Pitt has been linked with a couple of transfer quarterbacks in the “free agency” transfer portal this winter, but it appears that the links between one of them are starting to burn a bit brighter.
USC transfer Kedon Slovis had already been linked with Pitt due to his relationship with Pitt women’s soccer player Kate McKay, but another factor — a potentially lucrative factor — has been uncovered by HailToPitt on Twitter.
Slovis signed a name, image and likeness deal with American Eagle back in September, partnering with the clothing brand as a featured student-athlete with a national marketing campaign. And the American Eagle headquarters? Just so happens to be in Pittsburgh’s SouthSide Works complex — just down the street from Pitt’s football facilities on the south side.
American Eagle partners with USC’s @Kedonslovis in a new program for student-athletes. Each athlete @AEO signs will be featured on national marketing channels and on its website + blog with a focus on what they wear and the activities they enjoy #AEAthleticDept #NIL pic.twitter.com/zzqsCJU8pQ
— Student Athlete NIL (@AthleteNIL) September 23, 2021
Of course, this is a lot of speculation, but with a credible link to Pitt as McKay has spent the past couple of seasons as a student-athlete and a credible link to Pittsburgh as an American Eagle partner, Slovis does have opportunities galore in Pittsburgh without even mentioning the football aspect.
With Kenny Pickett on the way out, and a group of largely inexperienced quarterbacks led by Nick Patti still on the roster, Slovis would have the opportunity to compete for the starting spot on an offense that returns a lot of talented playmakers — including the Biletnikoff Award winner in Jordan Addison.
While Slovis’s time at USC ended on a sour note, ceding the starting role to Jaxson Dart, he did have success while in SoCal. Slovis excelled early, passing for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns as a freshman in 2019. He played well in USC’s Covid-shortened 2020 season, throwing for 1,921 yards and 17 touchdowns, but he lost the starting spot as a junior this season.
With 7,576 passing yards and 58 touchdowns in 27 games at USC, Slovis flashed his gun-slinging abilities and production as a first team All-Pac 12 quarterback. But his drawbacks come in large part from his inability to offer much on the ground.
A change of scenery could be just what Slovis needs to reignite his NFL draft stock, and Pitt would offer a chance to succeed a future first round draft pick who just boosted his own draft stock immeasurably this season. Although Slovis will be in high demand throughout the cycle, Pitt appears to be a potential landing spot.