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.

w0lfinator: Could you shed some light on the Corey Brown/Pitt situation as it stands now?


GURU: Corey likes Pitt, but it is also March of his junior year and he has over thirty scholarship offers. He will take his time and visit as many schools as he can. The Gateway crew is headed to Maryland this weekend.


JaronBrownMythManLegend: do you think Pitt will offer Andre Civil?  If so will Coach Walker get an opportunity to show his stuff and land him. 


GURU: I doubt it it, but you never know. Recruiting kids in Syracuse or Buffalo is not bad because it is a five hour drive to Pittsburgh. You have to realize Sheepshead Bay is a whole different story that is a haul. There are other guys a lot closer who are better.


kbrody:  What are your thoughts as to who will be the Greg Romeus type breakouts, if any, from last year's redshirt freshmen?


GURU: Romeus is a special player and I am not sure Pitt has any guy's who were rated low that will shine like him. Two guys I'd look out for Jordan Gibbs. The staff seems to think very highly of him and Aundre Wright. He can fly anyone who has seen a Pitt game knows he may be the most enthusiastic player on the entire squad.


Mack49:  I'm interested in your take on the whole Neil Gordon situation at Penn Hills.


GURU: The next time he returns one of our phone calls it will be the first. All you have to do is read the paper and see what one of his assistant coaches said "It's only the coaches job to make film, it's up to the parents and player to get recruited." That may be one of the most asinine statements I have ever read. Penn Hills always has a boat load of talent and they always underachieve. I think it was time for a fresh start there.


gopitt04:  Bob, Do you see Juantez Hollins playing OL or DL?


GURU: He could play either and I'm not sure anyone will truly know until he steps foot on a college campus to be honest with you. I know when I saw him in camp as a defensive tackle he looked pretty special.


JaronBrownMythManLegend:  Besides the obvious top recruits listed with stars already.  Who do you see being guys to keep your eye that may become the top recruits during and after the season?


GURU: Anthony LaLota a kid from New Jersey that Pitt just offered I think has a chance to be a five-star type of guy. I like him a lot, his technique is flawless and his feet are very good. He could be a true left tackle and those are rare. I think Jordan Hill from Steelton-Highspire has a chance to be special, if he hits the camps and combines and works out against better competition. Terry Patrick and Dontae Brown are tow other in-state kids I think have a chance to rise.


Reno9:  Other than knowing every NCAA team has offered Eric Shrive by now, what are the main teams he's considering or seems to really like?


GURU: From what I have gathered it appears as though Notre Dame is way up there right now. I'm sure Hubie Graham will have some influence on him for Illinois as well.


kbrody: Who do you believe could be a real sleeper in the future from last year's redshirts?


GURU: I'll go with Aundre Wright. If he learns the offense he has the potential to be a Santana Moss type playmaker.


upitt33:  I was wondering how good of a player/athlete is Adam Gress ? I have not heard much about him and wondered if you saw him at camps or live?


GURU: I have not seen the new Adam Gress with the 40 added pounds. I saw him last spring as a 242-pound tight end. He was decent and moved pretty well, so if he kept the agility with the weight gain I'm kind of intrigued.


RWMcEsq:  Are there any other Mid-Penn or District 3 prospects that Pitt has its eyes on?


GURU: Two State college kids who were at camp last summer Emmitt Terrell and Jake Reeder will get a look along with Rob Stupar. Three kids from Central Dauphin were all in for junior day Lippert, Shirk and Fisher. It's still very early and the staff is still watching film and evaluating.


JaronBrownMythManLegend:  What positions do you see Pitt going after in 2009?


GURU: Defensive line I think will be a key position for them as well as offensive line. A big play tight end I would think would be a target. Some depth in the secondary as well.


koppelpanther:  What position do you see Todd Thomas playing in college ? Do you know what position Pitt is recruiting him for?


GURU: Honestly with Thomas it is all going to depend on his size. I like him as a wide receiver and I think his size indicates that would be the best fit for him. You don't see many 6-3/6-4 defensive backs.


