Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lead Up To The Kickoff: Day 3

You know what is a fun way to spend an afternoon, walking to Shadyside from Oakland then home to Bloomfield. Yes, I realize I could have took the bus but I didn't feel like waiting. Plus it was such a nice day.....I'm an idiot but all you already knew that. Today's column is going to be about the wideouts.

This story can't be written without mentioning the loss of "Donkey Kong" Derek Kinder. He played great last year and was the continuation of Pitt's reputation as "Wide Receiver U". I can't sugar coat this, we lost of impact receiver, Kinder would have been a lock for All Big East. Let's have a moment of silence for DK......see ya in 2008 buddy.

Well back to the good news, this wide receiving core will be good. Crazy 8's Oderick Turner will now be the number 1 receiver. Turner had a great season as a true freshman. He is a preseason second team All Big East by various talking heads in the media. Opposite Turner is going to be Marcel Pestano, the third leading receiver on the team last year. Pestano is a guy with some speed, it is going to be interesting to see how he performs in the number two role. Before I talk about our third receiver, Cedric McGee, I would just like to say out of all our receivers I'm extremely jealous of him. I would cut one of my arms off to be Ced, one person reading this blog got that, but I just thought I would say that. McGee really is untested in any role outside of a 4th or 5th wideout I'm interested to see what he has. The guy I hope gets on the field is Aundre Wright, the true Freshman from Shady's prep school Milford Academy. In camp the guy has been described as having game changing speed. Most likely Wright will be a kickoff and punt guy but I hope he gets plays as a fourth wide receiver.

Tight End is a position I'm extremely excited about...well I'm excited about Nate Byham. Byham was the top TE recruit last year but got few snaps as a Freshman. I expect him to come out on a mission this year to show his incredible talent. Dare I say the next Kris Wilson, big enough to handle himself in the blocking game but agile enough to be a high-flyer in the middle of the field. If Stull is to be successful he has to throw to Byham early and often, especially on short third downs and around the goal line. I think Byham will be the missing playmaker at TE we have waited for. John Pelusi will be a good back-up to Byham and will add to the running game as a second blocker. Darrell Strong is a big body full of potential that hasn't been reached. I can hope but I don't see him as a factor on this year's team.

So there it is this is what we have in the passing game. Not quite what we had three weeks ago but still really good on paper. Another set of positions I'm incredibly optomistic about, see the trend. It's all sunshine and rainbows here at the Cat Basket.

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