That's why Dave Wannstedt and his staff set up a barbecue today at Heinz Field for the final big recruiting event, and the Panthers expect from 15-20 players to be in Pittsburgh, including several key uncommitted players.
As Panther Digest reported last week, wideout Shakim Phillips, outside linebacker-defensive end Sherard Cadogan and offensive tackle Shane Johnson are expected to attend. These are three key targets for the Panthers, as they attempt to secure about nine more commitments for the class.
Phillips is rated as the No. 12 receiver in the nation by Scout.com and would be a huge commitment for the Panthers. Phillips reportedly has Pitt, North Carolina, Maryland, Rutgers and West Virginia in his top five. His good friend, T.J. Clemmings, already is committed to Pitt.
Johnson reportedly is close to making a commitment and could pull the trigger this weekend. The Panthers have three offensive line prospects already committed for 2010, but each is projected to be an interior player right now. Although, two have the size to move outside.
Nonetheless, Johnson is rated No. 63 among offensive tackles by Scout.com and would be a crucial commitment. The Panthers already have Dematha Catholic safety Jeff Knox as a verbal commitment, and if teammate Johnson commits as well it would give Pitt a good start on a pipeline to the Hyattsville, Md. powerhouse. The Panthers are joined by Wake Forest, Boston College and Virginia in Johnson's top four.
Cadogan appears to have the Panthers among his favorites with Michigan State, Wisconsin and West Virginia, and there's a chance he could commit this weekend as well. While Cadogan is listed as an outside linebacker, he certainly has the frame to grow into a solid defensive end prospect.
Among the other offered players expected to attend are cornerback Brendon Felder and wideout Alonzo Russell. Several players were invited to the barbecue who have not yet been offered by Pitt, but they could leave with one. They are quarterback Mark Myers from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio; running back Angus Harper from Thomas Edison HS in Alexandria, Va. and cornerback Dayonne Nunley from Gateway HS in Monroeville, Pa.
Pitt currently has 16 verbal commitments for 2010, and nine of those players have said they also will attend the barbecue. That group includes safety Derrick Burns, wideout Andrew Carswell, tight end Brendan Carozzoni, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, running back Andre Givens, outside linebacker Bryan Murphy, running back T.J. Peeler, offensive guard-center Brandon Sacco and wideout Kevin Weatherspoon.
Let's Eat ... And Talk Recruiting
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