Guru Grill: Your Stop For Inside Pitt Athletics

Hello fellow Panther fans, it's time for The Guru Grill. This is where Panther fans come to get the answers to their questions regarding University of Pittsburgh athletics and recruiting from Scout.com 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.

GepDawg: How does Flacco's status affect the recruiting plan for QB in the upcoming year? Would you please expound on both a recruiting strategy for if he stays and one for if he transfers?

  • GURU: Obviously if Flacco leaves the panthers have a more desperate need for a capable quarterback to bring in. Most programs attempt to bring in one per season, they can't afford to bring in just anyone they will need a guy who is as close to a sure thing as possible. If Palko would leave after this season it would be devastating to the program. Then you may see them go after a JUCO kid or someone who is more ready to play. Unless a Billy Stull shows he is capable right now.

Bio79: Who would you think Pitt's top 10 remaining targets are (regardless of area/state) and what would be the odds of Pitt getting each.

  • GURU: Daniel Wenger-Average

    Dorin Dickerson-Good

    Vidal Hazelton-Average

    Pat Devlin-Average

    Jason Pinkston-Good

    Jason Adjepong-Average

    Kevin Collier-50/50

    Jeremy Ricker- Average

    Eric Olsen-Not Good

    LeSean Mccoy-Not good

    Nate Byham-Good


poonugget: What are the chances of us with Nate Byham?

  • GURU: See Above mentioned post

GepDawg: If Joe Flacco stays, is the starting position his to lose when Palko leaves/graduates, or will it be just as open to some of the younger QB prospects on the roster?

  • GURU: Nothing is handed to you in this sport, there's always someone ready to replace you. One of the young guys could beat him out.

NJBob: Since it appears that Jennings may be our starting runningback, how good are his hands (receiving) and pass blocking?

  • GURU: Every freshmen struggles with pass-pro, most aren't taught it in high school. Its something that most college coaches will harp on a kid about before he comes to camp. Jennings is a tremendous athlete and in discussions with his former high school coach he has always said Jennings was a good receiver out of the backfield.

CaptainH: Several recent articles are highlighting out of state recruits. Is the staff done with its offers to PA residents or waiting until after camp or even into the season before making any additional offers to PA players? If due to slow playing the recruit, how many players are in this category, and who are some of the prime individuals?

  • GURU: I think most of the out-of-state articles you see are just coincidental more than anything else. I know I have 14 sites I cover and I bounce around to various areas with-in my region. I may call a handful of PA kids tonight and a handful on NY kids tomorrow. I have a guy working with me who covers NY, and Rob Gidel who will also bounce around to different areas. While we all have connections there's always kids out there who have offers that even we do not know about. Kids like Connor Dixon and Nate Williams could fit into the category you mentioned.

GepDawg: Was fortunate to attend an alumni event in Philadelphia where our new head coach talked about his future plan for the football program. He also spoke about his bewilderment that Pitt could win the Big East and not have one recruit come from the eastern side of the state. Can you expound on why Pitt has not had any recent success in Eastern Pa and what Wannstedt plans and can do to change this?

  • GURU: They didn't recruit it basically. They still have not offered a lot of kids out in the eastern part of the state. Last year, off the top of my head I remember two Bright and Newell that mentioned Pitt offers. Slocum told me Pitt wrote him twice and never offered, a 5-star kid in your state and you don't offer. Your first part of your question actually provides part of the answer. By Wannstedt visiting he is laying a foundation out there, he is being visible to draw an interest to the program, that's what needs to be done. But none of that matters if the kids aren't offered.

Pittfan78: Has Sam Young, the OL from Florida ever mentioned Pitt?

  • GURU: Not to my knowledge, I had heard earlier in the spring that he and Wenger may visit but I don't believe anything ever came of it

ENorton: In an interview with Mike Farrell, Jason Pinkston stated that he intends to leave the state. Is this likely to be his true feeling on the matter, or just information he passed along during this paticular interview? I guess what I'd like to know, does Pitt have a real shot as Jason or is it time to move on?

  • GURU: If a recruit shows too much interest in one school, others tend to back off. Most of the time these kids catch on and they become aware of that. Anyone who knows Pinkston knows he is interested in Pittsburgh, and he was playing the game and that reporter was the victim. It happens to us all once in a while.

GepDawg: Which recruits from eastern Pennsylvania are Coach Wannstedt and his staff targeting and does Pitt have a serious chance to sign them come February?

  • GURU: Feasterville's Tom McEowen, Jeff Otah of Valley Forge Military and Exton's Pat Devlin are kids Pitt's recruiting. They have a legitament shot at Otah. They have an outside shot at both McEowen and Dezlin. They've shown a little bit of interest in Coastesville's C.J. Gray from Coatesville and Trey Womack from Malvern Prep. St. Joseph Prep'sJim McKenzie and Charlie Noonan are also being evaluated.

NJBob: Is the official LOI date for JUCO players the same as for high school seniors?

  • GURU: There are actually two signing dates for JUCO's. I believe one is around November or December and then there's the regular signing period. The earlier period is so athletes can sign and enroll in January.

Poonugget: How do you think our Defensive Line will do this year?

  • GURU: That's the million dollar question in Pittsburgh right now. I think it will be fine. A few younger players will have to step up but I think they'll be fine.

GepDawg: From your reporting the Maddox kid from West Catholic appears to be a blue chip prospect and has received several offers from big time schools. Why has Pitt yet to offer?

