Pitt Insiders Q&A Volume 2

Welcome to the second edition of Q&A with the Guru. Our own Bob Lichtenfels will attempt to answer the questions from our valuable members regarding Pittsburgh athletics. Plus, you just might get the "scoop" on your favorite prep stars.

We had a great reception our first week and would like to thank you for taking part in our second segment of Q&A with the Guru.

Now, we move on to our first question…

1) Pittparade: My question is: Do you think it has been worthwhile getting the kids from Ohio and spending a lot of time recruiting them?

Guru: Regardless of public opinion that we only get castoffs that Ohio State doesn't recruit, the kids we get are still very good. Ohio is very fertile grounds as far as recruiting goes we need to be strong there. Competition for these kids will be even harder as Mark Dantonio and the folks at Cincinnati have dedicated themselves to putting their team on the map. Our starting FB is from Ohio, 2-3 of our offensive lineman will be from Ohio, and at least 2 of our starting DBs will be Ohio natives, not to mention our punter Adam Graessle.

2) Theoaklandzookeeper: Do you have any info on the sophomores from Bishop McDevitt?

Guru: Nate Dade 6-5, 330 is a mammoth OT, and rumor has it Pittsburgh has offered him. RB LeSean McCoy is perhaps the best underclassmen RB in the country heading into the 2004 season and it has been rumored that he also holds a Pittsburgh offer. Others to keep an eye on are LB/FB Lerando Tucker, OL Jason Kates, QB Jeremy Ricker, and WR Terrance Beamer these juniors to be should give Bishop McDevitt quite a formidable team in the next two seasons. We will have more on the juniors to be in 2004 in the upcoming months. I prefer to keep the focus on the recruits for this year for right now.

3) SkepticSkank: Of the following OL, whom do we stand the best chance with Kacinko, Wiggins, Morgan Thomas, or Richardson?

Guru: Wiggins likes Pitt, Pitt hasn't offered. My sources in the D.C./MD area tell me he may be lacking on mobility and footwork. I have yet to see tape on him. I believe Richardson will choose between Pitt and PSU. Kacinko is my favorite of this group. I am very high on him and I like Pitt's chances with him. Morgan Thomas has attracted interest from a bunch of big time programs and we have trouble landing kids from Eastern Pennsylvania.

4) Pittparade: Any word on Bates, Hartung, Greene, Huoy, and Cole?

Guru:  Elliot Bates likes Iowa and Pitt. I don't look for a decision soon. Hartung doesn't seem to be getting a lot of love from Pitt. Lawrence Green is one of the most underrated linemen in the state in my opinion, and has yet to get a Pitt offer. Huoy may be getting an offer from Notre Dame as soon as they get his test scores. Pitt hasn't showed him much attention either. James Cole reportedly had a Pitt offer, but it was a rumor. I look for most teams to look at Cole as a DT. He doesn't have the height or wing span to be an OL.

5) PhxBuckeye: What's the latest with Shane Brooks? Did he make it to OSU's spring game? Is there any plan to put some of his film on this site? Can you describe his game for us? Maybe someone you would compare him to? How serious is he about OSU? Thanks in advance.

Guru:  I am working on getting his film for the Network. He was to attend the OSU spring game. I haven't heard if he did or not. I will try and get in touch with him this week. He is closer to 5-11 than 6-0 and is 218 pounds, 4.4 forty time.

He's very rugged, North and South type runner. Doesn't dance and make a bunch of wasted movements. I'd say he's potentially a Curtis Enis-type back, straight ahead power runner. He's not as physically built as Curtis, yet but he's a good RB.

He didn't start until his team's 4th game in 2003 and still gained over 1600 yards. He plays NT and loves it. He really has a chance to be a very special player.

6) Willemakit: Pitt seems to be recruiting a top hoop class for 2005. Other than Michael Davis, who verbaled to the Panthers, which players are Pitt recruiting the hardest?

Guru:  Ricky Torres, Antonio Pena, and Theo Davis. This is from what I have read from our basketball experts.

7) Buccoboy: Should Chris Taft leave early, we would be left with Aaron Gray. Are we currently after any other big men?

Guru:  Pena and Davis, Michael Davis and Aaron Gray together aren't really a bad thing to have.

8) NJBob: Pitt obviously needs to take a QB in this class after losing out on Morelli. Who's the best bet to become a Panther next year?

Guru:  I would like to have Bill Stull. He's the best in PA. He's a great kid and I'd like to see Pitt show him some love. Another PA kid who may not be as polished as Stull who may be a viable option, is Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Shane Murray. He'd have time to learn under Palko, Getsy, and Flacco. I still think if they choose a QB from PA it's got to be Stull right now.

