Guru Grill Volume XVI

Hello fellow Panther fans, it's time for the sixteenth installment of The Guru Grill. This is where Panther fans get the answers to their questions about the University of Pittsburgh athletics and high school recruiting from Panther Report /Big East Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels. <br><br> Our staff would like to thank you for your participation and helping to make our site the number one source for information regarding Pittsburgh Panther athletics and high school recruiting.

1) CaptainH: My questions are as follows:

1. Which of the available nine (OL) do you think will come to Pitt;
2. How closely are the coaches staying in touch with the second tier (OL)?
3. Who is most likely to be offered in the second tier?
4. Recognizing that you always want great athletes, 16 wide receivers? It seems a bit high given the needs on both the OL and DL.
5. Are there other TEs out there who would convert well, such as Brown?
6. How many OL does Pitt need, minimum and maximum?
7. What's up with Maryland and recruiting? They are involved with almost everyone it seems.

GURU:

1) Anderson, Mattes, and Bates out of the one's that have been offered. If Ronnie Wilson likes it at Pitt I think they have a realistic shot with him as well.
2) I think when your depth is as far down as Pitt's is on the offensive line there's not much difference between 1st and 2nd tier.
3) John Bachman and Zach Haulman would be two nice choices.
4) There are no limits on the amount of offers a team can give they may take 3 receivers and offer 30 total. The high number just means that there are more receivers that the staff covets than lineman; receivers are far more plentiful then lineman.
5) Scott Uziel I can see becoming a Dan LaCarte type of player.
6) Minimum I'd say 3 or 4, I would say 5 but after the late signing of Dominic Williams 3-4 should be a safe bet. There is no maximum if they could get 5-6 great lineman they'd find a way to keep them.
7) All of the ACC teams are doing pretty well right now. Maryland has done a lot of nice things down there they have a nice academic facility close to the field and Ralph Friedgen is a likeable guy who sells his program well.

2) Willemakit:
Are the Florida prospects better than the kids from Pa. or NJ?
Are the Panthers giving enough attention to the linemen of Western Pennsylvania?
Who are the best line prospects (all regions) still listing Pitt in their schools of choice?
Which particular o-line prospects should the Panthers be laying out the red carpet?
Will the Panthers have to settle for the 2nd tier line prospects, and if so, who might they be?
GURU:

a) Overall there's a lot more prospects in Florida, people look at kids in Florida like they do basketball players in NYC, they have that swagger
b) Because kids don't want to stay home, everyone thinks Pitt is not recruiting them, which is false
c) Ronnie Wilson, Jason Kacinko, Mattes, and Anderson. Pitt may have an outside shot at Christopher Barney.
d) All of them, Pitt needs them desperately
e) Too early to tell

3) Goldenboy1234:
When was the two-minute warning in football implemented and why?

GURU: That would be a question for the Steelers board.

4) GepDawg:
Mikell Simpson, what's the deal? Is Pitt going to offer?

GURU: With Irvan Brown and LaRod in the mix I doubt it. The only way Pitt will take an extra back is out of necessity and if Jawan Walker doesn't get straight that may be the case. I don't see Pitt taking another small-midsize back; if one of the big backs like Shane Brooks wants to come here they'll take him.

5) CaptainH:
Is there a count yet on how many scholarships are actually available this year?

GURU: The word I got was around 14, but it really depends on how things shake up this season with all of the issues that are going on with current players. They may not know for sure until December or January.

6) Goldenboy1234:
How would you rank the top 5 left tackles in the Big East?

GURU:

1. Rob Petitti-Pitt
2. Ryan Krug-Uconn
3. Adam Terry-Syracuse
4. Jeremy Trueblood-Boston college
5. Mike Watson-WVU

7) Pitt1999:
This may not be you're area of expertise but what is the deal with Pitt possibly playing Iowa in a home and home? Since Mizzou cancelled the series, I know Iowa has been looking for a replacement. I had heard Pitt had a good shot at this but a buddy told me that it was now either WVU or Syracuse. Any insight?

GURU: I haven't heard anything about the possibility of adding Iowa, I know there are future series with Navy, Clemson, and Michigan State.

8) Goldenboy1234:
How do you read the standings in the newspaper? I understand W L and T but what are a PCT, PF, and a PA on the standing chart?

GURU: a) Winning percentage b) Points scored c) Opponent's points scored

9) Dadschicken:
Can we get a WR update? Has anything changed in the Orton, Boateng, McDonald, Canada sweepstakes? Please let me know our realistic chances (in your opinion) on who we are going to land. Please do not limit yourself to the names listed.

GURU: Nothing has changed with any of them; August is a very slow month in recruiting. Best shot Orton and McDonald, if Pitt can convince Canada that leaving Cali isn't so bad then he could end up here. Boateng will play everything out until December. Lavar Lobdell could be a name that surfaces he likes Pitt and Pitt likes him.

10) Goldenboy1234:
What is the difference between throwing away the ball and intentional grounding?

GURU: I think it all comes down to a referee's discretion, if you are inside the box from tackle to tackle and you throw the ball in an area where there is no receiver it will be called. When a QB throws the ball away you can't say it didn't slip or was an accident. If he's under pressure or in the grasp they can call it intentional grounding as well. By the way I am a recruiting analyst not an official.

11) Willemakit:
In your opinion, is the negativity in the local media hurting Pitt's recruiting?

