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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Pittsburgh
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  09/13/21 - Brandon HillrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-10, 205 (DS#13 SS) + More +

  SEPT 13 ACC CO-DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Brandon Hill, Pitt, So., S, Apopka, Fla.,...Led the Panthers with seven tackles and came up with a game-clinching turnover in Saturday's 41-34 win at Tennessee ... With Pitt holding a one-touchdown lead and just under five minutes remaining, intercepted a Hendon Hooker pass at Pitt's 17 and returned it 25 yards ... The Panthers then ran out the final 4:52 of clock time for the victory. - Atlantic Coast Conference Football

(DS#13 SS) rSo/2024 SS Brandon HillPittsburgh
News Source: Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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  09/11/21 - Kenny PickettrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 220 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  Kenny Pickett threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score to lead Pittsburgh to a 41-34 victory over Tennessee Saturday. The Panther defense collected five sacks, recovered two fumbles, had an interception and a crucial fourth-quarter goal-line stand to seal their second victory of the season. The Volunteers (1-1) lost the game and a starting quarterback. Joe Milton went down with a lower leg injury after being sacked and losing a fumble early in the second quarter. Hendon Hooker came on to throw for 189 yards, but the mistakes hurt the effort. "(Pickett) is a football player now," Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said of his quarterback. "I trust in KP. He knows what he's doing on the football field. The guys rally around him." After three straight three-and-out drives, Pitt came up with five straight scores.

The Panthers scored touchdowns on all five trips inside the Tennessee 20-yard line. "That's something we focused on in spring and (preseason) camp, to put touchdowns on the board," Pickett said. Tennessee, known for its uptempo offense, managed 66 plays, compared to 82 for Pitt. The Panthers' biggest play of all came on defense with a fourth-quarter goal-line stand from the Pitt 3 that could have tied the game. Jaylen Wright was stopped cold by John Petrishen. "Talk about the biggest play of the game," said Narduzzi. "Our defense played solid." - Pittsburgh/AP College Football


(DS#5 QB) rSr/2022 QB Kenny PickettPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh/AP College Football
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  09/04/21 - Kenny PickettrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 220 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  Kenny Pickett threw for two touchdowns passes and the Pitt defense held Massachusetts to 209 yards of total offense as the Panthers cruised to a 51-7 season-opening victory on Saturday. Pickett linked up with Lucas Krull and Jordan Addison for first-quarter touchdowns as the Panthers jumped out to a two-score lead in the first 15 minutes. The fifth-year senior directed the offense efficiently, completing 27 of 37 passes for 272 yards and the two scores. Pickett also rushed six times for 39 yards on a combination of scrambles and designed runs.

Pickett missed one play after taking a hit late in the second quarter that caused Massachusetts linebacker Gerrell Johnson to be ejected for targeting, and the Pitt offense seemed to feed on the return of its leader. "He's got the heart of a lion," Krull said. "He's a special person. You'd go to war with that guy every day. You see him down, you hate to see it. As a team, we're pissed off, because it's a late hit and we hate seeing that from our quarterback and our leader. But we knew he was going to bounce right back." After taking an early lead, the Panthers leaned on the rushing game, with four different backs finding the end zone. A.J. Davis scored from 18 yards out in the second quarter. In the third, Vincent Davis rushed in from six yards out and Israel Abanikanda scored from 12 yards to extend the lead. - Pittsburgh/AP College Football


(DS#5 QB) rSr/2022 QB Kenny PickettPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh/AP College Football
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  08/28/21 - Cal AdomitisrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 235 (DS#2 LS) + More +

