Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pitt Focuses Recruiting on the Offensive Line Redshirt Diaries

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pitt Focuses Recruiting on the Offensive Line Redshirt Diaries

Article excerpt

The 2013 recruiting class will sign National Letters of Intent Wednesday, and the offensive line was clearly very important for coach Paul Chryst and his staff in their first full recruiting class

The team had no early enrollees at the position, but here are the verbal commitments:

* Dorian Johnson (6-6, 280 lbs); tackle

Belle Vernon High School

Rivals 5-star; Scout 4-star; ESPN 4-star.

* Alexander Officer (6-4, 310 lbs); guard

Eastridge High School (Rochester, N.Y.)

Rivals 3-star; Scout 3-star; ESPN 3-star

* Aaron Reese (6-5, 280 lbs); tackle

Chambersburg (Pa.) High School

Rivals 3-star; Scout 3-star; ESPN 3-star

* Jaryd Jones-Smith (6-7, 300 lbs); tackle

West Catholic High School (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Rivals 3-star; Scout 3-star; ESPN 3-star

* Carson Baker (6-5, 310 lbs); tackle

Fairborn High School (Fairborn, Ohio)

Rivals 2-star; Scout 2-star; ESPN 2-star

One word comes to mind when I look at this class: size. First, the five offensive linemen are the most Pitt has taken in a single class since 2003. Last year, the Panthers only signed two offensive linemen (Gabe Roberts and Adam Bisnowaty) and Todd Graham inked just two in 2010, as well. You have to go back to 2009 to find a "full" offensive line class of four prospects. Those holes up front were pretty evident this season, especially when Pitt had to shuffle things around due to injuries or suspensions (see Zenel Demhasaj starting the BBVA Compass Bowl at right tackle, with Matt Rotheram sliding inside).

One of Chryst's biggests goals in terms of roster management is creating a pipeline of talent and experience along the offensive line in years to come. It'll take some time, but this class is a good start. As a general rule, you can never have too many offensive linemen. There's almost always some attrition, and some guys just don't pan out, so the more options you have up front, the better. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.