The Guru Grill Volume #11

Welcome Panther fans to the Panther Report's weekly feature, the Guru Grill, where the Panther fans get the answers to all their questions about the University of Pittsburgh athletics and high school recruiting. The Panther Report is gaining recognition as the number one source for information about the University of Pittsburgh on the World Wide Web.

Merda: If we were to take five Offensive linemen this year, out of the ones that we have already offered who do you think they would be?

GURU: John Brown, Jason Kacinko, Kurt Mattes, Zach Anderson, and Elliot Bates.

SteelCurtain55: What is Charles Spencer's status?

GURU: Spencer is being moved to the offensive line last I heard.

Steelcurtain55: How is the health of Belarski, Frederick, and Furman?

GURU: Furman was limping all spring I'm not sure they'll ever get much out of him. I haven't heard much about the status of Belarski or Fredrick.

Steelcurtain55: Who is the leading candidate to start at fullback?

GURU: Tim Murphy.

Steelcurtain55: Who are the true freshmen that are most likely to play?

GURU: Phil Tillman, Brandon Mason, Rashad Jennings, Vernon Smith, Darrelle Revis, Kelvin Chandler, Marcel Pestano, Derek Kinder, and Andre Broussard. Basically it depends on who is eligible and the injury situation at summer camp.

Panther1015: What is the likelihood that Alleman, Tillman or others beat out Crochunis and Stephens as starters?

GURU: I think Dan and Vince are due for breakout seasons. They have experience and they need to be the leaders on defense.

Panther1015: Can you give any insight into the noticeable differences in Coach Kent's S&C program vs. Coach Kennedy's?

GURU: Coach Kent is a very energetic guy. He believes in a lot of flexibility training and just doing things the proper way. I always heard Kennedy was more of a strength/power guy.

Panther1015: Will Charles Spencer likely play at RT or LG?

GURU: I think he'll be a guard. It all depends who steps up at summer camp.

Panther1015: Is Botts' move to TE an indictment of Gill and Buches, or possibly an indication of Strong's potential at QB?

GURU: They need depth. Botts is a big athletic kid who can provide depth. I like the move to get your best athletes on the field. Neal Tracey is too big to play TE. Robbie Agnone needs a red shirt.

Panther1015: I like Joe Clermond's speed, range, freakish athleticism and hands at OLB (probably SAM), but I keep hearing he could be moved to DE. What's your take?

GURU: When I saw Jo Jo at camp a few weeks ago, he looks great I think he looks 6-3 and is looking very thick. My take is wherever he can get on the field, that's where he need's to be.

Panther1015: All the recent off-season position moves have left DE thin. What's your short list of candidates moving there?

GURU: Chris McKillop, I see him as a Grant Wistrom in the making. Alleman and Hearn could play inside or outside.

Panther1015: Is it true that Palko has physically grown a lot since joining the Panthers 2 years ago? I hear he's almost as big as Rod now.

GURU: Palko is a stud. I have met both and I think Tyler looks more cut and muscular than Rod. Rod was a big guy, but by muscle tone, Tyler is it hands down.

Littlepanther: Do you think they will take 2 TE's if we get a verbal from another? And do you think we will take away Jarvis' ship because of La Rod?

GURU: I can't see Pittsburgh taking LaRod and Jarvis, with a limited amount of scholarships. In a year with 25-scholarships, they may take both. I can't take anything away from either player. They are both great high school players and I hope they both do well. I just think LaRod's style is a better fit for the Pittsburgh system. At TE, Pitt really covets Richard Quinn and the feeling is mutual. If a James Dray wants to come here, you have to take him as well. I think they will take 2 if the right two are available.

Jester03: Whom do you fault for the poor o-line play? I mean, Deal is the head recruiter, Freeman coaches them, and Harris is the top dog. I understand Freeman is a great guy and a decent recruiter, but I would start with him and then look right to Harris. Harris is the guy who hired both Freeman and Deal and is the figurehead of the team.

GURU: I think it's a combination of things. All of these kids look like the real deal in high school. If they didn't, they'd never be offered scholarships. Could that be because of the player development? Possibly meaning it would fall on Tom Freeman's lap. Obviously, most fans aren't qualified to know if the teaching is wrong or the talent is wrong. Harris has been loyal to his assistants maybe to a fault, but you have to credit him for standing behind his decisions, good or bad. This year will be a telling year. If it's a sub-par season, Walt may be let go, or be forced to make some changes to the staff. All of that is just rumors and fortune telling right now. So, I say let the season play out and hopefully everything works out for the best.

