Guru Grill

Hello fellow Panther fans, it's time for another edition of The Guru Grill. <br><br> This is where Panther fans get the answers to their questions about University of Pittsburgh athletics from big East Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels.

Our staff would like to thank you for your participation and in making our site the number one source for information regarding Pittsburgh Panther athletics and high school recruiting.

1.) DCPanther: Do you think Pitt will get some early verbals as a result of the successful junior days and the abundance of local talent?

GURU: I do, but remember the talent is abundant, but it is very good and will be heavily recruited. These types of kids often take longer to decide.

2.) NJBob: What position will Strong play this season?

GURU: Can I give the politically correct bailout answer. Wherever he is needed. It depends on the depth at other positions.

3.) boulder42: Where is the interest in Nate Williams, the LB out of Central Catholic? He was first team all-state as a junior, he was named one of 85 junior All-Americans by that "other" site, and yet when the talk turns to local prospects in 2006, his name never seems to come up. Does Pitt not have a shot at signing this kid?

GURU: The "other" site has obviously never watched a game in Western Pennsylvania. Nate is good, but he is not one of the top 85 kids in the nation, could he be? Yes. He seems to like Pitt and he is that big LB that the panthers have not been able to get, appears to be a good fit.

4.) GepGawg: would you fill us on all the position changes you hear, or anticipate with our most recent recruiting class?

I will, but they haven't even arrived on campus as of yet, In August we may know.

5.) kickerzdad: I know it is early but, how many scholarships do you think we have to go around for 2006?

GURU: Depends, I have heard a few panthers may be in some hot water academically. This could clear a few scholarships if things come to light in the next few months, I'm sure with a transition of a new staff there could be a few kids who leave or are asked to leave.

6.) kickerzdad: In 2006 what positions would you like to see the Panthers give scholarships to based upon the teams needs or weaknesses?

GURU: Offensive Tackle, Tight End, Defensive End, Linebacker, wide receiver, Punter, and Kicker

7.) kickerzdad: Being realistic, who do we possibly have a chance at getting?

GURU: It's too early to be too realistic, it's only march. Wannstedt is impressing parents and coaches so I think Pitt will do well. They still have to win on the field though.

8.) kickerzdad: From the class of 2006, who would you like to see sign on the dotted line?

GURU: any 10-12 of the top 25 (Pa.) kids would give Pitt a nice class. A stud LB like Navorro Bowman would look good. A big-time WR like Vidal Hazelton.

9.) GepDawg: Pitt has a lot of RB's on scholarship right now. How will things pan out? Who will play, who will ride the pine, and who will redshirt?

GURU: From what I have been told Pitt is planning a special package just for LaRod Stephens, so as long as he is physically ready he'll play. I think Irvan Brown may be a redshirt candidate. Collins and Brooks will be an interesting battle for playing time between those two. Brooks, has sort of been forgotten about since the Collins signing, but I can assure you'll he factor in somewhere.

10.) CaptainH: When do you anticipate the first verbal to Pitt and who do you think it will be?

GURU: April or May, possibly Tyler Tkach or Chris Hanna.

11.) CaptainH: What's the latest on Marlon Terry?

GURU: I have a call into Claude Brown at Buchtel; hopefully we'll know something soon. I have heard from some sources that he'll be ok.

12.) CougarClaw: Does Pitt have a good shot at any of the top QB's in state such as Devlin or Frazier?

GURU: slim, but they have at least a fighting chance with Devlin, they haven't showed much interest in Frazer.

13.) CougarClaw: Are there any "Big Name" recruits seriously considering Pitt right now? If so, who are they?

GURU: Navorro Bowman-LB, from Suitland, Md.
Aaron Brown-OL, from Princeton, Ohio
Darrin Walls-CB from Woodland Hills
Dorin Dickerson-LB from West Allegheny
Bartley Webb-OL from Arkansas
LeSean McCoy-RB from Bishop McDevitt
Vidal Hazelton-WR from Moore Catholic, NY
Pat Devlin-QB from Downingtown East

14.) Evanman123: Did Pitt get any walk-ons for this years' class?

GURU: Zach Haulman and Chris Bova are confirmed, there is at least one more, and another coming in the next two weeks.

15.) Zane48: Bob, who in your opinion, will be the top 3 recruits in the country next season and will Pitt have a chance with any of them?

GURU: It's too early to say nationwide, but I can say in the East I like LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin, and Myron Rolle. McCoy is the only one I can see Pitt having a shot at, and it is a very small shot.

16.) Pittfan78: Is Chris Hanna out of Gateway on the same level talent wise as Jason Kacinko last year? And do you think he will be a Panther?

GURU: I think Hanna is actually better at the same point in his career then Kacinko. Hanna is a more dominant run-blocker then Kacinko, he also has better feet.

17.) Mistersteelers: Do you think that any players are going to verbal early to the Panthers and would you say that the top recruiting priorities are linebacker and offensive line?

GURU: Usually around April someone will verbal early, there will be a lot of big time kids in (Pa.) so the timeframe will change. A lot of these kids will stretch it out. LB and OL would be my priorities, along with DE.

18.) Themasterghoul: With an impressive group of QB's in PA for next year I am interested to know how you would rank them from best to worst and everyone in between.

1A. Zach Frazer, 1B Pat Devlin, 3. Jeremy Ricker, 4. Desmond Brentley.

19.) Pittfan78: Bob, have we still not offered Jared Odrick? He got an offer from Oklahoma recently, and it seems odd that we are supposed to be recruiting the whole state, but we are avoiding one of the top linemen in the state.

GURU: He may have by now, the last I spoke to him Pitt had not offered. I only call these kids once a month so things can change.

20.) Papagator: Any reason PITT doesn't recruit the state of Virginia more?

GURU: I think basically it is because any coach that ends up recruiting Virginia, Babers, Moses, gone after 1-2 years there's never a chance to establish solid ties down there. Va Tech and UVA get what they want and you get what's left.

21.) Pittfan78: I see Jeff Minemeyer (6-7, 235) now has 5 offers, do you think Pitt will offer him when he comes to camp at Pitt? Apparently he favors Pitt right now even without an offer. Where do you think he'll end up playing? OT, TE, DL?

GURU: Minemyer is still learning the game; I think he needs to be more aggressive to be a defensive player. He is (6-7) and that's attractive to teams anytime you get a kid that size that can move well. He's only 237-pounds he would have to gain at the minimum 35-pounds to be effective as an OT, which would take in the neighborhood of two years to gain. So in the end it's easier to teach a kid to be aggressive, so I would say he'll likely end up as a DE.

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

Bill Harris/PantherReport

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