The Guru Grill Volume #4

As you can see our weekly Q&A column has finally been given a name. A contest was held and Theoaklandzookeeper was declared the winner and will receive a free one-year subscription to the site. Congratulations Keeper on your hard fought victory. We'd like to congratulate Subway Panther on the newest addition to his family. This weekly Q&A will feature questions from our members and we will attempt to answer them. We will also give our members some inside information on recruiting news each week.

CaptainH: When will the eligibility list of the new recruits be finalized? What is the status and your take on those who are borderline?

Guru: I'm not positive on any exact date when the final numbers have to be in. I know there is an SAT test in Pennsylvania on June 5th and I'm sure some will be taking it. Darrelle Revis was in the worst shape of the questionable players, I'm not sure he can make up the amount of points on the test he needs, unless he has taken the ACT and received a passing score. I am going to try and contact him this week. Craig Bokor informed me a month ago that he needed only to maintain a 2.0 GPA the remainder of the school year and he would be fine, he didn't see any reason why he would have a problem. Vernon Smith was the closest to being eligible when he signed in February; unfortunately all attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful. I will try and get in contact with his coach this week. Rashad Jennings was waiting on his test scores the last time I spoke with his coach Wayne Lance he said Rashad should be very close and it would surprise him if he doesn't make it. By the end of the month I will have a report on the status of all the new Panthers who are questionable.

The masterghoul: If you could give us an idea of who were the best at their respective positions at the Nike camp at PSU?

Guru: The Pitt recruits that stood out to me were QB-Dom Natale and Buck Smith, RB-Ed Collington, and Greg Harris, WR-James McDonald and Jarmal Ruffin, TE-Scott Uziel and Jose Cruz, OL-Jason Kacinko, John Bachman, Zach Haulman, and Dan Larkin, DL-Joe Akers, Melvin Alaeze, and Derrell Jones, LB-Andre Mathis, Josh Miller, and Ernest Williams, DB-Raymelle Rice and Jeremy Bruce. 3 underclassmen that Pitt is recruiting who did well were QB-Jeremy Ricker, RB-LeSean McCoy, and DL-Jared Odrick.
Overall: QB Dom Natale, RB Steve Slaton, LeSean McCoy, Mikell Simpson, Anthony Bizzotto, Matt Castor, and Ed Collington, WR-Kevin Ogletree, Jarmal Ruffin, and James McDonald, TE-Jonathan Hannah, OL-Dan Larkin, Greg Isdaner, and David McClain, DL-Joe Akers, Marquis Slocum, Melvin Alaeze, and James MCGillicuddy, LB-Lamont Robinson and Andre Mathis, DB-Myron Rolle.

ToddPa: What kind of history do you think Pitt will have if Jamie Dixon were to coach Pitt for the next 25 years?

Guru: If "Slice" is here I think it will be successful. The New Big East is going to be a powerhouse hoops conference every game will be a dogfight. Dixon was very composed and calm this season but remember the kids he's playing with are still Howlands recruits, after 3-4 more years when the team is truly Dixon's then we will have a better gauge on it.

Buccoboy: With Ed Turner leaving and Galindo going to Kansas, who do you see being the best bets to come in next year on scholarship?

Guru: I think it will just be Benjamin, Ramon, and Degroat. If Revis can play he gives you depth at the point and on the defensive end. If Pitt can land Nyan Boateng he is not chopped liver he will give another rebounding presence. Players like Galindo are rarely available in May it was an unforeseen circumstance and Pitt had a shot so they tried and didn't get him. I don't view it, as they absolutely needed him.

Pittparade: What do you think of the coaching staff mix?

Guru: I like all the new hires especially Moses he is a tireless worker when it comes to recruiting, he is in on some very good players. It remains to be seen as to whether or not he can close the deal. Pete Carmichael gives the staff NFL credibility and a New Jersey connection, which is huge. Now how long will this staff be together is anyone's guess.

Pittparade: Do you think we have too many AARP members, or do we have too many coaches under 50? What would you like to see in the future in terms of changes/additions in the football coaching staff?

Guru: I like the present mix of coaches, common sense tells you we need a recruiter who can close the deal and if the OL continues to struggle then maybe a change needs to be made at that position. I personally would like to see a former player or two get hired someone from the glory days who can teach these kids what Panther tradition used to be like.

Koppelpanther: What is the story with the Pitt Script Is it making a comeback?

Guru: The University has spent far to much money and time on the current logo and color scheme, I'd be surprised if there were a change. If any changes were made I'd say they'd be minor at best.

PantherinWV: When recruiting a potential football/basketball star like Nyan Boateng, who would you rather see take the lead in getting him to Pitt? Dixon/Rohrssen selling the basketball opportunity, or Harris selling the football opportunity, or should it be done equally?

Guru: I think it has to be done in unison to make sure that each coach wants the particular player, but I would say who cares as long as he comes to Pitt I don't care who gets him here.

- As I was rubbing elbows at the Nike Combine at Penn State I got a chance to speak with several High School coaches, parents, and players. Here's some bits and pieces of info I found out at the combine. I spoke to Bishop McDevitt head coach Jeff Waechter he informed me that Pitt has verbally offered RB LeSean McCoy and OL Jason Kates, they are also very interested in QB Jeremy Ricker. Schools cannot formally offer juniors until September.

- RB Mikell Simpson has been to Pitt twice and hasn't received an offer, he admitted that Pitt was one of his favorites but hasn't heard anything from them in a long time, meanwhile UCLA, Ohio State, Nebraska and a host of others are offering him. Personally if the kid is good enough to play at OSU I'd take him here. He is an athlete who can play a multitude of different positions.

- I met the parents of Westlake, MD QB Buck Smith he and his parents love Pittsburgh. They said the staff and the facilities were the best they have seen, and Buck plans on attending summer camp here. Pitt has told Buck they want to see him in person before they offer. Pitt has offered his teammate DT Derrell Jones and has an interest in DE/OLB James Chavis.

- Scott Uziel told me that Pitt has maintained the stance that they want to look at him in camp; if he shows good feet then they will offer. It's tough to see a good kid who is a good player and loves Pitt waiting for an offer.

- Gregory Harris from Mt. Vernon in New York ran a 4.36 forty at the Nike Combine and he loves Pitt, his close friend is Keith Benjamin. Gregory is a RB but may be thin for the position, he said he may move to WR judging by his hands at the Combine Pitt could get a steal with this kid, if they show an interest.

- Two players that stood out at the Nike Combine without Pitt offers Marquis Slocum and Melvin Alaeze. Slocum hasn't really mentioned Pitt but with the holes on both lines they have to be attractive too anyone who wants early playing time. Melvin has Pitt in his top 5 but has no offer, yet National Champion USC has offered again if he's good enough for USC he's good enough for me, apparently not everyone has the same ideas.

- I attended the A-K recruiting showcase Friday evening and several young players caught my eye, but two kept my eye all night QB Darren Rodgers from Quaker Valley who will be a junior and recently attended the Elite 11 tryouts in Atlanta, this kid could be the next great Western Pennsylvania QB. The star of the camp in my eyes was freshman WR Toney Clemons from Valley this kid has star written all over him he checked in at 6-3,175 and buff. He ran a 4.44, broad jumped over 9 feet and caught everything. If I'm Pitt I am all over this kid he has Biletnikoff written all over him.

I will see everyone next week and continue to enjoy the best coverage of Pitt athletics on the Internet at PittInsider.com, thanks for your participation in my weekly column.


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