Trevor Ferguson is gone. Mike Cook is in. Most Panther fans admittedly were not real excited about picking up Mr. Ferguson. Cook a transfer from East Carolina was reportedly a very good player on a horrible team. What does that mean for Pitt? Who knows, we'll see this winter.
Herb Pope, frankly I'll be surprised if he doesn't try and go directly to the NBA. Panther fans should be very excited for the arrival of Sam young, if all reports are true he could be special. How about Levon Kendall? What are we missing here? This kid tears up every tournament he plays in, yet he can't get playing time for Jamie Dixon. I'm of the school of thought that the key to this team this year will be Aaron Gray. He has to step it up big-time.
Saturday marks the debut of the Dave Wannstedt era. The Panthers will face the Fighting Irish is what is a critical early season game. It won't take long for panther fans to see the impact that Wannstedt will have on the defense. The Irish return a talented offensive line and a stud RB in Darius Walker that could spell trouble for the panthers "Front Seven".
The Panthers will feature their own ground and pound game with Rashad Jennings and Tim Murphy, along with a talented offensive line that could prove to be a strength for this team. Tyler Palko will get his yards, but the wild-card in this game could be freshman sensation LaRod Stephens. Stephens has been the surprise of camp for the Panthers, and is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball.
The Notre Dame game will also serve a purpose as far as recruiting goes as well. The Panthers will host eight recruits for official visits, and a number of seniors and juniors on unofficial visits also.
Among the unofficial visitors will be Syracuse (N.Y.) Christian Brothers Academy defensive end McKenzie Mathews. Mathews is one of the panthers top remaining targets. Also, a few top junior prospects are slated to attend the game as well. Monroeville (Pa.) Wide receiver/tight end Jon Ditto, Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic wide receiver Nick Sukay, and New Brighton (Pa.) Offensive lineman Zac Kasparek (6-5, 275, 5.1) will be in attendance.
The official visitors who are scheduled to attend are as follows.
CB Darrin Walls 6-1/180/4.40 Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills
Darrin "Teets" Walls
WR Aaron Smith 6-0/185/4.50 Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
CB Ricky Gary 5-9/177/4.52 Pahokee (Fla.)
S Tamarcus Porter 6-0/175/4.65 Pahokee (Fla.)
DT Jared Martin 6-2/280/2.95 Davie (Fla.) Western
WR Richard Jackson 6-2/195/4.60 Clermont (Fla.) East Ridge
QB Dexter Davidson 6-3/215/5.0 Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward Prep
DE Eric Latimore 6-5/240/4.8 Middletown (Del.)
Most of the Panthers local commitments are also expected to be in attendance for the game.