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Ranking the Recruits

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My stab at ranking the incoming Pitt recruiting class.

1. Damar Hamlin 6'1" 180 Cornerback  Pittsburgh, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN //  Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State

It's pretty simple, Damar Hamlin was the best player on the best team in the state of Pennsylvania this past year. There is no way around that. Hamlin is an absolute star and he is a consensus four-star player by every recruiting site. He was Narduzzi's biggest recruiting victory of the year, and picked the Panthers in memorable fashion on Monday night. Hamlin will have every opportunity to start next season, and at this point, may be expected to do just that.

2. George Hill  6'0" 200    Athlete     Hubbard, Ohio

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers -  Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin

George Hill is a four-star across all of the recruiting services.  He is rated among one of the top ten players in the talent heavy state of Ohio. To this point, he is one of the top recruiting wins for Pat Narduzzi and his coaching staff in their two year tenure. Perhaps Narduzzi's Eastern Ohio roots helped pull this player into the fold, and at the very least it could not have hurt.  So what position for Hill? It sounds like the one time Ohio State commitment could try his hand at cornerback, but he has the skill set to play running back at this level as well and Narduzzi hinted at that in his press conference. He is likely the fastest player entering the program, and his speed will be an asset.

3. Keyshon Camp 6'4" 275 Defensive Tackle  Lakeland, Florida

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - USC, Michigan, Ohio State

Pitt did not flip Keyshon Camp from USC all in one day, but he did de-commit from there while visiting Pitt and committed shortly thereafter on signing day.  Camp is a big signing day commitment for Pat Narduzzi at a position of great need. Pitt really went hard at trying to replenish the defensive tackle position, and Camp is the prize of the class. He will have a chance to come in and compete for immediate playing time. Pitt lost three experience defensive tackles from last year's team, so the window is wide open for Camp.

4. Kaezon Pugh 6'2" 210     Outside Linebacker    Aliquippa, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Auburn, Miami, West Virginia

Kaezon Pugh is a big time commitment from nearby Aliquippa, PA.  Obviously if you follow Pennsylvania High School Football, you know Aliquippa is arguably the best small school program on this side of the state.  Aliquippa has also been very kind to Pitt through the years, and it was important for Narduzzi to open up that pipeline again. Pugh has a chance to be a very good outside linebacker at this level. He is rated as the seventh best player in the state by Rivals.

5. Tom MacVittie 6'4" 210  Quarterback   Cincinnati, Ohio

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers  -  LSU, Cincinnati, Miami (OH)

Tom MacVittie committed to Pitt with little fanfare, but it's pretty apparent he is one of the anchors of this recruiting class nearly one year later. Playing for a prestigious high school program with a tough schedule raised his profile nationally to the point where he is included in 24/7's top 100 rankings with a four-star grade.  MacVittie even drew some late interest and an offer from LSU, but he decided to stick with Pitt.  All things considered, he appears to be the QB of the future for this program, and who knows how soon that could be.

6. Amir Watts 6'3" 275  Defensive Tackle Chicago, Illinois

Rivals // 24/7 //  ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Penn State, Nebraska, Missouri

Amir Watts was at one time a Western Michigan commitment, but opened things back up once some bigger offers started rolling in during his senior season. Watts even received a bump to four-star status by Rivals a few weeks ago.  Watts is a disruptive force on the defensive line, and will be able to compete for playing time early at a position of need.

7. Henry Miller 6'3" 190 Cornerback Kissimmee, Florida

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Miami, Michigan State, Wisconsin

Henry Miller is a big, rangy corner from the talent-rich state of Florida. He reaffirmed his commitment earlier today after receiving late interest from Ohio State and Miami.  He seemed torn between Miami and Pitt up until this week, but his long standing commitment held strong.  He is one of the more intriguing players in this class with his size and speed combination. He will likely put his name in the hat for playing time with all of the other talented freshmen defensive backs.

8. Therran Coleman 6'1" 180 Cornerback  Pittsburgh, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Arizona State, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Therran Coleman is a very talented player that hails from the Pittsburgh City League. Coleman committed to Pitt back in August and has been a steady member of this recruiting class since then. He is a big body corner that projects well into Narduzzi's scheme. Coleman will have a chance to come and compete at the one open corner spot, and he helps strengthen the position moving forward.

