Grill the Guru w/Bob Lichtenfels: Chat Recap

On Wednesday, <i>Inside Kentucky</i> chatted with Big East Recruiting Guru Bob Lichtenfels on Pennsylvania prospects Shane Brooks, Billy Stull, Jason Kacinko, and many others. Get the latest.

WldcatMan32:: Hows Pitt's class coming along?
BobLichtenfels:: Pitt has a nice class so far lot's of speed

BloomingtonCat1:: Is Walt staying at Pitt for the long haul??
BobLichtenfels:: I believe so, if he wanted to leave he would've when Alabama offered him a job.

WldcatMan32:: hows the team look, gonna be tough to replace the guys that just left?
BobLichtenfels:: The defense has so much speed an athleticism, it basically centers around the cohesion of the offensive line right now

WldcatMan32:: we have a similar situation here
BackNBlue:: Yes, lots of youth.
BackNBlue:: Not much depth yet.

BobLichtenfels:: I just got word that they got Jason Gaffney the cousin of Jabar Gaffney who is coming from a JUCO in Cali he is supposedly a outstanding player

BackNBlue:: So, Bob, for those of us who aren't as familiar with you, could you please give some background on yourself?
BobLichtenfels:: I played college ball at a D-2 power here in PA, and coached High school ball for 9 years prior to getting into this Business
BobLichtenfels:: I should say I started out at a D-2 power, until a blowed up knee forced me to transfer to a D-3 school to finish up

BloomingtonCat1:: Bob, is your area all of PA or do you concentrate more on Pitt or all PA schools
BobLichtenfels:: yes I am, I am based in PA and cover the Big East Conference and that region of the country

Bigalbert:: My first question revolves around Billy Stull. Who do you think he is waiting on for the offer of his first choice other than UK?
Bigalbert:: Also, what chance do we have of getting Kacinko, the O-Line prospect?
BobLichtenfels:: I know Billy's dad loved OSU, they lived in Poland Ohio for a while which is close to Youngstown, they are just weighing all their options right now
BobLichtenfels:: Kacinko I don't think will go to Kentucky, I honestly think Pitt may lead, unless someone like Michigan would offer him
BobLichtenfels:: he's pretty tight lipped about it right now

Bigalbert:: Which means that, if OSU does NOT offer then we may have a chance to Stull?
BobLichtenfels:: I don't think OSU will offer at this point
BobLichtenfels:: I think UK has a very good shot right now

BloomingtonCat1:: Is Stull a bit of a project, ie, will take 3 years to mature?
BobLichtenfels:: remember Billy has really one solid season as a starting QB his best football is still ahead of him

BackNBlue:: It's good to hear that we still have such a good shot at Billy.
BloomingtonCat1:: Are you aware of any other kids in your area UK is onto?
BobLichtenfels:: I think Billy is as good as any QB in the Atlantic Region

Bigalbert:: What do you think of UK's recruiting efforts in your area compared to past years'?
BobLichtenfels:: I don't remember UK really having any effort in PA prior to this year, I think Mike Archer obviously made some contacts up here
BobLichtenfels:: For any school to be successful they have to recruit the power states FL, TX, OH, PA, CA,etc...

WldcatMan32:: what about Stull's leading receiver and best friend, how is his recuriting situation going?
BobLichtenfels:: Carmen Connolly may have one of the best sets of hands I've seen this year. I don't think he has any offers yet, he may have to walk-on at a D-1A school

Bigalbert:: You are in a talent rich area, aren't you. Who all recruits the hardest in the your area?
WldcatMan32:: Do you UK is wasiting their time in being in Pa?
BobLichtenfels:: Pitt, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State all recruit Pa pretty hard
BobLichtenfels:: I don't think they are wasting their time, there are so many players here that are D-1 kids

WldcatMan32:: What do you think UK needs to do to become successful
BobLichtenfels:: obviously they need to beat Louisville out for kids like Bush and Brohm first
BackNBlue:: Yes...we did get DeWalt, though.
BobLichtenfels:: then they need to hit the power states and try to steal some kids out of those areas
BobLichtenfels:: all the controversy doesn't help either with the Hal Mumme stuff
BobLichtenfels:: that takes years to clean that type of stuff away from your program
BackNBlue:: There are lots of exciting things going on in much of a UK fan as I am...I see they have had success, and they are moving to a BIG Big East....all UK can say at the moment is we are coming out of probation and rebuilding. It just doesn't sound as nice to these kids.

