The first official Pitt practice of fall started at 10 AM this morning over at the Pitt/UPMC South Side facility. Here are some notes from the portion of practice that we were able to view.
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** As I pulled into the South Side facility, I walked over to the practice field with a scout from the Cleveland Browns. He told me that he was coming to just watch practice and not coming to view anyone in particular. The Browns have always had their eyes on Pitt players and have JP Holtz and K’wuan Williams on their roster this year.
** As you would imagine, a lot of energy and noise at the first practice. The Pitt coaches were really into things, especially offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Unlike last year with Jim Chaney, Canada was very vocal, animated and had a lot of energy.
** During special team drills, the 3 players returning punts were Quadree Henderson, Maurice Ffrench and Rafael Araujo-Lopes.
** For the first day of practice, athletic director Scott Barnes stopped by to watch and I was able to go over and talk with him for a minute.
** Interesting note from the team drills, although things will probably change, the 1st team OL unit was Adam Bisnowaty, Dorian Johnson, Alex Bookser (at center), John Guy (at RG) and Brian O’Neil.
** The 2nd OL unit was Alex Officer, Aaron Britton (freshman from Trinity HS), Connor Dintino, Carson Baker and Aaron Reese.
** The 3 wideouts working on the First team were Dontez Ford, Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah. The 2nd unit was Tre Tipton,
** The second team wideouts were Zach Challingsworth, Tre Tipton and Rafael Araujo-Lopes
** The second tight behind starter Scott Orndorff was Junior Zach Poker
** The QB rotation was Nathan Peterman followed by Manny Stocker then Ben DiNucci
** And finally, James Conner made his return to the practice field and was working with the 1st team followed by Rachid Ibrahim and then Qadree Ollison
UPDATE (11:46 AM)-
** I’m told that current Pitt commitment WR Darian Street will be in town tomorrow and will attend Pitt’s practice tomorrow.
UPDATE (2:32 PM)-
** Last year for Pat Narduzzi’s first official practice at Pitt, Central Catholic’s Damar Hamlin was in attendance and we all know how that turned out. Today, for Narduzzi’s first practice of 2016, a very important recruit was on the South Side. As I was leaving the Pitt facility, I saw Clairton cornerback Lamont Wade in the building. He was taking pictures wearing the Pitt uniform. Obviously, the Pitt coaching staff hopes that he’ll be wearing the uniform for real a year from now.
UPDATE (8:56 PM)-
**The Pitt athletic department released details concerning 2016 Pitt Football Fran Fest. It will take place on Thursday, August 25 from 5:30-8 PM at Heinz Field. Admission for this event is free to fans.
Fans will be able to get team autographs from 6:15-7:45 PM, fans will be able to take part in Interactive games for all ages. Concessions will be available for purchase inside Heinz Field along with new Pitt Script merchandise at the Sideline Store.