  On a Pitt football team with 21 seniors, including 14 who decided to come back for the bonus year granted by the NCAA, the four captains this season will represent all three units - offense, defense and special teams. After a vote by the players, quarterback Kenny Pickett, defensive end Deslin Alexandre, outside linebacker Cam Bright and long snapper Cal Adomitis were named captains. Coach Pat Narduzzi made the announcement Friday at the Kickoff Luncheon at the Westin Pittsburgh. The theme of training camp this month is the slogan, "We Not Me," with players signaling their solidarity. How is that different from previous years? "The difference is how tight we are," said Pickett, who's been on campus since January 2017. "That's not going to go out there and win games and we know that. But it's a huge piece in winning. "We've been playing for so long together. I'm really excited for one last year." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#2 LS) rSr/2022 LS Cal AdomitisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  08/24/21 - Ryan JacobyrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 6-4, 310 (DS#999 OG) + More +

  If Ryan Jacoby, an offensive lineman who transferred from Ohio State to Pitt, is rewarded with an NCAA waiver and is eligible to play this season, Pat Narduzzi believes there's plenty of time for him to learn the playbook. How is he so sure? Jacoby is coming to Pitt with a 3.7 grade-point average. "Anytime you have that, there's always time," Pitt's coach said. Jacoby (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) participated in his first Pitt practice Wednesday, but he can't play until the NCAA approves his waiver request. He missed the July 1 deadline for entering the transfer portal. Worst case: With five seniors on the offensive line, Jacoby can improve depth there in 2022.

Jacoby entered the portal Aug. 9, attracting Narduzzi's attention. Still, the Pitt coach said he always steps carefully when investigating transfers. He contacted old friend Tim Hinton, who coached with Narduzzi at Cincinnati and is now Ohio State's executive director for football relations. "Anytime you go in the portal you better know what you're getting," Narduzzi said. "And we got a kid from Mentor, Ohio, 6-5, 310 lineman who looks athletic. He's looking for a re-start for whatever reason. "Great addition to what we are looking for." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#999 OG) rSo/2024 OG Ryan JacobyPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  08/23/21 - Ryan JacobyrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 6-4, 310 (DS#999 OG) + More +

  Pitt's offensive line entered training camp as a curiosity, if not a question mark. Now, the Panthers have another option as they figure out the best five to protect Kenny Pickett. Ohio State lineman Ryan Jacoby is transferring to Pitt, he announced on social media on Sunday night. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder entered the transfer portal last week. Jacoby will join the Panthers as a redshirt sophomore - with a super senior season available in 2024, if desired - and will at the very least provide depth this fall. He could bring more, of course, as he looks for a fresh start. Jacoby was a four-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting cycle, per 247 Sports. He ranked 283rd overall and 23rd among offensive tackles when he chose Ohio State over offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oregon and a host of other Power Five programs. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#999 OG) rSo/2024 OG Ryan JacobyPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  08/18/21 - Israel AbanikandaSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-10, 200 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Andre Powell has been coaching running backs about a decade longer than any of his Pitt players have been alive. He can teach the proper method to follow blocks, encourage them to break tackles and stress the importance of protecting the quarterback. But some players come equipped with certain skills that Pitt's seventh-year running backs coach can only sit back and enjoy.

From all accounts, sophomore Izzy Abanikanda is one of those players. At least, that's the type of player the coaching staff is hoping to see as training camp progresses. "I can't coach a guy to be really fast. I can't coach a guy to be really strong," Powell said. "He has some of those of things." The buzzword around camp is "explosiveness" when the subject turns to Abanikanda, who is atop the running back pecking order after less than a week of camp. To be clear, coach Pat Narduzzi hasn't promised Abanikanda will be Pitt's starting running back Sept. 4 in the opener against UMass. But if camp evolves the way Narduzzi expects, Abanikanda will get more than his share of touches. "He sees a hole, he takes it," right guard Jake Kradel said. "He takes it for about 15-20 yards, and he's gone." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#999 RB) So/2024 RB Israel AbanikandaPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  08/15/21 - Jordan AddisonSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 170 (DS#9 WR) + More +

  When Jordan Addison went home to Frederick, Md., in the offseason, he carried with him reminders of a memorable freshman season at Pitt. With 60 catches for 666 yards, four touchdowns and the longest play of Pitt's season (75 yards), few failed to notice. He was a Freshman All-American, honorable mention All-ACC and runner-up conference rookie of the year. Then, before this season, he was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, telling the college football world to keep an eye on the young (not yet 20) wide receiver during the 2021 season. Later, when he accompanied teammates Kenny Pickett and Deslin Alexandre and coach Pat Narduzzi to Charlotte, N.C., to meet the press, reporters from all across the ACC footprint hung on his every word.

