Observations And Opinions

Even though we don't have an actual Guru Grill, here are some observations and opinions nonetheless:

The w0lfinator had these Spring thoughts and projections for the Pittsburgh football team.

Thoughts: 1.) Who wins MVP of Spring Ball? 2.) Who wins Most Improved of Spring Ball? 3.) Who wins biggest disappointment of Spring Ball?

Dale: Sophomore cornerback Antwuan Reed, redshirt freshman tight end Mike Cruz and freshman tailback Dion Lewis have been the best three players during spring ball. Either one could be the MVP. The most-improved will be Myles Caragein on defense and Lucas Nix on offense. The biggest disappointment, by far, is senior cornerback Aaron Berry. He needs an adjustment going into his final season, which the coaches hope the suspension will accomplish.

Projections: 4.) Who will be MVP of the 09 season? 5.) Who will be Most Improved of the 09 season? 6.) What Freshman(RS counts) will make an impact next season and to what extent? 7.) Name the starters.

Dale: The MVP will be fifth-year senior defensive tackle Mick Williams on defense and redshirt freshman tailback Chris Burns on offense. I believe both are going to have a huge year. On offense, the most-improved player is going to be sophomore wideout Jonathan Baldwin, while redshirt sophomore strong-side linebacker Greg Williams will be the most-improved on defense.

Burns and Lewis will be the freshmen who make the most impact. They'll both play a big role in Pitt's running game. Also, wideout Todd Thomas, as long as he qualifies, of course, will get a lot of playing time by season's end. Defensively, cornerback Jarred Holley is going to play, possibly in the base defense and certainly on special teams. Also, redshirt freshman place-kicker Kevin Harper will be the field-goal kicker and kickoff specialist. He just needs a little more work. Defensive end Shayne Hale will be in the rotation for sure, and Cameron Saddler will be an electrifying kickoff and punt returner. Middle linebacker Dan Mason and wideout Ed Tinker also could get some playing time.

The starters will be Bill Stull at quarterback, at least initially, Henry Hynoski at fullback, Chris Burns at tailback, Nate Byham at tight end, Jonathan Baldwin and Oderick Turner at wideout, Jason Pinkston, Chris Jacobson, Robb Houser, John Malecki and Lucas Nix from left to right on the offensive line. On Stull, I just don't see Wannstedt replacing him before the season. During, that's another story, based on production or a lack of it.

On defense, Jabaal Sheard, Myles Caragein, Mick Williams and Greg Romeus up front. Max Gruder, Adam Gunn and Greg Williams at linebacker. Dom DeCicco and Elijah Fields at safety and Aaron Berry and Antwuan Reed at cornerback.

Recruiting thoughts/projections: 8.) Who is near a lock for Pitt? 9.) What name should the Panther fans get to know that they may not know right now? 10.) Paul Jones. What are your thoughts?

When we actually do a Guru Grill, Bob could have different views. However, I believe Miles Dieffenbach is about as near a lock as it gets.

I would have said T.J. Peeler until yesterday, but now we know about him. How about tight end Dan Schneider from Avon Lake, Ohio. He's somewhat under the radar right now, but I believe he's going to be a big-time tight end. He's highly intelligent and already a solid blocker, and he is very interested in Pitt.

Paul Jones, clearly, is confused right now. I believe he's seen the writing on the wall at Penn State, with Kevin Newsome a year ahead of him. He could be a four-year starter with the Nittany Lions, and Jones could be behind him his entire career. That's not what he wants. However, his family is pushing him toward Penn State, and I believe that's where he'll end up unless the Nits get another quarterback in the 2010 class. If they do, Jones will de-commit.

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