixon knew he wouldn't be there for more than a year. And it's more than just a center. Pitt won big with 6'5" Ontario Lett at center. Dixon is an excellent coach but he's done a poor job over the past few years.

      Delete
    2. Dokish you are so up and down over Dixon. First off Adams should be a Sr. You can say people knew whatever,(I knew his HS coach and it wasn't a sure thing he was going, but you are allowed your opinion no matter how wrong you are)the fact is he should be a Sr. and even after he did leave, Dixon failed to replace him. The point isn't so much Adams leaving but the void that has never been filled. Lett played much bigger than 6'5" and also was in the Big East where he was able to throw his weight around a little bit more. The ACC doesn't allow for as much physicality and the way to counteract that down low is with height.

      Delete
    3. I'm not up and down at all. Dixon did a great job until the last few years. I don't think any rational person would disagree with that.

      Delete
    4. Virginia is proving you can play a physical brand in the ACC, same as Clemson in the late 90s under Rick Barnes. It gets frowned upon because most coaches like to score instead of prioritizing defense first. Dixon tried to go with more scoring and it hasn’t worked out. I sure hope he realizes it and goes back to the old BE ways of bully ball. Artis goes overseas and Chris Jones graduates and transfers elsewhere. Time to go with Cam Johnson next season at small forward and use the other scholarships on tough-minded kids.

      Those kids are tough to find, too. Dixon and his staffs used to thoroughly scout those kinds of players. I don’t want to make it sound like they are easy to find.

      Delete
  20. Recruiting obviously has been the No. 1 issue. There are three guys at NC State who Dixon missed on, three more on WVU's team and Diallo at Kansas, who's not even playing but would start at Pitt.

    Knight and Barton need to go, though I doubt Brandon goes as he seems untouchable being a former player.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've come to eat crow, for at least one game, regarding Jones. I said above to flush him out but he came up big in a game Pitt had to win. I still would like to see a guy like Artis leave and go overseas. Pitt can't have all of these guys returning next year. There are major issues with team chemistry and it needs fixing.

    I'd be shocked if this team wins two more games the rest of the way.

    ReplyDelete

  22. Get used to the taste.

    There's only one fix for something that has actually been broken for years. In case you haven't noticed.

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  23. For those Dixon apologists...He needs to stop recruiting, rebounders and defenders first, and recruit scorers and shooters...The game is played at 3 point line and slashers...His teams would be good in 1984--no three point line and physical. Name one good shooter he has recruited, but MOST teams have MULTIPLE good shooters...I'll give you Ronald Ramon...Maybe Ashton Gibbs... Keep trying...I want shooters...not Chris Jones!

    ReplyDelete
  24. The backcourt next year should be better, athletically at least. Wilson should be better with a year’s experience, Milligan is pretty quick, Clark is athletic but is coming off a knee injury and of course the savior, Kithcart. Jones struggles against most ACC teams since the teams have athletic guys who can stay in Chris’ face. He is what he is.

    It would be incredible to make the NCAAs, but I can’t see it happening. Syracuse, Louisville and Duke should cruise over the Panthers and the final two road games will be difficult just because.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
  25. Although a talented player, Mike Young misses more open inside layups than any player I can remember - not just this year, but his career. He also seems moody at times - his turnovers and weak passing are IMHO a big part of some of Pitt's losses this year. He seems at times to be Mr. Hustle, but lately has been more like Mr. Clueless ...

    Luther is a real diamond in the rough and Jeter is still a Rubic's cube puzzle.

    Chris Jones worked his butt off last night - best effort I've seen him give.

    Robinson was the difference maker in the end game, as befits a senior. Artis showed some signs of coming out of his slump.

    Dixon is trying to adjust his coaching style to a more open game - hell, he has put in 2 types of zone this season!!!! But it seems like this is a tough transition for him; not his best season in many ways.

    This current Pitt team is both the most frustrating and the most fun one to watch in years, it's just that we never know which team is going to show up.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Artis and Young are buddies and seem to be poisoning this team. Neither have an ounce of toughness or leadership qualities. I really wonder if both will be back next season. Artis could go overseas possibly and Young could still transfer with a year left to play.

    I think I'd rather take my chances with Cam Johnson, Luther and Nix in the front court. Johnson and Luther should be much better and stronger next season. Maybe just Artis leaving is enough to change the culture in 2016-17.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please,
      With Johnson, Luther and Nix as your front court they will be lucky to win 5 ACC games

      Delete
  27. I thought the same about Young but some conversations I've had with other pitt fans made me think a little differently. I thought Young's attitude and body language were terrible, but I think it's just legitimate frustration. He has had to play his entire career without any credible center. Last year he had to play horribly out of position at Center and this year, although he is back at his true position Pitt's group of big men are such a joke that he can be double teamed by both post defenders without even the slightest threat of whoever is playing center hurting the other team. When Jeter or Luther plays center they are offensive threats in some ways, but neither is really THAT talented that the other team is truly concerned about them and they certainly don't play in the post so Young is just left to fend for himself down there with both a center and a power forward ready to shut him down at all times. I really think most of the problems this team has offensively and defensively could be solved with even a competent(not great) big man. Make no mistake, that's on Dixon for his failure in 3 years to recruit a center even capable of playing. Not dominating, just playing non-terribly. That's a big failure. And given that, Young would help things a lot by being less of a baby about it and making his feelings so obvious on the court, but I think maybe Young is not so much a bad seed as a guy who was just put in a bad situation and is handling it less than perfectly. Imagine this team with even Gary McGhee on it. He wasn't a star but a guy that could give you 10 and 8 and play post defense against the other team's big guy. It would make a huge difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well since we are talking basketball, who will be pitt final basketball recruit?