9. Chase Pine 6'4" 220 Outside Linebacker   Williamsburg, VA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Georgia,  California, Virginia Tech

Chase Pine is a very athletic outside linebacker that is one of Pitt's better commitments.  He is graded as a three-star by some scouting sites, but 24/7 has him as a four-star.  After looking at his offer sheet, you can see why.  He picked Pitt over some strong programs.  He did waver a bit in the stretch run with an official visit to Virginia Tech, but him sticking with Pitt is a huge recruiting win over a division rival.

10. Ruben Flowers  6'4" 190  Wide Receiver    Lima, Ohio

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois

Ruben Flowers is an athletic and big 3 or 4 star (depending who you ask) wide receiver from Ohio.  His successful senior season vaulted him in the Rivals.com rankings.  He moved into the Rivals250 list and finished the year as the 10th best prospect in the state, giving Pitt two of the top 10 players from Ohio.  Obviously there is a void left by Tyler Boyd as receiver, and Flowers will have every opportunity to make a name for himself in Fall camp to try to fill that space.

11. Rashad Wheeler  6'3" 290  Defensive Tackle   Pittsburgh, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia

Rashad Wheeler is a very talented defensive tackle that committed to Pitt back in August. He went on to have a big hand in Pittsburgh Central Catholic's state championship team this season. He chose Pitt over in-state rival Penn State and had been one of the pillars of the class for some time now.  Obviously interior line needed replenished, and Wheeler will have an opportunity for early playing time.

12.  Aaron Mathews 6'5" 190 Wide Receiver Clairton, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers  - Penn State, West Virginia, NC State

Everyone should know the story with Mathews, as his news is fresh in everyone's mind.  Mathews just flipped from Penn State, and becomes another Clairton Bear to come make a name at Pitt.  Mathews is going to get a shot to play receiver, something Penn State and even Pitt from a month ago was not willing to let him try. He has great size and athletic ability. He is one of the more important players in the class for Pat Narduzzi, and figures to have a chance to be a prominent player in offense down the line.

13. Phil Campbell  6'1" 195 Safety  Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - West Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse

Phil Campbell was named the Central New Jersey Defensive Player of the Year this past season. He is a very talented safety that Pitt was able to "flip" his commitment from in-state Rutgers.  He has good size and is a physical player, and should have the tools to compete for playing time after a redshirt season.

14. Zack Gilbert 6'2" 250 Defensive End  Charlotte, NC

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN //  Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) Offers - North Carolina, Duke, Florida

Pitt went down to North Carolina and plucked away a talented three-star defensive end from Duke and UNC.  Gilbert is also a legacy recruit, as his father Sean was a big time player for Pitt.  He has local ties obviously, and it helped land him at Pitt.  Gilbert is part of a big effort by Pat Narduzzi to help restock the defensive line. He coul play either spot at Pitt.


15. Bricen Garner 6'2" 175  Safety  Pittsburgh, PA

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - West Virginia, Indiana, Cincinnati

Bricen Garner was a big playmaker for the Central Catholic state championship team this season. Sometimes he was overlooked with the star-studded Central team, but make no mistake about it - he is very good.  Garner impressed at the Semper-Fi All American game against some other national recruits last month.  Garner does need to add weight to play at this level, but he is definitely one of the better steals of this class.  He is just an all around good, solid football player.

16. Maurice Ffrench 5'11" 190 Wide Receiver   New Brunswick, New Jersey

Rivals //  24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Penn State, Rutgers, Buffalo

Maurice Ffrench is one of the more electric playmakers on the East coast. He was named the Central New Jersey offensive player of the year for his efforts this past season.  Ffrench committed to Pitt and stuck with them out of loyalty for being the first power five team to notice him, despite late efforts by Rutgers and Penn State to try to poach him.  Ffrench may be looking at a redshirt, but has the potential to be a very valuable slot receiver in the future. Still, there is an open void at receiver, and Ffrench could fill it.

