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Quick-Rising 2024 3-Star TE Willie Rodriguez Constructing Basis With Pitt Coaches



What has attracted Pitt to Willie Rodriguez? He’s one of many high heavyweight wrestlers in Kentucky, the winner of over 100 highschool matches.

However the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder isn’t a lineman. No, he’s an ultra-athletic, ultra-physical tight finish out of Covington Catholic Excessive in Park Hills, Kentucky. And he picked up a suggestion from Pitt earlier this month.

“It began when coach (Randy) Bates, the defensive coordinator, got here to see me at college,” Rodriguez instructed PSN. “He noticed me at college, and I met him, shook his hand and all the things and began to speak over the telephone. Then coach (Tim) Salem, the tight ends coach, we talked.”

Bates prolonged the provide a couple of month after his go to all the way down to Covington Catholic.

Pitt added its identify to an inventory of affords that at present consists of Boston School, Connecticut, Japanese Kentucky, Indiana, James Madison, Marshall, Miami (Oh.), Ohio, Syracuse, Toledo, UAB, Virginia Tech and Western Michigan — with curiosity from Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Washington.

Rodriguez’s recruiting course of has blown up during the last month, receiving 5 Energy 5 affords, and it’ll doubtless solely proceed to rise as his two-way dominance is proven on the summer time camp scene.

Pitt was the second Energy 5 faculty to increase Rodriguez a suggestion, and Rodriguez has begun to construct a relationship with Bates and Salem.

“We discuss my sport clearly, and we discuss lots about wrestling as a result of they love wrestling, in order that they love speaking about that and simply attempting to get me up there within the spring,” Rodriguez stated. 

As a child from Kentucky, he isn’t tremendous accustomed to Pitt as a program, however he acknowledges that numerous big-time gamers have emerged out of Pittsburgh.

Relating to Rodriguez himself, who is ready to translate his wrestling prowess into toughness in a number of methods — footwork, approach and hand placement — on the soccer area, Pitt sees him as a possible stud tight finish throughout the board.

“(Salem) stated that he loves my size and my physicality,” Actually simply loves how I play and the way I’m a wrestler additionally.”

As a junior at Covington Catholic, Rodriguez was each a big-bodied crimson zone goal and a receiver able to creating huge beneficial properties, hauling in 14 receptions for 295 yards (21.1 yards per reception) and 5 touchdowns.

247Sports charges Rodriguez because the Thirty sixth-ranked tight finish and the Tenth-ranked recruit from Kentucky. Rivals charges him because the ninth-ranked recruit from Kentucky — holding a 5.5 Rivals Ranking.

Rodriguez has made visits to Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisville and Notre Dame because the begin of the 2022 season, and he can have a busy spring.

His solely scheduled go to up to now is Indiana in March, however he’s acquired Pitt’s spring follow schedule and plans to make an unofficial go to up for a follow. To go together with different applications.

“I just like the (Pitt) teaching employees lots,” Rodriguez stated. “They’ve proven me numerous love, they preserve sending me stuff and actually present me numerous Pitt. So, it’s actually cool to see that. 

“I don’t have an inventory or something, however I actually do just like the coaches, and I actually like this system. I’ve seen numerous locations come out of there and seen the success they’ve had.”

Rodriguez want to commit earlier than the beginning of his senior season within the fall, and the college that lands his dedication might be one that mixes robust lecturers with energetic coaches and a household really feel.

Will probably be vital for Pitt to get Rodriguez on campus as many instances as potential main as much as his dedication.


ACC Information and Notes: UNC Provides Switch, Terquavion Smith to Draft, BC Ahead Enters Portal



PITTSBURGH – Resolution time stays prevalent for gamers surrounding the Atlantic Coast Convention. As March involves a detailed, gamers proceed to seek for new locations and groups molding their rosters for a run at subsequent 12 months’s ACC title. North Carolina, NC State, and Boston Faculty gamers have made headlines to start the week.

Brown Switch Paxson Wojcik Commits to North Carolina

With the departure of Caleb Love, Puff Johnson, Dontrez Kinds, and others from the North Carolina roster, the Tar Heels are getting ready to switch three starters with solely RJ Davis and Armando Bacot set to return. Assistance is on the way in which for the Heels. 