WldcatMan32:: what can we take from teh situation at Pitt and use as a template ofr UK to become successful again?
BobLichtenfels:: Pitt has some of the best facilities in the country and most of the Big East schools are building new facilities, they always recruit South Florida hard and that state may have more athlete's and speed than any other
BobLichtenfels:: I think football wise and hoops UK would've been a great fit for the Big East

WldcatMan32:: Bob, what can you tell us about Ohio prospects
BobLichtenfels:: what would you like to know?
WldcatMan32:: Alex Daniels is gonna take a visit to UK unofficially
WldcatMan32:: where is he headed nad can UK get a nibble
BobLichtenfels:: Javon Ringer is a total stud
BobLichtenfels:: Daniels I have heard is transferring to Brookhaven HS, as long as he doesn't want the OSU and Mich type of schools
BobLichtenfels:: UK could have an outside shot if OSU offers he's gone

WldcatMan32:: If you aer UK's recruiting coordinator how would you recruit?
BobLichtenfels:: I would build a fence around my own yard, and develop contacts in the power states, most successful coordinators also are good at finding the "Hidden Gems"

CARDLARRY:: Bob sorry if this has been asked but how do you see Louisville making any inroads in recruiting in the East when we join next year?
BobLichtenfels:: Louisville will have to develop those roads to be competitive, you have to recruit the same area's as your opponents
BobLichtenfels:: I cover MD, PA, parts of Ohio, NJ,NY, the NE states, other areas of the country if it's a kid with a BE offers

CARDLARRY:: It looks like we are starting we have a commitment from a kid by the name of Mann out of NJ. What about him.
BobLichtenfels:: I have some knowledge of Florida
BobLichtenfels:: Darius is a hard hitting safety, he's not a Top 25-40 kid in NJ but he's a decent pick up

Bigalbert:: OK. We are after a running back in the Dayton area, I think. Does this ring a bell? Also, do we have a shot at Javon Ringer?
BobLichtenfels:: Ringer is in the Dayton area at Chaminade-Julienne
BobLichtenfels:: Ringer would have 20-30 offers if his academics were solid, I think a lot of schools have questions about that

JonUmah:: Bob, have you seen QB Bill Stull throw? What are his strengths?
BobLichtenfels:: I have seen Bill at a few camps. He is well coached he has nice touch on the deep routes, he can thread the needle on the short to intermediate routes, his drops are smooth and quick.
BobLichtenfels:: He's a leader, he seems to really take charge, he has a quick release, he doesn't have a cannon but his arm is still stronger than most

BackNBlue:: Is he athletic? Maybe not Vick-like, but athletic?
WldcatMan32:: he's a big kid too, a legit 6'3 and big in size
BobLichtenfels:: he moves fine, his drops are good, and he can scramble to evade the rush, he is athletic he is a pro-style QB Vick is a dual purpose kid
BackNBlue:: What kind of running speed does he have? I know it's going to be important here.
BobLichtenfels:: He's a 4.7 type of kid which is good for a pro-style QB
BobLichtenfels:: alot of pro-style kids are 4.8 or higher
WldcatMan32:: yes the reservations about his speed are not needed, he moves just fine and is smart with the ball

ggWin:: Is Stull a Jake Plummer type...Soounds like it..Maybe better accuracy?
BobLichtenfels:: at a class AA school he doesn't have the number of offensive weapons he would have at a bigger school
WldcatMan32:: good comparison gg, but i would say Stull moves better then Plummer

BackNBlue:: What are his weaknesses? He sounds like a good thrower who is a good leader and can move...
BackNBlue:: I think the only weakness is that he hasn't yet committed to Kentucky!
Dallaswild:: Bingo BNB
BobLichtenfels:: He just needs experience, he really only has one year as a starter, where some of these kids have started since they were freshmen
JonUmah:: Are his stats true? Only 9 games?
WldcatMan32:: He needs to get stronger, he lost some weight because he had mano
BackNBlue:: Wow, all that and he just needs more experience? Sounds like he could be a fast riser this year.
WldcatMan32:: another thing i noticed was that he gets antsy and tries to throw in spots that are not available at times, forcing balls in that maybe shouldn't
BackNBlue:: Mononucleosis is very tough on an athlete, or anyone for that matter. I had it two years ago and lost 40-50 lbs. I was terrible.
BobLichtenfels:: If the bigger schools saw him he'd have a lot of offers he's still under the radar, which sounds odd but true
WldcatMan32:: well we can only hope his secret stays hidden
BobLichtenfels:: Billy will add 15-20 with a solid S&C program at college
BackNBlue:: Do you think that he will remain that way at a AA school?
BobLichtenfels:: hidden?
BackNBlue:: Yes
BobLichtenfels:: He's a 4-star kid if he produces well this fall then a lot of schools may try and get in on him

