Buddy the Elf is really, really excited this weekend. First, Zach Challingworth committed to Pitt on Friday of this weekend. Today, Pitt picked up a commitment from 4* New Jersey running back Corey Clement.
Clement had 14 BCS school offers, including Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska, Miami, and Penn State...just to name a few. Scout.com lists him as the #27th RB in the class of 2013 and has this to say about him:
An instinctive runner with good hands, Clement has very little wasted motion. He is smooth in and out of his cuts. He has good vision and patience setting up his blocks. He'll fight for yardage in traffic without trying to do too much. Clement is a capable blocker in pass protection, a skill that should help his transition to college. Lacks the extra gear in the open field, but gets the most out of each of his carries - Scott Kennedy
I'm sure deciding between all of those offers wasn't easy. What may have helped is that Clement even received an endorsement for Pitt from former Virginia Tech and current Philadelphia Eagles QB, Michael Vick.
"My dad knows a guy who knows (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Mike Vick's bodyguard, so he set something up where we had diner and then sat down later and talked for a little while," Clement told Panther-Lair.com. "We were talking about picking a college and what I should do, and Mike Vick said he saw my highlight tape and said I should go to Pitt."He said, 'You run just like (Eagles running back) LeSean McCoy, and he went to Pitt. You should go there, too.'"Vick wasn't the only Eagle to draw the McCoy comparison."I met a few of the players and the coaches, and (Eagles head coach) Andy Reid came over and said, 'Was that you on the highlight tape?' I said yes, and he said I reminded him of LeSean."LeSean McCoy is my idol. I've been following him since he was at Pittsburgh. It was ironic that they said to go to Pitt, because I was already thinking about Pitt a lot."
It's nice to see the new coaches establishing ties back in the great state of New Jersey, where Pitt has had great success recently with both Dion Lewis and Ray Graham (both recruited by NJ native Jeff Hafley). With his addition, Pitt will head into the ACC with a backfield consisting of Rushel Shell, Corey Clement, and Isaac Bennett. Not too shabby.
Welcome aboard Corey. Hail to Pitt.no comments
Well that did't take very long. As Bryan mentioned yesterday, Zach Challingworth committed to Toledo on Tuesday but quickly decommitted on Wednesday after receiving an offer from Pitt. This afternoon, Challingworth made it official and committed to the Panthers. Buddy the Elf likes this, very much.
A 2* recruit, all of Challingworth's offers were from MAC schools, excluding Pitt and Temple. However, he does have good size (6'2", 185lbs) and speed (4.43) and marks the first WR in Paul Chryst's first class.
Hopefully this is just the beginning of a committment-filled summer as 4* OT Dorian Johnson and 4* QB Tra'von Champan both are prepared to announce their decisions soon. Fortunately for us, both appear to be Pitt leans.
Stay tuned.no comments
RAY GRAHAM. ISAAC BENNETT. RUSHEL SHELL. READY, GO! ESPN's BIG EAST blog takes a look at the Panthers' backfield for this upcoming season, and how Paul Chryst might handle the rotation of the three.
NCAA SAYS PITT BASKETBALL IS GOOD IN SKOOL. The NCAA released their latest APR ratings, and Pitt once again ranked in the top 10 percent of 336 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball programs.
ASHTON GIBBS HEADS TO INDIANAPOLIS. For a workout atleast. Gibbs has also worked out for the Heat, Clippers, Spurs, and Nets.
LAMAR PATTERSON TO PLAY THE 4? That's what Jon Rothstein is saying of Patterson, who has reshaped his body and worked on his outside shot since the CBI ended. Rothstein also says that James Robinson has been outstanding for the USA U18 team, and has a shot at being the starting point guard.
THINGS WE'RE GLAD THE PITT PATHFINDERS DO NOT DO. Yes, I know. This is the second time this week I've posted a video for this song, but this is just so so bad. This would make me leave TCU before ever starting there...it's OK, that's what they do there at TCU.
THE TALLEST EDUCATIONAL BUILDING IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. The Cathedral of Learning, the centerpiece of the Pitt campus, built out of LEGOs.
IF HE DIDN'T HAVE BAD LUCK, HE WOULD HAVE NO LUCK AT ALL. It was only a couple days ago that we linked an article about Greg Romeus trying to earn a spot on the Saints roster. Unfortunately, Romeus tore his ACL and MCL in his non-surgically repaired knee when running down the field in practice.
DAHN ON THE SOUSIDE. ESPN BIG EAST blogger Andrea Adelson ranked the football facilities of the eight BIG EAST schools. Pitt came in tied for 4th because their world class facilities "are not technically theirs" and off campus. UCONN, whose football stadium is 21 miles from campus (17 miles further than Heinz Field) came in 2nd. Keep up the good work Andrea.
GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSIGNED DIVISIONS IS CRAZY TALK. Atleast that appears to be the thought of the ACC leaders after Florida State's president suggest altering the recently assigned 7-team divisions once Syracuse and Pitt join the league.no comments
South Fayette receiver-defensive back Zach Challingsworth made a verbal commitment to Toledo Tuesday, but the commitment didn't last long after Pitt got more involved.
