I opened up the Twitter mailbag after Pitt wrapped up a 16-player National Letter of Intent signing day class on Wednesday and got a good range of questions from all over — with some less serious ones at the end. Let’s dig in.
@RonEcoff: What happened with [Matt] Alaimo? Does he still plan to sign with Pitt?
Pittsburgh Sports Now has reached out to Alaimo we haven’t heard anything back yet, and of course, Pat Narduzzi can’t directly comment on the situation. He did have some general words on Wednesday that I’ll be writing up a bit more about shortly, so stay tuned.
From a rules standpoint, Alaimo can still sign with Pitt or with anyone else today and tomorrow. If he waits, he then has to wait until February.
@Mark48873198: What position does Pitt target the next month? How many [scholarships] left? Who is Coach on the phone with all day? What is your top takeaway from today?
I’m not actually sure there’s one position Pitt is trying to target at this point. With the commitments of Ricky Town, V’Lique Carter and Shocky Jacques-Louis, I think they checked the “need” boxes.
If they take more players, I think it’ll just be about getting quality athletes wherever they land. I could see them targeting DE, LB, RB, DB, TE, heck maybe even another QB.
As of right now, Pitt has 84 players under scholarship, plus one verbal commit in Alaimo. So any future additions will also have to come with a departure.
I actually don’t have any idea know who the coaches were on the phone with all day today, because unlike previous years, we were not invited to spend the morning at the football facility as the faxes came in.
My top-line takeaway is that Pitt needed quarterbacks badly and signed two early, with one early enrollee, so that’s a good thing. The rest of the class might not be sexy in that there aren’t any four-star players and most of the best ones are linemen, but quality line play wins games.
@The_Kambler: Everyone wants to talk about this class but two guys who came in last year that seem to be flying under the radar. What is your outlook for Cam Bright and Deslin Alexandre?
I think Bright is probably the better player, but Alexandre is closer to seeing playing time. Pitt is stacked at linebacker heading into 2018 with essentially four returning starters plus two young contributors. It’s going to be tough for Bright to push through that pack. Maybe he starts on special teams.
At end, Alexandre is one of a few players that will fight to replace the reps lost when Allen Edwards graduated. Pitt used five defensive ends last season, and Alexandre is probably no worse than sixth on the depth chart at this very moment, so he has a pretty clear path to playing time.
@Mark_Haft: Is it true, the rumor that you, Alan Saunders, might actually be Pat Narduzzi from a different parallel reality?
Pat and I don’t see eye-to-eye all the time, so I doubt that even in a parallel universe, we’d be the same person.
Also, if you’re not from Youngstown, I don’t think you can be someone that is from Youngstown, even in a different dimension. Which is why …
@CraigMeyerPG: Is Ed O’Neill too old to play Narduzzi in the yet-to-be released buddy cop movie based off him and [Trib beat writer] Jerry [DiPaola]?
If you don’t watch Narduzzi’s press conferences, he and Jerry DiPaola are good for at least one half-joking back-and-forth session every time. It’s usually pretty funny and heck, there’s movies with thinner plots. So why not?
Look, Ed O’Neill is almost definitely too old (he’s 71; Pat is 51), but he has the right demeanor. Plus, he’s from Youngstown, and like I said above, I think that’s a requirement.
We just need to go heavy with the makeup and get someone a bit older to play Jerry. Any suggestions for a co-star?