PITTSBURGH — As has been tradition since head coach Pat Narduzzi arrived in Pittsburgh, the Pitt players chose their teams on Thursday for the 2019 Blue-Gold Game, which will be held at Heinz Field on Saturday.
This year, the captains made their picks on Thursday, with seniors Saleem Brightwell and Tre Tipton picking for the blue team, which will be coached by offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and seniors Amir Watts and Maurice French picking for the gold team, which will be coached by safeties coach Corey Sanders.
The draft goes position by position, with the teams alternated which position they’d like to take. Safety went off the board first, with senior Jazzee Stocker going as the No. 1 overall pick to the gold team. Paris Ford was taken second. Ffrench said he wanted Stocker out of his way.
“I know who I’m going up against,” the slot receiver said. “I’m trying to have a big game. … He’s a good one to go up against.”
Here’s how the rest of the defensive picks shook out:
On offense, there were some surprises, as quarterback went until the sixth round before the blue team snatched up starter Kenny Pickett. Blue also had the first pick at running back, where Brightwell and Tipton selected V’Lique Carter first and also got Todd Sibley after gold picked A.J. Davis.
Here’s how the offensive units will line up:
Five Pitt players have been ruled out of the game. Safety Damar Hamlin, cornerback Dane Jackson, center Jimmy Morrissey, running back Mychale Salahuddin and defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado will not play. Middle linebacker Elias Reynolds is still questionable to participate. Narduzzi said none of the injured players is expected to miss time this fall.
As usual, Pitt will have honorary coaches for the game. Two-time reigning NFL defensive player of the year Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams will coach the blue team. Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy will coach the gold team.