Pitt’s crowded backup quarterback position got a lot more complicated late Friday night, as news broke that Jeff George, Jr., former Illinois passer and son of NFL quarterback Jeff George, Sr., was transferring to Pitt.
George, Jr., a 6-foot-3, 205-pound passer, had spent his first three seasons at Illinois, his father’s alma mater, playing in 11 games and starting nine over the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He threw for 1,743 yards and had 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
After graduating from Illinois in three season, George decided to transfer to Michigan. He walked-on as part of a four-player battle in Ann Arbor that became a five-player mix when Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson was declared eligible. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh named Patterson his starting quarterback on Monday.
George will come to Pitt with two seasons to play and be immediately eligible, though he’ll enter another crowded quarterback situation. Starter Kenny Pickett has been backed up by junior college transfer Ricky Town and true freshman Nick Patti, in that order, through much of camp.
Redshirt sophomore walk on Jake Zilinskas and junior college transfer Tyler Zelinski have not practiced much this training camp, leaving scout team duties to freshmen walk-ons Justin Sliwoski (Hempfield) and Jake Cortez (Peters Township).
George, who was a scholarship player at Illinois, had walked on at Michigan. It’s not immediately clear whether George will be on scholarship at Pitt.
After the Panthers place walk-ons Jim Medure and Kellen McAlone on scholarship this week, the team sits exactly at the 85-scholarship limit.
George is an Indianapolis native. He was rated as a consensus two-star prospect out of Warren Central High School in 2014. Illinois was his only Division I offer, according to Rivals and 247 Sports.
George’s father, Jeff George, Sr., played at Illinois in the late 1980s and had a 14-season NFL career after being the first overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1990 NFL Draft.
News of George’s transfer was first reported by The Wolverine Lounge.