Pittsburgh Panthers Football: Three Recruits Pitt Needs To Land
With most of the team's open scholarships already spoken for by the verbal commitments, there are only a few more spots for the Class of 2012.
The Pittsburgh Panthers and coach Todd Graham have some needs to fill for the team to take the next step.
This article takes a look at the three most important recruits for the team to finish off the class with.
Four-star prospect Demetrious Cox from Jeannette High School is a difference maker. The explosive athlete is being recruited by most as a safety or even corner, but his athleticism translates to the offensive side of the ball as a receiver as well.
Cox could use some time in the weight room and would need to learn the safety position, but he has the potential to be an All-Big East type of player as an underclassman.
The Panthers will need to beat out the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State to keep Cox local, but if they can do that, he's capable of making an early impact.
The 4-star recruit from Sto-Rox High School is the teammate of current Panther Drew Carswell and projects best as an athletic outside linebacker.
Rippy's athleticism allows him to cover plenty of ground, and he could help add more talent to a young linebacking corps.
Rippy is a competitor, although he will need to add bulk since he's currently only 6'2", 210 pounds and isn't fast enough to play safety. Despite his lack of bulk, his tackling ability and pass-rushing potential could get him into some packages early in his college career.
To land Rippy, the Panthers will need to beat out USC, Michigan, Ohio State, West Virginia and Alabama, who have all offered him scholarships.
Rippy could immediately force his way into the rotation at linebacker.
The Pittsburgh offensive line is one of the biggest weak links on the team, so adding any talented recruits would be huge. As good of a prospect as local tackle Adam Bisnowaty is, 4-star guard Ryan Watson from Maryland is even better.
Watson, who plays for Good Counsel High School, is among the top interior lineman prospects in the Class of 2012. He's athletic, mean and knows how to play the game. That translates into a prospect with some All-Big East potential.
Watson's best offers include Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford, Iowa, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Penn State. Since he only weighs in at 265 pounds right now, Watson needs some time in the weight room before being ready to contribute on the interior line for a BCS-level school.