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Pitt Football Recruiting: Ranking the Panthers' 2014 incoming recruits from No. 23 to No. 1

Jim ranks the incoming recruits #23 down to #1 for the 2014 football recruiting class

Here's a full ranking (as I see it) of all of Pitt's incoming recruits for 2014:

23. Hez Trahan 6-4 250 DE Philadelphia, PA - Pitt's final commitment may be the least decorated. Trahan's only other FBS offer was UMass, even though he still packs the size to be an effective college defensive lineman. Unlike most late commitments, Trahan was not a fall back option as the staff liked him from the onset. I do not see him coming in and playing right away and a redshirt is likely in order.

22. Quintin Wirginis 6-2 225 LB Fox Chapel, PA - The local linebacker failed to generate a lot of FBS interest outside of Pitt and Temple, and an injury before his senior season did not help that cause. Wirginis brings good size, and managed to get back for basketball this year, but a redhirt could be on the way by taking a year off of football.

21. Dennis Briggs 5-11 190 ATH Pittsburgh, PA - Briggs comes in without a defined position just yet and has a lot of ability to play in different positions. Some thought he may see some time at running back, but with other backs rated higher, expect him to get his first look as a defensive back. Briggs does not seem like an impact guy just yet.

20. Rori Blair 6-4 210 DE Pittsburgh, PA - Rori Blair is definitely a sleeping giant in this recruiting class. He actually suffered a stroke during high school that caused him to miss significant time, but with extra eligibility, he was a huge factor for Upper St. Clair this season. He is expected to enroll early but may need time to get back into prime shape to contribute at Pitt.

19. Brian O'Neill 6-6 230 TE Wilmington, DE - O'Neill comes to Pitt with ideal size and athleticism to be an impact tight end for an offense that likes to use them. Although he is situated behind guys like JP Holtz and Scott Orndoff, O'Neill could work his way onto the field sooner rather than later with some big running packages, but there is enough depth for him to redshirt as well.

18. Adam Bertke 6-5 210 QB Maria Stein OH - Pitt is getting a winner here. Bertke led Marion Local HS to three straight state championships in Ohio's smallest classification. He did not generate a ton of interest, but Illinois did offer him. Bertke will probably at least get a chance to compete with Voytik and fellow freshman, Wade Freebeck for the starting job.

17. James Folston Jr. 6-2 200 LB Cocoa, FL - James Folston Jr comes to Pitt with a lot of promise. He comes from good bloodlines, and a strong program in talent-rich Florida. He came to Pitt over offers from Minnesota and South Florida. He may need a year to add weight, but he certainly has potential.

16. Jalen Williams 6-2 180 S Newburgh, NY - Williams comes to Pitt with not a ton of fanfare, but made New York's All State teams in each of the past two seasons. He was one of the early commitments that started the dominoes to fall back in June. He may be heading toward a redshirt, but safety is definitely a question mark and he could make an impact because of that.

15. Jamal Davis II 6-2 215 LB Canton, OH - Davis is a solid player from Ohio and comes to Pitt over the likes of Louisville, Minnesota, and Indiana. He was one of Pitt's final commitments of the class, but could be a valuable one. We have a good understanding who the starting linebackers will be next year, so perhaps Jamal will be redshirting next year.

14. Phillipie Motley 5-10 171 CB Hilliard, OH - Motley is a well regarded corner from Ohio, but perhaps his size turned away some bigger programs. I am encouraged by his 4.4 speed and I think he has a bright future, though. Pitt played a lot of young defensive backs last season, but with some turnover in the secondary, he could make a role for himself.

13. Connor Dintino 6-4 290 DT Wallingford, CT - Dintino is a rare recruit from Connecticut and helps add to the size and depth of the interior defensive line. He may not play right away, but with Aaron Donald and Ty Ezell graduating, you cannot rule him out.

12. Shane Roy 6-5 220 DE Cincinnati, OH - Pitt is certainly making it a point to restock the trenches on both sides of the ball and Roy fits that bill. He is a big, physical end that is well regarded. Again, Pitt added a lot of talent last season, so it may be hard for him to climb the depth chart.

