The future looks bright at Pitt !

Though he never built the pipeline between Pitt and the fertile local recruiting area as many had hoped, the early years saw Walt Harris agressively recruit the WPIAL. Harris, who during his tenure failed miserably to establish good relations with area highschool coaches, also appeared to grow weary after losing out on several top local prospects.

Though they continued to recruit the WPIAL's top stars, the Panthers attention seemed to focus on states such as Ohio or Florida. These practices cost Pitt dearly as local highschool coaches were turned off thus swaying prospects to look elsewhere. If you can't recruit your own backyard, especially if your backyard is Western Pennsylvania, you're not going to be successful.

Dave Wannstedt hasn't had much time on the job but he sure has blazed a trail on the local recruiting scene during his first month as head coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Wannstedt has been taking a hands on approach at the local high schools and it seems to be paying off. WPIAL standouts Earnest Williams, Shane Brooks, John Pelusi, Bill Stull, Shane Murray, and C.J. Davis all pledged to the Panthers under Wannstedt. Local players Tommy Campbell, John Brown, LaRod Stephens, and John Bachman showed their approval with their signed letters of intent. Craig Bokor, a standout from the class of 2004 has also decided to honor his pledge to Pitt after a year at Valley Forge Military academy. In all, eleven local players decided that Pitt was indeed it. Wannstedt didn't devote all of his time and attention to the WPIAL getting commitments from Conredge Collins, Cedric McGee, Tommie Duhart, and Gus Mustakas. Though Domenic Jones wavered on his pledge to the university, Bryan Williams, Oderick Turner, Derrell Jones, Steve Dell, Rashaad Duncan, Kevin Hughes, Irvan Brown, Doug Fulmer, and 2004 holdover Rashad Jennings remained Panthers.

That's 23 signed letters of intent. All things considered, I would say this is a very good class. The future looks very bright for the University of Pittsburgh.

2005 University of Pittsburgh Football Recruits

Name / Height / Weight / Hometown / High School / Prep School

Quarterback (2)

Shane Murray ( 6-1/185 ) Pittsburgh, Pa. (Pittsburgh Central Catholic)

Dual-threat quarterback who led Pittsburgh Central Catholic to a 29-2 record (.935) over the last two seasons. Directed the Vikings to a 16-0 mark and the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA championships as a senior. Threw for 1,485 yards and 20 touchdowns, while running for 476 yards and four TDs. As a starter at free safety, had five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. As a junior, team went 13-2, won the WPIAL title and finished as the state runner-up. Murray passed for 1,308 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 630 yards and seven TDs that year. Defensive selection on The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State Team (first team), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25", Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33", All-Quad East honoree on offense and defense. Rated the No. 27 prospect in Pennsylvania by Scout.com.

Bill Stull ( 6-3/200 ) Pittsburgh, Pa. (Seton-LaSalle)

Record-setting quarterback who became the first player in WPIAL history to reach 3,000 yards passing in a single season. Threw for 3,310 yards and 40 touchdowns against just 15 interceptions as a senior. His passing yardage was the second highest in Pennsylvania history. Completed 62% of his passes, hitting 239 of 387. Led Seton-LaSalle to the WPIAL Class AA championship and the quarterfinals of the state playoffs with a 13-1 record. Set a WPIAL championship game record with 323 yards passing against Aliquippa. Threw five TD passes in that title game. As a junior threw for 2,262 yards and 22 touchdowns on 154-of-256 passing (60%). Threw for 5,572 yards and 62 touchdowns in his career, ranking in the top five of both categories in WPIAL annals. Had a career completion rate of 61%, completing 393-of-643 passes. Led the Rebels to a two-year record of 19-4 (.826). The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AA All-State Team (first team), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Class AA Co-Player of the Year, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AA, Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33", First team All-Century Conference, PrepStar All-American, SuperPrep All-Northeast Team, Scout.com East Hot 100, Rated Pennsylvania's No. 15 by SuperPrep and Scout.com.

Runningbacks (5)

Shane Brooks ( 5-10/230 ) Duquesne, Pa. (Duquesne)

Rushed for 1,545 yards on 219 carries (7.1 avg.) and scored 13 touchdowns as a senior. Rushed for 1,589 yards on 181 carries (8.8 avg.) as a junior. For his four-year varsity career, gained 3,958 yards on 597 carries (6.6 avg.). Two-year starter on both sides of the ball for Duquesne. In addition to tailback, started at linebacker and on the defensive line. Played his freshman season at South Allegheny. Led Duquesne to three consecutive Eastern Conference championships and three WPIAL Class A playoff berths. The Dukes went 7-4, advancing to the quarterfinals of the WPIAL playoffs his senior season. Two-time member of The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class A All-State Team, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class A. PrepStar All-American. Rated Pennsylvania's No. 11 prospect by Scout.com and No. 16 by SuperPrep. SuperPrep All-Northeast Team, Scout.com East Hot 100. Rated the nation's No. 12 fullback prospect by Tom Lemming.

