Pitt could end up with five-star receiver Robert Foster.
There’s a good chance that new Atlantic Coast Conference members Pittsburgh and Syracuse will head into their new conference with an array of offensive weapons. The Panthers and Orange both are in prime position to land top prospects in the 2013 cycle out of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. Also, will Michigan land one of the most talked-about prospects on the East Coast in this cycle? Plus, all the usual tidbits and observations in Five Points
1- Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell, 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week this week, may not be the only local star on the Panthers’ roster in the coming years. This recruiting cycle, the two five star prospects in Western Pennsylvania - offensive tackle Dorian Johnson and wide receiver Robert Foster, both have Pitt high on their list and if you had to pick an odds-on favorite to land both, the Panthers have to be that team. Transitioning into the Atlantic Coast Conference with potential difference-makers like Shell, Foster and Johnson is quite the ideal situation for first-year head coach Paul Chryst and staff. Three players don’t make a program, but there is enough talent in Pitt’s recruiting footprint, particularly with Penn State destined to have some down years with crippling NCAA sanctions in place, to have a roster that can compete for championships in the ACC.
2- Here’s what we are hearing to look out for when the smoke clears on four-star running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage). Green is scheduled to take an official visit to Michigan on the weekend of Oct. 19 when the Wolverines play host to Michigan State. If he does not commit to Michigan on that visit or the Wolverines do not jump to the top of his list, then the chances of him ending up in Maize and Blue likely decrease. There is a reasonable expectation, though, that that visit will put them over the top. Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech and Oregon all are sitting there in the mix, too. The logic here is that if he continues with official visits, Michigan would have played all of their cards and may not get him back on campus while say an Auburn or Ole Miss or Oregon would.
3- On the subject of Green and the Ducks, expect Oregon to offer four-star all-purpose back Laray Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xavierian), possibly by the end of the month. If the Ducks offer, he is very likely going to visit Eugene and it could present a challenge to frontrunner Syracuse. If not, then the Orange will sign a fine pair of running back prospects out of New York City in Smith and Staten Island (N.Y.) Tottenville power back Gus Edwards.
4- Class of 2014 safety Jeray Demby (Woodbury, N.J.) is the next in line at that school, which has four-star Alabama commit and track champion Anthony Averett in the 2013 class. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder has good ball skills and range defending the pass, but what is perhaps the most impressive about his film is his ability to come up in run support and tackle. He’s a big hitter, no doubt, but is fundamentally sound simply making the stop. That means he’s been coached well, along with his natural ability. Rutgers is showing early interest, along with Temple and a host of others.
5- Four-star offensive tackle Na’Ty Rodgers (Pomfret, Md./McDonough) was considered a lean to South Carolina heading into his unofficial visit last Saturday and the Gamecocks still feel confident after his trip. Unless things change drastically, we expect South Carolina and top recruiter G.A. Mangus to land the Maryland big man.
Extra Stuff- Nebraska linebacker commit Marcus Newby (Quince Orchard, Md.) has been named to the roster for the 2013 JuniorRank Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. ...Nadir Barnwell was a big get for Rutgers and is another defensive difference-maker for the Scarlet Knights in this class. Look for a rundown of their defensive commitments here soon, but the bottom line is they are improving the personnel on that side of the ball, which translates into success in the Big East. ...Safety Tyrone Thompson (Vorhees, N.J./Eastern) is having a good year on the field. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has 25 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles so far this season. ...Some school that needs a developmental jumbo athlete at tight end or defensive end will end up landing Jullian Taylor (Abington, Pa.). The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder also is having a good season. ...North Carolina defensive end commit Dajaun Drennon (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) moved into the Top247 on Monday, making his debut at No. 213 overall. Drennon is a four-star prospect and No. 246 overall according to the 247Composite, which equally weighs recruiting rankings and ratings from various media networks.