The University of Pittsburgh football program had a successful season on the field for first year head coach Pat Narduzzi, registering eight regular season wins and creating a wave of excitement for the Panthers that has not been experienced in years.
They also found plenty of success in the classroom in Narduzzi’s debut season.
Led by four former WPIAL standouts, the Panthers placed five players on the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Football Team that was announced yesterday afternoon. The honorees included junior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, junior tight end Scott Orndoff, junior wide receiver Dontez Ford, sophomore cornerback Avonte Maddox and freshman safety Jordan Whitehead.
“These five young men reflect the very best of Pitt football,” Coach Pat Narduzzi said. “They are achieving at exceptional levels in the classroom and on the field. Our entire program takes great pride in their academic and athletic accomplishments. I think it is even more impressive that three of our All-Academic players also received All-ACC recognition for the 2015 season.”
In order to qualify for All-ACC honors, a student athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade-point average for the previous semester and maintain a 3.00 cumulatative GPA while also being a significant contributor on the field.
Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel) earned his third straight ACC All-Academic team honors. Bisnowaty has already recieved a bachelor’s degree in Communications and is now pursuing a graduate degree in health and fitness. The standout tackle also received first-team All-ACC honors for his play this past season.
Maddox (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) is a two-time member of the ACC All-Academic Football Team. He received Honorable Mention All-ACC recognition from the media after compiling 75 tackles, 12 pass breakups, three interceptions and a blocked kick. He is enrolled in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
Orndoff (Waynesboro, Pa./Seton-LaSalle) is also a two-time ACC All-Academic Football team honoree. Among the team leaders in touchdown catches with five, Orndoff is expected to be a key part of the Panthers passing game next season. Orndoff is an administration of justice major.
Ford (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox) Ford had 26 receptions for 505 yards with two touchdowns last season and will look to provide a veteran prescence for a receiving corps that lost Tyler Boyd to the NFL draft. Ford is a business finance major.
Whitehead (Aliquippa, Pa./Central Valley) was one of the nation’s most decorated newcomers in 2015. He was named a Freshman All-American and the ACC’s overall and defensive Rookie of the Year. Whitehead set a Pitt true freshman record with 109 tackles and also scored three touchdowns (two rushing and one on a fumble return). He is enrolled in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette