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Are Kamara, Parrish Commitments Signs Pitt Is Making Progress against Penn State?

Are Kamara, Parrish Commitments Signs Pitt Is Making Progress against Penn State?

Over the last few years, it’s been pretty clear that Penn State has had a solid edge over Pitt when it comes to recruiting.

While the Lions are 2-1 against Pitt on the field in their four-game series that will wrap this September, the scoreboard when it comes to recruiting has been even more lopsided.

In the Class of 2017, five-star Clairton cornerback Lamont Wade was plucked out of Pitt’s backyard to be the gem of Penn State’s class, while 12 others, such as current Penn State impact players Sean Clifford, Yetur Gross-Matos and KJ Hamler picked the Lions over the Panthers head-to-head. On the other side of the ledger, just three Pitt commits held Penn State offers: safety Paris Ford, tight end Charles Reeves and offensive lineman Carter Warren.

In 2018, it was more of the same. Wide receiver Justin Shorter and running back Ricky Slade were among the 12 players that chose Penn State over Pitt, while only Belle Vernon offensive lineman Blake Zubovic, Washington D.C. defensive end John Morgan and Florida cornerback Marquis Williams bucked the trend.

Then last season, the Lions really dropped the hammer. After a 51-6 embarrassment at a rain-soaked Heinz Field in the fall, Penn State blanked Pitt totally in recruiting. Of the 12 players with an offer to both schools that picked one or the other, 12 picked the Lions.

None picked Pitt.

If you were keeping score at home, that was 36-6 in favor of the Lions over the last three recruiting cycles.

But there might be some signs that things are changing in that regard. Though it’s early in the 2020 recruiting cycle, Pat Narduzzi has already earned a couple of victories against James Franklin.

Akron linebacker Bangally Kamara and Miami running back Henry Parrish, Jr. both picked the Panthers over Penn State, while four players have chosen Penn State over Pitt offers. That still puts the Nittany Lions on top, but at a significantly reduced ratio.

Is that a sign of a trend for Pitt? It could just be that the Panthers landed two wins early and won’t get many more.

But the two wins came at a time of unsettled results out of Happy Valley. In the last few weeks, Franklin and company lost a local five-star to Ohio State, had another four-star player flip from the Lions to the Buckeyes and two more four-stars de-committed.

It’s far from a panic. Penn State still has the No. 25 recruiting class in the nation, according to 247 Sports. But it’s worth wondering if Pitt’s 2018 ACC Championship Game appearance, combined with a below-expectations 9-4 year from the Lions might have the recruiting pendulum swinging a bit back toward the Panthers.

There will be plenty of time to tell. There are already another half-dozen players with offers to both schools, including top Pitt target Dayon Hayes from Westinghouse and AJ Parks, a DC-area offensive tackle that recently de-committed from Penn State. Both are visiting Pitt this weekend.

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Mike
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Mike

There’s no need to make a comparison. Why can’t we simply enjoy some good recruiting news at Pitt? PSU is always going to out-recruit Pitt as history has shown for the past 50 years (with a very few exceptions). So let’s just allow both programs to celebrate their respective recruiting successes and leave the comparisons alone. If you’re writing from a Pitt fan’s perspective, you’re just making it look like we’re envious of our rival. Any writer with a PSU perspective could declare recruiting victories ad nauseam. Please stop making us (Pitt fans) look like a bunch of ninnies.

Mark
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Mark

Lol, Bangally tried to commit to PSU a few months ago and the staff told him he’d need to come camp this summer before they’d let him. Cute article though.

Terrence Otoole
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Terrence Otoole

ya ok mark go ahead and make your excuses you nitters crack me up

Jeff R
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Jeff R

JoePa pulled the offer!

Ed Rose
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Ed Rose

Who makes an offer to a kid and the kid commits shortly there after and learns the offer is now contingent on him performing well at a camp? If that were true that is pretty slimy, but that does not surprise me with Pedo U.

Dan
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Dan

oh, oh. I’m a Pitt fan. Let me race over to Penn State sites and rip the Lions. IT DOESN’T MATTER! PSU doesn’t matter to me. Not sure why Pitt matters to them/you.

Terrence Otoole
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Terrence Otoole

i agree with mike why the constant comparison let’s enjoy the recruiting success we’re having right now ,plus we should be worried more about our acc foes

Thomas McGraw
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Thomas McGraw

Stop worrying about PSU they don’t need the free press. I’ve always been a Pitt fan since I was a kid in the early 70’s. College football is a completely different beast now. Pitt missed the bus when they had the chance. And have since still made decisions in their athletic department that still have me SMH. I’m a Pitt Fan! Not a fair weather fan and I want to see them succeed in the ACC. PSU football has a REALLY good program and we’re just not in their class! Yet. However, Pitt Winning !!!! Consistently winning, can change all… Read more »

Todd Smith
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Todd Smith

The only two kids Pitt actually “beat” PSU for were Zubovic and Ford. The room at the inn was full for the others. That would have necessitated a much different article though.

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