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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Pittsburgh
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  05/26/21 - Tre TiptonrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-0, 185 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Pat Narduzzi saw the precise route running, the speed and the love for the game that made Tre Tipton one of the first players he signed as Pitt's football coach. But that was only part of it. The day he welcomed Tipton to Pitt as part of his 2015 recruiting class, Narduzzi described the Apollo-Ridge graduate thusly: "A guy who just lights up every room he walks in." More than six years later, the light stays on through Tipton's determination to stare down the many levels of adversity he has encountered. And, most importantly, it keeps shining, thanks to his ability to make a difference on Pitt's campus that goes far beyond anything he might accomplish inside Heinz Field.

Tipton, a seventh-year senior wide receiver who battled back from physical and emotional injury during much of his time at Pitt, was honored Tuesday with the Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award, presented annually by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals. The award honors student-athletes who have overcome "great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics," according to a Pitt news release. Tipton, who will turn 25 before the start of the season, suffered season-ending injuries during his first three years at Pitt, including an offseason bicycle accident that ended his 2017 season before it started. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#999 WR) rSr/2022 WR Tre TiptonPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  05/11/21 - Will GipsonrSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 190 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Will Gipson has entered the transfer portal, he announced on Tuesday afternoon. The former Aliquippa wide receiver will have four years of eligibility wherever he lands. Gipson was a three-star prospect when he committed to the Panthers in Nov. 2018. The big-play wideout shined as a senior, recording 62 catches for 1,657 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Aliquippa to PIAA and WPIAL Class 3A championships. However, Gipson found it difficult to find the field with Pitt. Gipson did not play in any games during his two seasons with the Panthers. He redshirted in 2019 while injured and served on the scout team last year. Gipson's noteworthy contribution in 2020 was imitating Louisville dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham during practice, giving the Panthers a look ahead of their 23-20 win. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#999 WR) rSo/2024 WR Will GipsonPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  05/04/21 - Jimmy MorrisseyrSr/2021, Pittsburgh, 6-3, 303 (DS#6 C) + More +

  Only five years ago, Jimmy Morrissey was a walk-on at Pitt, hoping to earn a scholarship. Now, he's in the NFL. After starting as Pitt's center for four seasons, serving as co-captain for the last two and earning All-ACC honors the last three, Morrissey (6-foot-3, 303 pounds) received the call Saturday - he was chosen in the seventh round (No. 230 overall) by the Las Vegas Raiders. Morrissey was the sixth Pitt player drafted over two days, the most for the Panthers since the 2004 six-man group was led by Larry Fitzgerald. Several months ago, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was speaking about Morrissey in general terms, but it's a message Raiders coach Jon Gruden, a former Pitt assistant, might appreciate hearing today. "What makes Jimmy such a great football player and a leader is his ability to gather people together and everyone will want to play for him," Narduzzi said. "He's tough, athletic, smart." Aside from the Burlsworth Trophy awarded to him as the nation's top player who began as a walk-on, Morrissey carried a 3.46 grade-point average when he left Pitt. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#6 C) rSr/2021 C Jimmy MorrisseyPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  04/28/21 - Carson Van LynnrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-5, 295 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  The conclusion of spring camp often leads to roster attrition. Players realize where they stand after 15 practices, and some make the decision to move on. Pitt had its first post-spring exit two days after its Blue-Gold spring game. Carson Van Lynn, a reserve offensive tackle, has entered the transfer portal, he confirmed Monday afternoon on Twitter. Van Lynn was with the Panthers for four seasons and started three games in 2020. Van Lynn came to Pitt in the 2017 recruiting class. A three-star prospect out of Worthington, Ohio, the offensive lineman held offers from Boston College, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky and West Virginia, among other Division I-A programs. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#999 OT) rSr/2022 OT Carson Van LynnPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  04/26/21 - Israel AbanikandaSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-10, 200 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Two players pushing starters for playing time were named the most improved players during Pitt's spring drills. Running back Izzy Abanikanda and senior outside linebacker John Petrishen (Lower Burrell/Central Catholic) were chosen on both sides of the ball by coach Pat Narduzzi and his staff. The announcement was made Saturday prior to the Blue Gold game at Heinz Field. Abanikanda (5-foot-11, 210 pounds) flashed his speed in the truncated spring drills of 2020, but played sparingly as a freshman, carrying 28 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a touchdown pass in the Boston College game. His playing time was limited as he learned the demands and nuances of playing running back at the collegiate level.

