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.

Mistersteelers: Assuming that Pitt has five or so scholarships available, predict the Panthers next verbals.


GURU: Jeff Otah, Elijah Fields, Andy Miller, Jared Martin, possibly Geno Atkins or Audie Augustine. Pitt could pull a surprise such as Conredge Collins last year, when all the stars align right and that high profile kid falls in your lap. I could also see them making a play for Perry speedster Aundre Wright. Thaddeus Lewis is also an option along with Jamar Howard.


tbro34: What do you think about the Big East recruiting efforts so far this year? Do any other Big East programs, excluding Pitt, show promise of cracking the top 35 in class rankings?


GURU: Connecticut, West Virginia, and Cincinnati all have limited scholarships available so I doubt they will contend for a top 35 class this year. Louisville may have a shot. If Syracuse can sway some kids like Collier, Mathews, and Cantey they very well could move into that range. Yes, I realize Mathews doesn't talk about them, but no one thought they would get Lavar Lobdell last season either.


PittFan7: Do you think McKenzie Mathews chooses to Pitt?


GURU: Pitt can offer immediate playing time, if that proves to be important to him then Pitt is a very viable option.


Mistersteelers: How does next years crop of offensive linemen look?


GURU: Nationally I don't think it will measure up, but locally it will be the strongest it's been in probably three to four years.


steelcurtain55: Not meaning like a George Novak who has plethora of talent right in his borough, but a coach who takes kids from nowhere and gets them into schools, which WPIAL coach is known for developing the best college talent.


GURU: I'd have to say Aliquippa and Mike Zmijanac.


Mistersteelers: Is it safe to assume that we'll see a lot of the freshmen play next year on both sides of the ball?


GURU: If you listened to Dave Wannstedt speak after the game I would say you could bet the house on it. Wannstedt loves speed and people who make plays, he is recruiting those types of players.


NJBob: Is Pitt involved with Teaneck, N.J. senior DE Oren Wilson?


GURU: Wilson is more of a DT, I have not heard anything as far as Pitt actively recruiting him. The kids they are after in Florida are probably a level above him.


tbro34: In a recent article about Aaron Berry you said that he was all over the map, are our chances of landing him much smaller than they once were?


GURU: I would say the chances are slim now that Jovani Chappel has committed. So it may not matter now if Berry wants to go to Pitt or not. Unless, they choose to try and get a few kids to gay shirt and sign a few extra players then he may be a possibility.


Mistersteelers: Should the panthers lose out on Otah, who are some plan b type guys that might be available and interested in Pitt?


GURU: They like Andy Miller, I could see them make an effort to land a JUCO player if they lose out on Otah.


tbro34: In the recent Paul Zeise Q & A, he mentions Tyler Tkach as having an amazing season. Do you think he will be able to contribute early on, how much has his stock risen this season?


GURU: Northern Lehigh plays a very weak small school schedule so I would contain the enthusiasm until he gets on campus. I believe he can be a very good player, but he still has improvements to make and he needs to be able to red shirt to get a little stronger and bigger.


"In Your Grill" Question of the Week


Mistersteelers: What incoming freshman will make the biggest impact next year?


GURU: I won't say Otah because he is not committed yet, so let's go with kids who are committed now. Lowell Robinson is a kid the staff is very high on; they think he was a steal.  If Nate Nix puts on a little weight and strength he could make an impact early on. I also feel John Malecki with his motor will be hard to keep off the field. Dorin Dickerson should contend for the No. 2 or 3 WR spot as well. Kevin collier is skilled enough that if he keeps his verbal he could start.




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