Clemons impressed by Pitt Version. 2006

Last season, on opening night the Panthers hopes were dashed by the upstart Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and new head coach Charlie Weis. This year, Dave Wannstedt and his squad were leaving nothing to chance as they beat Virginia in every aspect of the game last weekend in the Panthers opener. The win not only got the Panthers off on the right foot, but it impressed a number of recruits.

Perhaps the top remaining target on the Pittsburgh Panthers wish list is New Kensington, Pa., wide receiver Toney Clemons. The 6-3, 195-pound star from Valley High was in attendance on Saturday night and admittedly he had his doubts.

"I went in there with some doubts," Clemons said. "By the time I left, all my questions and doubts had been answered. They looked great on offense and defense. I was surprised how the defense contained Virginia's speed."

Pittsburgh and Michigan continue to be at or near the top of the food chain for Clemons. One big plus for the Wolverines is the relationship that Clemons has forged with future Wolverine quarterback Ryan Mallet. On Saturday evening Clemons had the chance to speak with the Panthers future signal caller Pat Bostick.

"Me and (Pat) Bostick spoke a little about recruiting, but we talked more about the season and how I was doing more than recruiting," Clemons explained.

It was a discussion that Clemons had with current Panther quarterback Tyler Palko that may have had the biggest impact on the Scout.com four-star prospect.

"There were a bunch of guys talking to me (T.J.) Porter, (Darrelle) Revis, (Ricky) Gary and Tyler Palko. It made me feel great that Tyler Palko would talk to me about my future. He is a celebrity in Pittsburgh. I left Pitt and told my friends it was crazy. Palko won't even be there when I'd be there, but he wants me to be at Pitt and it wouldn't have any effect on him. That shows me his commitment to the program and how much the staff really values me."

Clemons has scheduled two official visits to Michigan (10/7) and Colorado (10/14). He is unsure whether or not he will take an official visit to Pittsburgh.

"It's up in the air right now. I can go there anytime I want. If I want to stay on campus, I can stay with my sisters. I haven't really thought about it, but if I decide that is where I want to go I will probably take a visit."

Clemons will not name a top five just yet, but he is fairly certain that two schools have assured their spot on the final list.

"I haven't narrowed anything down. I am just trying to focus on my senior season. More and more teams keep getting involved as the season goes. Pitt and Michigan will be in my top five for sure. I am receiving a lot of contact from Ohio State, Tennessee and Purdue also, but Pitt and Michigan show the most interest."

So when can we can we expect a final decision from Clemons?

"When it happens, it happens," Clemons explained. When I get that feeling and I see the other schools and I keep thinking about one school, then I'll know that's the one."

Valley crushed West Shamokin in its season opener behind a solid running attack. Clemons was used sparingly as he caught four passes for 47 yards.

"I should've had five catches, but one got called back because of a penalty. We ran most of the time at will, so they didn't have to use me a lot."


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