After Narduzzi all but named Vincent Davis his starting running back at the start of spring drills this year, Abanikanda started catching the coach's eyes with improved pass blocking and ball-carrying abilities. Now, there will be intense summer camp competition for Pitt's starting running back job. "Izzy has taken major strides in becoming a complete back," Narduzzi said in a statement. "His ability to run was always apparent. This spring he made excellent progress in his protections and overall assignments. Izzy is really putting it all together and it is exciting to see." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#999 RB) So/2024 RB Israel AbanikandaPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  04/24/21 - Owen DrexelrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 300 (DS#38 C) + More +

  Among the program's 2021 NFL draft hopefuls, no one left Pitt with more career starts than center Jimmy Morrissey. No one was a two-year captain. No one was a back-to-back first-team All-ACC honoree. And no one, some would argue, embodied Pitt's program better, working his way up from walk-on status to a part of the Panthers' fabric. It's been a little weird for the players not having Morrissey around this spring. He's been in town training for the draft with Aaron Donald, Paris Ford and Dane Jackson. But he's not barking out calls, snapping to Kenny Pickett or leading the offensive line room. That responsibility is now on the shoulders of Owen Drexel. Drexel waited a while for this. For as long as Morrissey has been Pitt's first-team center - from the 2017 training camp announcement to his final game at Georgia Tech last December - Drexel has bided his time. The fifth-year senior took notes on his "older brother" Morrissey, and this camp, he's shown what he's learned.

"For me, it's the leadership vacancy...It's come really natural to me this spring, but it's been built over a long time, especially learning from a guy like Jimmy," Drexel said Thursday over Zoom. "I was watching him every day. The biggest thing from Jimmy was leading by example. It's watching the film, coming in after. When I was younger, I wouldn't spend the time I needed to here that I do now. I'm here all day, year round." His teammates have taken notice, too. Pickett half-joked at the start of spring camp that while he tried to convince Morrissey to come back for another year, Drexel "stepped up big" during winter workouts. Right guard Jake Kradel called him "a heck of a center." Offensive tackle Carter Warren said he's provided "great communication." Morrissey himself offered praise, claiming back in December that Drexel is a "top five center in the ACC." "He realizes that's his job now, and he wants to fill those shoes," head coach Pat Narduzzi added earlier this spring. "He's taken that over." - Pittsburgh Post Gazette


(DS#38 C) rSr/2022 C Owen DrexelPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  04/19/21 - Melquise StovallrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 5-09, 190 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Pitt added another wide receiver to a position already stocked with experienced players when coach Pat Narduzzi announced Friday that Melquise Stovall will enroll this year. Stovall, who verbally committed to Narduzzi last month, played the past two seasons at Hawaii, recording 49 receptions for 480 yards and four touchdowns over two seasons (14 games, five starts). He also averaged 24.6 yards on 22 kickoff returns. Stovall (5-foot-9, 190 pounds) has one season of immediate eligibility remaining. He played last season under Pitt wide receivers coach Brennan Marion, who joined Narduzzi's staff from Hawaii in February. Stovall will enroll in time for pre-camp workouts this summer.

