PITTSBURGH — It’s been well documented that Pitt’s offseason has been headlined by its defensive stars, who had chances to play in the NFL next season, but choose to return to Oakland and compete for Pat Narduzzi for at least one more go around.
Pitt has also had fairly little attrition through transfers, with just three players entering the portal since the end of the 2019 season and of them, only running back V’Lique Carter was a player that figured to be highly involved with Pitt’s plans for the 2020 season.
That has happened while at the same time, Pitt has maximized their potential for players to transfer out by redshirting players. A redshirt junior can be a huge asset to a team if he comes back for a fifth season, but can also bolt to a different team without penalty if he’s unsatisfied.
“We’ve had 42 graduates before they entered their senior year, and we haven’t lost many of them,” Pat Narduzzi said on Friday.
Pitt has lost its share of guys lower on the depth chart, but have been able to avoid taking the big hits, unlike other ACC programs. Wake Forest lost quarterback Jamie Newman to Georgia this offseason.
He says that the guys that get on the field for his team have been staying, and he likes to see that because that can be a tough situation for everyone involved.
With Damar Hamlin and Paris Ford returning for another season, Pitt lost fellow defensive backs Therran Coleman and Bricen Garner, who recently entered the transfer portal because he could see the writing on the wall for the amount of playing time that he would get.
But while Narduzzi doesn’t want to see players leave, Pitt already has doable backups in the safety room such as Erick Hallett and Brandon Hill that have both been around the program for a season or two.
“You’re always expecting that,” Narduzzi said about players looking at the depth chart and see where their opportunities are going to be in the upcoming season.
But Narduzzi isn’t complaining, with the number of main contributors that he will be returning in 2020 and that combined with the number of other returning stars has Narduzzi ready to go for the upcoming season.
“We’re fired up, it’s exciting,” Narduzzi said. “They all came back to get better. They made great decisions.”