Reno9:  What kind of talent is Justin Gildea from Hollidaysburg?  Do you see him getting an offer?  What star rating do you see him as?


GURU:  I have not had a chance to check out his film as of yet. He will be at our combine in a few weeks, so I'll get a good look at him.


Pittfan78:  What's your opinion on Terry Patrick as a prospect?


GURU: Patrick is a great athlete, he's very smooth. Is he as good as his brother (Darrelle Revis)? No, but who is? He is athletic enough to play corner, but he could also play safety for you.


RWMcEsq:  How many kids from Steel High will Pitt offer, and what the odds of landing any of them?


GURU: I would say Jordan Hill has the best shot at landing an offer. Jordan Smith is a very solid looking player as well. Then you have to look at Jeremiah Young, he has been very productive and looked decent in camp last year.


w0lfinator: What freshman do you see making an impact next year and how much of an impact would be your guess?


GURU: Jonathan Baldwin to me has got to play somewhere. He is a freak and probably the best wide receiver Pitt has brought in since Larry Fitzgerald. he is a match-up problem and he has 4.4 speed.


JaronBrownMythManLegend:  Estimate on how many scholarships this year?


GURU: I'm hearing it should be close to the full allotment of 25, but we wont know for sure until. I would say 18-20 would be more realistic. after spring practice.

jells73:  Do you think Pat Eger will get an offer from Pitt?


GURU: I'm not sure they feel he is big enough. I'm sure they will monitor him throughout the summer and during the season, but right now I'd say the odds are less than 50/50.


Owtie:  Last year, I figured a "perfect storm" of negative things would work hard against us to land a big class. Bad home schedule, bad attendance, bad record, no bowl equaled maybe Lucas Nix and a cast of mediocre recruits. Now this year, I am feeling the opposite, great home schedule, great attendance (hopefully) and a real good successful team. How do you see this impacting recruiting?


GURU: Obviously if recruits go to games and are not blinded by 30,000 empty yellow seats that is a good thing. I think that recruiting will go well if all the good things happen that you mentioned, but keep in mind this is not anywhere near as deep or as good of an overall class as it was last year.


w0lfinator: What are your projections for the 2008 starters?


GURU: Ask me this during the spring after we see how healthy people are.


JaronBrownMythManLegend: who do you believe will be the top 5 WPIAL players next year?  Also what do you think PITT's chance of landing them are?


GURU: 1.) Dorian Bell - Doesn't seem real great right now. Pitt has some work to do.

2.) Corey Brown - Saddler is all over him and I'm sure will be until he decides.

3.) Todd Thomas - Think he has to decide what sport he'll play first.

4) Jordan Hall - Seems to have eyes for the Big Ten.

5.) Brock DeCicco - Probably will commit at passing camp.


Brownpanther:  Do you think Pitt will offer Colin Rodkey?  Does he have any interest in Pitt?


GURU: I think Rodkey is a decent prospect, he moves well. He has a nice frame. He had a great game two years ago against Stefen Wisniewski who I think will be an All-American at Penn State. He is local, so I'm sure there is some level of interest.


Reno9:  How interested is the staff in E.J. Banks and vice versa?


GURU: We have been through this whole scenario before. I don't think there's a lot of love for Pitt  with the Montour staff and some bad blood because of Joe DelSardo. Remember this is the staff that was at Seton-LaSalle. Is it Wannstedt's fault? No, this was a Walt Harris issue, but it still remains in my opinion.


CaptainH: Any other big junior days planned?  If so, when?


GURU: The next big one will be the Blue Chip junior day. When Mr. Botox comes to town and takes his pictures. So it usually gets scheduled around him and when he can be in town.




"In Your Grill" question of the week


CaptainH:  Who do you think will be the first commit and when do you think it will happen?


GURU: Right now, I'd have to go with Brock DeCicco and during passing camp. Maybe one or both of the Aliquippa kids will do it early. Corey King or Tyrone Ezell could also be possibilities.




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

Panther Digest Top Stories