unionfutura said:Wesley isn't a top 20 prospect in PA yet. The kid had a huge growth spurt. Give him time to grow, he really needs to add weight.
PS: I've met the guy that goes by MarshCreek, he's a tool, as soon as he found out that I liked the buckeyes he wouldn't let it go about the off field distractions. I felt kind of sorry for him.
I had not heard those accusations...link?Kinda like JoePa's staff lying to Walker Ashley, Doug Worthington and other recruits about Tressel getting fired soon. Penn St has NO integrety and I could care less if they ever win another game.
Wannstedt rebuilding the fences for Pitt
Friday, January 28, 2005
By Mike White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
He met principals and teachers at Woodland Hills High School, signed autographs for some students and did a lot of handshaking. At Baldwin, he did an interview with the school newspaper, walked the halls of the school, met students and teachers and shook plenty of hands. At a few other Western Pennsylvania schools, he smiled and shook more hands.
Baldwin High School football coach Mike Silianoff has already been visited by new Pitt coach and Baldwin graduate Dave Wannstedt.
Click photo for larger image.
If you didn't know better, you'd think Dave Wannstedt was running for political office. But the new Pitt football coach isn't trying to win votes. He's trying to win over Western Pennsylvania high school football coaches and recruits.
In his short time as Pitt's coach, Wannstedt has been bouncing around WPIAL schools, meeting with coaches and greeting anyone else that crosses his path. While trying to recruit some seniors, Wannstedt is more concerned with future prospects and Pitt's image with area coaches.
He has gone to a handful of schools that don't have any senior prospects. Wannstedt is showing himself in order to show Pitt wants control of recruiting in this area again. He brings assistant coach Bob Junko with him.
"I think we've done a good job in Western Pennsylvania this year, getting some outstanding seniors," Wannstedt said. "But we don't want to do just a good job in this area. We want to get all the players we want. We want to be selfish."
While Wannstedt wants to stake a claim to Western Pennsylvania, he wants to do a better job recruiting Pennsylvania overall. He said it's "embarrassing" that Pitt does not have one recruit this year from Eastern Pennsylvania.
Thus, Wannstedt said five coaches will be responsible for recruiting in Pennsylvania. Under former coach Walt Harris, only three assistants were responsible for the state.
In Western Pennsylvania, Woodland Hills, McKeesport and Baldwin are a few schools Wannstedt has visited. None of those schools has a senior being recruited by Pitt.
WPIAL coaches will tell you former Pitt coach Walt Harris never had the greatest relationship with coaches in Western Pennsylvania. And it seemed to worsen in recent years. Pitt missed out on top players who went to Michigan or Penn State, such as Woodland Hills' Steve Breaston and Ryan Mundy and Hopewell's Paul Posluszny. Woodland Hills receiver Devon Lyons went to Ohio State.
This year, Pitt never was seriously in the running for Gateway standout Justin King. And Upper St. Clair's Sean Lee never seemed very interested in the Panthers. Both made verbal commitments to Penn State.
Wannstedt has opened the eyes of some WPIAL coaches with his actions so far. Harris talked early in his Pitt years about putting up a fence in Western Pennsylvania to keep the top players at home. The Panthers got some highly recruited Western Pennsylvania players, including West Allegheny quarterback Tyler Palko, Perry quarterback Rod Rutherford and Aliquippa defensive back Josh Lay, to name a few.
But the fence had plenty of holes in it.
"I don't know if there are fences to be mended with some coaches," Baldwin coach Mike Silianoff said. "But I think what coach Wannstedt is going to do is put some fences back up and put a fresh coat of paint on some others. He wants to have a relationship with the coaches.
"He was walking down the hall in our school when one of our teachers said, 'Was Walt Harris ever here?' "
Wannstedt is a Baldwin graduate, and the Highlanders have two top juniors in defensive lineman Jason Pinkston and fullback/linebacker Justin Hargrove.
Gateway has three Division I prospects next year. Although Wannstedt hasn't been to Gateway yet, Gators coach Terry Smith expects Wannstedt to have success in Western Pennsylvania.
"I think Walt Harris kind of separated himself from Western Pennsylvania coaches," Smith said.
When asked to explain, Smith said: "For example, I get all kind of invitations to work summer camps at different colleges. I never personally had an invitation to work Pitt's camp. Maybe I wouldn't have worked it anyway, but just extend the offer."
Pitt did not make King's final five schools for two main reasons.
"He must have had about 15 scholarship offers before Pitt ever offered," Smith said.
Then Smith and King attended a Pitt basketball game last year. A Pitt football assistant introduced himself to Smith, but didn't know who King was.
"He just felt like he was an afterthought to them," Smith said.
Woodland Hills coach George Novak said Wannstedt was impressive in his visit to the school a few weeks ago. Novak played basketball against Wannstedt in high school when Novak attended Munhall and Wannstedt Baldwin.
"He's a people person. He enjoys talking to people," Novak said. "He's putting a very strong emphasis on getting Western Pennsylvania players and he's doing it the right way. I think he's going to be a players' coach and a coaches' coach. I think it was great that he kept Bob Junko and Paul Rhoads on the staff. I think [Wannstedt] is going to win the hearts of Pittsburgh people."
But Western Pennsylvania doesn't produce as many Division I players as it did 30 years ago. Wannstedt knows this.
"But we don't have as many scholarships to give as we did years ago, so everything is relative," he said. "It's important to let the coaches know we're here. We want to try and touch base with everybody in the state this spring. We want coaches from the smallest schools in the state to come to our clinic and our camps. We want everyone.
"I'm not concerned about what was done in the past here. I know the right way to do it. I know how we recruited when I was at USC [as an assistant coach]. I recruited at Miami [Florida] and when I was an assistant at Pitt with Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill. I know what needs to be done."
Novak points out there will always be players who leave Western Pennsylvania. But Wannstedt said: "We're going to hopefully sign a half dozen players from Florida every year. We're going to sign a few from New Jersey and New York and Ohio. But the heart and soul of our recruiting has to be Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania."
(Mike White can be reached at [email protected] or 412-263-1975.)