National letter of intent day is quickly approaching and the University of Pittsburgh has nearly finalized its 2007 recruiting class. The Panthers’ class of 2007 is expected to be ranked one of the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation. With a few scholarships left, the PantherDigest.com wanted to touch upon a few of remaining prospects on the “recruiting radar”.
Jabaal Sheard ~ The last man standing
Head Coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff are basically down to one last recruit: athletic defensive end Jabaal Sheard (6-foot-4 inches, 240 pounds) from Hollywood Hills High School in Hollywood, FL. Scout.com ranks Sheard a “three-star” prospect and the 64th best defensive end in the nation. He registered 45 tackles and 12 sacks this season.
Sheard visited Pitt (December1st), Rutgers (December 15th) and Auburn (January 12th). He recently scheduled visits to Florida International on January 26th and Arizona State on February 2nd.
“It looks like I’m going to choose between Pittsburgh and Rutgers. I’m no longer involved with Miami (FL),” Sheard said. “I’m going to make my decision sometime next week.”
When asked about his thoughts on Pitt, he quickly replied, “I had a great time on my visit. It’s a great school and football program. When I was there I looked over their two-deep at defensive end and I think I could contribute early.”
Jabaal is capable of bench pressing 370 pounds and running the forty-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. He has been a two-year starter for Hollywood Hills High School. Panthers Assistant Charlie Partridge has been his primary contact.
Wayne Jones ~ Which way will he go?
Defensive tackle Wayne Jones (6-foot-4 inches, 320 pounds) from Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, PA has been offered a greyshirt opportunity wit the Panthers. Jones primarily played around 345 pounds his junior year. After a vigilant training regimen last summer, he was able to shed over 20 pounds heading into his senior season. His head coach recently described him as “the most dominating defensive tackle in our conference.” Wayne registered 73 tackles and 3 sacks this season.
Jones will soon choose Akron and Pitt. Akron will accept Jones as member its current recruiting class. If he opts to commit to the Panther, he will have additional time to work on his conditioning.
If the Panthers lose “five-star” defensive line prospect Tommie Duhart to the University of Florida, there’s a slight possibility Jones would offered his 2007 scholarship. Duhart is set to visit the Gators this weekend.
Roberts sets the record straight
PrepStar Magazine recently published its January edition. It lists Pitt commit Tristan Roberts as a “PrepStar All-Region” prospect. The magazine states, “Roberts had accepted an offer to play for Pittsburgh over competition from Army, Bowling Green and North Carolina. He then re-opened his recruitment. Tristan is an excellent student with a 4.31 GPA and an 1980 SAT test score (new test). He has good speed, is quick, bends well, reads and sees the field well. He ran the ball 286 times for 1,592 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior.
The PantherDigest.com contacted Roberts to discuss his potential de-commitment. He immediately refuted the PrepStar Magazine report. “I’m fully committed to Pitt,” Roberts said. “To be honest, I never remember talking to anyone from that magazine. I have never de-committed from Pitt. I’m going to sign with the Panthers on letter of intent day.”
Sporting News Magazine comments on the Panthers’ 2007 recruiting class and football program
Sporting News Magazine recently commented on Pitt’s touted 2007 recruiting class in its January 29th edition. The “Inside Dish” section of magazine states, “Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt is primed to land his second straight top 25 recruiting class, a sing of an improving program. The strides in recruiting, though, will only heighten the expectations for a program two years removed from a BCS bowl. Wannstedt is 11-12 in two season, and key recruits such as LeSean McCoy must come up big immediately. McCoy was one o the nations top recruits last season and signed with Miami over Southern California before going to a prep school. This time around, McCoy chose Pitt over Penn State.”
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at email@example.com.