The Guru Grill

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 Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels.


CaptainH: With Dave Wannstedt indicating that he is willing to see what some of the freshmen who might have been redshirted can do, what is the latest on the following four players, Shane Brooks, John Brown, Derrell Jones and Mick Williams?


GURU: Shane Brooks and John Brown will red shirt. Derrell Jones appears to be red shirting. Mick Williams could go either way depending upon injury. Rashaad Duncan, Thomas Smith, Phil Tillman, and Nick Williams appear to be the four main guys right now at DT.


NJBob: What position is Vernon Smith playing in JUCO and where to you see him playing at Pitt?


GURU: He's playing LB, not positive if he's playing inside or outside. If he comes to Pitt he would be a MLB.


Masterghoul: Is Jason Kolodziej a player? Is he being recruited? Would Pitt consider him for walk on status?


GURU: I think he is a player; a lot of teams I believe are leery due to his knee injury. He was at our combine this spring and he looked very good. He showed decent speed and good lateral quickness. He does not have any offers yet, but he is receiving some MAC interest. I'm sure Pitt would take him as a walk-on.


GepDawg: Will LeSean McCoy consider Pitt again since the Panthers are now on a winning streak and PSU is on a losing streak?


GURU: Pitt has won two in a row and Penn State has lost one. I would wait a few weeks before calling it a streak. McCoy is a special player, but Pitt is pretty stocked at RB, and with Kevin Collier entering the mix they'll be even deeper. McCoy tends to rub some folks the wrong way with some of the things he says at times. I guess each kid has certain things they want, and that's what they look for. I think he goes to Penn State. I don't mind a little swagger, but for myself I prefer the ones who do it on the field and don't make ultimatums.


NJBob: Which true freshmen are still eligible for a red shirt?


GURU: Off the top of my head I believe Shane Brooks, John Brown, Derrell Jones, Cedric McGee, Steve Dell, Oderick Turner, Mick Williams, Shane Murray, Doug Fulmer, and Irvan Brown.


chris94: With the high school season half over, are there any Pitt recruits whose star ranking may be changing due to senior year performance on the field?


GURU: Kevin Collier I believe deserves to be bumped up as does Joe Thomas. John Malecki is also a candidate for being bumped up.


PittFan7: Is Aaron Berry being recruited as a wide receiver or a cornerback? Which position suits him best?


GURU: Pitt is recruiting him as a cornerback. In this system he's probably best at corner. Pitt is bringing in Aaron Smith at wide receiver and they are both similar in size. Smith is a little thicker. He could play either in my opinion, but with his size I would say he's best suited to play corner.

NJBob: Do you think any of the current freshmen offensive linemen can play center?


GURU: Walk-on Zach Haulman could end up there, possibly C.J. Davis or Dom Williams. There was talk of John brown ending up there so we'll have to wait and see.


CaptainH: It seems that the staff has made a change in philosophy regarding offering scholarships to juniors. Besides Steve Paskorz and Jon Ditto, what other juniors have Pitt offered?


GURU: Ditto has a verbal offer from my understanding, unless he was offered on Saturday. Paskorz is the only official one I know of right now. I'm pretty certain they'll offer Pat Bostick before long.


mistersteelers: If the Panthers don't land another offensive line recruit for the class of 2006, who do you think Pitts' starting offensive linemen will be next year?


GURU: Mike McGlynn-John Simonitis-Dom Williams-CJ Davis-John Bachman. Personally I think if Joe Thomas works his tail off in the off season he could make a run at a starting job as true freshmen.


buccoboy: Who are some JUCO offensive lineman Pitt should be recruiting?


GURU: There's such a broad spectrum of players in the Junior College ranks, you could list an infinite number of players. It all depends which schools they have in's at. Generally, a lot of schools will send mailings out and ask the JC coaches if they have any players that could help them. My bet is overwhelming amounts don't respond. The one's who do the colleges will get film of them and evaluate it and go from there.


tbro34: Are we pretty much out of the running for McKenzie Matthews?


GURU: Mack is very hard to read, I would not say totally out of it. He's taking his visits and seeing what is out there. You have to realize every time these kids take a visits they are being showed what they want to see, and are being told what they want to hear. They fall in love for a few days and then it's onto the next one.


Themasterghoul: I read where Vernon Smith says he is going to Pitt. Do you think Pitt is going to bring him on?


GURU: From what I have been told they still intend on it, if everything is good with him academically.


NJBob: Are we seriously looking at any JUCOs, especially defensive ends, offensive tackles and centers?


GURU: Yes, there are a few. I'm working on getting a few names. Jeff Otah is obviously one of them.


"In Your Grill" Question of the Week:


Mistersteelers: Which offensive lineman does Pitt have the best shot at landing?


GURU: I would say Jason Diehl and Jeff Otah right now.


Our staff would like to thank you for your participation as we strive to make our site the number one source of information for Pittsburgh Panther athletics and high school recruiting.


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