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.

jells73: Is Pitt going to offer Montour's Serafino Caliguire? Rumors persist that he'd verbal upon receiving an offer.


Guru: I did not see him at camp. Tony Wise is more thorough when he is evaluating those guys in person, so we'll see. Just because a kid says he will verbal if offered doesn't always work. See Tom Chroniger and The Washington Post for an example.


CaptainH: Who are the top two remaining targeted recruits at each position and what do you think the chances are that each will verbal to Pitt?



QB – Still being decided

RB – Tavon Austin and Dion Lewis or Curtis Dukes (Slim with Austin and Dukes. Very good with Lewis)

TE – DeCicco and Malcolm Bush  (DeCicco they will get, Bush I doubt)

WR – Jaleel Clark and Corey Brown (I'm going 50/50 chance with both)

OL – Khalil Wilkes and Pete White ( I think Wise helps land Wilkes, White may be an uphill battle. But Tony Tucker thinks there is a good chance)

DL – Jamal Merrell, Juantez Hollins and Tyrone Ezell ( Merrell is hard to read. I think Ezell ends up at Pitt as does Hollins)

LB – Dan Mason and Jelani Jenkins (Mason close to a lock, Jenkins not so much)

CB – Abdul Smith and Terry Patrick ( Pitt is in top two for Smith and Patrick will pick Pitt)

S – Gerald Hodges and Bradley McDougald (Hodges not good, McDougald, when has an Ohio kid with an OSU offer picked Pitt? Joe Thomas is the only one I remember in recent memory).


bear071562: Is is possible or even probable that Ohio State and Michigan, have replaced Penn State as Wannstedt's main competition for the high end recruits in the Western Pennsylvania?


Guru: I don't think so, I mean you could make a case for that theory but Penn State hasn't been recruiting the area as hard. They have been owning Maryland the past couple of years.


CaptainH: You have been high on Brashear's John Wetzel. Any word on whether he will get an offer based upon the camp?


Guru: I like Wetzel's upside, but he didn't seem to really dominate the camp this weekend like I figured he would. These kids need to realize that you have one day to impress the staff and if you don't they likely will not offer. Will Clarke made him look ridiculous a number of times.


W0lfinator: Which, if any, current starter do you expect to see unseated during the season?


Guru: I'm going to go with Shane Murray or Eric Thatcher as my picks. If Elijah Fields has his head screwed on straight he is tough to beat. We all say the potential of guys like Greg Williams in the spring, it will be hard to keep guys like him out of the lineup.


CaptainH: If Emmanuel Yeager goes elsewhere, is there another QB the staff is interested in? If so, who?


Guru: Emmanuel transferred to Coolidge and I have been told that a number of teams have really backed off of him. Quarterback is not a necessity for Pitt this year, especially if they have a chance to land one in the 2010 class like Paul Jones.


W0lfinator: I know it is extremely early (this question is kind of just to help move the grill along), but I hear the 2010 class from Western Pa. is loaded. Have you heard any extremely early rumblings in Pitt's favor with any of these guys?


Guru: Jordan Paskorz seems very interested in Pitt right now. The two who have shown the most interest in Pitt are the two from Sto-Rox Paul Jones and Andrew Carswell.


CaptainH: Anyone in particular you are surprised who has not been offered? If so, who, and do you think there will be an offer?


Guru: Ryan Schleiper from North Allegheny and Adam Gress from West Mifflin. I think Gress is going to be a beast eventually. He is still really learning how to be an offensive lineman, but you cannot teach 6-7/285. Schleiper had a solid day at camp and he really impressed me. He reminds me a lot of Stefen Wisniewski.


PittParade: Why no mention of potential PITT prospects like Jaleel Clark and Tom Chroniger? I believe Pitt has a good chance to land either or both, assuming they offer Chroniger. What do you think?


Guru: No mention where? Clark was not at camp. Chroniger was at camp and he has a big time arm, but he is 5-10/5-11, so what can you do. I think he can play, but that is a tough thing to overcome.


CaptainH: The local class of 2009, I think, is ordinary at best. Is the class of 2010 that much better, and are we in a better position with some of those kids?


Guru: 2010 is definitely better. I think Pitt is in great shape with a lot of them, but the bottom line is that Pitt needs to win this year and get to a bowl game…


JaronBrownMythManLedgend: Lucas Nix update, is he good to go?


Guru: I was told that he is taking classes right now and he will be fine. He had one of the highest SAT scores out of all the incoming freshmen.


W0lfinator: What young offensive lineman currently on Pitt's roster is looking like a future star?


Guru: I have heard from just about everyone that the staff is very high on Jordan Gibbs. I think Chris Jacobson will be once he is finally back from the knee injury.


CaptainH: A recurring topic is recruiting in Texas now that Bennett is on the staff.  Has there been any movement in that direction, or do you anticipate this moving forward?


