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.

Reno9 What players are Matt Cavanaugh and Phil Bennett responsible for recruiting this year?

GURU: Cavanaugh is still the main guy recruiting the Youngstown area and he will have the main say of any quarterback that would be recruited. Bennett has been involved mainly in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus area of Ohio.  You may also see him recruit a Texas kid from time to time, but it won't be a area they look at heavily. More or less if he knows someone type of deal.


brownpanther What position is Scott Covert projected to be?

GURU: He is a versatile player, but I think the staff thinks he could be the answer to the blocking tight end position. He is 6-3/240 and can run 4.7 so he fits the bill physically.


thechairmanoftheboard Do you think that Carl Fleming will one of the high risers in the recruiting rankings this year?

GURU: It really depends on his film. Right now we have really only been able to evaluate him based on how he has looked at camps.


rmf05 Is Pitt in play for Mike Hull?

GURU: I think they are in play, but I would be stunned if he doesn't choose Penn State.


PotentPotables We know about the Sto-Rox kids for 2010, but what others are out there, for those of us planning to catch them on Fridays in the fall?

GURU: These would be the guys I would look at in Western Pa for 2010.

WR – Brandon Ifill  -   Penn Hills

C – Mile Dieffenbach   -    Fox Chapel

LB – Kenny Wilkins  -  Trinity

WR – Kevin Weatherspoon  - Clairton

WR – Manessah Garner  -  Brashear

LB – Mike Hull  -   Canon Mac

RB/CB – D.J. Meyers  -  Pittsburgh Central Catholic

DE – Jordan Paskorz -  Hampton

OG – Shane Rugg  - Bishop McCort

LB – Delbert Tyler   -  Gateway



JaronBrownMythManLegend:  Which is it for Tyrone Ezell, PITT or OSU?

GURU: I would say the longer it goes the better Pitt's chances are of landing him. Ohio State cannot have much more room.


themasterghoul Anything new on Emmanuel Yeager?  Do you think they will keep tabs on him and pursue him or will all their eggs be put in the Paul Jones basket?

GURU: I look for Yeager to commit very soon, probably this weekend to Central Michigan. I do not believe he ever really had a written Pitt offer.


brownpanther What's the situation with Ray Graham, does he have a Pitt offer and are both parties interested?

GURU: The last I heard he did not, unless that has changed very recently which it very well could have. We will find out.


rmf05 Are there any folks with Pitt ties rising up the local HS coaching ranks?

GURU: Not really, unless you count Harvey Smith but he went to WVU. His son Aaron plays at Pitt.


Reno9 What ever happened with the QB from NJ or Delaware that visited a few weeks ago?

GURU: Mike Colvin he worked out at camp, but I do not believe an offer was made. Quarterback is not a position of necessity, so they can take their time.


gregpitt If there was one (or two) things that stops some prospects from "pulling the trigger" for Pitt, what do you think it is or what have you been hearing?  

GURU: Winning right now is the biggest drawback. Kids and parents are hesitant because of the uncertainty of what will happen if Pitt loses this season. Each year, you always hear about the lack of an on campus facility as well.


JaronBrownMythManLegend What would you think the chances are of PITT landing Brock DeCicco, Dan Mason, and Todd Thomas?

GURU: I think Pitt definitely lands DeCicco and Mason. Thomas will be harder to land, but I think when all is said and done Pitt is in the game with him.


ProfessorPitt As you talk to the recruits, what is your sense on what kind of season Pitt would need for them to commit (or decommit from another school to come here)?

GURU: Kids and parents want to see results. They want to see if Pitt wins and if there will be no change with the head coach. You know other staffs use anything they can to their advantage, so there are likely coaches telling kids if Wannstedt doesn't produce he could be gone. So any level of uncertainty hurts. Regardless of what Pitt counters with until they win there will be uncertainty.



brownpanther Could you please rank the current Pitt recruits based on how you project their careers at Pitt?

GURU: Fernando Diaz could have a great career. He is a very tough kid who plays a position of need. Devin Street is a very impressive wide receiver. He will need to show that he can separate from big time DB's and that he can block. It is always tougher for a skill player to make the transition from high school to college. Dion Lewis will have a chance, but he also has a lot of talent ahead of him. The competition at running back will be ridiculous. Cory King could be very good if he can make the transition down to the interior. As I said with Diaz it is a position of need. Juantez Hollins is very raw and has a ways to go. Lippert is jacked and could be very good. He just needs to be able to stay healthy.


PittFan7 Do you think Coach Tony Wise brings a lot more to the table than Paul Dunn?

GURU: I was very impressed with what I saw from Wise in camp. Let's wait until we see the line in a game and see what kind of results he gets.


GilBrown4MVP Do you know if Pitt is looking at Jeff Sinclair from Highlands? If not, who is?

GURU: I think he got the ordinary local kid love that most of the kids do, but nothing more really. He was receiving some MAC interest. A lot with him will depend on his senior season and how he does.


brownpanther It seems like we are getting thin at fullback,  is AJ Fenton supposed to be the answer, if so, does he favor Pitt?

GURU: Fenton could play fullback eventually. You could also see someone surface late in the process, possibly a Florida kid or one of the LB's could be a FB if need be. Fenton is really looking at Wisconsin and Pittsburgh.


tbro34 Big East question instead of a Pitt Question. I noticed that the Bearcats are winning a few more recruiting battles this year than last year. Assuming their coach sticks around for a couple more years, how high do you think their program could rise?

