The Guru Grill

Hello fellow Panther fans.  It's time to fire up 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.  Let's get started.


CaptainH:  What are the positions of strength in the high school senior ranks in PA, particularly the west and what are the weakest positions?


GURU: The weakest positions are running back, quarterback, fullback and defensive line. The strengths are at athlete, wide receiver and linebacker. By athlete I'm talking about kids who can play multiple positions.


CMart:  Which of the primary targets in 2008 does Pitt have the best chance of landing? 


GURU: I think when it all shakes out it will be Jonathan Baldwin. Obviously, Lucas Nix was a huge target for Pitt.


Mistersteelers:  What players already on the roster do you think may step up this year and surprise?


GURU: I think if he stays healthy Dorin Dickerson will impress this year as well as Scott McKillop. I also think fans will see big things from Nate Byham and Jason Pinkston, as well as Greg Romeus.


CaptainH:  What strengths do you see for 2008 among the seniors in Ohio and the DC/Maryland/Virginia region?


GURU: Size is what sticks out to me, there are a number of talented big men that region this year. Wide Receiver is another very talented position in that area as well.


CMart:  What are the positions of need for this class? 


GURU: Safety to me is a position of need. I think an impact defensive tackle is a necessity, but I'm not sure I see a lot out there. The team could also use another big, cornerback.


BlankStare:  Could you or Dale shed some light on the injuries of Mick Williams, Eric Thatcher, Doug Fulmer, Joe Clermond and John Malecki


GURU: The only one I have really heard about is Fulmer and I heard his knee injury was pretty bad. Dale can probably expand on this on the boards.


CaptainH:  What territory is Chris Ball recruiting?


GURU: From what I gather he is responsible for the Cincinnati/Dayton/Columbus areas I believe.


CMart:  Is there anyone who could/should break-out onto everyone's radar screen during his senior season?


GURU:The Kiski duo of Josh Vick and James O'Quinn could have break out seasons. I also like the RB at Penn Hills LeVaughn Robinson.


Moose420:  Besides Chris Burns are there other top prospects coming out of Erie for 2008?


GURU: Shawn Walker at McLane, Tyler Barris at West Middlesex, James Harvey at Cochranton, Akeem Satterfield at Cathedral Prep are probably some of the better ones I have seen in this class.


CaptainH:  Will health issues affect Coach Junko or will he be back on the field or able to remain recruiting as a non-field coach like he seemed to do during the 2007 recruiting season?


GURU: Coach Junko is still around on a daily basis and still heavily involved in the program and its day-to-day operations.



CaptainH:  Besides Brandon Beachum, do you know of anyone else that DW and company are going after at Cardinal Mooney?


GURU: Taylor Hill has had an offer for a long time.


tbro34:  How much does the Toney Tucker verbal help us with our Washington DC area recruiting?


GURU: Obviously having other players from areas you are trying to recruit in is always a bonus. Now when players from that area visit, Tucker can work them and he'll be able to relate well with them.



CaptainH:  Any word on how the rehab has gone with Dan Lohoyde and Aaron Smith?


GURU: I spoke to Aaron a few times this summer and he is fine. Not sure on Loheyde.


Mistersteelers:  Which redshirted players from 2006 will be most likely to make a contribution?


GURU: I believe Greg Romeus will have the biggest impact. Nix will contribute. Tyler Tkach is another who I think will do some things. Justin Hargrove if fully healthy could also be productive.


Pittfan7:  Are there any other City League players being recruited, other than the Brashear kids?


GURU: Perry has a safety/wide receiver John Henderson who is getting some looks from Syracuse and Temple.


KayserSouze: Regarding Buddy Morris:(a) does he only work with fb players or do other Pitt athletes gain benefit of his skills?
                                (b) can every day Pitt students get learning and regimens from him?

       Obviously Buddy's specialty is the weights. Who gives thes guys and monitors their cardiovascular work?


Dale Grdnic: While I am not the Guru, nor to I even try to be, I can possibly shed some light. Buddy only works with the football team, although other athletes could train with them if they so desire, I believe. Buddy studies many disciplines, not just weight training, but Pitt has a team of people working with athletes, including a nutritionist. Athletics in general, and football in particular, obviously, are big business at any University. So, the athletes are taken care of on the field and off of it.



PittFan7: How is next year's WPIAL class shaping out to be? Will it be as talented as this upcoming class? Any Junior's to be this fall high on Pitt?


GURU: I don't see it being as talented as this class is at the top. Juantez Hollins (Aliquippa) and Tyrone Ezell (Steel Valley) are two kids that I really like along the defensive line. The Gateway duo of Corey Brown and Dorian Bell may be the top two. Adam Gunn's step-brother Brett Williams (Kiski) is another to keep an eye on.



Tbro34: With a winning season... (say between 8-4 - 10-2) do you see Pitt possibly coming back into the picture with any local recruits who may have committed/looked elsewhere?


GURU: No, that stuff usually is a factor on the next class. The effect is usually not felt in the same season.



PittFanINMo: If you had to venture a guess to who would fill out the remainder of the class, who would you say we'd get?



GURU: This is just a guess, it's still way too early though.


QB – Zack Stoudt or Josh Vick

WR – Jonathan Baldwin and Marcus Sales

TE – Hubie Graham

OL – A slepper pick not sure who just yet.

DE – Kaleb Ramsey and Leon Mackey

LB – Steve Gardiner

CB – Jarred Holley (Surprise Pick) and Cameron Chism

ATH – Averin Collier


Rja66: What currently "below the radar" recruit is most likely to be a Panther come Signing Day?



GURU: I'll stick with either both or half of the Kiski duo of Vick and O'Quinn.





Our staff would like to take the time 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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