So when he went home to his mother, Keisha, six brothers and three sisters, of course, they told him they were proud. But let's not get carried away, he reminded them. "When I saw (the recognition), I took it in to show my mom, my family," he said Friday after Pitt's first day of drills, "and, then, once I came here, now it's time to go work for it. "My mom was very proud. I told her, "I ain't got it yet." "It," in Addison's mind, is nothing short of jumping ahead of any player who might catch a pass over the next two seasons and, ultimately, getting picked in the first round of the NFL Draft, possibly as early as 2023. "First-round draft pick is definitely on top of my list," he said. "I don't want to settle for anything less." There's just one other goal, and it's just as important: "Get to the NFL and provide for my family," he said. "Get my whole family in one neighborhood. I'm a big family person." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#9 WR) So/2024 WR Jordan AddisonPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  08/15/21 - Ryan JacobyrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 6-4, 310 (DS#999 OG) + More +

  As Ohio State football's continues to sort out the top of its depth chart in preseason camp, it continues to experience attrition. Per multiple reports, redshirt sophomore Ryan Jacoby has entered the transfer portal. The former four-star, top-300 prospect from Mentor has not yet played for the Buckeyes. Jacoby became the second offensive lineman to enter the portal since last season, joining Max Wray, who transferred to Colorado. Ohio State coach Ryan Day said the presumptive starting offensive line has been jumbled at times in practice so far this offseason. Tackles have worked inside at guard in pursuit of finding the best possible starting five. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#999 OG) rSo/2024 OG Ryan JacobyPittsburgh
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  08/15/21 - Damarri MathisrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 195 (DS#98 CB) + More +

  Pitt senior cornerback Damarri Mathis vows never to box again - even as a conditioning exercise - after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury last year while working out at home. "No one ever heard that story?" coach Pat Narduzzi said during his post-practice news conference. "So, you know how kids are. You have those boxing things, you punch the hands (of a partner). It wasn't really in a ring or anything, but just sparring, I guess, and just working on your hand quickness and all that stuff in his front yard - not with (Pitt strength coach Michael Stacchiotti)." Apparently, Mathis missed the hands. "You talk to boxers. You can dislocate your shoulder from, must have missed the hand, I guess, I don't know," Narduzzi said. Mathis, who is fully recovered, said he never has boxed in a real match, and doesn't plan to take up the sport.

"Boxing, I'm done with that. None of that," he said. "Anything from now on that I do is only football-related. I'm sticking to that. Just conditioning." If not for the injury, Mathis might be in the NFL this season. From 2017-19, he played in 36 games, with 12 starts and three interceptions. "Pretty good corner," Narduzzi said. "We're just getting him back into great football shape. We're happy where he is. Again, it was an innocent mistake. He's working to get better. He's just not allowed to box anymore." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#98 CB) rSr/2022 CB Damarri MathisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  08/06/21 - Cal AdomitisrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 235 (DS#2 LS) + More +

  Though his tenure as SAAC president is over (the role rotates yearly), Adomitis will continue to be a voice in the student body. He'll still be a sounding board for his teammates. And he'll still snap footballs. How long will that last? He's not sure. Adomitis wants to give the NFL a shot, and he ought to have a decent shot at it. Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy recently tweeted that Adomitis was the organization's second-highest graded long-snapper last year. Should the NFL not come calling, Adomitis could find himself on "Monday Night Raw."