Irvan Brown ( 6-0/185 ) Brewerton, N.Y. (Paul V. Moore)

One of New York's top prospects after rushing for more than 3,000 yards in his final two seasons. Rushed for 1,437 yards and 19 touchdowns on 177 carries (8.1 avg.) his senior year. As a junior, rushed for 1,597 yards rushing on 209 carries (7.6 avg.), while accounting for 146 points. The Post-Standard All-Central New York. Three-time all-section. First-ever junior recipient of the Albright Award, given annually to Oswego County's Most Outstanding Football Player. Three-year starter on both offense and defense. Played outside linebacker and strong safety on defense. Helped Paul V. Moore to three sectional playoff berths. Rated New York's No. 13 by SuperPrep and No. 17 by Scout.com. PrepStar All-East Region, SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. Also a basketball and track standout.

Conredge Collins ( 5-11/225 ) Coconut Creek, Fla. (Monsignor Edward Pace)

Considered one of the nation's top fullback prospects. First team All-Florida Class 3A running back. Rushed for 1,328 yards on 171 carries (7.5 avg.) and 21 touchdowns as a senior. Also had 18 receptions for 219 yards and five TDs. Compiled 4,331 rushing yards and 52 rushing TDs for his career. Led Pace to a 22-5 (.815) mark over his final two seasons, including a state title in 2003. Also led team to a 10-2 record and the semifinals of the Florida Class 3A playoffs as a senior. His junior year, Collins led the Spartans to the state championship with a 12-3 mark. Rushed for 1,800 yards and 20 TDs as a junior. Selected to play in the Nike South Florida All-Star Game and the CaliFlorida Bowl (California versus Florida all-star game). Rated the nation's No. 23 tailback prospect by Tom Lemming. PrepStar "Dream Team". Considered one of the top 50 players in Florida by SuperPrep and Scout.com. SuperPrep All-Dixie Team, Scout.com Southeast Hot 100 Also considered one of the top 120 players in the southeast by The Mobile Register. Son of former New England Patriots running back Tony Collins.

*Rashad Jennings ( 6-2/260 ) Forest, Va. (Lynchburg Christian Academy)

Enrolled at Pittsburgh in January and will have true freshman eligibility for the 2005 season (five years to play four seasons). Two-time first team All-Virginia (Division 2). Two-time first team All-Virginia Independent Conference. Two-time Lynchburg News & Advance All-Area. Two-year, two-way starter for Lynchburg Christian Academy at tailback and linebacker. Scored 56 touchdowns in two seasons. As a senior, averaged 10.3 yards per carry, compiling 1,978 yards on 192 attempts. Scored 33 total touchdowns in 2003, including 28 rushing, two receiving and three on returns (two interceptions and one fumble return). Also had six receptions for 146 yards (24.3 avg.). Defensively had 75 tackles. Lynchburg Christian Academy's Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. As a junior, averaged 9.2 yards per carry, rushing for 1,309 yards on 142 attempts. Scored 23 total touchdowns as a junior, including 19 rushing, three receiving and one on a fumble return. Had 15 receptions for 285 yards, averaging 19 yards per catch. Led team to a two-year record of 18-4-1 (.804) and two state playoff berths. Team went 10-1-1 in 2003, finishing as the Virginia Division 2 runner-up. SuperPrep All-Mid-Atlantic Team. Rated Virginia's No. 30 prospect by SuperPrep, PrepStar All-Atlantic Team.

LaRod Stephens ( 5-7/165 ) Johnstown, Pa. (Greater Johnstown)

Record-setting tailback who was a two-time member of The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team). In three varsity seasons, rushed for a Greater Johnstown-record 4,597 yards, averaging 8.9 yards per carry. Broke the 29-year-old career rushing record of 3,552 yards. Stephens rushed for 57 touchdowns during his career. As a senior, led the Johnstown area with 1,875 yards rushing, 32 touchdowns and 192 points. Averaged 9.97 yards on 207 carries as a senior. Led Greater Johnstown to its first-ever District 6 Class AAA title and a 9-3 record. As a defensive back, compiled 51 tackles and five interceptions. During his junior year he set the school single-season rushing record with 2,226 yards averaging 12 yards per carry and scoring 23 touchdowns and 140 total points. Led the Trojans to a 9-2 mark that season, including a berth in the District 6-AAA title game. Selected one of the top 50 National Players of the Year by Old Spice "Red Zone". First-ever two-time Tribune-Democrat Offensive Player of the Year, Southern Allegheny Football Coaches Association Offensive Player of the Year. Received a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for his football accomplishments. PrepStar All-American. Rated Pennsylvania's No. 13 prospect by Scout.com and No. 24 by SuperPrep, SuperPrep All-Northeast Team, Scout.com East Hot 100.