17. Patrick Jones II 6'5" 230 Defensive End  Chesapeake, Virginia

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers -  California, Virginia Tech, Duke

Patrick Jones is an intriguing defensive end prospect from Virginia. He possesses great size and athletic ability, but has flown a bit under the radar. Still, his offer sheet is impressive given his ratings, and I think Pitt may have found a steal here. He has already enrolled at Pitt and is on campus as we speak. We will get our first look at him during Spring ball.

18. Rashad Weaver 6'5" 245 Defensive End Cooper City, Florida

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Penn State, Temple, Kentucky


Rashad Weaver was Pitt's last commitment of the class, and it was a good way to close things out for Narduzzi.  Weaver was a longtime Michigan commit, but obviously they went after some higher rated guys, forcing Weaver out of a spot. Although, Weaver is certainly not a slouch.  He is a versatile and athletic player that can play either side of the ball, and that's about all you can hope to get from a guy after not starting to recruit him until a week or so ago.

19. Chawntez Moss 5'11" 200 Running Back   Bedford, Ohio

Rivals //  24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Iowa, Indiana, Cincinnati

Chawntez Moss is Pitt's lone running back commitment for the 2016 recruiting class (well unless you count George Hill). He is a three-star player across the board by the recruiting sites. Moss will likely redshirt this upcoming season as there is a very crowded backfield heading into this season with Ollison, Ibrahim, Hall, and potentially James Conner.  Moss should be able to get his name in the mix for the 2017 season.

20. Zack Williams 6'5" 265 Offensive Linemen Citra, Florida

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN //  Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers  - Miami, Louisville, West Virginia

Zack Williams is an under-the-radar offensive line prospect from Florida, possibly because he was a tight end in high school.  I have always been under the impression that you cannot have enough players from the Sunshine State, and Williams may end up being a steal.  Williams is a bit undersized at 265 pounds, and will likely take a redshirt to put on weight and add strength to play line in the ACC.

21. Elias Reynolds 6'3" 220 Linebacker Brooklyn, New York

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Rutgers, Syracuse, Illinois,

Elias Reynolds committed to Pitt after spending time as a Rutgers commit.  He is one of the more highly regarded players from the state of New York. He helps add depth and talent to a lacking linebacker position on the active roster. He has size, and you wonder if he grows into a defensive line role down the line.

22. Justin Morgan 6'7" 335 Offensive Linemen Brooklyn, New York

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Illinois, Rutgers

Pitt was able to flip Justin Morgan from his commitment from Rutgers back in early December.  Morgan is a massive presence on the offensive line, and is considered one of the best players from the state of New York.  He will likely be able to redshirt this season with the depth Pitt has up front and should start to compete for playing time as a redshirt freshmen.

23. Brandon Ford 6'5" 300 Offensive Linemen  Pittsburgh, PA

Rivals //  24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Maryland, Toledo, Bowling Green

Brandon Ford is a solid all-around player from right in Pittsburgh. Ford committed to Pitt last March, and has been the longest standing commitment among the group, and likely the most solid one too. Ford has been a great ambassador for this class, and helped recruit a lot of these guys.  I think Ford ends up becoming a starter down the line.

24. Bryce Hargrove 6'5" 255 Defensive Tackle  Akron, Ohio

Rivals // 24/7 // ESPN // Hudl // Commitment Story

Top 3 (non Pitt) offers - Rutgers, Cinncinnati

Bryce Hargrove was one of Pitt's earliest commitments, dating by to July. He is a versatile player that could eventually grow into a offensive linemen, or play inside or out on defense.   There are plenty of ways Pitt can find a spot for Hargrove, and he fits the mold of athletic linemen Narduzzi has shown he likes.

-- That's my best attempt at ranking the recruits, and as you can see - I'm no recruiting expert.  For all I know, the guys ranked at the bottom may end up becoming better players than the guys at the top. I didn't use some exact formular, just eye test, rankings, my perception ect.  I've done this for a few years now, and have radically mismanaged my rankings on some players in the past.

The one thing I will note with this recruiting class - everyone deserves to be here, and everyone can play here.  Pitt didn't reach at all on these guys, they are all power five players. So some of the lower ranked guys in this class, may have been more towards the top in the previous 4-5 years.