Guru Grill Volume XIII

Hello fellow Panther fans, it's time for the eighth installment of The Guru Grill. This is where Panther fans get the answers to their questions about Pitt athletics from our resident recruiting expert Bob Lichtenfels. Our staff would like to thank you for your participation and in making our site and our Network the number one source for information regarding Pittsburgh Panther athletics and high school recruiting in Pennsylvania.

1) Daboman: Have you heard any news about Adam Hearns from North Penn?

GURU: I recently completed an article on Adam; you can find it on his player page in The Insiders database. He is the top dual purpose QB in Pennsylvania.

2) PantherinWV: I have heard some rumors that the coaches from North Allegheny and North Hills actively discourage their top-flight players from considering Pitt. Can you confirm or deny any of those rumors based on your experiences? Either way, are there any coaches out there that you know or believe are anti-Pitt? If so, any good insight into why they are?

GURU: Due to my position, I can't really disclose names. I will say that there are some high school coaches that have ill feelings toward one school or another for various reasons. The two schools you've mentioned I don't think they are like that at all McCurry and Rankin are very helpful and try hard to get their kids looks no matter who it's from.

3) BladesandSessionSforPresident: Any chance the rumors are true that we pick up Iowa and/or NC State in the near future?

GURU: Scheduling schools like Furman doesn't do much for prestige, although how many times do we see the Miami's and the Florida's playing Troy State and other similar types of schools, but it's never mentioned. I'm a strong believer in scheduling strong opponents, like the old saying to be the best you've got to be the best. Iowa and NC State could be good match ups. Giving Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz Pittsburgh roots and their now heavily recruiting the area I could see this happening. The same goes for NC State recruiting coordinator Curt Cignetti and The Wolfpack have been strong in PA recently.

4) Daboman: Will Adam Hearns be a QB or an athlete in college?

GURU: I think Adam will have a shot with a team that uses a running QB he is a tremendous athlete. If he doesn't develop at the QB spot he is athletic enough and versatile enough to move to another position.

5) Pittfan78: (Greg Paulus) Since he has been thinking about playing football, instead of going to Duke to play basketball, who has the best shot at him? I see Pitt has offered him, what better place to be a 2-sport star than here at Pitt.

GURU: After talking to coach Casamento at Christian Brothers Academy I think there is a distinct possibility that Paulus may reconsider. Pittsburgh has offered and is one of the teams rumored to have a chance at Greg. Paulus was in Europe for a basketball tour this weekend I will try and get in touch with him this week.

6) Colethan: How many scholarships will Pitt have open for the 2005 class?

GURU: Good question, right now I'm going to guess 15-18. No one will know for sure until fall camp.

7) Daboman: How does Pitt stand with Kyle Newell?

GURU: Kyle is very hard to read, I honestly don't think he really has a favorite and is very open. Pittsburgh has offered so now we wait and see if he takes a visit, if so we'll know he's interested for sure.

8) BladesandSessionSforPresident: Who are our top 5 targets and what is the likelihood that we will land them?

GURU: These are the top five that I think they have a shot at landing and that are very good prospects. OL Jason Kacinko- I like our chances as long as Pitt stays consistent after him I think we have an 85% shot. LB Rico McCoy- according to his father Rico will make an official trip to Pittsburgh, most likely in December. If he wants the big time and sitting a year or two then he's gone, I'd say 65% chance he's a Panther. If he wants to play early and be a star he comes here. WR Nyan Boateng call me crazy but I think he'll be a Panther. He could be the next star WR to come out of Pittsburgh; the basketball/football deal is too sweet for him to pass up. I give Pittsburgh a 90% chance. QB Bill Stull/Dom Natale/Drew Willy/Buck Smith/Jordan Sorrell/Greg Paulus, contrary to other reports Pittsburgh, cannot go two consecutive seasons without bringing in a pure QB. Walt stated from day one he wanted to bring in a QB every year, Darrell Strong may end up a QB, but he may not. What if the loser of the Palko/Getsy battle decides to transfer we are left with one of those two Joe Flacco, and Darrell Strong, Pitt has to take a QB it may be one of this group and it may not we shall see. Next Year's QB crop is very deep so that would be the only reason I could see not taking one this season. RB Shane Brooks is big, strong, and fast. He will give Pitt a legitimate look if they land some linemen. Right now I give us a 50% chance.

9) Wildcat Man32: Jeremy Bruce? I heard he ran a 4.43 forty time at one of the bigger camps or combines? Is Pittsburgh already got this kid locked down for the future?