Wide Receiver (2)

Cedric McGee ( 6-1/190 ) Plantation, Fla. (Plantation)

Compiled 1,026 yards on 51 catches (20.1 avg.) his final two seasons at Plantation. Had 29 receptions for 576 yards (19.9 avg.) and eight touchdowns his senior year, and 22 catches for 450 yards (20.5 avg.) and four TDs as a junior. Selected to play in the Nike South Florida All-Star Game and the CaliFlorida Bowl (California versus Florida all-star game). Second-team All-Florida 6A (highest classification) honoree, All-Broward County, PrepStar All-Southeast Region.

Oderick Turner ( 6-2/180 ) Teaneck, N.J. (Teaneck)

Three-year starter on both sides of the ball for Teaneck leading team to three consecutive state playoff berths. An outstanding leaper, Turner recently captured the New Jersey Group III indoor high jump championship (reaching 6-foot-4). During his senior season had 37 receptions for 785 yards (21.2 avg.) and seven touchdowns and 25 catches for 860 yards (34.4 avg.) and five TDs as a junior. Also had 13 interceptions in three varsity seasons. Compiled over 1,600 yards receiving during his senior and junior seasons to twice earn unanimous first team All-North New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL). Rated New Jersey's No. 30 prospect by Scout.com and No. 32 by SuperPrep. SuperPrep All-Northeast Team, PrepStar All-East Region, All-Bergen County, All-North Jersey. Father, Odessa Turner, was a receiver with the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers from 1987-93.

Tightends (1)

John Pelusi ( 6-3/240 ) Allison Park, Pa. (Pittsburgh Central Catholic)

Tight end prospect who excelled at blocking and pass catching at nearby Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Was a three-year starter at tight end and defensive end for the Vikings. Helped lead Central Catholic to a 16-0 mark and the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA championships as a senior. Had 15 receptions for 254 yards (16.9 avg.) and two touchdowns as a senior. Defensively had 72 tackles and three quarterback sacks. During his junior year team went 13-2, won the WPIAL title and finished as the state runner-up as he caught 30 passes for 549 yards (18.3 avg.). Named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State Team (first team), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA, Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33". Rated the No. 12 prospect in Pennsylvania by SuperPrep. SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. PrepStar All-East Region. Rated the No. 18 prospect in Pennsylvania by Scout.com.

Offensive Line (4)

John Bachman ( 6-4/260 ) Moon Township, Pa. (Moon Area)

Four-year letterman at Moon who was named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team) as a senior. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAA, All-Parkway Conference selection on both sides of the ball as a junior and senior. Earned All-Parkway Conference as a defensive selection his sophomore year. Played left offensive tackle, protecting the quarterback's blindside. Moon set school records for passing yardage, completions and attempts his senior year. Defensively Bachman compiled a team-leading 67 tackles. Led team to a combined 19-4 record (.826) with two WPIAL Class AAA playoff berths his junior and senior years. Moon also advanced to the WPIAL playoffs following Bachman's sophomore and freshman seasons. PrepStar All-East Region, SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. Rated the No. 29 prospect in Pennsylvania by SuperPrep.

John Brown ( 6-3/295 ) Lower Burrell, Pa. (Burrell)

Three-year starter on both sides of the ball at Burrell High who was selected to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AA All-State Team (first team). Started at offensive tackle as a senior after playing tight end and split end his initial two varsity seasons. Started at defensive end all three years. Led team to an 11-1 record, the Allegheny Football Conference title and the WPIAL Class AA playoffs as a senior. Keyed an offense that scored 30 or more points in seven of Burrell's nine regular-season games. Defensively, compiled 39.5 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Allegheny Football Conference Lineman of the Year. Three-time All-Allegheny Football Conference, Valley News Dispatch All-Star, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-WPIAL Class AA, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette All-Allegheny Football Conference, PrepStar All-East Region. Rated the state's No. 35 prospect by Scout.com.