Brown graduate switch Paxson Wojcik has dedicated to North Carolina, in line with Joe Tipton of On3sports. The 6-foot-5 guard performed two seasons of school ball at Brown, averaging 12.2 factors, 5.1 rebounds, and a pair of.3 assists per sport in 54 video games (all begins). He posted a 46% field-goal share this season, totaling 14.9 factors, 7.2 rebounds, and three.2 assists per contest in his greatest collegiate season. He beforehand performed for Loyola Chicago from 2019-21 earlier than going to Brown. 

The Panthers have reached out to UNC switch guards Puff Johnson (Moon Township native) and Dontrez Kinds since coming into the switch portal. 

NC State Guard Terquavion Smith Enters 2023 NBA Draft

North Carolina State is shedding one in all its best offensive threats to the following degree. Sophomore guard Terquavion Smith will forgo his remaining school eligibility and enter his identify within the 2023 NBA Draft.  The 2021-22 All-ACC Rookie Workforce member from Greenville, North Carolina began 59 of 66 complete video games performed for the Wolfpack in two seasons. He averaged 17.9 factors, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists this season, taking part in over 33 minutes and taking pictures 38% from the ground. Smith is a projected first-round decide because the No. 30 prospect within the ESPN Prime 100.

Smith began all 34 video games for the Wolfpack, who made the NCAA Match as a No. 11 seed. He totaled 15 factors on 5-of-13 taking pictures towards Pitt within the ACC opener on Dec. 2. He scored 32 factors within the first spherical of March Insanity towards Creighton, who almost reached the Closing 4 after shedding to San Diego State within the last seconds of the Elite 8.

Boston Faculty Ahead T.J. Bickerstaff Enters Portal

Following two seasons at Boston Faculty, ahead T.J. Bickerstaff has determined to play elsewhere to shut his school profession. Bickerstaff began 20 video games for Drexel through the 2020-21 marketing campaign earlier than transferring to BC. The 6-foot-9 senior averaged 5.8 factors and 6.3 rebounds in over 21 minutes per sport spanning 60 video games. 

Bickerstaff’s offensive manufacturing dipped this season, dropping from 6.6 to five.2 factors per sport, regardless of taking pictures 47.6% from the ground. His taking part in time decreased in consequence in 33 complete video games (21 begins). He scored two factors in 11 minutes towards the Pirates on the Petersen Occasions Heart on Feb. 14.

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How Does Pitt’s Offensive Line Depth Stack Up Over the Subsequent Three Seasons?



There’s a really excessive chance that Pitt’s class of 2024 will add a handful of offensive linemen, it’s already began with three-star Jiavani Cooley, and that’s only the start of the pipeline.

Lots will change over the subsequent three seasons — over the subsequent three weeks even — so that is only a tough sketch of the long run, however it’s all we’ve received proper now.

We all know deal about what to anticipate for the 2023 season, however even that’s topic to vary with camp developments and accidents. That is only a take a look at Pitt’s depth alongside the offensive line within the wake of Cooley’s dedication Saturday.

There can be new commitments, those that will resolve to switch out of this system and sudden developments in terms of the NFL and people rising inside the system. You possibly can’t predict all of it, so that is only a tough sketch.


Sort out — Matt Goncalves (R-Sr.), Branson Taylor (R-Jr.), Ryan Baer (R-Fr.), Trey Andersen (R-So.), Ryan Carretta (Fr.), Tai Ray (Fr.)

Guard — Blake Zubovic (R-Sr.), Ryan Jacoby (R-Sr.), Jason Collier (R-Sr.), Terrence Enos Jr. (R-So.), Dorien Ford (R-So.), Isaiah Montgomery (R-Fr.)

Middle — Jake Kradel (R-Sr.), Terrence Moore (R-So.), BJ Williams (Fr.)

We all know who’s again, and certain, who’s going to be beginning heading into Week 1 towards Wofford in September.

As of proper now, barring accidents or a really fast rise from Ryan Baer, the beginning 5 goes to be Branson Taylor (LT), Ryan Jacoby (LG), Jake Kradel (C), Blake Zubovic (RG) and Matt Goncalves (RT).

It’s a really stable beginning line, with some veteran expertise and youthful expectation, and there’s a stable second unit ready within the wings. Baer goes to start out on Pitt’s offensive line for a number of seasons (perhaps even subsequent season), and there are inside choices instantly in Terrence Moore, Jason Collier Jr. and Terrence Enos Jr.