GURU: Anytime any of these kids come into town and they pick up a paper or their parents pick it up they are going to see it. I think it does cast a bad light on the program, but as media it's not their job to worry about recruiting it's to sell papers. Penn State goes 3-9 and they didn't get as much negative attention as Pittsburgh did for winning 8 games and going to a bowl game. Honestly myself I have grown so sick of the constant whining and negativity I seldom read any of the stories written about Pitt, unless they are by writers whom I feel are fair and objective.

12) Goldenboy1234:
Suppose a player receives a kickoff in the end zone, he does not down the ball and is tackled in the end zone without ever coming out. Is it a safety or a touchback?

GURU: It's a touchback. If the runner would crosses the end line and goes back into the end zone and is tackled, it's a safety.

13) Dadschicken:
Why no love for Brooks and Simpson. They are very highly rated RBs from PA. This does not make sense to me. Shouldn't we be making inroads in PA?

GURU: Brooks has been to Pitt at least 6-7 times, there's not much more Pitt can do to try and get him here. Obviously they don't feel as strongly about Simpson as some others do.

14) Goldenboy1234:
What offensive tackle was nicknamed the "Mad Scientist"?

GURU: Couldn't tell you.

15) Willemakit: What's your take on Justin King? Where will he end up?

GURU: I think Michigan is the team to beat, Penn State if they win early and often could get him. I know Ryan Mundy and Steve Breaston are really working him to go to Ann Arbor.

16) Willemakit:
What's the deal with Barrington Edwards? Does Pitt really have a shot at him?

GURU: You can tell we've had a 2-week delay with the grill; I'm going to say no they don't have a shot…lol

17) Pittfan1978:
Can you tell us the status of Mike Hull?

GURU: I haven't heard anything about Mike lately.

18) GepDawg:
Will we finally offer Jose Cruz, now that his scholarship has been rescinded by BC? Or does that make him less attractive know.

GURU: A lot of schools view him as being too slow to be a TE, he has exceptional hands, but he needs to work on his foot speed. He has verbally pledged to North Carolina.

19) CaptainH:
I am wondering if there is any new information about the following prospects: Kyle Newell, Andre Mathis, Jason Kacinko, Kurt Mattes, Ernest Williams and John Bachman.

GURU: Newell hasn't even mentioned Pitt lately, nor has Mathis. Kacinko has Pitt amongst his favorites but recently named Maryland as his top team. Mattes always mentions Pitt and they seem to have a legit shot at him. I haven't heard much from Bachman lately I'll have to call him this weekend. Ernest still has the same offers and the same favorites. Pitt has a shot.

20) Dadschicken:
Do we have a realistic shot with Danny Green, Jr? I have heard that we were a favorite prior to the UNC offer. Have things changed. He sounds like a player.

GURU: As soon as I say yes, he'll probably commit to UNC. Beating UNC out for a recruit in basketball is like trying to beat out Michigan in football, sure it's possible but there's not much chance of it realistically.

21) Goldenboy1234:
Can you please tell me what a walk-on kicker is? What are their roles? Is it true they don't get hit (as in tackled) very much?

GURU: You are worse than my 4-year old I swear you two are having a contest to see who can make the fat guy have a coronary first. You're killing me.

22) Willemakit:
What are Pitt's chances with Nate Minnoy?

GURU: He seems to be interested, I like to see Pitt recruiting that area of the country it will probably become common with DePaul coming in to the conference.

23) Dadschicken:
So far we have added 2 transfers. I would love to add Edwards. That would make 3. Where are these scholarships coming from? Was last year's class that incomplete that we didn't fill available ships?

GURU: As you can tell from the last few days things happen all the time that make scholarships available. My guess is that when Tyre Young was released and when Capizzi transferred those may have been the two scholarships awarded to Gaffney and Williams. Dipre left that should've given them another ship, it changes constantly.

24) Goldenboy1234:
Please explain loss of down. I thought that it meant the next down would be the down of the next play. For example, if the QB is called for intentional grounding on first down, the team would be penalized 5 yards, and the next play would be 2nd down--they lost 1st down. A friend says the next play would be third down--the team lost 2nd down.

GURU: if you lose a down you lose the down that you are currently on, if it's 1st and 10 and you lose a down it's 2nd and 10.

25) Dadschicken:
How on earth did we make Justin King's top 6? My hopes are not up, but it makes me wonder.

GURU: Coach Bray is from Gateway. Justin is a local kid, so you never know.

26) CaptainH:
How would Barrington Edwards, assuming he comes to Pitt, count from a scholarship standpoint? I would think that it would count as a 2004 one if he starts classes in 2004, even though he would not play until 2005.

GURU: We don't have to worry about it now, sadly.

27) Zane48:
What do you think is Pitt's biggest "need" position this recruiting season? What big-time players is Pitt in with in this "need position?

GURU: Lineman offensive and defensive, Mattes, Kacinko, Anderson, Ronnie Wilson. The most likely candidates on the D-line are Derrell Jones and Curtis Smith.

28) CaptainH:
What are the realistic chances of getting Greg (?) Boone for quarterback? If he does not come to Pitt, is there a fallback QB or will the staff go another route this year?

GURU: Jameel Sewell from Virginia may have been a fall back but he committed to Virginia, Dom Natale committed to Michigan State. Pennsylvania and Ohio are extremely deep at QB next year so if Boone doesn't go to Pitt they may just wait until next year.

29) Dadschicken:
No news on the OL recruiting front lately. Was Mattes in for a visit? If so, how did it go? Any news with the other OL prospects?

GURU: August is real slow not a lot happening. I'll be calling Kurt this weekend to get an update on him.

30) Willemakit:
Does Pitt have a realistic chance with Rico McCoy?

GURU: According to him and his father, yes they do.


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

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