Final Big Recruiting Weekend In Full Swing

The Oakland Zoo rose to their feet and cheered as the Pitt men's basketball game with Seton Hall Saturday was getting closer, but it wasn't because the Panthers were about to come onto the court.

The Pittsburgh student section was applauding a large contingent of recruits and their families who were being filed in to take their seats at the Panthers' end of the court. Six players who have verbally committed to Pitt were in the group, along with four-star wideout A.J. Alexander from Altoona, Pa. HS; three-star wideout Vaughn Carraway from Muhlenberg HS in Laureldale, Pa.; three-star linebacker Steve Gardiner from Coffman HS in Dublin, Ohio; three-star running back Isaiah Pead from Eastmoor Academy HS in Columbus, Ohio; two-star quarterback Domonick Britt from Madison HS in Trotwood, Ohio; two-star tight end Justin Virbitsky from Lakeland HS in Jermyn, Pa.; two-star wideout J.D. Woods from Golden Gate HS in Naples, Fla.; two-star defensive end Dan Vaughn from Central Catholic HS in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and one-star linebacker Joe Trebitz from West Boca Raton HS in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Panthers have 16 verbal commitments to this point, and among them five-star offensive tackle Lucas Nix from Thomas Jefferson HS in Jefferson Hills, Pa.; four-star running back Chris Burns from Wilmington HS in New Wilmington, Pa.; three-star safety Manny Williams from Clairton, Pa. HS, three-star offensive tackle Ryan Turnley from Hopewell, Pa. HS; three-star quarterback Tino Sunseri from Central Catholic HS in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and three-star quarterback Zack Stoudt from Coffman HS in Dublin, Ohio joined the nine prospects at the game.

The majority of the prospects are well-known to Pitt football followers, but J.D. Woods is one player who might not be at that point. Woods, a nearly 6-foot-3, 180-pound wideout, has scholarship offers from Pitt, Connecticut and Indiana, but gave a verbal to West Virginia after visiting about a month ago.

Recent Pitt commits Shayne Hale and Cameron Saddler, both from Gateway HS in Monroeville, Pa., also attended the game and assisted in recruiting the prospects. Injured Pitt basketball players Levance Fields and Mike Cook also were in the crowd to lend a hand.

While observing the Pitt football staff in attendance with the recruits, the only position not represented was the offensive line. All the other coaches were there, including new secondary coach Jeff Hafley.

Once recruiting wraps in three weeks, it's a good bet that Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt will quickly fill out his coaching staff if he doesn't get to it sometime before then. The frontrunner for the offensive line job reportedly is Tony Wise, a long-time friend and coaching associate in the pros and college with Wannstedt. He recently was the line coach with the New York Jets.

According to Jets Confidential, the team's Web site, the Jets are looking to add another offensive line coach and have interviewed former Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan and Kansas City offensive coordinator Mike Solari. The announcements were made by Rich Cimini.

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