Tim Hiller (Orrville, OH.) could be another choice. He's 6'4", 200 lbs and is really coming into his own this spring.

Gene DelleDonne is my wildcard. He's good and he likes Harris. Gene has been to Pitt camp before.

9) Themasterghoul: How many will Pitt take recruits at each position this year?

Guru:  Let's take a safe number like 17 available scholarships. We take: (1-QB), (2-RBs), (2-TEs), (4-5 OL), (3-DL), (2-LBs), (2-3 DBs).

10) Koppelpanther: Is Walt Harris on thin ice?

Guru: With a young team and the conference debacle, I don't think he is this year. Anyone who has watched Pitt scrimmage or if they took in the spring game would easily see Harris has his work cut out for him in 2004. I look at the intangibles, such as with all of the bad things going on with college programs, Pitt really doesn't have this problem. With the staff additions and the job they are doing with recruiting, I'd say Walt has at least 2 maybe 3 years to win the conference and get to a BCS game, before the ice breaks.

11) Aquaman11: Besides Larod Stephens and John Brown, what 2005 recruit does Pitt have the best chance in landing?

Guru: I'm not going to give specific names, but I believe it will be an OL from PA, or someone from Ohio, or possibly a RB from NY. These are big decisions for these kids and I don't want to tarnish it for them, plus it takes away the drama.

12) Buccoboy: Do you think that any of the players, recruits, coaches, etc. ever check out these boards?

Guru: I would bet the bank on it. Several current players, coaches, and recruits read these boards.

13) NKSplitter: In a lot of the articles recruits will talk about how when they were offered they were shown a jersey with there name on it. Recruits seem to go out of their way to mention this, so it seems like actually seeing their name on a jersey really resonates with many of these kids. My question is does Penn State not putting names on jerseys possibly hurt their recruiting even if it's ever so slightly?

Guru:  If you talk with Penn State fans the answer you get is, they dont need to do this because, they are Penn State. They have had several top classes the last couple of years, so how can we argue with them? All schools have different things they do to try and woo these kids.

14) Daboman: When are they going to offer Zach Haulman?

Guru:  I have said many times that the 2 linemen from District 6 that I have seen on tape: Altoona's Haulman and Forest Hills Ben Maderia were as good or better than some of the kids who have been offered. These are 2 kids who are dedicated to their craft and have strong work ethics. I think Pitt should've offered both, but what do I know?

15) Steelcurtain 55: How did Yezovich perform in the spring game?

Guru: Walk-on John Pettiford was the most impressive to me. It was hard to evaluate anyone with the patchwork offensive line. Coach Novak at Woody High called Yezovich one of the best he has had and that's good enough for me. I like incoming freshman Tyler Tipton. He just may show enough to earn some early playing time, but Tim Murphy is solidly entrenched as the starter.

16) GepDawg: IF Galindo decides to sign with Pitt, who is the odd man out?

Guru: The consensus seems to be Ed Turner or Yuri.

17) Dh81395: What's the status of Keith Benjamin?

Guru: He has to get a better test score. He still has chances to take the test again. I am waiting for one of our basketball guys to do a story on him, myself.

18) Theoaklandzookeeper: Are we sending anything to sophomore Myron Rolle

Guru: I'm sure Pitt is mailing him. From what I have heard, he's hearing from the who's who of college football. He will be a hard one for the Panthers to get. 

19) Steelcurtain55: Is Pitt showing any interest in Knowledge Timmons of York High School?

Guru: The last time we spoke to him, they hadn't shown any.

20) Skeptic Skank: Do you think PittInsiders should eliminate the little emoticons from the message boards?

Guru: I kind of like them myself.

21) Steelcurtain 55: Has Erik Gill improved and can he be a weapon?

Guru:  Gill is a solid blocker and has adequate hands. Will he be a Kris Wilson? I don't think so, but he will give the Panthers a solid effort. I think Steve Buches will be the better weapon as a receiving option in the middle.

22) Steelcurtain 55: Who is the most impressive DB on the team?

Guru: I like Mike Phillips and what I have seen from him. Honestly, this group of young DBs: Phillips, Cox, Hatcher, Richardson, Brady, are all very talented. Add Steffan Brinson, Adam Gunn, and Steve Walker to the mix and Pittsburgh will have one of the best secondaries in the country within 2 years. If Darrelle Revis ends up in the secondary, look out. He may be a Charles Woodson/Champ Bailey-type of athlete before it's all said and done.

Thanks again. Keep those questions coming.

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