      Delete
    2. They're hoping it's Jordy Tshimanga

      Delete
    3. At least its a big man, whats the chance?

      Delete
    4. He's supposed to visit so there's a decent chance as of now.

      Delete
    5. Cheick Diallo should be that guy at center. He barely plays at Kansas and would be starting at Pitt. Most likely would be averaging four blocks a game too.

      Delete
  28. Chris,

    Regarding FB, assuming Pitt is pursuing Mac Christy (Jeff's son) and Robert Hainsey (originally from Gateway HS), how would you assess the odds of them landing at Pitt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they offered Christy they'd get him. They have little chance for Hainsey.

      Delete
  29. When you look hard, the junior and senior classes on this hoops team is a joke. Artis and Young are so freaking average. Jeter is as big a joke as Artis. Luther played his butt off. Oh thanks for blowing his redshirt last season, coach.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The roster next year can’t include Artis and Young. Take your chances with Luther at the four and Nix at the five. Jeter, Manigault and a big man recruit are the backups up front. Milligan, Wilson, Kithcart, Clark and Jones is the backcourt. Clark should be able to redshirt to rehab his knee if it’s not 100 percent. I’d rather see Cam at the three. He can shoot and hopefully makes that jump as a player heading into his sophomore season. Being able to lift weights in the offseason should be real beneficial.

    Luther can be special with 25 pounds of muscle. Artis and Young aren’t getting any better and just fail to take control of games late. Young going 0-4 at the line is par for the course with him.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
  31. The three grad transfers are pretty much out of the rotation now. I think Maia still has some value, but I won't knock Dixon for going that route. It was worth the gamble. They're all done here soon.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Maia has value? In what sport?

    TT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL ... he contributes something in his limited time on the court. Smith looks like he enjoys the bench over the court.

      TR

      Delete
  33. What a win for the Panthers. Much-needed win for the resume. The team really seemed to feast off the energy of the crowd. Two tough road games await, but Pitt can win both. That would do wonders for the resume.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
  34. This Pitt hoops squad has no heart. I see no reason to be optimistic for the future. I hope I am wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Chris:

    Compared to the past few seasons Dixon did a good job at everything but winning the big game in the NCAA tournament.

    Now he's routinely outcoached. He needs to go.

    ReplyDelete
  36. And on a personal note after the Duke win I was planning to fly out to Atlanta today for the Georgia Tech game. Quick flight & easy connection. But I pegged this trip on the results of the Pitt-VT game.

    After they lost, I determined I could be a lot more productive working at home.

    Dixon is losing fans, one at a time.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I like the site and the insights, but if we can't get an update at least once in a month, just shut it down!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Four seniors being flushed out with maybe one junior not coming back. Dixon should be given the chance to fix this thing. He needs to make good with the one scholarship remaining.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
  39. To anonymous: 6:36 pm:

    This is a free site. Chris tweets regularly. You get plenty of updates from his twitter account.

    Chris is consistent all the way around.I love the site even though I don't comment often. One thing Chris specializes in is recruiting. Doing that is a lot of work.

    There are other sites + this one to give a Pitt fan plenty to digest.

    I respect the blogger who takes the time to publish this site. It costs him money to do so. Nothing is free. But Chris has kept the site free.

    ReplyDelete

  40. TR... Totally Ridiculous.

    No, that's too easy.

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  41. Is the staff recruiting another point guard? Or waiting until a kid gets out of his LOI come the spring?

    TR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They already have three kids that can play the point next year.

      Delete
    2. Kithcart, who I've never seen and I'm guessing he is the only true point guard. Wilson is a combo. Who else?

      TR

      Delete
    3. Dixon only recruits combo guards because he likes versatility. Kithcart, Wilson, and Milligan are all capable of being at the point.

      Delete
  42. James Robinson said the team is confident about tomorrow. Case closed. Pitt punches its NCAA ticket tomorrow I guess. This game reeks of a loss. I'll eat crow if I'm wrong.

    TR

    ReplyDelete

  43. From what I've heard tastes a lot like chicken.

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  44. Robinson makes two plays down the stretch to help Pitt win it. The Cuse run made it appear that another bad loss was about to happen. Pitt punches its NCAA ticket.

    TR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How was the crow?

      Delete
    2. Tasty. Onto the NCAAs.

      TR

      Delete
  45. North Carolina Crow is the worst from what I hear.

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  46. What will Dixon do with the final scholarship? If Pastner gets fired by Memphis, would Pitt go after the point guard from Chicago if he can get out of his LOI?

    Seems like a big man or bust. I wouldn't mind another grad transfer at center if needed. I like how it's just for one season, so no harm no foul.

    TR

    ReplyDelete