Terrific Two's

You might not think of two-star prospects as high-impact type of players. We've ranked the top 12 two-star players, going back to 2002, many of whom were impact players the minute they got to Pitt

12. Isaac Bennett, No. 151 RB, 2011
The jury may still be out on Bennett, but if he was the No. 151st running back in his class. He's played in 21 career games, including a career-high 795 yards with seven touchdowns this season. Bennett has steadily improved throughout his career, and although his numbers may pale in comparison to other Pitt running backs such as Ray Graham, Dion Lewis or LeSean McCoy, probably no one expected him to produce or play in as many games as he has to this point.

11. C.J. Davis, No. 86 DT, 2005
Davis got an offer from Pitt late in the 2005 recruiting season. He was heading to New Mexico beforehand pulling in a late Pitt offer, where he decided to stay close to home. He impacted the offensive line immediately, playing in two games as a true freshman. He became a full-time starter as a sophomore due to injuries, starting at left guard. By the start of his junior year, he was a full-time starter, making 12 starts. In his senior year of 2008, Davis started the first seven games at left guard, before moving to center when Robb Houser was lost for the season due to injury. He started the final five games at center. As a result of his versatility, he signed a rookie free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers. He also spent some time with the Denver Broncos in 2012, playing in 14 career NFL games.

10. Gus Mustakas, NR, 2005
Another defensive lineman Pitt had to rely on right away, Mustakas started off at defensive end. He had to battle back from a season-ending knee injury in 2007. Even though Mustakas developed steadily after his first three years, he was on a whole new level even after his injury. He was a major factor on Pitt's defensive line in 2008 and 2009, playing in every game over that span, starting a total of six games.

9. Rashaad Duncan, two-star, NR, 2005
No one knew who Duncan was when he got to Pitt, because he wasn't given ranked. It didn't take him too long to become a big part of Pitt's defensive alignment. He played immediately as a true freshman in 2005, playing in 48 consecutive games as a Panther. He earned Defensive Line MVP honors as a senior, finishing with 55 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

8. Max Gruder, No. 52 SLB, 2007
Hard to believe a linebacker ranked in the 50s became a three-year starter. Gruder played and started every single game in three consecutive years, a total of 39 consecutive games, and played in every possible game of his career--a grand total of 52 games. Therefore, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise he ranks 16th among Pitt's all-time leading tacklers.

7. Derek Kinder, No. 92 WR, 2004
Kinder went from high school running back to Pitt's leading receiver in just a few years. Kinder's 57 receptions in 2006 ranks as one of the most productive seasons for a receiver in Pitt history. A torn ACL ended his 2007 season before it started, but he did return in 2008 to play in all 13 games, finishing with 36 catches for 422 yards.

6. Mike McGlynn, No. 130 OL, 2003
From No. 130 lineman, McGlynn was one of the most durable offensive lineman during his stretch. He was a four-year starter from 2004 to 2007, even starting two games at games at right guard, before being moved back out to right tackle. He started in 42 career games as a Panther. McGlynn was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, even playing center. He's with the Indianapolis Colts, where he's the starting right guard. In six NFL seasons, the guy who was the No. 130 offensive lineman, has played in 57 career games with 48 career starts.

5. Andrew Taglianetti, No. 114 CB, 2008
Another late offer, who wasn't offered by Pitt until after his team won a WPIAL title, Taglianetti had offers from Towson and VMI before being offered by Pitt. He was one of four true freshmen to see the field in 2008, and went to to play in 52 career games with 10 starts. Will best be remembered for blocking seven kicks in his Pitt career, a school-record.

4. Jason Hendricks, No. 148 CB, 2009
How someone can be ranked No. 148 at has position in his own class, to being a four-year starter and all-conference performer is remarkable. Hendricks, like others on this list, played a significant role on the team for all four years. Impressively, he seemed to be of value for three different head coaches. Hendricks wan Pitt's active leader in interceptions with eight career interceptions. Typically, that's what safeties get remembered for. However, Hendricks was a tackling machine in his career. He led the team in tackles in his final two years, 90 in 2012, 85 in 2013. That's good enough for 253 career tackles, 25th on Pitt's career tackle list.

3. James Conner, No. 124 DE, 2013
Conner still has three years of eligibility left. Had he contributed as a defensive end this past year, he still might make this list. Last year's No. 124 defensive end, and two-star prospect, led the team with 799 yards and eight touchdowns. Even though it was one game, Conner was Offensive MVP of the Little Caesar's Bowl with 229 yards. It set a new school record for rushing yards in a bowl game, surpassing Tony Dorsett's 202 yards against Georgia in the 1977 Sugar Bowl. Sure, might be too early to predict. But no one could have predicted the nation's No. 124 ranked defensive end last year would be the guy to set a new bowl game rushing record, let alone in just one year.

2. Clint Session, No. 118 LB, 2003
Session became an impact player from his first day of training camp. He finished his career with 259 career tackles, 24th most in school history. Session played in 42 career games with 26 starts, starting at both middle linebacker and outside linebacker. He led the team with 91 tackles as a sophomore in 2004, and finished second with 101 tackles as a senior in 2006.

1. Greg Romeus, No. 55 TE, 2006
Can anyone picture Greg Romeus catching a pass? He certainly able because of the athleticism he showed during his Pitt career. However, following his redshirt in 2006, Romeus was a steady contributor on the Pitt defense. Injuries prevented him from a productive senior season in 2010. It wasn't surprising that Romeus earned Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors with teammate Mick Williams in 2009, after he finished with nine sacks. He finished with 40 career games and 28 career starts, racking up 142 tackles. 38.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks.


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