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Pitt’s 2018 Recruiting Class is Underrated

Pitt’s 2018 Recruiting Class is Underrated

A common line of thinking on message boards and Twitter is that Pitt’s upcoming recruiting class is down and not as good as the last two years.

Following Friday’s huge upset of #2 Miami, I read people writing that maybe the win would help improve what has been a down year of recruiting by the Pitt staff.

Maybe it’s because they only have 13 commitments or maybe it’s because it’s not ranked in the Top 30, but I’m a bit confused by this line of thinking.

Due to the limited number of scholarships available, Pitt’s Class of 2018 was never going to be ranked high. The fact is Pitt isn’t getting 5-star recruits and only gets a few 4-star recruits.  When that’s the case and you’re only offering 19-20 scholarships, you’re not going to be ranked in the Top 20.

That’s life, get over it.

All this being said, this doesn’t mean Narduzzi isn’t bringing in a talented group of recruits because I believe he is.

Narduzzi and his staff are the experts at this and I trust their eye for talent and finding players that fit their system.

Last year, they got a commitment from a player with only three major offers (Boston College, Iowa and North Carolina). That player was New Jersey quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Point is, a “good recruit” shouldn’t be based on whether he’s a 4-star or if he’s offered by Alabama, Ohio State or Michigan.

The other reason I’m not understanding people’s criticism of Pitt’s Class of 2018 is that if you’re into offers, a majority of Pitt’s commitments received offers from good programs prior to giving a verbal to the Panthers.

Some of these offers may not have been commitable at the point these players joined Pitt but the bottom line is that they were talented enough to get an offer from these programs to begin with.

Here’s a look at some of the programs that extended offers to Pitt’s 2018 commitments.

DT David Green: Iowa State, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and West Virginia

Courtesy of David Green

CB Marquis Williams: Clemson, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Penn State, Wisconsin

Pitt 2018 commit Marquise Williams

DT Devin Danielson: Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State, UCLA, West Virginia and Wisconsin

TE Matt Alaimo: Arizona State, Arizona, Louisville, Minnesota, NC State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia

OT Blake Zubovic: Boston College, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

Courtesy of Blake Zubovic

OT Chase Brown: Minnesota, TCU, Virginia Tech and West Virginia

DE John Morgan: Penn State, Virginia Tech and Maryland

LB Wendell Davis: Boston College, Michigan State and West Virginia

Courtesy of Wendell Davis

CB Judson Tallandier: Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota, NC State and Purdue

OL Jake Kradel: Iowa, NC State, Purdue, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio State

Courtesy of Jake Kradel

Finally, keep in mind that Pitt’s first commitment, Thomas Jefferson DE Noah Palmer, made his decision so early he never really allowed his recruitment to begin.

Starting today, Pitt will be on the road looking to add 6-7 players to this class. Will they be able to add any 4-Star players? Maybe, maybe not. If they are only rated a 3-star players, don’t automically assume that it’s not a good pickup.

Trust the evaluation eyes of the Pitt coaching staff.





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13 Comments on "Pitt’s 2018 Recruiting Class is Underrated"

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Joe M.

I actually think they got a lot of talent in this group. The QB-TE combo from NJ looks great and so do the local linemen…and wasn’t James Connor a 2star recruit??? I like the direction Pitt is headed, lets be patient.


Spot on Mikey! I’ve been saying the same for months. The real experts are the coaches who offer players. Not the Mike Farrells of the world.

MonValley Jack

Its not so much the recruitment but the development of these young guys coming.

When your bringing in 3-stars, they need coached up – Im not seeing that with this coaching staff. So far.

Narduzzi likes to point out his 2-star CB’s from Mich St that were high NFL draft picks – he’s yet to develop his Pitt recruits in that manner.

New York Panther

Give him time, Mon. This year’s defense improved over last year’s, and they only lose Avonte next year. MSU has never had a highly rated class in Dantonio’s 11 years there, but they have had very good teams. Narduzzi is a disciple of Dantonio.


Of course we haven’t seen him coach up his recruits yet. Narduzzi’s first REAL class (the Class of 2016) are only true sophomores and redshirt freshmen. Remember, 2015 was basically Chryst’s class that Narduzzi just had to keep together.

The next season or two will tell the story of how well Narduzzi is coaching up his guys, when his first classes are seniors and juniors.

Johhny Oakland

Our highest ranked recruit is a mid three star ranked 533rd in the country on the 247Composite and about a third of the offers you listed were not committable.

That being said I do like Tallandier and Kradel. I think they are underrated but the class as a whole being underrated I don’t know. Let’s hope so.

Joseph Steigerwald

This year’s class has a higher average rating on 247 than last year’s even with four 4-Star recruits. The rankings can still change as well.

Johhny Oakland

Because the bottom half of last year’s class stunk thus lowering the average.

8 in 80
This kind of logic is whistling through the graveyard. The fact remains that you cannot average more than 6-7 wins a year against Pitt’s schedule with 2-3 star recruits. I don’t care who your coach is. And, you cannot contend for New Year’s Six bowl games unless you are getting mostly 4 stars and a few 5 stars. Look who will play for the national title in 2017, and who will play in those bowl games? Only Wisconsin (who has a very stable and consistent offensive and defensive formula, and a whole lot more game day ambiance, tradition, and enthusiasm… Read more »
Gary O\'Shell

I think it was the great Bob Smizik who said long ago that all these ratings systems were a joke. A large number of the highly rated players are never even seen by those doing the ratings. Nothing against Max Browne but he was the highest rated recruit in the nation at QB. He never lived up to that. James Conner was mostly overlooked. You really don’t know until they start playing.

Chris Clark needs to be added the group of over-rated players. I agree ratings are not perfect, but I also agree a steady diet of 3 star recruits will not allow you to play on New Years Day. I f you do not believe these ratings look at Alabama and Clemson’s rosters. Enough of the coddling recruitment needs to be upgraded. The WPIAL does not have that many special players to get us to the next level. Our players are young, so that means their eventual replacements must be ready to play and continue the cycle. No more burning redshirts… Read more »

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