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: Which recruits did Dave Wannstedt specifically target during the recent head coach travel/visitation time?


GURU: There's no way of us knowing everywhere he was or who they checked out. These trips are not always about specific targets. Coaches will often just visit schools in their specific regions to keep lines of communication open. It is very similar to politics actually, instead of going door-to-door in neighborhoods it is with schools instead.

Tartan5868: Aside from Henry Hynoski, who do you feel will be the next Pitt verbal?


GURU: I would suspect Jordan Mabin could announce before the end of June.

tbro34: How good is Brandon Lindsay?


GURU: I like Brandon Lindsey; he is a nice sized kid who can flat out move. He is not a polished type of linebacker, due to the fact that he has played various positions, but he is a tremendous athlete.

CaptainH: Assuming Pitt has 20 scholarships, what do you foresee as a breakdown by position?


GURU: 1-2 QB, 1-RB, 1-FB's 1-TE, 4-OL, 2-3 DL's, 2-LB's, 2-3 DB's. Then you look at best available, it's tough to predict now because you have no idea what will happen during camp. Kids can quit or transfer, which can change things.

Mistetsteelers: How many linebackers do you see the staff targeting this recruiting year? Who are some of the top targets at linebacker that have offers and seem to be considering Pitt?


GURU: I would think two. Brandon Lindsey and Josh Bynes are two of the bigger targets and both seem interested.


NJBob: Since LOI Day isn't until early February, how do recruits "enroll early" (i.e. in January of what normally would be their senior year of high school)? Do they have to pay their own tuition & board for that semester until they are officially on scholarship?


GURU: The way I have heard it interpreted was that once the student is enrolled in school, the LOI really does not matter. I'm not positive if they are made to sign it during the signing period or not. My guess it is just a formality. The kid is on scholarship and does not pay his own way.

CaptainH: Using your crystal ball for handicapping and recognizing it is way early in the recruiting wars, where do you think the following end up:

a.) Myles Caragein

b.) Tony Clemons

c.) Dom DeCicco

d.) Gino Gradkowski 

e.) Dan Matha

f.) Derrick Moye

g.) Nick Sukay

h.) Maurice Williams



a.) Myles Caragein -Pitt

b.) Tony Clemons –Pitt/Michigan

c.) Dom DeCicco -Pitt

d.) Gino Gradkowski-WVU/Mich State/Pitt

e.) Dan Matha –WVU/Pitt

f.) Derrick Moye -PSU

g.) Nick Sukay -Pitt

h.) Maurice Williams-Pitt/PSU



NJBob: Does Bostick plan to enroll early?


GURU: Yes, he does plan on graduating early and enrolling in January.


tbro34: How much does the OSU offer affect the Brandon Lindsay recruitment?


GURU: It is OSU, which will make any recruit take notice. His mom used to work at the University Hospital in Columbus. I still see Aliquippa kids going to Pitt if they want them, but Ty Law left town so anything is possible.


CaptainH: Besides Chris Jacobson, who are the top 5 offensive linemen you think Pitt realistically has a shot at signing on LOI?


GURU: My top five from my rankings or just five I think they can get? Of my top five the only three left are Wisniewski, Matha and Caleb Ruch. Wisniewski is a done deal to Penn State, Matha will be a dog fight, Ruch didn't show a lot of interest at the junior day he attended and Pitt did not offer at that time. They may offer John Fieger. I'd be shocked if he didn't commit. Blankenship is still a possibility. Gradkowski seems to really like the Big Ten and it is awfully hard to get a read on.


PittFan007: What's the story with Josh Bynes? In the Pitt article he said Pitt and Auburn are his top two.  In the Auburn article he didn't even mention Pitt.


GURU: Kids are hip to recruiting sites nowadays; they know who is calling when site specific guys call. Most of them say what the people want to hear.


CaptainH: Who are the top recruits you think stand the best chance of being offered after camp?


GURU: There will be a surprise or two, there always is. The most contested spot for offers will be on the offensive line. A kid like John Fieger or Stiles O'Brien could walk away with an offer. There will be kids who aren't even on the radar who shine and could get offered.


Hugequestionmark: What's the status on Brian Williams?


GURU: I believe Harry is trying to track that story down. I can't see Pitt turning him away if he qualifies.


CaptainH: Who, if anyone, are you surprised Pitt has not yet offered?


GURU: Chris Drager, Ty Bynum, Caleb Ruch and Gary Bardzak are a few that surprise me. Bynum has academic work to do, but he raves about Pitt and has proved that he is one of the best receivers in the state.


Ganymede: I notice we haven't offered Chris Drager. Do you know if any other school has offered?


GURU: Stanford, West Virginia, Kent State and Temple have all offered as far as I know. I think Cincinnati may have also.


CaptainH: I know Bostick is #1 and will probably be the only QB, but lots of folks were high on Nick Monteleone out of Butler and Alex Atiyeh out of Bethlehem. Any word on their recruiting status?


GURU: Neither have any offers as far as I know of. If they would take a second it would probably be someone like Cody Endres, Cody Catalina, Jeff Stewart, or Matt Rodgers. I believe Atiyeh is going to Hargrave last I heard.


Brwdfan: What determines whether a player receives a written or verbal offer? What's the difference?


GURU: A verbal is basically what it says or a foot in the door so to speak. It keeps a prospect interested and gives a school an escape clause. Some schools like Michigan only give verbal offers. They will tell them you have an offer, if you chose to commit it is here for you. Sometimes verbals are empty promises that never happen. A written offer is usually a form letter that is sent to the prospect.


CaptainH:  Is C.J. Peake being recruited as a safety or LB? I see him listed as both on different sites.


GURU: Peake is a safety and a very good one at that.


PittFan007: Anything on Armando Allen? I know he had track and was waiting till after track season to start the recruiting process.


GURU: Armando is not into the whole recruiting thing, most of the time that usually indicates that the prospect knows where he is going or has the offers he wants.


Pitt1999: Could you please rate the OL prospects that Pitt has offered in order?



8.-Donny Barclay-Seneca Valley, Pa.
7.Dan Matha-Erie
McDowell, Pa
5.Branden Curry-Boyd Anderson, FL
4.Emeka Nwankwo -
Chaminade Madonna, FLa.
1.-John Elliott-East Meadow, NY
10-Evan Blankenship -Center, Pa
2.-Stefen Wisniewski -Pitt Central Cath, Pa
6.Josh Marks-Southern Columbia, Pa
9.-Gino Gradkowski- Seton LaSalle, Pa
3. Chris Jacobson Keystone Oaks, Pa


CaptainH:  With Bostick on board, who are the remaining prospects you believe DW and Co will hold a scholarship for at all costs?


GURU: Clemons and Sukay and any other elite guy like Josh Bynes, Lansford Watson, John Elliott, etc…



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.


Bill Harris


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