The Guru Grill Volume #7

Hello fellow Panther fans, it is time for the seventh installment of The Guru Grill, where Panther fans get to hear the answers to their questions about Pitt athletics through our weekly Q&A segment. www.pittinsider.com and our staff thank you for your participation and making our site the number #1 source for information on Pittsburgh Panther Athletics and recruiting.

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1. PittParade:  A few questions about the MSL/Insiders Combine at Cincinnati what did you think of OL David White from Chardon Ohio?

It sounds like he is a Pitt lean and if they offer they could possibly get a commitment from him. Is White a legit 6-3? Does he appear to be recovered from his jr. season injury?

How about Quinn? Sounds like there is some interest between him and the Pitt staff. However, Pitt is after some good local TE's and I wonder if there would really be a spot left for Quinn, unless he has greater upside than say Pelusi, Cruz and Uziel.

I saw pictures on the Les Kemp's AK website. I assume the national pictures he was talking about are from the Cincinnati camp...is that correct? Looks like Phil Pollard, David White and the sophomore from Trotwood are amongst the many pictured. (He didn't have names listed next to the pictures.)

GURU: David is one of those hard working kids, who has a real genuine love for the game.  I like those kids. David is shorter than 6-3, probably closer to 6-1.5 or maybe 6-2. He is a strong and very aggressive player, with very quick feet. He does appear to be recovered from his injury. I like White, but I think right now the Panthers are focused on the big timers whom they have a shot at landing. With the limited number of scholarships available Pittsburgh cannot afford to take major risks.

The Panthers offered Quinn last week so I'd say the interest level is strong. He is a very solid looking athlete. I watched his tape this week his ball skills are outstanding.  One thing that needs to be improved on is his aggression and drive when blocking which can be taught and will come with experience. He plays in a lot of multiple formations. Pittsburgh has offered Pelusi and may offer Cruz and Uziel.  Then it may become a matter of who commits first and Pitt takes the first two.

Les did take photos for the site.  So any extras that he took, he may have on his site.  I haven't had time to check it out. Phil Pollard didn't attend the combine due to track.

2. Themasterghoul: Question about Justin King:

I know the story about Pitt not showing him the love early on...Why? Who really knows...But is Pitt still trying to recruit him? Or have they moved on? Someone with his talent, in your background I would fight until the end... they stay in it to the end for Mundy and Breaston... But for whatever reason I get the impression that Pitt has pretty much stopped recruiting him?

GURU: Justin was at two different events this spring at Pitt and they aren't even in his Top 15. In my opinion, this is a lost battle and a waste of resources to pursue King.  Now, if they were serious they should've started a heck of a lot earlier than waiting until he had 10 offers before they jumped in. His step dad is a PSU alum and the kid wants to play at a high level we aren't either of those two right now. Why worry about him I'd pay attention to kids we have a shot at like Shane Brooks and Jason Kacinko?

3. LuvThaGame51: What is the word on Brandon Knight's participation in the CBA? Is his play distinguishing him?

Two of our favorite Grads - Page and Brown - participated in games for an invitational tournament that scouts NBA prospects. How did they do? Does it look like the NBA teams are interested?

GURU:  This is HipHop10's answer so I will keep it for this question.  He can be the guru for this answer. Brandin played for Ashville of the D-League. He split time at PG with Kareem Reid (Arkansas grad) and they won the championship. He was among the league leaders in assists and steals and his shooting improved throughout the year. It wouldn't surprise me to see Brandin make an NBA roster within the next year or two.

Julius and Jaron didn't really distinguish themselves at the Portsmouth Invitational and don't appear to be on anyone's draft radar. Maybe the D-League/Europe, maybe not. Summer leagues like the USBL are starting so maybe they'll hook up with someone there. The NBA summer leagues will start after the draft and are usually televised on NBA-TV.

4. Cbara1: Another question about Page and Brown:

Did either of them get invited to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp?

Also, where do you see them ending up next year?

GURU: See above answer.

5. Pitt1999: Since I don't live in PA anymore and don't get to watch the news back in the Burgh, what differences do you notice from Harris and his staff this off season compared to last with recruiting, coaching, etc.? Are they going at recruiting a little harder than the last year or so? Are they being more hands on with the players during the spring practices?

GURU: One major difference is that they are recruiting to their assistants' strengths and contacts: Illinois, New Jersey, and California. I have not noticed many differences, maybe offering more local players early on in the process.  Other than that, it seems to be the same old, same old. Spring practice was over a while ago.  I didn't see much difference's in any prior years.

6. Theoaklandzookeeper: Florida seems to be high on OL Ronnie Wilson's list.
He wants to start as a freshman. Do you think he can do that at Pitt?

GURU: I haven't watched Wilson.  It is very hard for a true freshman to start on the OL. I can't say he couldn't do it, but I won't say he will either. Any lineman has to notice the need for them at Pittsburgh.