BladesandSessionforpresident: If Elliott Bates commits, what would you rank him overall on a scale of 10, in terms of potential?

How would you rank the following players (on a scale of 10):

Jason Kackino
Kurt Mattes
Zach Anderson
John Brown

GURU: Bates on potential I'd say a 7. Kacinko I'd say a 9, Mattes a 8, Anderson a 8, Brown an 8.

GepDawg: I found this quote from Justin King on this website:

"I still like all the schools, but four schools are really sticking out," said King. "Penn State, Michigan, Florida and USC are my top four schools, and Miami would be my fifth school. I like Pitt but they aren't recruiting me that much."

Is this still the case, and how could this be? I know we have 2 great kids at CB who have already given Pitt a verbal. But this kid is special (53 written offers already!) and he wants Pitt to recruit him. How come Harris is dropping the ball on this, it doesn't seem acceptable?

GURU: I can assure you Pitt is recruiting King as hard as anyone. I personally think that is a smoke screen so he doesn't face the reverb from the locals asking why he wouldn't want to go to Pitt. Pitt would love to have King.

Pittfan78: Do you think we will have trouble recruiting Florida players now with the loss of Miami? Some of our best players wanted to show Miami that they were wrong about not recruiting them.

GURU: I think we may lose a few, but I think we'll continue to get the same kids that didn't have offers from the big 3, as we have in the past. The thing is the 2nd and 3rd tier players in Florida are better than a lot of states' 1st tier kids.

Poconopanther: What's your read on the field goal and PAT situations. Do you feel that:

a. Abdul will red shirt
b. Abdul will be ready and have the type of season we know he can have.
c. Gibboney earns the position.
d. The juco kicker Cummings surprises everyone and he beats out Gibboney and allows a red shirt for Abdul.

I am not sure but I think a walk on is in the mix also. Correct?

GURU: Just based on the seriousness of David's injuries, I'd be surprised if he is healthy enough to kick. I think Gibboney has the edge due to experience, but if everything I've heard is true about Cummings, he may come in and out do everyone. Connor Lee is the walk-on and he'll be given the same opportunity as everyone else. Judging the perseverance of Abdul, I would never bet against the kid.

GepDawg: Could you shed some light on who Pitt is seriously considering at WR and TE? I hear a lot of names, but I'm still not clear on who they are clearly pursuing, who they have offered, and who they have a legitimate shot at landing.

GURU: TE Richard Quinn and they have a good shot with him. Also, James Dray and John Pelusi. Day will be hard to get. Pelusi, who knows? WR DeSean Jackson, Jesse Canada, Nyan Boateng, Lavar Lobdell, Greg Orton, and James McDonald. All have been offered and all have Pitt in there top 3-7 favorites. Jackson is the long shot. He'll be a tough get.

GepDawg: Whom is Pitt going to offer at TE this year? We are weak there, especially if Strong plays QB. Have we offered Cruz? And if not, why haven't we?

GURU: Pitt has not offered Jose. Richard Quinn is bigger, stronger, and faster. Jose may eventually get offered. It will depend on Bott's move and how well Agnone adjusts.

Pitt25: Could you give us your thoughts on Reggie Carter?

GURU: Reggie is a player everyone forgets about, but he is a physical, athletic corner who has as good a shot as anyone to land one of the starting spots.

Scorchlord: I understand that Pitt is high on the list for super WR Nyan Boateng, but why are the Panthers still having trouble landing the top WR recruits in the country? The stats speak for themselves, as do Walt's previous players. He has two Biletnikoff winners, two of the only 3 to win it as a sophomore (not to mention the only school that's produced multi-Biletnikoff winners in the country). Two of his guys went high in the NFL draft. What's it take to land some more stud wide receivers?

GURU: I think this year will start a trend and you'll see some elite receivers signing with Pitt this year. Antonio didn't have the drawing power that Larry does.

Jester03: what is the status on Mike Davis? I've heard everything from a hurt shoulder, to he is not coming here; to he has loads of potential. If he doesn't come, to Pitt that is, who else we got lined up for big man since Taft should not be counted on to stay past this year?

GURU: Tyrell Biggs is the name I keep hearing. I haven't heard anything about Davis not coming here. But then again, I've been in lock-down football mode, so who knows?

Thank you Panther fans for the continued support and participation on the Guru Grill. Please post your questions for next week's Guru Grill on our message boards. Thank you.

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