During his career at Paraclete (Calif.) High School, Stovall recorded 7,650 all-purpose yards and 88 touchdowns. He was rated the nation's No. 3 all-purpose back in the class of 2016 by 247Sports and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. "Melquise is an explosive guy with the ball in his hands. He adds another playmaker to our wide receivers group," Narduzzi said in a statement. "When we watched Hawaii game tape with coach Marion during his interview process, Melquise stood out on video to us even then. "When he later entered the (NCAA) transfer portal, we didn't even need to watch his tape. We already knew he was a really good football player. Having coach Marion on staff and knowing the character of Melquise made this a slam-dunk addition." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#999 WR) rSr/2022 WR Melquise StovallPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  04/18/21 - Taysir MackrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 205 (DS#113 WR) + More +

  Taysir Mack was a shell of his former self last season. He knew it. His coaches knew it. Anyone who watched Pitt's offense knew it. And on Thursday, everyone found out why. Mack, the Panthers' second-leading receiver two years ago, had two in-season surgeries. One procedure was on his hernia, while the next was on an ankle. Which makes the fact that Mack missed only three of Pitt's 11 games pretty astounding. "I'm a tough person. If I can play physically, I'll go out there and play for my team. If I've got one leg, one hand, one eye, you'll see me out there trying to do whatever I can," Mack said over Zoom. "But it got to a point where my body was saying, 'You can't push anymore.' So I had to settle down, recuperate, reanalyze and get people around me to get me back to where I need to be. I'm feeling better now." Head coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed that earlier this week, saying Mack hasn't skipped a practice or even a snap as Pitt nears the end of spring camp. That should be music to the ears of quarterback Kenny Pickett and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Having a healthy Mack back is good news for the Panthers' 2021 offense. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#113 WR) rSr/2022 WR Taysir MackPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  04/04/21 - Jordan AddisonSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 170 (DS#8 WR) + More +

  Last fall, Jordan Addison became the first freshman to lead Pitt in receiving since Tyler Boyd in 2013. And yet, his debut season was only "pretty good" by his standards. "I don't think it was great," Addison said Thursday, speaking to the media for the first time since September. "I still have a lot to improve on." That may be true. Every college player has something to work on, especially a 19-year-old who got his first glimpse of Power Five ball eight months ago. But Addison is probably being a little hard on himself as he looks to build on his breakout campaign.

Addison emerged this time last year in spring camp as an early enrollee. Pitt had only three spring practices before COVID-19 shut the whole thing down, but it was apparent at that point that Addison - a four-star recruit with offers from Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia and more - could take over for Maurice Ffrench and start in the slot. What followed was 66 catches, 660 yards, four touchdowns and freshman All-American honors. Addison was the ACC Rookie of the Year runner-up, losing out to Kyren Williams, Notre Dame's redshirt freshman tailback. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette


(DS#8 WR) So/2024 WR Jordan AddisonPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  03/31/21 - Erick HallettrJr/2023, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 190 (DS#17 FS) + More +

  Erick Hallett is out for spring camp with an injury, Narduzzi said. Hallett, a redshirt junior defensive back, was (and still is) expected to compete for a starting spot in the secondary. Hallett has played both cornerback and safety in his collegiate career. Last season, he was a first-team corner at Florida State on Nov. 7 before starting Pitt's final three games at safety. Hallett tallied 30 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions in 2020. The Texas native's absence in camp will give Pitt's coaches a longer look at redshirt junior Judson Tallandier and Kentucky transfer MJ Devonshire. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#17 FS) rJr/2023 FS Erick HallettPittsburgh
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  03/27/21 - Melquise StovallrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 5-09, 190 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Melquise Stovall, a graduate transfer receiver from Hawaii, committed to Pitt on Friday afternoon, bringing experience to an already deep position and joining Marion, Pitt's new wideouts coach after leaving the Rainbow Warriors in February. Stovall will have one season with the Panthers thanks to the NCAA's blanket waiver not counting the 2020 season against any athletes' eligibility clock. Stovall is entering his sixth season of college football with 108 catches and 1,184 yards to his name. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound pass-catcher began his career at Cal after being courted as a four-star prospect. The California native chose the Golden Bears over offers from Notre Dame, USC, North Carolina and Miami, among others. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#999 WR) rSr/2022 WR Melquise StovallPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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  03/19/21 - Damarri MathisrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 195 (DS#65 CB) + More +