Guru: Not that I have heard. Bennett has been beating the ground in Ohio.


W0lfinator: Have you heard any whispers from NFL scouts about current Pitt players yet? Where are LeSean McCoy and Scott McKillop projecting or where would you expect them to be drafted?


Guru: I have heard McCoy could be anywhere from a mid to late first round draft pick. McKillop could come down to how he does at the combine. I would say right now he is probably a late first day guy or early third rounder.


W0lfinator: Can we get a definitive answer regarding the draft status of LeSean McCoy. Do you think he is leaning that way?


Guru: From everything I am hearing the staff if fully preparing for life after Shady. I think they'd be surprised if he comes back.


CaptainH: Topic on the board relates to academic issue questions with most recent class. Any casualties or potential casualties you are hearing about?


Guru: Nope as long as Nix makes it as expected everyone should be fine. Shayne Hale was a concern, but he made it a few months ago.


Chris94: Do you think the staff is actively recruiting Jonathan Newsome from Cleveland?


Guru: I have not heard much about him in regards to Pitt. If its true the kid has an Ohio State offer and he is from Glenville, why waste the time?


waltharris4prez: How many snaps do you see Greg Cross getting in the wildcat formation?


Guru: I could see him getting 8-10 snaps a game. It will depend on the situation and how comfortable the staff becomes in him.


CaptainH: We've had three straight excellent recruiting classes, especially in Western Pa. With all the momentum and great publicity generated by the win over WVU, what happened? It seems like Pitt is persona non grata with this year's top WPIAL players?


Guru: Three straight losing seasons and no bowl games is what happened, along with the new "Saban Rule" that prevented the head coaches from being on the road during the evaluation period. Wannstedt is the best closer on the staff and when he is not out it hurts Pitt, especially with so many new coaches. I wouldn't panic though, I think they'll be fine.


JaronBrownMythManLedgend: Are there any stud punters out there worthy of a scholarship?


Guru: Not really that I have seen. There is a walk-on from Moon that is to be enrolling in the fall that the staff seems pretty high on.


PittFan7: How does the Sto-Rox duo Paul Jones and Andrew Carswell feel towards Pitt? Good chance at them or big hill to climb to get them?


Guru: It would not shock me to see them become the first members of the Pitt class of 2010 to be honest with you.


CaptainH: Any one at camp who did not verbal that you expected to commit?


Guru: I think they stand a good chance with Dion Lewis and Devin Street. They will be a player with any of the linemen that they offer as well as Carl Fleming the safety from Maryland.


rmf05: Given the smaller size of this class, do you feel that may cause the staff to be more critical of offering kids with academic/discipline issues?


Guru: You can be a strict as you want and your still going to run into problems. A lot of kids have never been away from home, some are just immature and it happens to everyone.


JaronBrownMythManLedgend: Dan Mason or Shayne Hale? If Mason commits, who would be the one moving from middle linebacker?


Guru: Hale is nice because he is versatile. He could play defensive end or one of the outside linebacker positions. Mason is more of a true MIKE linebacker.


CaptainH: Seems like quite a few Delaware kids in the mix. I've never really viewed DE as a hotbed of high school talent. Is this just a blip this year, or is it an underrated state?


Guru: I think this year is just an oddity.


JaronBrownMythManLedgend: It rarely seems like we recruit safety position and the depth seems like we should have at least 2-deep at each position and talent.  Why doesn't Wanny and crew recruit that position very hard and continue to gather more talent.  Seems like most are recruited at safety and switch to LB.


Guru: There just aren't a ton of quality safeties out there. It makes more sense to go after a big corner that can cover and convert him or an undersized linebacker.


CaptainH: Any follow up rumblings on Adam Gress?


Guru: Not that I am aware of other than he did pick up an offer from West Virginia.

W0lfinator: Has your "Pitt-locks" list changed at all? Who's on it currently and who do you expect as our next few commitments?


Guru: Not really, as far as what I can remember…lol…I think Pitt is in pretty good shape with a number of players right now.


"In Your Grill" Question of the Week


waltharris4prez: I am going to list several prospects. Using a scale of 1-10 please rank Pitt's chances with each player (10 being most likely to commit to Pitt).

Todd Thomas, Dan Mason, Tyrone Ezell, Brock Decicco, Tavon Austin, Peter White, Jack Lippert, Courtney Brown, Juantez Hollins, Duron Harmon, Aaron Heyward?



Brock DeCicco – 10

Dan Mason – 10

Tyrone Ezell – 10

Juantez Hollins – 10

Duron Harmon – 9

Corey Brown – 6.5

Todd Thomas -6

Pete White – 4

Jack Lippert – 7

Tavon Austin – 2

Aaron Hayward – 1





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