Between graduation and transfers, Pitt has plenty of players to replace for the 2018 season but the biggest loss could be left tackle Brian O’Neil.
Who will have the responsibility of protecting the blindside of Pitt’s starting quarterback?
That’s yet to be determined but it’s sure looking like Pat Narduzzi wants someone with experience as an option.
For a couple of weeks we’ve been telling you about Pitt’s interest in Rutgers graduate Marcus Applefield. He’s scheduled to make an official visit to Pitt at the end of the month.
Last night, PSN learned of another player that Pitt has serious in and that’s Rice offensive tackle Calvin Anderson.
Anderson (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) is leaving Rice as a graduate transfer and Pitt is one of his many options. The big left tackle has experience, having started 36 consecutive games for the Owls.
Last night, PSN caught up with Anderson to find out more about him and to get his thoughts on the Panthers.
“They reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I had my release and if so, to send it to them. Then today I had a chance to seriously talk with them and man was that fun. I talked with Coach Peterson about what the o-line looks like, what the team looks like and how I’d fit in and the opportunities I’d have in graduate school. They seemed fired up about me and for me, it’s hard not to be fired up about Pitt football,” said Anderson.
From his conversation, I asked Anderson what stood out or impressed him most.
”I’ve talked with a whole bunch of schools already and here’s why Pitt is pretty close if not at the top for me. When Coach Peterson was explaining to me how I could fit in not only as a football player but I could fit in with the players on the team. That meant a lot to me because football is great game but it’s more than just about football. For me it’s going to be about trying to fit in especially as a grad transfer. You never want to feel like you’ll be ostracized and that’s not how he made me feel it would be there.”
“Plus, playing at Heinz Field and having that connection with the Steelers is a big deal to me. My next goal now that I finished my undergraduate degree, I’m completely dedicating myself to the 2019 NFL Draft. The talk with Coach Peterson meant a lot to me and him believing he can help me get to the next level”
If Pitt is to land Anderson, they’re going to have to battle some of the top programs in the country.
Anderson tells PSN that the following teams have reached out to him: Texas (meeting with them today), Auburn (meeting with him today), Michigan (Jim Harbaugh visiting Monday), TCU (this weekend), Oklahoma (next week), West Virginia, Duke and Purdue.
As far as Pitt, Anderson tells me that they are coming to see him on Tuesday.
With so many quality programs in pursuit of him, it’s not going to be easy for Anderson to make a decision. I asked him about his timeline.
“I want to make sure I give this my full thought. It’s a short amount of time that I’m going to be at this program, probably about six months, so I want to make sure it’s the right decision,” said Anderson.
“I’ll be making visits as soon as I possibly can and I haven’t decided where my five visits will be but it’s very likely Pitt will be one of them. The very latest I’d like to decide by is March 25th, which is my birthday.”