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.


Hailtopitt78: Which true freshmen will make the most immediate impact?


GURU: I think off the bat Dorin Dickerson will have to play. Joe Thomas will have huge expectations, as will John Malecki. If they land Fields they have to get him on the field.


TheProwl: What is the time frame for a potential recuit to qualify for entrance to college?


GURU: I believe they have until late summer.


Pittmn24: Once Tyler Palko graduates does Dave Wannstedt rely on a freshman or will he go JUCO route for a quarterback?


GURU: Billy Stull, Kevan Smith, Dexter Davidson, and a possible transfer will compete along with whatever incoming freshman they bring in. If Pat Bostick were to commit, obviously he will compete.


Tbro34: How strong a prospect would you rate Darel Strong?


GURU: I think Strong would be at least a three star. Picture Darrelle Strong playing defensive end, yes it's an impressive thought.


TheProwl: Why is Attendance so poor for home games?


GURU: I think a big reason is that Pitt Alumni are so spread out. Obviously, not having an on-campus stadium hurts as well. This is when I get grilled, when you look at schools like Penn State with 100,000 strong its tradition and it's an impressive thing. Pittsburgh has its share of fair weather fans, just as Palko said last year "Pittsburgh fans love a winner" and when they don't win a lot of fans don't back them.


Themasterghoul: Looking at the top 20 classes it is truly amazing to me that Pitt is in there with the rest. They are coming off a 5-6 season and are still ranked up there with the big boys. You have followed the recruiting game a lot longer than me and I am curious to know if you've ever seen anything like this before? Would you describe it as Amazing? 


GURU: Nebraska basically did a similar thing last year, but it has been impressive.


CCHS74: The good folks of up-state New York seem to still have plenty of hope that Kevin Collier will eventually end up at Syracuse. Do they have good reason to have such high hopes?


GURU: I don't see it, Kevin and his coach have said time and time again he is going to Pittsburgh. I have learned in this business never say never.


TheProwl: Dave Wannstedt has been quoted about placing a "fence around Western Pa." but when will that fence be expanded to Eastern Pa. and MD/DC/VA region?


GURU: MD/DC/VA has been an issue, mainly because whatever coach was assigned to that area has never stayed at Pitt long. You have to have a presence that can develop in roads in that region to successfully recruit it. Coach Greg Gattuso was doing that region, but I have learned that Aubrey Hill will now be covering MD/DC. Eastern Pa is a whole different story. I for one have never understood why Pitt doesn't work that area harder. I know Coach Wannstedt has said he was going to work that area more, so we shall see.


CaptainH: What is the earliest anyone from the class of 2007 can verbal to a school? I think Wells verballed to OSU almost on the previous LOI day.


GURU: An official written offer can be given to a recruit September 1 of their junior year. Prior to that there's really no limit as to when a recruit can give a verbal. I have seen basketball kids give verbals in junior high. Antonio Logan-El verballed to Maryland prior to his junior season, as did Aaron Hernandez who committed to UConn this year as a sophomore. Most people don't take much stock in verbals until they receive the official offer.


Hailtopitt78: Should Pat Bostick choose Pitt will he be able to win the starting quarterback position as a true freshmen?


GURU: Does he have the talent? Yes he does, it would be a matter of how well he would grasp the offense and his ability to beat out the other quarterbacks, and nothing would be handed to him.


Reno9: Can you explain the whole grey shirting, how it comes about, what year the scholarship is used for. Also, when someone transfers when does their scholarship open up assuming they've been released from it, next year?


GURU: It started out as being a way to let injured kids keep their scholarships and not hurt the schools of choice. If you recall Donald Brooks was injured in a car crash and they used a grey shirt for him. Now, schools have made it like a taxi squad to be able to over sign players and count the scholarship against the previous season. Scholarship players who transfer I believe goes by the semester that they transfer. When a player leaves in September they get the ship back in February. I'm not totally familiar with the rules and regulations on that.


Bio79: Could you give us the top seven-ten Linemen in the area that Pitt will be recruiting next year? Also, if you could rate their abilities (Stars would be fine) and a percentage that they will sign with Pitt.


GURU: It's a little early for stars and percentages, but I can give you some guys to look out for in Western Pa.

Stefen Wisniewski-Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Dan Matha-Erie McDowell, Evan Blankenship-Center, Matt Ostrowski-Laurel Highlands, Chris Jacobson-Keystone Oaks, Gino Gradkowski-Seton LaSalle, Donnie Barclay-Seneca Valley, Cameron Holland-Perry, Jake Anderson-Erie McDowell, Paul Simkovich-Latrobe, Jake Kaiser-Greensburg Central Catholic, Mike Dykes-Woodland Hills


PittFan007: Since the 2006 class is almost complete and its never to early to talk about the 2007 class who are the 4 and 5 star type players looking at Pitt and why they are so important and what is the probability of landing them?


GURU: Again it's way too early to talk probability of landing players. Pat Bostick, Toney Clemons, Stefen Wisniewski, Steve Paskorz, Andrew Devlin, Jon Ditto, are a few players state wide who have early offers who list Pitt. I'm sure I may have missed a few, but my mind is on finishing this class out first


Hailtopitt78: Which current QB will be the future?


GURU: Good question, people tend to sell Billy Stull short, but they really shouldn't. Kevan Smith is another one I really think will be good under Matt Cavanaugh. Obviously if Bostick commits that may change the landscape a bit.


TheProwl: Will our current coaches be given extra responsibility to recruit other regions of the country in addition to their current ones?


GURU: After signing day I'm sure the staff will meet and discuss those types of issues and if there are any shortcomings they will rectify them. The only change I have heard is Aubrey hill taking over in MD/DC to allow Greg Gattuso to be a bigger presence in Western Pa.


CaptainH: What are the rules regarding in-home visits by coaches? Am I right in thinking that head coaches are permitted only one in-home per recruit? Are there restrictions on how many recruits can be at an in-home - for example, Pinkston and Hargrove both go to Baldwin. Can Pinkston go over to Hargrove's when DW is there or is that a violation? What limitations if any are there on assistant coaches and in-home visits?




Enjoy, there's way too many for me to look at right now to find a definition. I know when Miami did an in-home with Devon Lyons, Andrew Johnson was also there. Not sure what the exact rule is off hand.


"In Your Grill" Question of the Week:

PittFan007: It seems like all the Pitt fans have a DE they like. Some like Audie Augustine some like McKenzie Matthews and it seems that Geno Atkins is the sleeper. Which one do you feel is the best player out of the bunch and who could make an impact right away?


GURU: Their all different type's of players. My saying is beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Pitt has pushed for Mathews for a long time so I would assume that they really think a lot of him. Augustine is a great player as well. Atkins was recently offered by Georgia and Auburn, I'm not big on looking at offers, but those are two pretty significant ones.

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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