Panther Digest Recruiting Q&A - Thursday

Darryl Render is having as good a season as any Pitt commit. Render, out of all of Pitt's three star prospects--committed or not. Where does he stand in terms of getting a bump to a fourth star?

Does anyone have an idea when we can expect to hear any update to when we can start playing in the ACC? – jayr425
"Keep a close eye on these Big East meetings, where reportedly six schools will be offered/accepted into the conference. Once the Big East knows it can land on its feet with the addition of a few more schools (possibly Central Florida, Army, Air Force, Navy, Villanova, Temple), they'll be willing to let go of Pitt and Syracuse. Until then—that is, the new league is set and signed on—Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East. For both parties, the best case scenario is for the 2012 season, so everyone can just move on."

Are any of Pitt's 3-star recruits looking like the might be upgrade to 4 stars? – pittnut54
"Darryl Render has the best shot. He plays for the right team and is having a monster year playing at that highest level. Past him, I'd say the only other one that might get consideration would be Dakota Conwell. I think it's a reach to say he's a four-star, but based on the games he's been putting up this year--if he continues to do it, and Upper St. Clair goes on a big playoff run---it's possible. Of all the three stars, though, he's next in line in my opinion."

Now that Pitt is in the ACC, how does Todd Graham really feel about the move? – mistercondo
"There's a couple takes on that. I asked him specifically about playing in a conference championship game. The reason, because one draw the Big East had was that you could make the jump to a BCS conference and not have to worry about having to compete in a conference championship game, regardless of what kind of a season you had. His answer surprised me--he said playing in a Conference USA championship game was one of the best experiences there was; almost like a second bowl game. So that's one part of it. It's a huge help in recruiting. It's going to allow them to get into other areas like Virginia, Georgia (where Paul Randolph seems to have connections), Florida and maybe a little of the Carolinas."

The other part is that now, it's the ACC and that's a step up. Randy Edsall left UConn for Maryland as one example of how the ACC is a step up in the coaching ranks. In the long run, if Graham works out--Pitt has a better shot of holding on to him. His only other step up now is SEC or Big 12. With the additional TV revenue, Pitt has a lot more to offer if they need to match an offer. If it doesn't work out with Graham, they have a lot more to draw from and is an even more attractive job as an ACC school.

Just wondering if Pitt has a realistic shot at any of the other guys on their recruit list in the top 10 of their position? I know there is a chance with Shell and Rippy...but are the other guys long shots at best (Yuri Wright, Ryan Watson. Wes Brown, Q Lambert)? – oaklandzookeeper
"You're right...Shell and Rippy they have the best chance with. In fact, if Shell does indeed choose Pitt on Friday, that could spur Rippy to Pitt. The rest of the players on your list, there is absolutely zero chance of Yuri Wright, Wes Brown and Quanzell Lambert considering Pitt at this point. Pitt did make the top four list for Ryan Watson. The other three recruits have left Pitt out of it since the coaching change."

Rushel Shell-Where is he going? = Bman5PITT
"Sure, why not a Rushel Shell question. The five-star prospect is making his decision tomorrow, and could set the tone for the weekend—with Homecoming on Saturday, and a rare non-conference tilt with the Pac 12 set for Saturday. Though nothing's been officially said, there sure are a lot of signs that lead towards Pittsburgh. Keep in mind that Shell hasn't taken any visits; official or unofficial; to his other reported finalists Oregon and Alabama. In addition to that, it's unknown how much/if at all either of these two schools are coveting Shell at this point, considering the depth at the running back position, and the fact they both have national names that are able to go into any area and draw a running back from. While Pitt's 3-3 start might not be a draw, Shell has to like the fact that Ray Graham has been able to rush for the best six-game start for a running back in school history. If that's not a draw for one of the nation's top running backs, then I don't know what is."

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