PITTSBURGH — For the first time under head coach Pat Narduzzi, four Pitt players were selected as winners of the 2019 Ed Conway Award, which is presented annually to the most improved offensive and defensive players of spring practice.
This year’s recipients are redshirt junior linebacker Phil Campbell III, redshirt sophomore safety Paris Ford, senior wide receiver Tre Tipton and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Carter Warren.
After missing all of 2017 with a knee injury, Tipton had five catches for 42 yards in 2018, and is one of three seniors battling for playing time at wide receiver.
“We are looking for a big senior year from Tre,” Narduzzi said in a press release. “He is fully healthy and, with continued progress, can be a huge asset in our passing game this fall.”
Warren emerged as a starting option during the spring after beginning practices on the second team. Pitt will be replacing two players at tackle after the graduation of Alex Bookser and Stefano Millin, and Warren has put himself in a position to be one of those starters with a strong spring.
“Carter really seized his opportunities this spring,” Narduzzi said. “He did an outstanding job and put himself in position to earn a starting job at tackle.”
Campbell made 26 tackles as a safety in 2018, but has moved to linebacker this season and is pushing Chase Pine and Cam Bright at the outside backer spots.
“Phil really showed playmaking ability at linebacker this spring,” Narduzzi said. “His speed and athleticism will be great strengths at that position.
Ford also made a position move, though his started during practice for the 2018 Sun Bowl. Ford is back at safety after spending 2018 as a corner, and he’s looking to be one of the players that replaces graduated 2018 starter Dennis Briggs at boundary safety.
“Paris made outstanding strides this entire offseason,” Narduzzi said. “He matured and developed into a real force for us defending the run and pass.”
Previous winners of the award under Narduzzi have been Connor Dintino and Anthony McKee in 2018, Jaryd Jones-Smith and Elijah Zeise in 2017, Jester Weah and Shakir Soto in 2016 and Dontez Ford and Tyrique Jarrett in 2015.