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What’s Next For Pitt Football Recruiting?

What’s Next For Pitt Football Recruiting?

The commitment of Thomas Jefferson defensive tackle Devin Danielson gives Pitt eleven recruits in their Class of 2018.

How many more recruits can they take?

It’s a small class this year so we’re hearing they’ll likely take 17-18 kids this year with the possibility of that increasing by one or two depending on unforeseen future departures from the current roster.

The limited number of remaining scholarships means once the staff fills their quota of players at a certain position, that’s it. As I’ve said in the past, all scholarship offers come with an expiration date.

The coaches might like a recruit but if they’re only taking one more at a position and another kid is willing to commit, then that’s it.

An example of that might be at the tight end position. Over the weekend, Pitt received a commitment from Matt Alaimo (Montvale, New Jersey). With Alaimo and the previous commitment from Jay Symonds (Cambridge, MA), Pitt is done recruiting tight ends.

I bring this up because for a year, the Pitt staff had been recruiting East Allegheny’s T.J. Banks. In fact, he made a visit to the facility earlier this month. However, their recruitment of him is likely over.

PSN talked with Banks today and he hold us that Pitt has informed him they’re done recruiting tight ends. That means, Banks doesn’t have a future home at Pitt. The talented 4-star tight end tells me that his two top schools right now are West Virginia and Temple.

TJ Banks (Photo credit: Mike Vukovcan)

So, what positions are Pitt still recruiting and who are the top targets?

QUARTERBACK: Pitt has their quarterback with Nick Patti and are done with this position.

RUNNING BACKS: At this point, the only running back that Pitt is actively recruiting is Coleton Beck from Blacksburg, Virginia. Beck visited Pitt this past weekend and as things stand now, I like Pitt’s chances of landing him.

TIGHT END: As previously mentioned, Pitt is done after getting commitments from Alaimo and Symonds. Keaton Upshaw (Lima, Ohio) and Banks are no longer possibilities barring unforeseen circumstances.

Courtesy of Jay Symonds

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is one position that’s been somewhat quiet as far as hearing about prospects. The only recruit that we’ve spoken with that has a definite interest in Pitt and wants to visit soon is Cameron O’Neil from Phenix City, Alabama. Penn Hills wideout Julian Major is another possibility but to this point, they haven’t offered him. This could be a spot that Pitt could skip until next year or try and recruit a player that’s already given a commitment. Keep in mind, Pitt has recruited a number of talented wide receivers over the last couple of years and have plenty of young talent in the pipeline like Michael Smith, Dontavius Butler, Darian Street, Aaron Mathews, Ruben Flowers, Maurice Ffrench and Tre Tipton.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: Pitt has done a nice job on the offensive line in this class getting commitments from three skilled players in Chase Brown, Blake Zubovic and Jake Kradel. Will they take another one? I’m not sure that they’ve made up their mind on what position Kradel will play in college so I see Pitt going after one more offensive lineman. Who could that be? Samuel Baker (St. Petersburg, FL) just listed Pitt in his Top 5. TJ Bradley, teammate of Chase Brown, is another possibility along with Justin Johnson. This is a position that someone that doesn’t currently hold an offer could earn one during the season.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: I was told two weeks ago by a recruit that Pitt informed him that they were only taking two more defensive lineman in this class. With the commitment of Danielson, if that is accurate, one spot is available at either defensive tackle or defense end.

This is interesting because a few highly talented players haven’t closed the door on Pitt. If there’s only one spot left, that could make things interesting. Aeneaus Hawkins (Cincinnati, Ohio) has Pitt in his top seven, David Green from Central Catholic is high on Pitt and Deporess Schletty (Alpharetta, Georgia) named Pitt in his top five today. Green is the obvious local choice and last time we spoke, he planned on making his decision in August.

Courtesy of David Green

DEFENSIVE END: Dennis Briggs from Kissimmee, FL has always expressed an interest in Pitt but to this point hasn’t made a visit. Parker Devine is a player that we know likes Pitt and plans on making a visit in July. Jarrett Jackson, nephew of Pitt great Ricky Jackson, also has spoken highly of Pitt and always lists them as a contender. Charlie Partridge has been keeping in contact with Jackson.

Considering the quality of talent in these names, I could see Pitt taking more than one defensive lineman before National Signing Day.

LINEBACKERS: To this point, Wendell Davis is the only linebacker in the class. The big name and top target out there is Brian Asamoah (Columbus, Ohio). Over the last week, a lot of the national recruiting sites are forecasting him to commit to Pitt. However, considering the high quality teams that are still recruiting him, I don’t think this is a slam dunk. When I talked to Asamoah over the weekend, he told me his next visit would be to Oklahoma.

The other two big names that are on Pitt’s radar are New Castle’s Marcus Hooker and North Carolina linebacker Caleb Deveaux, although things with him have been quiet as of late. I believe Pitt will add two more at this position before Signing Day.

New Castle's Marcus Hooker at Heinz Field for Pitt-Penn State (Photo credit: Mike Vukovcan)

New Castle’s Marcus Hooker at Heinz Field for Pitt-Penn State (Photo credit: Mike Vukovcan)

SECONDARY:  The obvious name and likely top name on Pitt’s entire 2018 recruiting board is Aliquippa’s Kwantel Raines. Any prediction or thoughts on what will happen with him would purely be a guess. Pat Narduzzi and Pitt have as good a chance as anyone but that doesn’t mean they’ll end up with him. Like with Asamoah, anytime so many quality teams are recruiting someone, who knows what will happen. I will say this, despite getting a ton of talented local players, missing out on Raines would be a big blow to Pitt.

Other names to monitor are cornerback Marquis Williams (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Jamareeye Brown (Coral Springs, Florida), Jamari Brown (Pompano Beach, Florida), Tyrese Ross (Atlanta, Georgia) and Alvontray Foster (Baltimore, Maryland).

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