PITTSBURGH — Three weeks of training camp practices came to a close on Thursday, as Pitt wrapped up its 2021 training camp, the seventh under head coach Pat Narduzzi.
The Panthers will have their traditional kickoff luncheon on Friday, during which the team’s 2021 captains will be announced, and then after a light weekend, preparations will begin in earnest for the season opener against UMass.
Narduzzi and company didn’t have a ton of work to do in identifying new starters this camp with a dizzying number of returning veterans thanks to the NCAA’s eligibility waiver from the 2020 season.
Instead, the work of the last three weeks has largely been about fine-tuning his group and getting the team to gel, a process that Narduzzi feels largely happy about.
“I think our kids are locked in,” Narduzzi said. “I love the team we have. I think our chemistry is good. We’re tight-knit. … I think we’re a heck of a lot closer than we were last summer.”
The other mandate for the three weeks of camp was to keep those veterans healthy, and Narduzzi said the team has accomplished that, as well, with no major absences entering the season.
“We have minor bumps and bruises where guys are out,” Narduzzi said. “Nothing major. Nothing major and we want to keep it that way and get through game week.”
One of the last pieces of training camp business is usually topping off the scholarship rolls and that happened on Thursday morning, as redshirt junior defensive end Chris Maloney was placed on scholarship after spending his first three seasons at Pitt as a walk-on.
Here’s Maloney and company pushing the sled around at Pitt’s practice today: