Pitt Football Recruiting Notes

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and his coaching staff are preparing to host a number of talented prospects over the next two weeks. With a limited number of scholarships in hand, the Panthers hope to complete the class of 2007 soon. Read on for details.

Williams back "in play" with Pitt

Blue-chip wide receiver Darian Williams (6-foot-2 inches, 200 pounds) from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, FL is scheduled to visit Pitt next weekend (1/16). Williams attended the Dave Wannstedt Summer Football camp this summer and impressed the coaching staff with his combination of size and speed.

"I'm going to arrive in Pittsburgh next Friday. My father is coming with me. We're very excited," stated Williams. "Pitt, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Auburn and Florida Atlantic are still in it with me. I visit FAU this weekend and Pitt the week after. My Arizona State trip the following week is up in the air right now. All of those schools have offers on the board."

Williams finished his junior year with 29 catches for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns. This season, he caught 30 passes for nearly 500 yards and scored 6 touchdowns. Darian's considered the top wide receive in Broward County this season. Panthers' assistant Charlie Partridge is responsible for his recruitment. He's capable of running a 4.5 forty-yard dash.

"I'm somewhere between a deep threat and a possession receiver. I play basketball and I'm known as a solid rebounder. When I go up for the football, I think of it as a rebound. I use my body and leverage to beat the defender to the ball," said Williams. "I'm pretty big and I run a 4.5 forty-yard dash. My coaches have told me I run great routes and I'm a quick learner."

Scout.com rates Williams a "three-star" prospect. He credits Panthers' Assistant Coach Charlie Partridge for his visit. "I like Coach Partridge a lot. He has stayed in steady touch with me and always kept me interested in Pitt. I loved it there over the summer and I can't wait to visit. I could see myself playing there."

Bye-Bye Cardinals, Hello Panthers?

Findlay, Ohio kicker Brandon Walker (6-foot-2 inches, 190) pounds chose Louisville over Pitt in September. When Louisville Head Coach Bob Petrino opted to take over as the head coach for the NFL Atlanta Falcons, Brandon decided to take a second look at Pitt.

"I have always liked Pitt and I recently have been in touch with the coaching staff," said Walker. "Once I heard about Coach Petrino, I thought I should give Pitt a second look."

Scout.com ranks Walker a "three-star" prospect and the 6th best punter in the nation. He is scheduled to visit Pitt this weekend.

"I like Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and he has played a larger role as of late in recruiting me. Pitt likes me as a combo-kicker. I think Pitt is an up and coming program and they have fantastic facilities."

Uncommitted Weekend Visitors

Six players that have already committed to the Panthers Class of 2007 will visit this weekend: fullback Henry Hynoski, athlete Dom DeCicco, offensive tackle John Fieger, offensive tackle/tight end Jordan Gibbs, linebacker "Mad" Max Gruder and wide receiver Aundre Wright.

A pair of highly talented uncommitted players, running back LeSean McCoy from Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY and cornerback Sherod Murdock from Middleton High School in Tampa, FL, will join the large group of visitors.

Scout.com ranks McCoy a "five-star" prospect and the 8th best running back in the nation. Coach (Dave) Wannstedt seeks to establish a physical running game and the burly 5-foot-11 inch, 210 pound physical specimen has the ability to step into a starting role for Pitt.

Scout.com ranks Murdock the 77th best cornerback in the nation and a "three-star" prospect. Sherod verbally committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide in June and believed that the recruiting process was over. When Alabama opted to fire Head Coach Mike Shula after leading the Tide to a mediocre 6-6 record, he decided to re-open the recruiting process.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.

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