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Counting down to signing day: Wide receivers/tight ends

Written by Sam Werner on .

Here’s part three of our series leading up to National Signing Day Wednesday. Today, we look at where Pitt stands on wide receivers and tight ends. This one is a little bit longer than the rest (thanks to the fact that Pitt has NINE combined wide receivers and tight ends in this class), so we’ll put most of this after the jump so as to not clog up the front page. Click below to view this post...

Early enrollees:
Scott Orndoff, TE (6-6, 245 lbs)
Seton-LaSalle High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Rivals: 3*, No. 20 TE
Scout: 3*, No. 20 TE
ESPN: 3*, No. 17 TE

 

Verbal commitments:
Tyler Boyd, WR (6-1, 175 lbs)
Clairton High School (Clairton, Pa.)
Rivals: 4*, No. 12 WR
Scout: 4*, No. 12 S (Yes, Scout lists him as a safety for some reason)
ESPN: 4*, No. 16 WR

 

Zach Challingsworth, WR (6-2, 184 lbs)

South Fayette High School (McDonald, Pa.) 

Rivals: 3*, NR

Scout: 3*, No. 195 WR

ESPN: 3*, No. 140 WR

 

Jester Weah, WR (6-3, 190 lbs)

Madison Memorial High School (Madison, Wisc.)

Rivals: 3*, NR

Scout: 2*, No. 201 WR

ESPN: 3* No. 144 WR

 

Reggie Green, WR/ATH (6-3, 205 lbs)

Cranford High School (Cranford, N.J.)

Rivals: 2*, NR

Scout: 3*, No. 96 S

ESPN: 3*, No. 151 ATH

Note: For whatever reason, Green doesn't have any highlight videos posted on YouTube

 

Terrish Webb, WR (6-0, 170 lbs)

Clairton High School (Clairton, Pa.)

Rivals: 2*, NR

Scout: 3*, No. 93 WR

ESPN: 3*, No. 99 ATH

 

Tony Harper, TE (6-4, 195 lbs)

St. John’s High School (Toledo, Ohio)

Rivals: 3*, NR

Scout: 2*, No. 121 S

ESPN: 3*, No. 89 S

 

Jaymar Parrish, TE/FB (6-1, 225 lbs)

Gateway High School (Monroeville, Pa.)

Rivals: 3*, NR

Scout: 3*, No. 4 FB

ESPN: 3*, No. 30 TE

 

Devon Edwards, TE (6-5, 240 lbs)

Eastmoor High School (Columbus, Ohio)

Rivals: 2*, NR

Scout: 2*, No. 100 TE

ESPN: 3*, No. 35 TE

 

Remaining targets: None.

 

The areas where a coach loads up during his first full recruiting class usually tell you where that coach thinks his team is in most need of an upgrade. In Paul Chryst’s case, wide receiver/tight end is a position where he clearly things the Panthers are in need of a talent influx. It makes sense, though, looking at the current roster. Devin Street is the only returning Panther wide receiver who registered more than seven catches last year, and Pitt was a bit hamstrung at tight end all year (mostly due to Hubie Graham’s recurring injuries).

Let’s first look at the receiver position. Obviously, the biggest concern here is the state of Tyler Boyd’s commitment. Boyd gave his pledge to Pitt in early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but has since visited West Virginia and is slated to possibly visit Tennessee this weekend. It’s understandable that Pitt fans are a little nervous given the recent developments, but I still think Boyd’s most likely destination is Pitt. At this point, though, there’s really not much left to do other than wait and see where he signs on the dotted line Wednesday.

The biggest problem for Pitt if Boyd does flip to somewhere else is that he is easily the most ready-to-play guy Pitt has in this class. The rest of the guys certainly have potential (I especially tend to think Zach Challingsworth could develop very nicely over five years) but will need some time to develop and grow into their frames. It’s easy to see Chryst’s fingerprints on this group with the size of the guys he’s bringing in. Challingsworth, Jester Weah and Reggie Green are all 6-2 or 6-3, nice, big targets who can line up on the outside of Chryst’s offense. There aren’t too many other guys on the roster with that kind of frame so (especially in the unlikely scenario that Boyd goes elsewhere) there’s definitely a chance one of those guys could work his way onto the field this year.

Moving on to tight end, I think it’s very likely that Scott Orndoff will see the field for Pitt in 2013. Pitt has only two tight ends (J.P. Holtz and Drew Carswell) coming back next year. Things got so desperate in 2012 that Mark Giubilato and Mike Shanahan had to fill in at times, so there is definitely playing time to be had, especially in an offense that always keeps a tight end on the field and makes it an integral part of the offense. Orndoff enrolling early also gives him a big leg up in terms of learning the offense and getting in a rhythm with his new quarterbacks. Orndoff will have to put on some weight to become a true Division I tight end, but I don’t see any reason he can’t do something similar to what Holtz did this season, with Holtz taking on a slightly more advanced role in the offense during his second year.

As for the rest of the tight ends, I included Tony Harper and Jaymar Parrish, even though they could very well end up playing more of an H-back role (Parrish, especially, will almost certainly land at fullback in Chryst’s offense). It never hurts to bring in guys with size and talent, though, and these guys will most likely be able to take a redshirt year and put on some weight before ultimately finding their home on the Pitt roster. Devon Edwards is a true tight end, and his high school coach raved about his hands and athleticism (including a 75-yard interception return he had on a pass rush).

Missing out on Robert Foster obviously hurt this grouping, as he could very well have started from Day One at Pitt, but there isn’t really much Chryst and staff can do about that at this point other than wish him well and move on. Overall, though, this grouping is more about getting numbers and talent in the pipeline that will pay off down the road, with some high-end talent in Boyd at the top.

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