WldcatMan32:: what about Shane Brooks, bob?
BobLichtenfels:: Brooks, is a stud a big bullish back he'd rather run through you than around you
BackNBlue:: Hopefully, Kentucky's early interest will win points. The O-line would be a step or two better when he arrives as well.
BobLichtenfels:: I think UK would be a good fit, wherever he feels comfortable at some people get a little paranoid these days if a kid doesn't committ by August
WldcatMan32:: yeah i definitely understand that sentiment
WldcatMan32:: does he have any more interest in UK at this point or is he still a Virginia lean?
BobLichtenfels:: The only knock on Brooks is that he plays in Class A ball which is the lowest in PA
WldcatMan32:: Is Pittsburgh off the board with the new commitments by running backs?
BobLichtenfels:: Pitt still wants him, and if wants them they'll take him I think right now it's Va, Md, and Pitt
BobLichtenfels:: Shane is very family oriented and his family is close to Pittsburgh that may be the deciding factor in the end

BloomingtonCat1:: Bob, the PA and East OH areas have been know for putting out LB and TE. Any prospects that UK has a shot at?
BobLichtenfels:: the two top PA LB's are Andre Mathis and Ernest Williams and neither have mentioned UK

WldcatMan32:: good for Pitt looks like they are having one heck of a year
BobLichtenfels:: Pitt needs Lineman, so even if they keep getting great kids if they dont land 3-5 good OL the class will be a failure
WldcatMan32:: we are in the same boat, we brought in 5 linemen this past year and are still thin at the spot

WldcatMan32:: have you heard Kentucky's name in New jersey
BobLichtenfels:: BJ Travers in Ohio is a very talented kid I haven't seen a UK mention
WldcatMan32:: we were in there a lot last year with Shukree Barfield
BobLichtenfels:: Not really
BobLichtenfels:: Rutgers is doing well in state right now, Virginia has taken a few of the top kids there

WldcatMan32:: hwo did Maryland turn into such a power
ggWin:: I am impressed with the talent growth at Rutgers. I would not be suprised if they beat Mich St
BobLichtenfels:: Set 3rd at Heinz field Stull faces one of the up and coming QB's in the class of 2006 Andrew DiDonato
BobLichtenfels:: MD works hard and the kids love Freidgen
WldcatMan32:: I wouldn't miss a chance at seeing the new ballpark
BobLichtenfels:: Outstanding I know some good spots
BobLichtenfels:: Heinz is beautiful, PNC is out of this world
BobLichtenfels:: Rob there's nothing like HS football in PA
BobLichtenfels:: Sept 4th there are 3 games at Gateway Kyle Newell, Justin King and several other big time kids will be there you may as well stay both nights Rob
WldcatMan32:: i am excited bro
WldcatMan32:: i really need to see this for myself
WldcatMan32:: i am going to Smyrna in August to see Tennessee football as well
BobLichtenfels:: Fri is High school ball, saturday is Pitt or Penn State and then Sunday is Stiller day

BloomingtonCat1:: I think if we could get Stull on board with us that would be a HUGE recruiting relief. Need a good QB per year and we would have ours and allow the coaches to go recruit the other positions
WldcatMan32:: I took your word for it Bob and am getting out and seeing every kid I can this summer by the way
BloomingtonCat1:: With Stull on board we would have the elite QB we needed
WldcatMan32:: I think if we could get Stull, it would be a nice sign to the other kids
BobLichtenfels:: There's nothing like being pro-active in this industry any one can sit at a desk and call kids, I like watching them live
BackNBlue:: Yes, Billy Stull would be just what the doctor ordered.
BackNBlue:: Lots of O-linemen would be willing to come and protect a leader like him.
BloomingtonCat1:: I agree BNB, we could then concentrate on the OL we need badly
BobLichtenfels:: If you get an elite QB it gets the RB's and WR's interested as well
BackNBlue:: I also think Rafael Little will help take some attention off the QB's to help out their situation.
BloomingtonCat1:: I feel some confidence in the offensive and defensive skill posiitons except QB at this point

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