  While chatting with reporters Tuesday on a video conference call, Damarri Mathis admitted he was hiding something. "I probably have a blank face right now," he said, "but I have a lot of enthusiasm. You're going to see that on Saturdays. I promise you that. I don't like talking that much. I want to show what I'm going to do." Pitt's senior cornerback said his face is hiding a lot of backed-up energy he hopes to unleash, perhaps as soon as Thursday, when the Panthers strap on pads for the first time in spring practice. Mathis, who started 10 games in 2019 and was ready to step up among the ACC's best cornerbacks last summer, sat out the entire season with a shoulder injury that occurred before the season. He said he is healed now. He had planned to join veteran teammates Damar Hamlin, Paris Ford and Jason Pinnock in 2020 to give Pitt an experienced secondary and, then, aim for the NFL. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(DS#65 CB) rSr/2022 CB Damarri MathisPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  03/14/21 - Kenny PickettrSr/2022, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 220 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  Many factors led quarterback Kenny Pickett back to Pitt for a fifth season. Among them is his relationship with Mark Whipple, who enters his third season at Pitt as the longest-tenured offensive coordinator under coach Pat Narduzzi. "Coach Whipple is like family to me. If he wasn't coming back here, I wouldn't have come back," Pickett said Friday as Pitt made final preparations for the start of spring drills Sunday. "There's a lot of unfinished business. He's a competitor just like I am." He also seriously considered his relationship with teammates and familiarity with the program. He was first introduced to Pitt four years ago when he left Ocean Township (N.J.) High School a half-year early to enroll. "If I didn't love it here so much, it would have been a lot easier to leave, given the position I was in. It was a win-win either way," he said.

Said senior defensive end Deslin Alexandre, who enrolled with Pickett in January, 2017: "He's the heart of this team." Just as important - perhaps, moreso - is Pickett's desire to prove he's a better quarterback than what others might think. "Very close," he said when asked how close he was to declaring for the NFL Draft. "I took my time with it. "Everyone had the idea that I was declaring (for the draft). My friends back home were the only ones who knew I was making a decision because I was stressed about it." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#5 QB) rSr/2022 QB Kenny PickettPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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  01/04/21 - Jimmy MorrisseyrSr/2021, Pittsburgh, 6-3, 303 (DS#6 C) + More +

  2020 BURLSWORTH TROPHY WINNER: Pitt senior center Jimmy Morrissey was named the 2020 season's winner of the Burlsworth Trophy that is annually presented to the most outstanding player in college football who began his career as a walk-on student-athlete, it was announced on Monday afternoon. During an online ceremony, the Burlsworth Trophy announced Morrissey as the recipient of this year's award over fellow finalists wide receiver Dax Milne of BYU and linebacker Grant Wilson of Arkansas.

Morrissey joins the likes of Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Michigan State's Kenny Willekes, Clemson's Hunter Renfrow and others as a winner of the award that honors former Arkansas walk-on great and Indianapolis Colts pick Brandon Burlsworth, who tragically died just days after being drafted in 1999. Morrissey recently completed his fourth consecutive season as Pitt's starting center. He started all 47 games that he played for the Panthers and is considered one of the top center prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. - Pitt Football


(DS#6 C) rSr/2021 C Jimmy MorrisseyPittsburgh
News Source: Pitt Football
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  01/02/21 - M.J. DevonshirerSo/2024, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 182 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Devonshire - who spent the past two seasons at Kentucky before entering the NCAA transfer portal earlier this month - has committed to Pitt, helping solidify a secondary that will have to replace a number of key pieces. The 5-foot-11, 182-pound Devonshire will have four years of eligibility remaining. After redshirting his first season with the Wildcats, Devonshire played in nine of a possible 10 games last season, finishing with one tackle and one pass breakup. Though relatively early in his college career, Devonshire struggled to make an impact with Kentucky, never appearing on the Wildcats' two-deep during the 2020 season. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

(DS#999 CB) rSo/2024 CB M.J. DevonshirePittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
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