Scouting the Big East: Pittsburgh

Coach Walt Harris did a terrific job last season turning what began as a horrendous campaign into yet another bowl appearance. The conference is not strong this season and another low-level bowl appearance looks to be in order, as are the middle round prospects this program usually offers.

Pittsburgh Panthers

The Panther line has a trio of players on our radar screen. Senior Bryan Anderson is a tough lineman very good blocking for the run. Intelligent, he blocks with excellent leverage, displaying the ability to anchor in pass protection or turn defenders out for the run. Anderson, solid in confined quarters, could slip into the late frames. Center Chad Reed is quick, explosive and blocks with excellent technique. Smart upstairs, he does a fine job using blocking angles and body positioning but lacks bulk to this point and does not open the middle of the field, also having difficulty with one-on-one assignments at times. He is a nice long-term prospect that could slip into the middle frames next April. Underclassman Rob Petiti is a good-looking prospect at tackle and will get a lot of notice if he takes his game to the next level. Another from the ranks of the underclassman we like is fullback Lousaka Polite, a powerful, run blocking lead fullback that does the dirty work well also showing himself to be a good short yardage runner. Receiver Lamar Slade has all the physical tools needed and now gets the opportunity to translate them onto the football field fulltime. Good results will earn him a spot in the late frames.

On defense linebacker Gerald Hayes has done a terrific job over the past two seasons. A nice athlete with both speed and quickness, Hayes explodes onto the scene, displaying pursuit skills, viciously attacking opposing ball carriers. He moves well laterally and flows nicely to the play, also getting depth on his pass drops. While he's quick reading or anticipating run plays, he is a little hesitant when the ball is in the air and usually a half-step late covering the pass. Should he iron that aspect out and show well in the post season, a top sixty pick is a definite possibility for Hayes.




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