7. SCPittFan: Heard a rumor that Terrell Allen is injured and will miss the season.

GURU: I have heard he injured ligaments in his wrist, but I have not seen any solid proof as of yet to substantiate it.

8. PinePanther: In your GG6 someone asked about James McKinney and you said he would like to hear from Pitt. Where is he from and what position does he play? What other schools have offered?

If McKinney is local, do you think that part of Pitt's new philosophy on recruiting locals, Bill Stull included, is to wait to offer them, so that the ship is perceived as more valuable? Maybe these local WPIAL and Dist. 6 players think that they'll get an offer from Pitt no matter what, so it's no big deal to them. Just a thought. What's your opinion?


GURU: McKinney is a DT/TE from Kentucky.  He has around 26 offers from everywhere, and he's a stud.

I think Pitt takes for granted the fact that just because these kids are local doesn't mean they are dying to come to Pitt. If we ever re-establish ourselves as a dominant team like in the late 70s and early 80s, then these kids may look at like it would be an honor to play at Pitt. QB you almost have to wait until camp to get a good solid evaluation and make sure the kid can do what you need him to do in your offense.

9. 40ozfromtheO:   Who will be the starter center next fall?

At the spring game, DelSardo and Stephens came out in the first series with Palko. This appeared to me to be the starting unit. Should I read into this that the coaches are unhappy with T. Allen? Especially since he had a few drops in the game?

Do you know if Walt or any of the coaches tried to talk Jaron Brown or Troutman into playing football? They definitely have the body for it and the athletic ability. Both of them are tweeners and do not have much of a future in the NBA. Someone should have told them the story of Sam Clancy!

GURU: I will say Belarski will be the center.  Stephens will not start unless there are injuries, which was the case in the spring game. Remember when you play against yourself the teams are split so when you are thin at a position, it really looks thin. DelSardo earned playing time with a solid spring in my opinion he should start, at least in the slot. I have not heard of any coaches trying to get hoop's players to play football.  This is mostly just Internet fodder.

10. Pitt25: Do former players ever get involved in the recruiting process or would this be a NCAA violation of some kind?

GURU: It happens everywhere and you always hear about it at Miami. I am not current with this part of the NCAA rules and regulations.  I'm sure it is a definite gray area.

11. Pitt25: Any thoughts on why the staff does not put more emphasis into JUCO recruiting? I know we took a JUCO kicker and a Defensive Lineman but we maybe take only 1 or 2 a year on average. You are beginning to see JUCOS play an important role in the USC, LSU and Oklahoma's of college football why not here? It seems like a couple of JUCO Offensive Lineman would have been very helpful to the program this year. I think bringing in 3 OL's would have been a good idea.

GURU: I've been asking this question for years and honestly I don't know the answer. I would think we should, but most of the linemen we have taken have not panned out. But the receivers Grim, Murphy, and Prince have all been solid additions.

12.SkepticSkank: When are you guys going to rank your top 50 Pa players?? The Lair has and I am interested to see how they compare and where Pitt stands with a lot of those kids on the list.

GURU: We have posted it twice so far. I will bet it will be very different than the one you speak of. I will work on a new current one soon.

13. Pittfan78: Is John Brown Jr switching to tackle this year, or will he still be at TE?

GURU: According to John and Coach Henderson, he will be playing tackle this season.

14. Theoaklandzookeeper: What is Pitt thinking in terms of junior kickers?  Is Florida the team to beat for K Joe Surgan? Is Pitt going to offer him or anyone else? I know that we have limited scholarships, but this kid seems to be a highly recruited, good-standing off-the-field player.

GURU: We don't have an immediate need for a kicker. If we were going to offer, I'd offer Patrick McAfee from Plum.

15. Pittscb: Me being From the Johnstown Area, and an Alum of Johnstown High (11th and 12th) and also Bishop McCort (9th and 10th), I for one am very excited about the amount of Division 1 players they are putting out this year. Larod Stephens, Jose Cruz, Andrew Hawkins, Shawn Lewis, Josh Miller, and Ben Maderia.

What is you opinion on the Bunch? And With the exception of Larod, what schools are interested the most with the rest? And why isn't Pitt knocking down these Kids doors?

GURU: Josh Miller is a solid LB prospect from Johnstown and Pitt does like him. Cruz is getting interest from Pitt. Hawkins was injured and was set to go to a prep school until he broke out at Metro-Index and earned 3 offers. He is a great athlete, but where do you put him, WR or DB? Lewis is a great receiver.  He was beating everyone at the PSU-Nike Combine, but he is only 5-7. Ben Maderia will be a kid who has to go to camps for schools to see.  With a solid senior season, he may get some interest.

Please stop by our forums to ask questions for next week's Guru Grill.

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