Mick Burnett and Jared McGill, the projected 149 and 174 pound starters for this upcoming season, have been removed from the Pitt Wrestling roster and are intending to transfer to another school.
Burnett is to be a redshirt freshman for the 2021-2022 season. He was a promising prospect, with an impressive Ohio high school career, and some decent results from last season, including at the U23 World Team Trials. He was likely to wrestle-off against Luke Kemerer for the spot, who should now be the default starter. Kemerer has started most of the regular season for the past two years, but has never represented Pitt at ACCs. He is 22-20 in his career, including a ranked win over Ed Scott of North Carolina State last year.
174 is a little more complicated. McGill’s void leaves several options. Luca Augustine, a true freshman from Waynesburg is projected as the long term starter at this weight, but was planning on redshirting this season. Hunter Kernan, a Bethel Park native, is the only other roster member at this weight. Does he go, and Augustine redshirts as planned? Or perhaps is there an unforeseen weight class change in the cards? These questions will be answered in time.
Jared McGill provided PSN with this statement: “Things didn’t work out here at Pitt. I wish things would’ve worked out differently. I’m going to find a new place and a good fit for me. I’m excited for the future and for what’s to come.”
Losing two starters before the season even begins is hard to spin as good news. In fact, for this season, it is most certainly bad news, and will have a material impact on Pitt’s team aspirations at ACCs and NCAAs. A silver lining moving forward however, could be increased scholarship money available for the Class of 2023. Pitt is on a tear right now recruiting wise, with an incredible Class of 2022 wrapped up. The WPIAL is pumping out several big names in 2023, and maybe now there will be enough financial resources available to keep them local.