11. Pat Amara 6-2 190 ATH Philadelphia, PA - Pat Amara is going to be a fan favorite and he has been the spokesman for this recruiting class. Amara has built a strong relationship with Pitt great, LeSean McCoy and he also dislikes Penn State ... gotta enjoy that, right? Amara's status grew as he garnered offers from Cal and Georgia Tech midseason and I think he may work his way into the lineup sooner than most of this class.

10. Connor Hayes 6-4 270 OG Traverse City, MI - Hayes became the first commitment for this class, and he could be a good one. He picked Pitt over Duke, Syracuse, and Indiana (too bad he's not a shooting guard), and has the ideal bulk of a Pitt lineman. Pitt returns four starters and redshirted four more guys on the line last season, so he adds to the depth instead of being an impact guy need right away.

9. Avonte Maddox 5-9 165 ATH Detroit, MI - Maddox may have been lower on the list when I initially read about him, but the more I see, the more I like. He is a little guy but he can flat out fly with near 4.3 speed. I think Pitt can be creative with how to use him, and he seems destined to be a return man for Pitt down the line. So much is put into size these days, but when you see guys like Woodhead and Welker, it doesn't mean as much as some think.

8. JaQuan Davidson 6-3 175 ATH Elizabeth, PA - In my opinion, Davidson is one of the more underappreciated high school players in Pennsylvania. Davidson played quarterback in high school but he is a freak athlete in open space. I think he could be a star down the line, whether it be at receiver or safety.

7. Mike Herndon 6-4 323 DT Staunton, VA - Mike Herndon could very well be the most intriguing prospect entering the program. He played middle linebacker in high school, at 323 pounds. Yeah, nightmares. Herndon is a big man, but a nimble one. Pitt has plenty of upperclassmen in the fold for the defensive line, but no sure things with both starters graduating. If Herndon's mobility translates to the college game, he could find himself in the rotation right off the bat.

6. Elijah Zeise 6-2 185 S Wexford, PA - Zeise started for North Allegheny as a sophomore and local football fans know that is the best big school program in the WPIAL in recent history. Zeise has good size and comes to Pitt over offers from West Virginia and Arizona. Pitt has a crowded, yet unsettled depth chart at wide receiver. We know Boyd will start, but not much beyond that. Zeise may need a year to get stronger, but could find early playing time.

5. Qadree Ollison 6-1 225 RB Buffalo, NY - Ollison is a rugged power back and fits into Pitt's style of play nicely. After a big senior year, he picked Pitt over offers from six Big Ten offers. One of the reasons? He thinks playing time will be available. Ollison enters a loaded backfield situation, as Pitt's top three rushers return, and he is one of three backs coming into the fold. His style most fits James Conner, so a redshirt is possible.

4. Mike Grimm 6-6 328 OT Bethel Park, PA - Grimm was the first major recruit of this class, and he will be an important part of the future. Pitt is really rebuilding the offensive line, and landing a four star in their own backyard is a big deal. Grimm had offers spanning all five major conferences. Pitt returns four starters and also has Dorian Johnson, so it may be tough to crack the lineup initially.

3. Chris James 5-9 212 RB Niles, IL - Chris James comes to Pitt very highly regarded, and many think he can play right away - including him. During Paul Chryst's tenure at Wisconsin, he typically got three backs involved, and perhaps James will be that third guy. Seven Big Ten teams offered, plus Arizona State and Tennessee, so he was pretty highly sought after in the recruiting process. James brings a good blend of speed and power, and could be a special back for the Panthers.

2. Adonis Jennings 6-3 190 WR Timber Creek, NJ - Jennings committed to Pitt late, but in grand fashion. It is always cool to see the big recruits put on the team hat at the All American games and Jennings did that at the Semper Fi game. Jennings will get a very long look to be the starting wide receiver from day one opposite Tyler Boyd.

1. Alex Bookser 6-6 295 OL Pittsburgh, PA - Four programs that played in BCS bowls this past season courted Alex Bookser, yet he chose to stay close to home. Bookser has tremendous size, and is just what the Pitt staff is looking for in a lineman. This marks the third consecutive year Pitt landed the top local offensive lineman under Paul Chryst.

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