Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Building the fence

Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt rankled Penn State coach Joe Paterno and former West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez when he stated that he planned to not allow recruits from the Western Pennsylvania area to leave.

Technically, Wannstedt meant he wanted every four and five-star recruit to stay near home and play for the Panthers.

Over the past three years, Wannstedt and his staff have done an excellent job recruiting locally, though no player from the Washington-Greene region has committed to Pitt. Still, many of the top players are leaving.

Most aren't going to Penn State.

And they aren't heading to WVU.

Pitt is losing the big-time guys to Ohio State.

The Buckeyes snagged Trinity linebacker Andrew Sweat with its most recent class, as well as Jeannette quarterback Terrelle Pryor, considered by most to be the nation's top recruit.

Recently, Ohio State received oral commitments from two of the top juniors in the WPIAL.

Gateway linebacker Dorian Bell is the area's most sought-after player and he selected Ohio State earlier this week. A day later, Jeannette running back Jordan Hall said he will follow Pryor to Columbus.


Anonymous said...

haha. pitt 'losing recruits' to ohio state. i don't blame these kids at all for choosing osu. the buckeyes are currently in the highest group of college football teams there is right now (usc, osu) in terms of recruiting and on the field success. i know pitt is the local team, but what would you think if you were a high school player right now? "hmm i could go to osu.... or i could go to pitt" thats a no brainer. pitt needs a whole lot more success before they should be expected to grab the true big time recuits.

Brian said...

I look at it more like Pitt stealing recruits from the teams that have been successful the past few years...

Anonymous said...

good call. stealing is a more appropriate term

Anonymous said...

I've been dreaming of this scenario for a while now... Mike Hull decides to attend... Pitt! Though unlikely, it could happen. Watching him play is quite an honor and as a Panther fan I'd love to see him decide to sign with the navy blue and gold. Mike if you are out there, here is one fan that would love to see you join the new resurgence of Pitt. Think about it: Blades, McKillop, Hale, Hull-- the real Linebacker U!

Anonymous said...

Pitt- the real linebacker U. ummmmmmmmm "not so fast my friends". posluszny > blades. connor > McKillop. lee>hale (not to mention zordich(5th rated ILB), mauti (9th rated ILB) and yancich (4th rated WLB) in last year's recruiting class

but about hall...... while everything I hear says he is very high on psu, he'll need to put on some height and weight if he really wants to be considered. yancich was 6-2 220. zordich was 6-2/210 and mauti was 6-2/220. Hall is only listed at 6-0.5 Wt: 204

so maybe he will end up going to pitt, unless joe pa takes him as a legacy recruit.

mike_kovak said...

Personally, I would play where I had the opportunity to contribute as soon as possible.

In most cases, that would be a school like Pitt or Penn State as opposed to Ohio State. That depends on talent level and the needs of the team.

I'm not big on height for linebackers and I believe Mike Hull should be a Division I recruit based on what I've seen.

Brian said...

That's a little too big of a generalization for me, Mike. I don't think you can go somewhere strictly due to the fact that you have the best opportunity to conribute early. Playing early because a lack of depth at that position does not mean success later on. Sure experience is gained, but how much of that experience is positive? Look at it at all levels of football, guys who are able to be back-ups for a year or two behind polished veterans learn a whole lot and have an easier time making the transition to that next level. That's the beauty of the redshirt. Play or sit, i think the most important part is being comfortable where you are. If you're going to a school for some reason like rich-tradition or playing early and you don't feel comfortable at that school or that system, you are not going to succeed.

BURGH08 said...

If you can contribute and have aspirations of being an NFL talent, Ohio State is a top level program.

If you actually have to use your degree after the four years, a degree from Ohio State is something you can find in a Cracker Jack box.

Not to be critical.

Brian said...

Burgh, this may get us a little off topic but I'm curious to why a degree from Ohio State is meaningless... Of course it is no MIT or Yale, but I don't think OSU is too bad of an education.

Anonymous said...

i've heard mixed reviews about an education from osu. U.s. news ranks them fairly high, but i've heard people in the athletic programs have it far easier, just like people have reported at michigan.

i think mike has a point about being able to play early. I feel that kids these days are more about instant gratification, therefore they really do want to be able to play early. I would not be surprised if that was the number one factor into making their college decision. its sad though because like brian pointed out, playing early isn't always best.

Anonymous said...

While I would most certainly LOVE to see Hull in navy and vegas gold as much as any other PITT fan, I don't see it as a realistic possibility. With his work ethic and passion for the sport, as long as he continues to play the way he's capable of (and I'm sure he will), the sky is the limit for this kid. I honestly think he's going to have his pick of nearly any perennial football powerhouse he chooses. Mike Hull is the real deal. And to top it off, you won't meet a more humble and down to earth kid with his kind of talent.

As to the actual topic of this forum, I feel like it's hard to say who's doing the stealing here. If pitt can step up to their pre-season hype and finally generate some success on the field this year and those following, western PA will be theirs to lose. Just look at what Wanny has been able to do with three straight losing seasons as far as recruiting goes—three straight top 25 classes. We've just gotta put it all together now.

Anonymous said...

Mike is a great athelte as well as a very nice young man. Please let him decide what is best for him on his own time.

Brian said...

What's kinda funny is, I just looked at Rivals Top Recruiting classes and out of the top 30 schools with the best recruiting classes, at least half finished last season outside of the top 25. Of course this is a little misleading because schools like Hawaii, Cincy, and BYU were top 25 teams and obviously arent recruiting powers while schools like Miami, ND, and FSU are able to play their tradition card to get recruits. However, this could explain a little how schools like, Washington, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, and Kansas State are able to recruit these solid classes despite having lousy seasons. I guess kids want to play at big schools right away.

Pitt Note:
0 of Pitts 4 or 5 star recruits came from outside of Pennsylvania... PA had 14 four/five star players and Pitt got six, not bad at all.

This is one of the few times I've actually looked into recruiting websites other than going back into archives to see how top recruits actually panned out. IE Adrian Peterson, turns out he was the #1 guy coming out of high school. Of course you have guys like Kyle Wright and dare i say Anthony Morelli who never reach their hype... This is why i try to stay away from recruiting rankings that lead to overhyped teams and cough conferences cough.