C.J. Davis ( 6-2/290 ) Oakdale, Pa. (West Allegheny)

Starred on the offensive and defensive lines at West Allegheny. Named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team) as an offensive lineman. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAA, All-Parkway Conference honoree on both sides of the ball. Helped the Indians average nearly 34 points per game, the best in WPIAL Class AAA. Compiled 50 tackles, 11 tackles for losses and four sacks as a senior. Led team to an 11-1 mark and the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. Moved to Western Pennsylvania from Fort Campbell, Ky., following his freshman year in high school. Went on to be a three-year starter for West Allegheny. SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. Rated Pennsylvania's No. 22 prospect by SuperPrep and No. 46 by Scout.com.

Kevin Hughes ( 6-3/280 ) Allendale, N.J. (Northern Highlands)

Named an All-New Jersey offensive lineman by the Star-Ledger (second team) and The Associated Press (third team). First team All-Bergen County. First team All-Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL). Second team All-North Jersey. Also played on the defensive line and was team's long snapper as a senior and did not have a single bad snap. Northern Highlands' team captain.

Defensive Line (5)

*Craig Bokor ( 6-4/280 ) Aliquippa, Pa. (Hopewell High School / Valley Forge Pa. Military Academy)

After originally signing with Pittsburgh in 2004, Bokor spent last fall at Valley Forge Military Academy. Enrolled at Pitt in January and will have true freshman eligibility for the 2005 season (five years to play four seasons). Craig enjoyed a highly accomplished high school career at Hopewell, compiling 128 tackles and nine sacks over his final two seasons. 2½-year starter at defensive end and offensive guard for Hopewell. The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team (first team), Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33", two-way All-Parkway Conference honoree by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25" and All-Class AAA honoree. Helped Hopewell to a three-year record of 29-8 (.784). Led team to the PIAA Class AAA championship his junior year with a 14-1 mark. During his sophomore season the Vikings went 11-1, finishing as the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up. Following his senior year Bokor was rated the nation's No. 40 prospect in the Atlantic East and No. 44 in the Midwest…PrepStar All-East Region. Compiled 68 tackles, 4.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries at VFMA during the '04 season.

Tommy Duhart ( 6-2/275 ) Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central)

Two-way standout for perennial Florida power Glades Central. All-Palm Beach County, All-Western Conference. Selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game. Collected 58 tackles, 11 tackles for losses and four sacks as a senior defensive lineman and had five receptions for 124 yards (24.8 avg.) at tight end. Glades Central posted unbeaten regular seasons each of his final two years. His 2004 team finished 10-1, advancing to the regional finals of the Florida 3A playoffs. His junior year Glades Central went 11-1 and made it to the regional semifinals. PrepStar All-Southeast Region. Rated one of the top 100 players in Florida by Scout.com.

Rashaad Duncan ( 6-1/280 ) Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central)

All-Florida Class 3A second-team honoree who led perennial power Glades Central to undefeated regular seasons each of the last two years. All-Palm Beach County, All-Western Conference. Selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game. Compiled 62 tackles, 16 tackles for losses and nine quarterback sacks his senior year. SuperPrep All-Dixie Team. Rated one of Florida's top 85 players by SuperPrep.

Derrell Jones ( 6-1/305 ) Accokeek, Md. (Westlake)

Considered one of the top prospects in Maryland. Three-year starter at defensive tackle for Westlake. Also started at offensive tackle his final two seasons. Two-time All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference selection by both league coaches and the Washington Post…compiled 63 tackles, 17 tackles for losses, 6.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three caused fumbles and five pass breakups as a senior…graded out at nearly 85% at offensive tackle. Rated the No. 12 prospect in the state according to Scout.com. SuperPrep All-Mid-Atlantic Team. Rated the No. 12 prospect in the Mid-Atlantic Region by SuperPrep. PrepStar All-Atlantic Region.

Gus Mustakas ( 6-3/250 ) Pembroke Pines, Fla. (Chaminade-Madonna Prep)

First team All-Florida Class 2A selection as a defensive lineman. Starter at both defensive tackle and tight end for Chaminade-Madonna. Sun-Sentinel All-Broward County selection on both sides of the ball. Offensively compiled 30 pancake blocks and 10 receptions for 249 yards (24.9 avg.) with three touchdowns. Had 64 tackles and five sacks on defense. Also was the holder on placekicks. Team captain for a team that went 24-2 (.930) his final two seasons. Led team to an 11-1 record and the semifinals of the Florida Class 2A playoffs his senior season. As a junior Mustakas helped the Lions to the state championship with a 13-1 mark. Chaminade-Madonna was voted the top team in the state (all classifications) by a panel of sportswriters in 2003. Selected to play in the Broward-Dade County All-Star Game.

