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Pitt Football

Pitt Linebacker Leslie Smith Enters NCAA Transfer Portal



For the third time during this 2021 season, a linebacker has transferred from the Pitt football program.

Following the departures of Wendall Davis and A.J. Roberts, redshirt sophomore Leslie Smith has decided to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. Smith was a three-star recruit and the first player to commit in Pitt’s Class of 2019. Smith is from talent rich-Northwestern High School in Miami, Florida.

A combination of depth in front of him and an injury really prevent Smith from getting on the field at Pitt. In 2019, he played in four games but missed all of 2020 with an injury. This season, Smith got on the field in a reserve role against UMass, Tennessee, Western Michigan and New Hampshire. In those four games, he registered six tackles, with five of them coming in the New Hampshire game.

Assuming Cam Bright makes the decision to return in 2022, Smith likely would been his backup at the Star outside linebacker spot. As things stand now, Aydin Henningham and 2022 commit Marquan Pope will be in position to fill that role and earn playing time.

With this latest transfer, Pitt currently stands at 88 scholarships for 2022, pending super senior decisions. That number is three over the NCAA limit of 85.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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9 months ago

Henningway came to Pitt as a receiver with the same pedigree as Jordan Addison. I’m surprised to see he is now a linebacker.
How has he adjusted to playing linebacker?
Who decided and why to switch positions for him?

One other question?
If bright and Dennis are going to be back to start at linebacker who would be the third starter?
Would it be either Bengally kamara or Solomon deshields?

9 months ago

Not surprised to see this or the earlier Roberts entrance into the portal. They have at least two commits coming in at LB plus Bangally Kamara among other regulars at the position. I figured we might see Smith look for an opportunity elsewhere.

I believe they were also looking at Naquan Brown to play linebacker at one point but could be mistaken. Thought I read that somewhere at the beginning of the season.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jeff
Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
9 months ago

That’s an addition by subtraction.

Pitt Fan in White Oak
Pitt Fan in White Oak
9 months ago

I wonder if the change at LB Coach from 2020 to 2021 has led to these transfers. If so, then it’s too early to tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.


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