With a night to sleep on it, Pitt’s 2016 football season is in the books. It’s time now to focus on completing the 2017 recruiting class and preparation for the 2017 Pitt football season.
Lots of interesting things to watch like will any players decide to leave the program, who will the coaching staff reel in with the five or six remaining scholarships and what will the 2017 team look like?
I don’t have answers on those first two questions but we’ll throw out some options for the last one.
2017 Pitt Roster Breakdown (minus the remaining commitments they receive)
QBs: Max Browne (senior), Thomas MacVittie (redshirt freshman), Kenny Pickett (freshman), Ben DiNucci (sophomore), Bo Schneider (redshirt sophomore)
**I’d imagine you’ll see some shuffling with the quarterbacks. Look for Schneider to transfer to another program.
RBs: Chawntez Moss (sophomore), Darrin Hall (junior), Qadree Ollison (junior), Rachid Ibrahim (senior), Todd Sibley (freshman)
**Would not be shocked if we had a transfer at this position especially if Pitt is able to bring in another running back for this year’s class. Who’s the #1 back heading into next year? I honestly feel this is wide open and won’t be determined till fall practice. Don’t count out a freshman starting.
WRs: Jester Weah (senior), Quadree Henderson (junior), Aaron Mathews (sophomore), Tre Tipton (redshirt sophomore), Zach Challingsworth (senior), Maurice Ffrench (sophomore), Rueben Flowers (redshirt freshman), Darin Street (freshman), Dontavius Butler (freshman)
**This will be a position where Pitt will need a couple of the younger players to develop and give them a threat in the passing game. Whether it’s Tipton, Mathews, Flowers, Ffrench, they’ll need someone other than Weah. It would also be nice to have Henderson as an option in the passing game to go along with his rushing attempts. The more times he touches the ball the better.
Offensive Line: Alex Bookser (junior), Aaron Britton (sophomore), Brandon Ford (redshirt freshman), Mike Grimm (junior), Jaryd Jones-Smith (senior), Brian O’Neill (junior), Alex Officer (senior), Alex Paulina (sophomore), Tony Pilato (sophomore), Jerry Drake (Freshman), Carter Warren (freshman), Owen Drexel (freshman), Gabe Houy (freshman), Justin Morgan (redshirt freshman)
**With the graduation of two future NFL lineman, this is a position that Pitt needs to develop some depth for future years. The incoming class of Drake, Warren, Houy and Drexel are a good start. Would be real nice to add Thayer Munford.
Tight Ends: Chris Clark (junior), Charles Reeves (freshman), Devon Edwards (senior), DeAndre Schifino (sophomore), Tyler Sear (freshman), Grant Carrigan (freshman)
**The work load will fall onto the shoulders of newcomers Clark and Reeves, both of whom are elite talent and both should play big roles in Pitt’s offense next year.
Defensive Line: Rori Blair (senior), Keyshon Camp (redshirt freshman), Connor Dintino (junior), Allen Edwards (senior), James Folston (junior), Calvin Hamilton (sophomore), Bryce Hargrove (redshirt freshman), Dewayne Hendrix (junior), Mike Herndon (junior), Patrick Jones (redshirt freshman), Shane Roy (junior), Jeremiah Taleni (senior), Amir Watts (sophomore), Rashad Weaver (redshirt freshman), Rashad Wheeler (redshirt freshman), Deslin Alexandre (freshman), Carson Van Lynn (freshman)
**Like at the wide receiver position, opportunity knocks for the 2017 Pitt defensive line at both end and defensive tackle. Much will be counted on from Hendrix, Watts and Camp but talented players like Weaver, Wheeler, Hargrove and Jones will have a shot to impress the defensive coaches.
Linebackers: Cam Bright (freshman), Kyle Nunn (freshman), Albert Tucker (freshman), Saleem Brightwell (sophomore), Anthony McKee (sophomore), Chase Pine (redshirt freshman), Kaezon Pugh (redshirt freshman), Elias Reynolds (redshirt freshman), Quintin Wirginis (senior), Elijah Zeise (junior), Oluwaseun Idowu (junior)
**This will be a position that will be inexperienced but very talented. How quick will the light come on for these players? Brightwell, Pine and Pugh will all be really good players.
Secondary: Dennis Briggs (Junior), Therran Coleman (redshirt freshman), Damar Hamlin (sophomore unless he’s granted a redshirt), Dane Jackson (sophomore), Avonte Maddox (senior), Henry Miller (redshirt freshman), Phillipie Motley (junior), Jay Stocker (sophomore), Jordan Whitehead (junior), Damarri Mathis (freshman), Paris Ford (freshman), Bricen Garner (redshirt freshman)
**After what happened this year, aside from Jordan Whitehead, all spots will be open. The good thing is that a lot of young talent will Ben competing for time. Guys like Ford, Miller, Garner, Coleman will be names that will make an impact.