Sunday, January 11, 2009

3 recruits give Pitt a check

In case you missed it, it looks like the Oakland Zoo is starting a new football tradition. That tradition: having recruits announce where they will be attending school by checking off their name on a sign.

2 years ago it started with my "checklist" sign that listed the names of: Hynoski, Bostick, Jacobsen, and DeCicco while the box next to Shady's name remained unchecked until he came to the Zoo and checked off his name. Last year it was Shayne Hale. This year we have 3 new guys who have joined the tradition.

Before the basketball game today against St. Johns, word had spread that 3 star quarterback (and the guy I'm calling the savior of Pitt football) Kolby Gray decided that Pitt was it. There were also some rumors that Jason Hendricks had committed as well.

So during the game my friends (Josh and Brandon) and I held up different signs for the recruits at the game. The first being Kolby as we wanted him to make it official to the world. So to the cheers of 1,500 Zoo members, Kolby came over and placed a check next to his name letting us know in person that he would be joining the Panthers.

The next sign included several other "uncommitted" players in attendance on one sign, while the other white board read "Come over and commit now". Eventually that sign changed to "Who's next?".

As we held the signs up, Cam Saddler ran over to get Jason Hendricks. Jason came over and to cheers of the Zoo, checked his name off letting us know that he was the 2nd person to commit to the Panthers today.

Lastly, with some encouragement of Cam and the Zoo, Bernardo Nunez placed a check by his name and put on a Zoo shirt which leads us all to believe that Bernardo Nunez will be the 3rd commitment of the day.

We also saw the previously committed guys like Cory King, Will Clarke, Juantez Hollins, and others join the Zoo and cheer for a while until Bob Junko pulled them back to their seats.

All in all it was a great day for recruiting for Pitt as the basketball team added top 50 recruit Isiaih Epps to the class of 2010.

What a great day for Pitt's future.


Michael said...

today was a great day all around for pitt.

johnny said...


A non-WPIAL quarterback as the savior of Pitt football? I hear he wouldn't even be able to crack the two-deep at the Big 33, much less make the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22.

In all seriousness, great job by the Zoo and everyone in attendance at today's game. It was obvious watching the game, just how electric the atmosphere that you guys create is.

rkohberger said...

Well, the 'savior' will have to wait a few years to do his thing - at least until 2010 as we know DW will NEVER start a true freshman at QB again.

His HS stats are very interesting. A big JR year passing, and then when the team went to a different offense - a big SR year rushing, and for a Caucasian that's no small feat.

(just kidding, but it is rather unusual).

Apparently Phil Bennett has made good on his promise to work his contacts in Texas.

EdLauck said...

i have a friend in Houston. he’s a bit of a bullshit artist, but he does know texas hs football. here’s what he had to say about Gray:

“As for Kolby Gray, the QB Pitt is getting, I actually saw him play last year as a junior in the state playoffs. He’s really good. I remember commenting to my buddies how elusive he was. He shakes and bakes and he’s difficult to bring down. He’ll probably have to develop as a better passer but he’s real dangerous out of the pocket and he’s a threat to score at anytime. He looks to have 4.4 or 4.5 speed. Most of the magazines I read put him as the 6th best QB in the state. And it’s in a year when there are a lot of good QBs out there. And he is definitely playing against the best competition in the state. He’s good!”

Cat Basket said...

Well Ed, that is certainly good to hear. We are big fans of Kolby and hope that he gets a chance to show what he can do.

Realistically he won't play for a while (probably at least 2 years)and then will have an uphill battle against local favorite and Central Catholic quarterback Tino Sunseri.

I would love to see a camp this July featuring a 3 way competition of Bostick, Sunseri, and Gray.

Don't worry about what year they are, let the best player play.

rkohberger said...

CatBasket - while you may 'love' to see a three way competition between Bostick, Sunseri and Gray - what you'll actually be watching will be a three way competition between Stull, Bostick and Sunseri.

There is no way in hell Dave Wannstedt is going to completely disregard the fact that Bill Stull was the starting QB for DW's best season as a college HC. Add to the fact that Stull was the starting QB for more wins in one season that DW's other two QBs, Palko included, and it gives DW more reason to do what he'll do.

If you look back over the whole of the 2008 year of PITT football you'll recognize that for 2/3s of the season Bill Stull pretty much did what DW wanted him to do as a QB. Of course, in the latter third of the games Stull dove into the hopper.

But while us fans can disregard those first 8 games while discussing the QB position, I'm pretty sure DW will not. Stull still accomplished one thing that was first and foremost of Wannstedt's mind when looking at QB - he didn't turn the ball over very much. In actuality his pass/INT ration was among the best in the nation.

Personally I don't think that one bright spot is enough to give Stull any sort of edge going into camp, and don't know if DW thinks it is either. But I do feel that, if everything we've seen and heard from DW over the course of four years is any indication, he'll keep Stull firmly in the mix when 'opening up' the QB competition.

Gray, I think, will be out of the running, regardless of what the fans want. DW has stated both publicly and forcefully that he'll never start another freshman QB. 2007 has seared that into his psyche.

Cat Basket said...

RKO I agree about Gray. He has 0% chance of starting this year and will not be involved in the quarterback race if there should be one.

Just like I predicted to fellow Cat Basket reader Brian last year, Bill Stull will once again be the starting quarterback.

Wanny tends to favor certain guys and go with them to avoid quarterback controversies and that is what we will see again this season.

rkohberger said...

Well - while I understand your thoughts about DW & his tendencies, I'm not certain that Bill Stull will be the starting QB. At this time last season I was 100% certain of it.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Wannstedt has had his eyes open as to just what this team could have accomplished with consistency at the QB position. I'm not sure we would have won any more actual games in 2008 - after all 9-3 in the regular season was about right for the talent we had, and truth be told coaching and defense had more of it's fair share of blame in each of the losses.

However, our talent level will be higher across the board in 2009, I firmly believe that - maybe even if McCoy decides to leave - and with consistent, good (not great but good) QB play we can do very well in 2009. It's not enough to stink out the joint on 80% of the plays and then throw one or two nice passes a game.

I'm thinking DW may get over his aversion of turnovers from the QB position and give Pat Bostick an honest shot now that he's two years removed for his true freshman season. Or, DW may feel the rest of the team is strong enough to take a chance on Sunseri at QB. Either way - if we get a consistent production from the QB position and have more sustained drives, we'll be in better shape.

We can hope that this happens, at least that the HC engages in a true open competition without making a fear-based decision in the end.

DPJ said...

Well put. I agree with 100% of what you've said. Without Shady we can have the freedom to try many different things as our one constant over the last 2 years is now headed to the NFL.

Whether it's Bostick or Sunseri, I just hope we have a quarterback that can make plays and when the time is right, put the team on his shoulders.