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Recruiting Rush Starts for Pitt Right After Miami Game, Even if Traveling Doesn’t



Pitt football head coach Pat Narduzzi. WPXI

New NCAA policies will not allow Pitt’s coaching staff to hit the road following this weekend’s game against Miami, but it will allow time for Pat Narduzzi to sit down with his seniors and start to figure out what’s next.

Narduzzi would like to be out recruiting immediately after finishing Saturday night’s game against Miami in Miami Gardens, considering Pitt’s propensity to hit talent-rich Florida, but the recruiting trips will have to wait at least a week.

Of the large group of seniors and super seniors this season, with everyone but Carter Warren, Marcus Minor, Owen Drexel, Gabe Houy, Deslin Alexandre and Tylar Wiltz able to return, the coaching staff will need to know who might be returning.

Especially as Pitt’s recruiting efforts are put toward finishing off the class of 2023.

“So, I think the portal opens up the next week we’re on the road,” Narduzzi said Monday. “So, it gives us a chance as coaches to sit down, see where our guys are, what they’re doing. But I don’t think you’ll know exactly where guys are. I think this off-season will be as crazy as it’s ever been wherever I think everywhere. Just because it’s another year.”

Pitt honored 18 seniors (and junior Sam Scarton) at Acrisure Stadium Saturday for Senior Day, and 11 seniors (including Kedon Slovis, Jared Wayne, SirVocea Dennis, Shayne Simon and Marquis Williams) chose not to walk.

In the very likely event that Pitt chooses to utilize the transfer portal to supplement the class of 2023 freshmen, some decisions on the roster will need to be made.

And Narduzzi foresees much longer conversations taking place following the preliminary talks the coaching staff has already had with the seniors. As always, the decisions made on Senior Day don’t always reflect plans following the season.

“Because I think, you know, there’s just different things that need to go on,” Narduzzi said. “It’s not like a quick decision. I want our kids to take their time. And like I told them, ‘Take your time, make a good decision.'”

Narduzzi, of course, wants it to be a quick decision so that he’s able to begin planning and preparing, but he knows it’s not about himself. He said it’s about making the best decision for the player themselves, not for Narduzzi or Pitt football.

The extra COVID year, which grants additional eligibility to any college athlete on rosters during the 2020-21 season, makes things more difficult to process, nonetheless. The days of simply checking in with underclassmen who might be testing the NFL Draft waters are over.

“It’s hard,” Narduzzi said. “It’s like a — it’s different because you don’t know. COVID is still affecting us. This extra year — usually you know who is your senior and then you might have to worry about an underclassman that might leave early, that’s it. Maybe two or three of those, max. And now you don’t know. Guys have options. So, we’ll just wait and see how they feel.”

There are some very, very big decisions to be made by Pitt’s seniors, especially at quarterback with Slovis, and those decisions will need to be decided quickly as National Signing Day is less than a month away and the transfer portal opens even sooner.

Pitt’s coaching staff will have a very busy week following the Miami game.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

With the way this year’s recruiting has gone, it’s vital for Narduzzi to recruit some of the seniors to return, if Pitt has any hope for a good season next year. I think they need to see what happened to Ford and Twyman and determine if they actually are as good as they think. Narduzzi needs to give them honest advice and convince them to come back if he thinks they need more development, like Pickett.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

If November had continued October’s results, Duzz would have had a nightmare NLI day but November was pretty good (except Duke). Kradel is key. Jake get a masters degree.
Expect Kancey, Abandakanda and Dennis to take the money.

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