PITTSBURGH — At the beginning of training camp, Pitt moved walk-on defensive end Jim Medure down the hall to the tight ends room.
It was Medure’s third move in four seasons at Pitt. The Neshannock grad started out as a linebacker, but mostly contributed on special teams, playing in 11 games in 2017.
On Wednesday, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced another adjustment for the third-year New Castle native: he’d been put on scholarship.
“Jimmy’s worked his tail off, whether it was at linebacker, it was at d-line, or after spring ball, we moved him to tight end, and he’s made an impact,” Narduzzi said. “He took the summer, spent all his time learning the tight end position, and he’s made an impact out there. He was a guy coming out of spring ball, we said could earn a scholarship at defensive end. When we moved him, I thought maybe we’d set him back from earning one.”
It turns out, Medure has taken to tight end just fine, and Wednesday, Pitt graduate assistant and former fellow linebacker Mike Carprara was the one to break the news to Medure, with a special twist.
“I’m a really big Batman fan,” Medure explained. “I have this replica suit that’s movie quality. It’s kinda nuts. They got into my room with my brother — I live with my brother up on the hill — and they stole it from me. … We were watching a team highlight of players in the NFL. After the video, they showed the clip at the end of The Dark Knight where he’s running and Commissioner Gordon is the overlay on it. It’s really nerdy, but then Caprara came down dressed in my batsuit and handed me the letter. It was really funny.”
"Because sometimes the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes, people deserve more. Sometimes, people deserve to have their faith rewarded." – The Dark Knight
— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) August 22, 2018
Medure said that he immediately called his dad after getting the news, and that it was a bit surreal to be a part of a ceremony he’s witnessed many times. Pitt’s depth chart is full of former walk-ons from fullback George Aston and linebacker Seun Idowu to center Jimmy Morrissey, long snapper Cal Adomitis and kicker Alex Kessman. Each time one of those players earned their scholarship, Medure was among the biggest cheerleaders, and now it was their turn to return the favor.
Narduzzi and Caprara made the announcement at the team’s meeting before practice, giving Medure and the team a boost heading into practice No. 17 of training camp.
“I talked about the grind that practice becomes, but when our guys see a guy that’s worked so hard and watch all the sweat that guy’s put into it on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, when you see the video and the impact it made on the team, that shows you everything you need to see,” Narduzzi said.
Medure has also drawn positive reviews from tight end coach Tim Salem, who desperately needed the depth that Medure has provided in his tight end room. With Grant Carrigan banged up, Medure has been working in behind co-starters Tyler Sear and Will Gragg.
“If Jimmy Medure was playing tomorrow, I would sleep tonight,” Salem said. “That’s a confidence thing from a coach. I can go to bed saying I have all the confidence in the world in the kid.”
Medure is a biology major and hopes to become a pediatrician someday, so his scholarship will certainly help pay for schooling that he plans to continue beyond his playing days. And he’s not done with his batsuit, either.
“When it’s all done, I hope to volunteer at Children’s [Hospital] dressed as Batman,” Medure said. “I see that all the time and I think that’s a special thing to do. That’s the plan.”