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Pitt in the Pros

Former Pitt DT Shakir Soto Selected by the New Orleans Breakers in USFL Draft



A Pitt to New Orleans pipeline has begun flow with former Pitt defensive tackle Shakir Soto making his way to the New Orleans Breakers.

The Breakers selected Soto with the eighth pick of the 24th round of the 2022 USFL Draft, reuniting him with former defensive line teammate James Folston Jr. The pair shared the field together in 2015 and 2016.

Soto, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from G.A.R. Memorial in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, jumped in for Pitt right off the bat and played as a key reserve along the defensive line from 2013-16.

In 42 games at Pitt, Soto piled up 120 tackles (74 solo), 18 tackles for loss, 7.5 tackles for loss and defended a pass. As a senior, he broke out with 46 tackles (30 solo), 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and a pass defense upon making the switch to defensive tackle.

Originally a three-star recruit out of G.A.R. Memorial, according to 247Sports, Soto bounced around NFL practice squads at the conclusion of his college career before playing a season with the BC Lions in the CFL.

The Breakers selected Northern Colorado quarterback Kyle Sloter, Georgia’s Davin Bellamy and Georgia Tech’s Anree Saint-Amour in the first three rounds of the draft and have been selecting further talent to fill out its squad before the season begins in April.

The 2022 USFL season, the first season since the 1985 season, will begin on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. with a matchup featuring the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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