  • GURU: There in on a number of other prospects they have rated higher like Elijah Fields and Vidal Hazelton at wide receiver

tbro34: I know it's early but how is the NBE doing recruiting wise compared to the other BCS conferences at this point?

  • GURU: Its too early to look at results, but they seem to be holding their own. Louisville just got a big verbal from Zach Meagher who had an Oklahoma offer.

Pitt1999: Who has been rumored to have worked the hardest over the off-season to better their status on the depth chart. I have heard the obvious ones in McGlynn and Thomas.

  • GURU: I have heard good things about the McKillops, Charles Spencer, and one incoming freshman…Oderick Turner one of my contacts told me not to be surprised to see him get some early time. Sources say he has gained 10-15 pounds.

GepDawg: It appears that Pat Devlin has dropped Penn State from his top 5, now listing Pitt as one of his favorites. Is this true? If so, what chance do we have landing him?

  • GURU: Pitt has a shot, but it will be tough to beat Virginia and Miami.

CaptainH: Have prime targets been identified as attending the summer camp? If so, who are the major ones? Any surprises coming, possibly drawn by the new coaching staff?

  • GURU: Most prime targets won't work out at camp. Obviously there may be some out-of-state possibilities.

Puckyinz: Who will the Big East look to add when it comes time to once again expand the conference?

  • GURU: I think Kentucky would be a great fit, obviously they would lose money but they'd have some serious rivalries with Louisville, Cincinnati, and even West Virginia.

poonugget: Do you think Pitt will offer Eric Latimore and if so what do you think are chances are?

  • GURU: They need defensive ends and he is a very good one, he's interested and apparently so is Pittsburgh so this could happen. If offered I think they have a shot, he's impressed with Wannstedt

Pittfan78: Will the rumored transfer of Joe Flacco positively affect the recruitment of QB's for this class? And more importantly, who do you think ends up being the backup behind Palko this year?

  • GURU: These kids don't worry about the back-up quarterback leaving. I think Stull would get the nod, if Flacco leaves.

Panther More Top Stories

\r\nOur staff would like to thank you for your participation and in making \r\nour site the number one source for information regarding Pittsburgh Panther athletics and high school recruiting.\r\n\r\n

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\r\nGepDawg: How does Flacco's status affect the recruiting plan for QB in the upcoming year? Would you please expound on both a recruiting strategy for if he stays and one for if he transfers?\r\n
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\r\n\r\n\r\nBio79: Who would you think Pitt's top 10 remaining targets are (regardless of area/state) and what would be the odds of Pitt getting each.
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\r\n\r\npoonugget: What are the chances of us with Nate Byham?\r\n

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\r\n \r\n\r\nGepDawg: If Joe Flacco stays, is the starting position his to lose when Palko leaves/graduates, or will it be just as open to some of the younger QB prospects on the roster?
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\r\n\r\nNJBob: Since it appears that Jennings may be our starting runningback, how good are his hands (receiving) and pass blocking?\r\n

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\r\n \r\n\r\nCaptainH: Several recent articles are highlighting out of state recruits. Is the staff done with its offers to PA residents or waiting until after camp or even into the season before making any additional offers to PA players? If due to slow playing the recruit, how many players are in this category, and who are some of the prime individuals?\r\n

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\r\n\r\nGepDawg: Was fortunate to attend an alumni event in Philadelphia where our new head coach talked about his future plan for the football program. He also spoke about his bewilderment that Pitt could win the Big East and not have one recruit come from the eastern side of the state. Can you expound on why Pitt has not had any recent success in Eastern Pa and what Wannstedt plans and can do to change this?
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\r\n \r\n\r\nPittfan78: Has Sam Young, the OL from Florida ever mentioned Pitt? \r\n\r\n
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\r\n\r\nENorton: In an interview with Mike Farrell, Jason Pinkston stated that he intends to leave the state. Is this likely to be his true feeling on the matter, or just information he passed along during this paticular interview? I guess what I'd like to know, does Pitt have a real shot as Jason or is it time to move on? \r\n\r\n

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\r\n\r\nGepDawg: Which recruits from eastern Pennsylvania are Coach Wannstedt and his staff targeting and does Pitt have a serious chance to sign them come February? \r\n\r\n
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\r\nNJBob: Is the official LOI date for JUCO players the same as for high school seniors? \r\n\r\n\r\n
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\r\n Poonugget: How do you think our Defensive Line will do this year?\r\n\r\n
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\r\nGepDawg: From your reporting the Maddox kid from West Catholic appears to be a blue chip prospect and has received several offers from big time schools. Why has Pitt yet to offer? \r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\ntbro34: I know it's early but how is the NBE doing recruiting wise compared to the other BCS conferences at this point?\r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\nPitt1999: Who has been rumored to have worked the hardest over the off-season to better their status on the depth chart. I have heard the obvious ones in McGlynn and Thomas. \r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\nGepDawg: It appears that Pat Devlin has dropped Penn State from his top 5, now listing Pitt as one of his favorites. Is this true? If so, what chance do we have landing him? \r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\nCaptainH: Have prime targets been identified as attending the summer camp? If so, who are the major ones? Any surprises coming, possibly drawn by the new coaching staff?\r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\nPuckyinz: Who will the Big East look to add when it comes time to once again expand the conference?\r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\npoonugget: Do you think Pitt will offer Eric Latimore and if so what do you think are chances are? \r\n\r\n \r\n
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\r\nPittfan78: Will the rumored transfer of Joe Flacco positively affect the recruitment of QB's for this class? And more importantly, who do you think ends up being the backup behind Palko this year? \r\n\r\n \r\n
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