GURU: Jeremy had one of the best SPARQ ratings out of all the Nike camps this year. I think WVU is hot after him and have verbally offered. He recently surfaced on the radar after the PSU Nike Camp; Pitt wasn't showing much interest early on but after talking to Jeremy this week the Panthers are showing interest. I'd say Jeremy is very open right now.

10) Willemakit: Did the long delay in a scholarship offer to Brandon Harrison hurt the Panthers chances of attaining his services?

GURU: Without a doubt Pitt was in his top 3, and they don't offer they waited until others offered and they got past by, again if they can talk him into an official visit then they still have a shot.

11) Pittfan78: We have offered (WR) Lavar Lobdell. Could this help us secure the services of Greg Paulus?

GURU: I'm sure it doesn't hurt; Paulus has a huge decision to make. I'm sure he will choose whatever makes the most sense to him; it won't be strictly because of a teammate.

12) BladesandSessionSforPresident: I read sometime back that Palko, Getsy, Flacco were studying film of Brady and the Pats. Should we expect a high efficiency short passing game next year, especially with the questions on the OL?

GURU: after watching the spring game I'd say this style of short to intermediate quick passes makes sense. There is a chance that the line could gel and end up half decent. Albeit a slim chance this season there's still a possibility.

13) GepDawg: What's the deal with Vernon Smith? I hear he will qualify, I here he won't. Folks are even saying he will never wear a Pitt uniform! What's the deal? What is true, and what isn't?

GURU: Wherever you're hearing that they must have more sources than me, I have been trying for 2 months to get in touch with him and have had no success. I'm not quitting yet hopefully our guys in Florida will get us a new number.

14) SCPittFan: Just got finished watching the '99 Pitt-ND game. Man, we had a hard-hitting, aggressive defense. Last year we had a big drop off in the amount of blitzing. Do you feel we will get back to this type of defensive philosophy?

GURU: I'll say it right now the Pittsburgh defense has the makings of something very special. There are a ton of great athletes at LB and DB. Mostly all of them have great speed and are tremendous athletes, if we get any type of solid play along the front look out. Blitzing like that is tough especially with unproven corners; if they prove themselves then you may see more chances being taken.

15) Pitt25: What are your thoughts on the Big East Conferences' new additions?

GURU: In 1977 the University of Miami was ready to extinguish football, they didn't and now look at them. I see USF as a potential Miami type of team down the road. Louisville has gotten the best player in their state two consecutive seasons, they are now hitting areas like Pennsylvania I think they will be a solid addition. Uconn has enough talent to win the conference, will they I doubt it. With BC parting for the ACC Uconn may end up getting kids who want to play in that area and don't want their parents to have to travel a long distance too watch them play. Cincinnati is in the process of rebuilding all of their facilities so they have to sell recruits on a vision right now, I am hearing good things about Dantonio.

16) WildcatMan32: Kentucky has put out some offers to the following Pennsylvania players: (Callahan Bright, Bill Stull, Shane Brooks, and Jason Kacinko). The Wildcats also appear poised to offer the following kids: (Josh Byrom, CJ Davis, David Black, and Jeremy Bruce. Do we have a legitimate shot at any of these kids? Obviously Bright, Brooks, and Stull appear headed to greener pastures, and Kacinko most likely to Pittsburgh, but whats the deal with Byrom, Black, and Bruce. Are they legitimate prospects?

GURU: Callahan Bright is going somewhere big, it won't be Pitt or Kentucky.

Shane Brooks: If Pitt gets some decent lineman he comes here. Kentucky has outside shot, but not much of one.

Bill Stull: I think you guys have a chance right now. Things could change with camp offers.

Jason Kacinko: Claims he's open-minded. He has some big teams creeping around like Michigan and USC.

Byrom, Davis, Black, and Bruce are legit kids and I think UK would have a legit shot at them both Byrom and Davis have NBE offers. Byrom has an offer from Louisville, while Davis has an offer from WVU.

17) Willemakit: Do you believe the hype about Pitt/PSU? Most observers seem to think the Nitters are going to be really good, yet Pitt will be down. What are your thoughts?

GURU: Everyone thinks their team is the best, PSU has recruited well at OL and LB, and they've done poorly in other areas. I don't think they are in the same category as OSU and Michigan and are far from it right now. Most of the fans think Morelli will be the savior, and he may be but not until they surround him or any other QB with some offensive weapons. I love Austin Scott he's a great back and is tough as nails. I don't see either program competing for a national title anytime soon.

Thanks for your continued support of our Guru Grill. Please post questions for next week in our Pitt forums.

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