We want to start off by thanking everyone that visited the site yesterday and read all the material that the Pittsburgh Sports Now team produced. As you’ll continue to see, this site is more than just a site for recruiting news. Alan Saunders is our feature writers and will cover Pitt football and basketball on a day-to-day basis for us, Tim Benz will provide columns on college football and basketball, Rich Donahue will add high school material, Mike Vukovcan will provide recruiting news and Joe Steigerwald will direct from behind-the-scenes. Who knows, you might be seeing new names appearing soon.
**It’s been a big 24 hours for Miami 7-0 center Victor Uyaelunmo, a big target for Kevin Stallings. Uyaelunmo received a big offer yesterday from UConn and multiple reports indicate that Rick Pitino and Louisville could be close to offering. If Stalling is to land this prospect, he’ll have to out-recruit some big boys to do so.
UPDATE (11:31 AM)-
**Just received a message from an unnamed recruit that tells me he’s in the process of trying to buy an airline ticket to try to get to Pittsburgh on Friday. If this happens, I think there’s a real good chance of Pitt getting a commitment.
UPDATE (11:53 AM)-
**Ohio 2018 safety Michael Dowell tells me that he’s hoping to make a visit to Pitt in either August or September for a game. Pitt was the first school to offer Dowell and he recently was offered by Michigan St. Dowell is a big Pitt target for next season.
UPDATE (12:08 PM)-
** Tyler Sear is a 2017 tight end for the Neshannock football team and in May he committed to Temple. The question now is whether Sear will end up staying with the Owls?
This morning, I talked with Sear (6-5, 250) about the situation he’s in- being committed to one school but now getting interest from the hometown school.
“Coach Hill and Coach Harley actually came in to school a few times to talk to me last year. We talked and they told me their interest in me and wanted to watch me at the 7v7, which is where I met Coach Salem, Coach Canada and Coach Narduzzi,” said Sear. “My team and I performed really well and I feel like I caught their eye. ”
“Since then, at least one coach was at every game sometimes the entire staff. After that I’ve been talking to Coach Salem everyday over text message about the future of Pitt football and Pittsburgh sports in general. I wouldn’t say they’re really recruiting me but they’re staying in contact and making sure I keep Pitt in my thought process.”
Sear tells me that he doesn’t have a Pitt offer right now but, “they said I will soon.”
What would an offer from Pitt mean personally and do to his Temple commitment.
“I love Pitt and it’s my hometown team, every kid dreams of playing in their backyard let alone at such a prestigious program like Pitt,” said Sear. “After the 7v7, they gave me a tour of their facilities and all that. I’ll probably get back up for a game next year. At this point Temple is my school, I committed there for a reason and I’m loyal to that commitment. My parents taught me that a mans word and character are the strongest things you have.”
As I’ve written for many months, tight end is a position Pitt is recruiting hard and Sear would be a good fit. Time will tell what develops between Pitt and Sear.
UPDATE (12:41 PM)-
** Speaking of recruits in Lawrence County, New Castle’s Geno Stone tells me that he’s hoping to make visits to West Virginia, Marshall and Virginia Tech soon.
UPDATE (12:59 PM) from Alan Saunders-
** If you’re planning on making the trip to the Big Apple, Pitt’s trip to Madison Square Garden has been scheduled. The Panthers will play SMU in the first semi-final of the 2K Classic on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The second semifinal will immediately follow the first game.
Pitt will then play either Marquette or Michigan on Friday, Nov. 18. The third-place game will be played at 4:30 p.m. and the final will be at 6:30 p.m. All of the games will be televised on ESPN, which announced the schedule of the games.
UPDATE (1:31 PM)-
** North Catholic’s Khalil Weathers is transferring to Central Catholic. Weathers will be a nice addition and is going to be a D1 prospect.
This is an evaluation of Weathers from a scout that I know, “Will probably be an all purpose back in college. He’s 5’10 175. Very acrobatic with soft hands. More quick than fast, but has great vision and sees the field well. Central will probably use him as the pass option in the RPO-scheme if I were guessing… That’s what he translates to in college. Will definitely be FCS, MAC level kid. If he runs a good 40 and keeps progressing, Pitt will be on him as well as others.”
UPDATE (2:49 PM) from Alan Saunders-
** Pitt has also released its opponents for the two home games in the 2K Classic. The Panthers will host Eastern Michigan on Nov. 11 and Gardner-Webb on Nov. 14.
UPDATE (4:29 PM) from Alan Saunders-
** Pitt has released its first football roster for the 2016 season, which is available .
The big news is that wide receiver Tre Tipton was granted a medical redshirt for his 2015 season and will play as a redshirt freshman in 2016 with two years of eligibility.
Tipton, a 6-foot, 190-pound recover from Apollo-Ridge, played in four games for the Panthers in 2015 before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.
He is expected to compete for playing time at receiver this season, in the mix behind Dontez Ford with Zach Challingsworth, Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah.
There are also some uniform number changes. Elijah Zeise will wear 25, Zach Poker will wear 84, Jake Knight will wear 57 and backup kicker Tristan Cunha will wear 98.
The roster does not include walks-on quarterback Ryan Adzima and punter Matt Barber, who have apparently left the team.
UPDATE (10:12 PM)-
**I’m looking for Pitt to get a commitment in the next day or so, possibly as early as tomorrow. Stay tuned.