Farrell Files: Thoughts on Pitt’s New 2024 Commit and Junior Day
In this edition of the Farrell Files Pitt, I’ll take a look at some recent recruiting news including Pitt’s new 2024 commit.
2024 recruiting is off to an interesting start from my outlook. It’s a mix of big names and some under the radar guys and I think the class will have a good mix of both. Of course, fans all want four stars and elite recruits, what fan base doesn’t? But Pitt isn’t Alabama, and the fan base knows this. And from what I’ve seen from Pat Narduzzi over his years at Pitt and back to his Michigan State days it’s sometimes the under the radar guys that mean the most.
DT Jashear Whittington and WR Ric’Darious Farmer are both 4-star talents in the class but then we move to RB Juelz Goff from York, PA. He’s unranked on Rivals and On3 and a 3 star on 247. Now we all know he’ll land as a 3 star across the board because that’s how these sites work. Two stars are dead because they cater to fans and he’s not a 4-star talent. But what does a 3 star even mean here if that’s the ranking they will eventually slap on him?
As one of the creators of the star ranking process way back in the day it was important for me to differentiate the stars. It’s why at Rivals we came up with the 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7 3-star rankings. Those numbers don’t mean much externally but internally they allowed us to weigh impact of 3 stars. I don’t adhere to that system anymore and honestly it became antiquated years ago but here’s how I look at it. This kid has solid size at 5-10, 190 and he runs with natural leverage. He runs 4.5 40 and 10.9 100 meters and averaged 8.3 yards per carry last season. He has breakaway speed at the high school level and can get faster to be a home run threat in college. But what stands out to me the most is his vision and cutting ability. His coach compares him to LeSean McCoy and while that’s a bit heady to me I can see some of the same instincts and ability to make people miss. He still has a year of high school to develop, and he wasn’t heavily recruited with offers from Boston College and Rutgers but there is solid upside here. So, when it comes to that 3-star rating, I’d put him up near the top end. His speed and vision put him way above a low 3 star, but he needs to get a bit more explosive and sudden to be near that 4-star mark. He’s very good and he’s the kind of back who could flourish in this offense.
As for the Junior Day targets it’s a wide array. Maryland OL Ryan Howerton intrigued me a lot. This was his third trip to Pitt and he’s establishing a real connection with the staff, and I hear his family is on board. He is starting to blow up a little as a 6-4, 290-pound kid with athleticism and I hear this could come down to Pitt and Maryland if he decides early. However, big names could come calling including Penn State where he has also been and we will see if the early focus on him from Pitt pays off.
And Ohio ATH Cameron Frazier also intrigues me. He has more offers including Michigan, Michigan State and and West Virginia but he had a great visit to Pitt and they want him to play where he’s comfortable. He is an outstanding WR and DB who also plays some QB and he has a chance to blow up a bit with Notre Dame and even Ohio State looking. This is the kind of kid who is crucial to Pitt because he’d be an out of state get who can play many positions and possibly impact on specials. Getting him on campus for Junior Day was big.
“Now we all know he’ll land as a 3-star across the board because that’s how these sites work”…well that sounds like a really accurate method for rating h.s. football players.
That’s why I don’t stress over recruiting rankings anymore, just let Narduzzi and staff do their thing.