Dorien Ford is getting his first style of taking part in on the offensive facet of the soccer this spring, so he’s somebody to look at for the long run.


Sixth seasons: Matt Goncalves (R-Sr.), Ryan Jacoby (R-Sr.) and Jason Collier Jr. (R-Sr.)

Sort out — Branson Taylor (R-Sr.), Ryan Baer (R-So.), Trey Andersen (R-Jr.), Ryan Carretta (R-Fr.), Tai Ray (R-Fr.), Jiavani Cooley (Fr.)

Guard — Terrence Enos Jr. (R-Jr.), Dorien Ford (R-Jr.), Isaiah Montgomery (R-So.)

Middle — Terrence Moore (R-Jr.), BJ Williams (R-Fr.)

That is the place the hypothesis begins, after all.

Kradel and Zubovic can have exhausted their eligibility, and Goncalves and Jacoby can have decisions to make.

If Goncalves performs properly in 2023, I count on him to go off to the NFL. If he returns, it can seemingly be to start out as soon as once more. The jury is out on Jacoby — we’ll must see how he performs this coming season.

I count on Jason Collier Jr. to compete for a depth position on the offensive line in 2023, and if he chooses to make use of a sixth season in 2024, he might compete for a beginning spot. However let’s function on the idea that he’s carried out.

A full season of Taylor and Baer beginning on the deal with spots may be very intriguing. I feel Baer at left deal with and Taylor at proper deal with is a really, very enviable place.

Enos will seemingly have spent the 2023 season as one of many first tackles off the bench, and Ford can have been capable of put in a full season (and offseason) on the offensive line getting into the 2024 season. I imply, come on, they’re each about 6-foot-4, 320 kilos. That’s the sort of beef you want inside.

Baer-Taylor and Enos-Ford, with Moore lastly beginning at middle, is a really good long-term state of affairs.


Sixth season: Branson Taylor (R-Sr.)

Sort out — Ryan Baer (R-Jr.), Trey Andersen (R-Sr.), Ryan Carretta (R-So.), Tai Ray (R-So.), Jiavani Cooley (R-So.)

Guard — Terrence Enos Jr. (R-Sr.), Dorien Ford (R-Sr.), Isaiah Montgomery (R-Jr.)

Middle — Terrence Moore (R-Sr.), BJ William (R-So.)

If Taylor begins for 2 full seasons at Pitt, both left or proper deal with (plus his cameo in 2022), I’d count on the NFL will come calling. He’s massive, sturdy and quick.

So, if he’s gone, Pitt might want to discover a complement to Baer — who could or will not be pushing All-ACC, All-American standing. He’s that sort of expertise. Andersen can have spent practically a profession within the system, and by then, Carretta, Ray and Cooley could have carried out sufficient to step into the highlight.

Enos and Ford will each return (in the event that they resolve) as seniors, and Isaiah Montgomery can have waited his flip behind them. Moore can have entered his second season because the beginning middle.

Lots might change between now and the 2025 season, however Pitt has the sort of younger expertise on the offensive line to be excited concerning the future.

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Pitt Signee Carlton Carrington Makes Capital Metropolis Basic All-Star Crew



Pitt signee Carlton Carrington has had an unbelievable 12 months.

This 12 months, the longer term Panther scored over 1,000 factors, led his St. Frances Academy crew to 29 wins, gained MVP at 5 totally different occasions, and dedicated to play for Jeff Capel’s Panthers.

Now, the most recent accomplishment for Carrington is one other massive one. Carrington was chosen to compete on the Capital Metropolis Basic All-Star crew, together with a number of of the very best gamers within the area. Carrington and his teammates, together with Amani Hansberry (Illinois commit) and Jahnathan Lamothe (Maryland), will compete on April 29 at Leisure and Sports activities Area in Washington D.C.

Carrington, a primary crew all Baltimore Catholic League choice, dedicated to Pitt again in June, deciding on the Panthers simply days after ’22 level guard Dior Johnson dedicated to this system as effectively.

Carrington is a 6-foot-4 capturing guard out of Baltimore, Maryland who’s ranked because the No. 97 participant within the nation in response to 247 Sports activities.

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