It’s only August and Pat Narduzzi is already coming down the home stretch in terms of his recruiting class for Class of 2018.
Last night, Florida defensive back Marquis Williams became the Panthers 13th verbal commitment. No one outside of the Pitt football building knows the exact number of this years recruiting class but 18 or 19 seems to be a logical guess. If that’s the case, Pitt has five or six more commitments to take.
Here’s a breakdown of Pitt’s thirteen commitments:
QB (1): Nick Patti
WR (1): Cameron O’Neil
TE (2): Jay Symonds, Matt Alaimo
OL (3): Jake Kradel, Blake Zubovic, Chase Brown
DE (2): Noah Palmer, John Morgan
DT (1): Devin Danielson
LB (1): Wendell Davis
DB (2): Judson Tallandier, Marquis Williams
The question now is what positions will Pitt be targeting for those remaining scholarships? The reality is that five or six isn’t many, so Narduzzi is going to have to be somewhat selective. All scholarships that Pitt has already extended aren’t all valid now. As I like to say, some scholarships come with an expiration date and some have already expired. With limited scholarships remaining, Pitt probably has a wish list of players and positions.
What can this list look like and who might be on it?
Kwantel Raines is a player that will have a Pitt offer no matter what.
Coleton Beck is also a player that is extremely high on Pitt’s board. If Beck doesn’t commit to Pitt, I can see them not taking a running back this year.
Like Raines, Brian Asamoah is a player that will not lose his Pitt offer. They would take him whenever he’d choose to give them a commitment.
David Green from Central Catholic is making his college decision this Thursday and PSN expects him to select the Panthers. If that happens, Pitt will be down to four or five left.
I’ll put it this way, if Pitt could land these four players, they’d take that in a second and move on to the Class of 2019 (although they’d likely add one more player).
I won’t reveal his name but I expect Pitt to get a commitment from a wide receiver in the near future. That would make two in this class and would be the last one they’d take.
Pitt won’t be taking anymore quarterbacks or tight ends this year which is a reason they are no longer recruiting East Allegheny’s TJ Banks. Once Alaimo made his commitment, that ended things with Banks.
Although I’m not certain, I’m not looking for Pitt to add anymore offensive lineman either. Since TJ Bradley committed to Maryland, I would be surprised if they take anyone else unless they can flip someone. Plus, Pitt landed the the guys up front that they targeted in Zubovic, Kradel and Brown.
The name Tyler Bentley (defensive tackle from West Chester, Ohio) surfaced today after he tweeted out a birthday Twitter message he got from the Pitt recruiting office. If Green commits on Thursday, does Pitt still pursue Bentley, who’s currently committed to Kentucky? Considering his skill level and the list of offers he holds (Alabama, Florida, Louisville, LSU, West Virginia and Wisconsin), I believe the answer to that is Yes. Although they have some talented players on the defensive line, I believe it’s not as deep as it needs to be. Adding players like Danielson, Green and Bentley would be a big step in that direction.
As far as linebacker, Asamoah is priority 1, 2 and 3 for Pitt. Other than him, the only possibility would be Caleb Deveaux, although his name has gone cold lately.
In the secondary, nothing needs to be said about Pitt’s interest level in Raines. If they could land him, would they take anyone else? It was interesting today that 4-star cornerback Jairus Brents from Louisville, Kentucky listed Pitt in his Top Ten. Brents is a big-time player with offers from Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, Wisconsin and Florida. 247 Sports tweeted that Pitt was one of three schools that they were hearing that was high on Brents list. If that’s true, no matter how many defensive backs they have, Pitt has to take a player like Brents if he’d want to commit.
Most of Pitt’s remaining recruiting blueprint will be dictated by what the Big Four of Raines, Asamoah, Beck and Green decide to do. It will no doubt be interesting.