Now that the dead period and non-contact period is over with in college football recruiting, expect more news to be circulating on Twitter and various recruiting outlets.
As we sit here on April 19th, Pitt currently has only one commitment (Jay Symonds), is that a reason for concern?
Absolutely not. We are still ten months away from 2018 National Letter of Intent Day. Let me repeat: ten months away.
Teams aren’t awarded prizes for having the most committed recruits in April. All the quality recruits aren’t off the market at the end of the month.
I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it again especially with the addition of assistant coach Charlie Partridge, Pat Narduzzi and this staff won’t have any problems bringing in quality recruits. Recruiting will never be a problem as long as Narduzzi is Pitt’s head coach.
Now to the next questions that we get asked a lot here at Pittsburgh Sports Now.
How is Pitt doing with the top local recruits and which ones can they land?
As things stand today, aside from Pine-Richland’s Phil Jurkovec, who’s committed to Notre Dame, for the first time in a long time, Pitt is in position to land every one of the top local 2017 recruits.
Will they end up getting a commitment from everyone of them? Probably not but unlike in past years, Pitt is a serious contender for everyone of them.
Here’s a look at the top players and the teams that Pitt is going up against.
Jake Kradel, OL/DL, Butler: Kradel just received an offer last night from Virginia Tech. This coming weekend, he’ll be visiting Rutgers. Despite having over 25+ offers, Kradel appears to be down to Ohio State, Pitt and Maryland. My guess is that Ohio State is the leader with Pitt a close second. Pitt and Narduzzi still have a chance. Kradel told me this morning that he plans on making his decision mid-May or early June.
Blake Zubovic, OT, Belle Vernon: The big offensive tackle holds offers from Pitt, Boston College, Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia. This weekend, Zubovic will be in State College for the Penn State Spring Game. In the end, I believe this will come down to a battle of Pitt vs. Penn State. This one should be interesting to watch.
TJ Banks, TE, East Allegheny: In my opinion, Banks is one of the most under recruited athletes in the state and I believe once the season starts, bigger offers will come pouring in for his services. Banks (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) currently holds offers from Pitt, Cincinnati, Maryland, Syracuse, Temple and West Virginia. Regardless of what offers come in, I expect Banks to eventually be a Pitt Panther.
David Green, DT, Central Catholic: This latest star from Central Catholic has seen his recruitment pick up lately, now holding offers from Pitt, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Green has a visit set on May 8th to go visit Iowa State. Green tells me that as of right now, he doesn’t have any top schools. Regardless, come decision time, Pitt is likely to be a school on Green’s list of finalists.
Devin Danielson, DT, Thomas Jefferson: This rugged defensive tackle is one of my favorite players in this year’s class and someone that’s going to be really good college player. Danielson currently holds offers from Pitt, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Louisville, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia and West Virginia. I don’t have a read on Danielson but would be surprised if Pitt doesn’t land in his final two teams.
Kwantel Raines, S, Aliquippa: Everyone knows the background and skill level of Raines. After attending Pitt’s Spring Game last Saturday, Raines will visit Penn State this weekend. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but I believe this will come down to Narduzzi vs. James Franklin. Right now, if you’re looking for indications of where he’s leaning, you could see clues for both team. Truth is, only Kwantel and his family really know who’s the leader.
These are the top six local prospects and as you can see, Pitt is in serious contention for each on end of them.