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Pitt Football Camp Notes: 8/22



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UPDATE (2:30 PM)-

Pat Narduzzi was asked about an update on safety Damar Hamlin, who he said earlier in camp was “as healthy as he’s been at Pitt.” Narduzzi repeated that sentiment on Wednesday, but Hamlin remains a limited participant in practice sessions and when asked about the options at free safety, defensive backs coach Renaldo Hill has deferred to Jazzee Stocker and Bricen Garner.

If Hamlin is as healthy as he’s been at Pitt, then the Panthers are being a lot more careful with him now that they were last year when he played limited minutes late in the season after missing a lot of time with an injury.

“We’re just taking it easy and taking it slow and don’t want to mess anything up,” Narduzzi said. “It’s a very, I don’t want to say serious deal that he had, but we just don’t want to go backwards. We’re going forwards right now.”

It seems unlikely that Hamlin will be able to unseat any of the starters between now and the first game against Youngstown State. With Jordan Whitehead returning for Week 4 at safety and Phillipie Motley likely returning at some point at corner, there won’t be any easy paths to starting time for Hamlin. If he’s going to make an impact this season, he’s going to have to outperform an incumbent to do so, and that’s going to be tough to do until he gets 100 percent healthy.

Defensive coordinator Josh Conklin spoke after practice on Wednesday and talked about the uphill battle for Hamlin, the new speed at linebacker and how things are shaking out in the secondary. Here’s more from Conklin and linebacker Seun Idowu.

UPDATE (2:00 PM)-

Max Browne wasn’t the only Pitt transfer quarterback named a starter on Tuesday. Former Pitt passer Tom Savage was officially named the opening day starter for the Houston Texans, as well.

Savage started for Pitt in 2013 and threw for 2958 yards and 21 touchdowns after coming over from Rutgers. Savage also sent his well wishes to Browne.

UPDTE (1:00 PM)-

— David Hague/PSN

#Pitt WR/KR Quadree Henderson has been named a first-team preseason All-American by the Associated Press.

Henderson was selected as an all-purpose player. He was also selected by The Sporting News.

UPDATE (12:30 PM)-

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced after practice that redshirt senior Max Browne has earned the starting quarterback job.

Browne, a transfer from USC, had been battling redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci.

More to come from the South Side.

UPDATE (12:00 PM)-

Freshman Cal Adomitis seems to have the inside track on the job for both of the team’s snapping jobs. He’s been working with the first team on both the field goal and punt cover units. Tuesday, Adomitis made a nice play to down a punt inside the five yard line after working his way downfield, a good sign for a young player listed at just 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds.

On the other end of the punt team, true freshman Paris Ford was catching punts in drills during his second practice. Ford was still not wearing leg or hip pads, an indication he was not a full participant in practice.

Paris Ford stands with wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman during a punt drill. — ALAN SAUNDERS

Another interesting player on the punt team was the presence of redshirt freshman quarterback Thomas MacVittie, who was working with the punt block team. Backup quarterback Manny Stocker worked with the kick cover teams a year ago, so it’s not an unprecedented move for Pat Narduzzi to utilize his best athletes on special teams regardless of position.

UPDATE (11:30 AM)-

New kicker Jake Scarton got some work in on Tuesday, alternating with Ian Troost on the second-team field goal unit.

The first team specialist group had freshman long snapper Cal Adomitis snapping to senior punter Ryan Winslow, who was holding for Alex Kessman. The second unit had senior Nate Bossory snapping to quarterback Ben DiNucci for Scarton and Troost.

Check out the field goal units as part of Tuesday’s sights and sounds.

UPDATE (11:00 AM)-

In addition to Paris Ford, Pitt added two more players to the training camp roster for Week 4.

Walk-ons Ryan Sliwoski and Jake Scarton have been added to the team.

Sliwoski, a junior, will wear No. 47 and is listed as a fullback, where the team has been dealing with the absence of starter George Aston. Fellow walk-ons Colton Lively and Erik Sellers are the other two fullbacks on the team. Sliwoski is a Hempfield grad. He played wide receiver and was a long jumper for the Spartans.

Scarton will add to the team’s kicking depth behind starter Alex Kessman. Backup Ian Troost has not performed well this fall. Scarton is a true freshman out of Hickory High School in Hermitage, Pa. He’ll wear No. 92.

Pitt now has 109 players on the roster. Because Pitt has not yet started classes, that means that the Panthers have at least four players that are not participating in practice in order to comply with the 105-man roster limit.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi has already addressed the injuries of Aston, Phillipie Motley and Tre Tipton.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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