After Challingsworth committed to Toledo, Pitt got him to make a visit today. The Panthers had been showing interest, but had not offered a scholarship - until today.
Challingsworth said this evening that he has not made a verbal commitment to Pitt, but he said he did call Toledo tonight to "de-commit."
It sure seems like Pitt was trying to "slow play" Challingsworth and he turned the tables on the coaches by committing to Toledo.
Challingsworth is a two star recruit that has offers from most of the MAC.
It seems like he'll end up a Panther.no comments
PLAYOFFS? DON'T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS. In the ongoing saga that is the conference commissioners determining what the playoff format will be that replaces the BCS, ACC Commissioner John Swofford has taken a stand. He's OK with one format, but is also OK with another.
JOHN SWOFFORD IS THE DUDE. Talks of Florida State and Clemson have simmered recently. However, regardless of what happens to the ACC in the future, John Swofford is the right man to maintain the ACC as a viable league.
RANKINGS, RANKINGS, AND MORE RANKINGS. CBS Sports has ranked the basketball recruiting classes within each of the conferences. Getting Steven Adams and James Robinson is good enough for 3rd in the BIG EAST, behind Providence and Syracuse respectively. The ranking does not take into account transfers such as Trey Zeigler.
A FACE FOR RADIO. This week, Paul Chryst joined the fellas on 93.7 The Fan in studio to discuss the upcoming season. Take a listen if you have some time.
PENNSYLVANIA, KEEPING EDUCATION AFFORDABLE! In a recent national survey, Penn State and Pitt ranked as the two universities with most expensive in-state tuition for a four-year public university. All that money for a History or Psychology degree your kid will probably never use!
THIS MAN ONCE COACHED UNDER DAVE WANNSTEDT. Paul Rhoads, now head coach of Iowa State and once the defensive coordinator of Pitt under Walt Harris and Wanny (think 13-9), has grown some mighty fine facial hair.
Pitt will once again be represented on Team USA's Under 18 team this year. Incoming Pitt freshman James Robinson was one of 12 players selected to compete for America in Brazil next week. His high school teammate - and Syracuse signee - Jerami Grant was also selected to participate. Including Robinson and Grant, half of the players selected for the team are committed to current or future ACC schools, with Pitt, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Maryland each having a player on the team.
Robinson is following in the footsteps of Ashton Gibbs, who by all accounts had a great experience representing Pitt and America for the U19 team before his sophomore season, eventually winning the gold medal with the Jamie Dixon coached team. Hopefully Robinson will have a similarly positive experience.
The games begin Saturday at 3:00 EDT against the Virgin Islands. The team is being coached by Billy Donovan, with help form Mark Few and Shaka Smart.
Oh, and Robinson and Grant have another teammate, center BeeJay Anya, who's working with the Under 17 team right now. Anya might be the best of three Dematha players when it's all said and done. His recruiting has blown up recently, but it sure would be nice if he followed his friend James to Pittsburgh.no comments
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. The BIG EAST has just filed a suit against TCU for exiting the conference without paying the $5m exit fee (or playing a game).
UCONN'T TOUCH THIS. A female NBA employee is suing UCONN Women's coach Geno Auriemma for making unwanted advances towards her on a 2009 Team USA trip. She claims Auriemma tried to blackball her career when she said no.
KEEPING ON THE TOPIC OF LEGAL TROUBLES. A sad weekend near Auburn University as two former football players were shot and killed. Two suspects have been arrested, one remains at large.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S NEW HIRES. Sporting News ranked the Top 7 new head coaches by their chances of success in their first year. Paul Chryst came in at #7. Todd Graham did not make the list, but Charlie Weis came in 3rd. I guess they rate success in Kansas by ones ability to eat a 96oz. steak in a single sitting.
AND THE SEARCH BEGINS. The BIG EAST has hired a search firm to find their next commissioner. Talk about a fun job...not only will the new commish have to find balance between basketball only schools and football/basketball schools, but also football only schools...across three time zones.
SO NOT COOL. Our friends over at the Card Chronicle are running a bracket for "The 2011-12 Least Cool Person Tournament." The current matchup places local Louisville newspaper The Courier-Journal against Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. Hey, it's not his fault you guys didn't accept that ESPN TV Contract. Oh wait...no comments
With just about a week to go until Pitt fans get their first look at the 2012-12 Pitt Panthers, the Greentree rosters have been released. Once again, the league features players from most local teams as well as local products who played elsewhere.
Of particular interest to most fans is checking out Pitt's new contributors - likely starters Steven Adams and Trey Zeigler as well as James Robinson. Funny thing, they're all on the same team (via Pantherlair):
12 Pitt players are split over five of the teams. The team most fans will be interested in seeing is the PGT squad, as the four Panthers on the roster might be the summer league's biggest draw. PGT features freshmen James Robinson (who will join the team after playing with USA Basketball's U18 team until June 20) and Steven Adams, which would be intriguing enough for fans. But the team will also have transfer guard Trey Zeigler, who was recently declared eligible for the upcoming 2012-13 season, as well as redshirt junior forward Lamar Patterson, who should be one of Pitt's main contributors this season.
First tip-off is Monday, June 18 at 7:00. Should be a good time.no comments