Linebackers (3)

*Steve Dell ( 6-2/230 ) Lake Worth, Fla. (Santaluces Community)

Enrolled at Pittsburgh in January and will have true freshman eligibility for the 2005 season (five years to play four seasons). Three-year starter on both offense and defense for Florida 6A (highest classification) school. As a linebacker, compiled 78 tackles, five sacks and one interception during his hurricane-shortened senior season. Played tight end on offense and caught two touchdowns. All-Palm Beach County and All-Suncoast Conference. Selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game. Santaluces participated in the state playoffs each of his three seasons as a starter. PrepStar All-Southeast Region, SuperPrep All-Dixie Team. Rated one of Florida's top 85 players by SuperPrep.

Doug Fulmer ( 6-3/210 ) Syracuse, N.Y. (Henninger)

Four-year starter at defensive back who earned All-New York (second team). Two-time first team All-Central New York. Three-time first team all-league. Had 62 tackles, four interceptions and three sacks as a senior. Averaged 21.4 yards per reception with 22 catches for 470 yards. Also scored 12 touchdowns, including four by receptions, four by rushing and four by kick return. Had 17 career interceptions. National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete honoree. Led Henninger to a four-year mark of 27-11 (.711) with three league championships. Played under Coach David Kline. SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. Rated New York's No. 21 prospect by SuperPrep.

Ernest Williams ( 6-1/260 ) Monessen, Pa. (Monessen)

Earned acclaim on both sides of the ball during his four-year varsity career at Monessen. Named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class A All-State Team (first team) as a linebacker his senior year. Also was an outstanding fullback, rushing for 1,109 yards and 13 touchdowns on 131 carries (8.5 avg.) his final season. Some scouting services rank him as one of the region's - and the nation's - top fullback prospects. He scored 16 total TDs, including two on punt returns. Valley Independent's Player of the Year. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class A. Second team all-state as a junior. Three-time All-Tri-County South selection. During his four-year varsity career, Williams led the Greyhounds to a combined 34-9 record (.791), four WPIAL Class A playoff berths and three Tri-County South championships. PrepStar All-American. Rated the nation's No. 18 inside linebacker prospect by Tom Lemming, SuperPrep All-Northeast Team. Rated Pennsylvania's No. 16 prospect by Scout.com and No. 23 by SuperPrep. Also an all-section basketball player who shattered a backboard while dunking in a game this past December.

Defensivebacks (2)

Tommie Campbell ( 6-2/190 ) Aliquippa, Pa. (Aliquippa)

Multi-faceted athlete who was named to The Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AA All-State Team (first team) in the "specialist" category…led Aliquippa with 26 catches for 502 yards (19.3 avg.) and eight touchdowns as a senior…at safety compiled 74 tackles and four interceptions, returning one for a TD…set an Aliquippa record with a 99-yard punt return for a touchdown (against Quaker Valley)…Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22"…Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25"… Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AA…Harrisburg Patriot-News "Platinum 33"…first team All-Midwestern Conference on both sides of the ball…named Midwestern Conference's Co-Most Valuable Player…led Aliquippa to a 26-2 record (.929) in his two years as a starter…as a senior the Quips went 12-1, earning a berth in the WPIAL Class AA title game…his junior season Aliquippa went 14-1, winning both the Pennsylvania Class AA championship and the WPIAL Class AA title…PrepStar All-East Region…rated Pennsylvania's No. 20 prospect by Scout.com…played under Coach Mike Zmijanac…also a track and basketball standout...joins fellow Aliquippa products Bernard "Josh" Lay and Darrelle Revis at Pitt.

Bryan Williams ( 5-11/195 ) Akron, Ohio (John R. Buchtel)

Exceptional double threat for Akron's Buchtel High, which has an emerging pipeline to Pitt. First team All-Ohio Division III running back after rushing for 1,897 yards and 26 touchdowns in 11 games as a senior. As a cornerback, compiled 52 tackles and eight interceptions, returning one for a TD. The Plain Dealer Defensive Player of the Year. First team All-Beacon Journal. Three-year starter for Buchtel and also lettered as a freshman. In four varsity seasons, Williams helped Buchtel to three city championships, three state playoff berths and a 34-11 record (.756). PrepStar All-Midwest Region. Rated one of the top 75 players in the Midwest region by SuperPrep. Rated Ohio's No. 32 prospect by Scout.com. Scout.com Midwest Hot 100.

( *enrolled January '05 )


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