GURU: Definitely, but the question is will he stick around? They have gotten some very good players and they have taken some questionable type guys that a lot of MAC schools didn't offer. We'll have to wait and see what becomes of them. They just lost a QB they really liked from Tennessee to Miami (Ohio).


PittFan7 If Pitt has a great season on the field and goes to a bowl game, any chance of Corey Brown changing his mind or do you think he's 100% committed?

GURU: It is recruiting and as I learned a long time ago never say never when it comes to recruiting.


brownpanther The following are Pitt leans; when do you expect them to commit to Pitt?

Ezell, Mason, DeCicco, Clarke.

GURU: DeCicco will go soon I would think. Clarke I feel is basically down to WVU and Pitt and he could go soon. Mason has been close a number of times, but he has also said he may wait until after the season. Ezell is one of those guys who says he is going to wait, but he could also commit tomorrow. So you never know with him.



Pittfan78  Does Pitt have a shot at Ohio RB Bud Golden?

GURU: Last time I spoke with Golden he basically said he likes everyone the same. Illinois is a player and by them landing his friend and teammate Steve Hull I'd say that helps their cause.


PittFan7 What are the players overall thoughts on Coach Tony Wise?

GURU: I have only heard good things from most of them. They basically say it is a night and day difference between he and Dunn.


rmf05:  I hear that as of Monday (July 14th), Mo Williams was still working out with his Panther teammates.  Is there a chance he has decided to stick it out with Pitt?

GURU: My sources say he is probably done at Pitt.


JaronBrownMythManLegend:  Is there any news on the recruitment of Pete White?

GURU: Not lately, he is still looking around at all his options.


Reno9 When do you expect Tavon Austin to have a final five and make a decision?

GURU: I have seen different things that say he has a final two of PSU and WVU. He has said he will take five official visits, so we are in a wait and see mode as to what exactly he will do. He does not like to talk a lot about the whole recruiting thing. He is actually pretty humble.


Reno9 What are PItt's chances of an official visit from Tavon Austin?

GURU: Depends if they stay on him and continue to show a lot of interest. The last time he texted me he still said he was planning on visiting there.



brownpanther Any word on a  Jordan Hill decommit? 

GURU: None, that I have heard. I would be surprised if Pitt is still recruiting him. After a while you give the kid a chance and then the novelty wears off and you move on.


Ganymede While I agree Dave Wannstedt has a good record of finding "sleepers", don't we seem to be going after more than normal?

GURU: Yes, but as you just said he has found a number of them who have turned out, so you kind of have to trust him. They have not gotten a ton of them, they are being cautious and waiting for the season to play out and jump starting their efforts.


Reno9 Any update on the recruitment of Jaleel Clark?

GURU: Jaleel has been the toughest kid for us to get in touch with. I have managed to text back and forth a few times and we have played phone tag a few times. Hopefully I can get in touch with him this weekend. The staff likes him a lot and they feel that they have a pretty good shot with him.


rkohberger:  If Dave Wannstedt is committed to converting linemen from defense to offense, why has he recruited three offensive linemen for this years class?

GURU: If you can get the right kind of guys that fit what you want you take them. Just because you like converting guys doesn't mean that you don't adapt and take a guy who is a good fit. Diaz dominated at camp and the whole staff liked the kid a lot, so you take him. They have really liked King for a long time and they really want Khalil Wilkes as well.


brownpanther What is your honest assessment of Fernando Diaz,  does he compare to the other interior lineman that we have offered?

GURU: He is a brawler. The kid just gets after it and is one tough joker. He may not have great athletic ability when compared to some other guys, but he ran well and dominated physically. This is not a great year for interior guys and he came to camp and earned an offer.



tbro34 Whenever Joe Paterno finally retires, do you think Greg Gattuso would accept an offer to the PSU staff?

GURU: I'm sure it would depend on a lot of different factors. Greg is established in Pittsburgh. He'd have to uproot his family and that is never something guys like to do. I cannot see Penn State being eager to get rid of Larry Johnson anytime soon.


brownpanther Do you see Pitt landing Kevin Adams? What is your impression of him - does his speed make him a huge reach?

GURU: I'm not sure how hard they are really pursuing him. With one RB in the fold I would assume they are taking their time on the next one, unless it is a guy like Tavon Austin. People knocked Shariff Harris in high school because he was a 4.5/4.6 kid and he has looked ok to me. I think Adams will be fine, because he is a physical type of back.


brownpanther:  Is Pitt actively recruiting Chris Houston from Bishop McDevitt?

GURU: I would think that after they saw him perform at the 7on7 their interest level had to go up some. He is likely to be a guy they watch the first few games of his senior season and decide on.



JaronBrownMythManLegend:  Any chance of PITT landing one or both of the Merill twins?

GURU: I think Pitt is a player for both brothers, because they are recruiting both brothers. I have been told they'd like to play together and Jamil really liked Tennessee, but they really didn't show a ton of interest in Jamal.


jells73: Baring the current commitments, with the exception of Tyrone Ezell, do you foresee Pitt taking anymore defensive linemen?  

GURU: If the right guys come along like a Bernardo Nunez I would say most definitely.



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