Two weeks ago, a WWE scout messaged Adomitis on Instagram, wondering if he'd have any interest in trying out when he's finished at Pitt. Adomitis was "definitely flattered" by the approach, and it is something he'd consider. Pitt is his main priority as he approaches his final season, but for someone whose father grew up watching the WWF, it is a unique opportunity. Of course, Adomitis' father joked that his son's luscious locks were behind the interest. "It's all the hair," he said. "It just has to be the hair." Whatever the reason - "I'm sure the hair helped my case," Adomitis laughed - Pitt's fifth-year starter has options. At the very least, no one can say this long-snapper will stay invisible. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette


(DS#2 LS) rSr/2022 LS Cal AdomitisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  08/06/21 - Kenny PickettrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 220 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  When Pickett decided to return for his fifth season, instead of trying his luck in the NFL Draft, Pitt fans felt like they won the lottery. In a strong season for quarterback talent in the ACC, Pickett leads the conference in starts (36, 21-15). He's also climbing the all-time Pitt lists in passing yards (7,984, fifth), total offense (8,552, third), 300-yard games (eight, tied for third) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (15, second). "Kenny Pickett's going to be a year better, a year stronger, a year smarter," Narduzzi said.

He also has two targets who weren't available last season - 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end Lucas Krull and Hawaii transfer Melquise Stovall. Krull was hurt and Stovall caught 49 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns over the past two seasons. They are in addition to freshman All-American Jordan Addison (60/666/4), Shocky Jacques-Louis, Mack and Jared Wayne, all of whom caught at least 21 balls last season. "I'm not sure I've seen (Addison) drop a ball in a practice," Narduzzi said, "not many in a game and certainly Kenny's favorite target." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#5 QB) rSr/2022 QB Kenny PickettPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  07/31/21 - Cal AdomitisrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 235 (DS#2 LS) + More +

  Two Pitt players have been honored for their off-the-field feats that match what they already have accomplished on the field. Seniors Cal Adomitis and Deslin Alexandre were named Thursday to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, annually presented to the college football player who is unsurpassed in his community service efforts. Adomitis, a Central Catholic graduate, is one of 12 super seniors who returned to school after the NCAA awarded an extra season of eligibility because the 2020-21 academic year was disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic. He has been Pitt's long snapper since his freshman season of 2017. He has played in 50 games while keeping busy on campus and in the community. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics, Adomitis is pursuing postgraduate studies in Pitt's Katz Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the All-ACC Academic Team. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#2 LS) rSr/2022 LS Cal AdomitisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  07/29/21 - Calijah KanceyrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 6-0, 270 (DS#7 DT) + More +

  Pitt sophomore defensive tackle Calijah Kancey received more preseason recognition Tuesday when he was named to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation's top defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America. Kancey was previously named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, also awarded to the defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club. Former Pitt All-American defensive tackle Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, won both awards in 2013. Named Freshman All-American by the FWAA, Rivals and The Athletic, Kancey recorded 27 tackles, seven for a loss and 1 1/2 sacks last season. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#7 DT) rSo/2024 DT Calijah KanceyPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  07/28/21 - Kenny PickettrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 220 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  Despite the return of fifth-year senior quarterback Kenny Pickett and 14 other starters from 2020, Pitt was picked to finish fourth in the seven-team ACC Coastal, according to a preseason poll of 147 media voters. The Panthers did receive one first-place vote, however. North Carolina, the preseason choice to win the Coastal, received 109 first-place votes and 979 total points. Miami (28) was next with 881 points, followed by Virginia Tech (3/582) and Pitt (1/576). The bottom three are Virginia (2/540), Georgia Tech (4/340) and Duke (218).

Overall, the story remains unchanged for the seventh consecutive preseason. Clemson is an overwhelming choice to win its seventh consecutive ACC championship after appearing in the past six College Football Playoffs. Clemson was the pick on 125 ballots. North Carolina received 16 votes, followed by Miami (three) and Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Virginia (one each). - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#5 QB) rSr/2022 QB Kenny PickettPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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