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Pitt Football Camp Notebook: 8/15



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UPDATE (7:00 PM)-

The Steelers had the day off from training camp on Tuesday, so former Pitt running back James Conner took the opportunity to stop by practice, as seen in a video tweeted by head coach Pat Narduzzi.

UPDATE (1:45 PM)-

Kollin Smith warms up before Pitt practice on Tuesday. — ALAN SAUNDERS

Walk-on Kollin Smith had his first Pitt practice on Monday and Tuesday, head coach Pat Narduzzi spoke about what he brings to the table as a football player and an athlete.

“He looked good in shorts yesterday and he’s fast,” Narduzzi said. “The first thing I like about him is that he’s got a good personality. He’s paying attention in meetings that I see and he’s got a smile on his face. That’s the first test.”

UPDATE (1:30 PM)-

Partially because of the injury to fullback George Aston and the lack of experience at the tight end spot, Pitt will probably use a lot more three-receiver sets this season with Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah joined by either Maurice Ffrench or Aaron Mathews most of the time.

All four players provide significant matchup problems for opposing defense, with a solid combination of speed, quickness, strength and size. Weah thinks that the addition of a third receiving threat, particularly in the slot, could open things up for him down the field.

“We have great receivers,” Weah said. “As all three of us get out there, it makes it hard for the defense to pick and choose who they want to focus on covering. … If I’m single, I can see the safety try to key and trigger on me.”

Hear more from Weah about schooling the young corners and the strength he’s added while working with strength and conditioning coach Dave Andrews.

UPDATE (1:10 PM)-

Qadree Ollison projects to be the lead horse of Pitt’s five-back stable at running back thanks to a 1,000-yard season in 2015 as a redshirt freshman while James Conner was on the shelf with a knee injury.

But that’s not the bar that Ollison has set for himself this season.

“I don’t want to match what I did two years ago, I hope to exceed it,” Ollison said after practice. “If I match that, that’s kind of a down year in my book. I set really, really high goals for myself. That is not the standard that I set for myself.”

Hear more about what Ollison had to say about the offense, his conditioning, Buffalo wing tips for Nathan Peterman and more. Plus, you can see Ollison’s first stiff arm of the season as he truck-sticked my question about replacing George Aston. Veteran move, Q.

UPDATE (12:00 PM)-

Pitt defensive lineman Kam Carter sure got the message about keeping the energy high, breaking out a dance move while waiting his turn for a drill.

DL Kam Carter dances during Pitt practice. — ALAN SAUNDERS

Carter still hasn’t been made available to speak to the media during training camp, but his teammates have said it’s been a seamless transition in bringing in the transfer from Eastern Mississippi Community College.

Carter was featured prominently during Season 2 of Last Chance U, and many felt that the portrayal painted Carter in a negative light.

“I feel like that’s not his personality — the way it was on TV — because he’s a whole different person here,” redshirt freshman defensive tackle Keyshon Camp said.

UPDATE (11:45 AM)-

Pitt’s players split into positional groups for drills on Tuesday. The quarterbacks and wide receivers worked on a variety of different routes while the defensive and offensive lines focused on footwork and hand placement. Check out the sights and sounds of Pitt’s 13th practice of training camp.

UPDATE (11:30 AM)-

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke has made a change to the school’s strength and conditioning staff. Lyke has hired Tyler Carpenter to be the school’s head strength and conditioning coach.

Carpenter comes from Ohio State, where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for four years and on the staff for ten years.

“We are thrilled to add Tyler as the new leader of our strength and conditioning area,” Lyke said in a press release. “Tyler brings a tremendous amount of energy, experience and vision for how we train and develop our student-athletes. His passion is contagious and he loves the opportunity to impact our student-athletes’ lives. He will be a great resource for our coaches and student-athletes and will play a large role in the overall development of our athletic teams.”

Carpenter will work with the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the men’s cross-country team as well as coordinating efforts across the school’s 19 programs.

He replaces Kim King, who had held the position since 1998.

UPDATE (10:45 AM)-

It’s day 13 of Pitt training camp and head coach Pat Narduzzi wants to emphasize enthusiasm to keep the grind of the schedule and a hot August  day from dropping the spirits of his club.

He also took some time to speak about his memories of Frank Broyles, the legendary Arkansas head coach who passed away on Monday. The Broyles Award, named after Frank, is given to the nation’s top assistant coach. Narduzzi won the award in 2013 and got to meet Broyles at that time.

Hear all that and more from Narduzzi:



Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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