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Pitt in the Pros

Former Pitt Stars Earn NFL Opportunities with Undrafted Free Agent Deals

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Kenny Pickett and Damarri Mathis were selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos, respectively, in the 2022 NFL Draft, continuing a trend of top Pitt stars making the leap to the next level.

And while some of Pitt’s top players didn’t hear their names called at the podium at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend, that doesn’t mean their professional careers are over.

A handful of Pitt stars have earned undrafted free agent opportunities in the NFL.

Lucas Krull — New Orleans Saints

Lucas Krull may not have been invited to the NFL Combine, but he’s now found himself a spot in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints — signing as a UDFA.

Krull said it hurt to not get that opportunity, but it just made him want to prove that he belonged at the Combine and in the NFL. The snub of the Combine only served as motivation to come out Monday and showcase his ability as a big tight end.

With an official measurement of 6-foot-6 1/8, 253 pounds, with 9 3/8 inch hands, 33 5/8 inch arms and an 80-inch wingspan, Krull is a big guy. But he showed he’s not just big, he’s fast and athletic too.

With a 35-inch vertical and 4.54 40-yard dash time, his speed and explosiveness were on full display, and a 10-foot broad jump and 7.16 three-cone and 4.35 shuttle, he would’ve ranked as one of the top tight ends at the combine.

In his senior season at Pitt, Krull hauled in 38 balls for 451 yards and six touchdowns, finishing his college career with 48 catches for 565 yards and six touchdowns.

The Saints have a plethora of options at tight end, including Taysom Hill, Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett, so Krull will have to work to earn a roster spot.

Cal Adomitis — Cincinnati Bengals

While Cal Adomitis wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft, he will now look to earn a roster spot on the defending AFC champions.

While it may seem tough to stand out as a long snapper, Adomitis has done nothing but standout since arriving at Pitt out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Adomitis started every game between 2017-21, serving as Pitt’s short and long snapper. A team captain at Pitt, he made his impact on the field. And he made, arguably, an even greater effort off the field.

A 2021 AFCA Good Works Team member, named for his commitment to community service, Adomits’s “Cal’s Kids” initiative raised almost $115,000 for the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh — and it led to the shearing of his long locks.

Adomitis, the Mannelly Award winner as college football’s top long snapper, was the only long snapper in attendance in Indianapolis. Long snappers aren’t usually drafted, and Adomitis wasn’t worried about that. He believed he could play at the next level.

As the top long snapper in college football, look for Adomitis to carve out a spot with the Bengals.

Taysir Mack — San Francisco 49ers

Taysir Mack bet on himself to reach the NFL, and he’s now on the cusp as he’s signing an undrafted free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

After a freshman season at Indiana in 2017, Mack transferred to Pitt and emerged as a key target during Kenny’s Pickett career at Pitt. With 2,059 yards and 12 touchdowns on 138 receptions at Pitt, Mack put together one of the more productive receiving careers in program history.

Mack’s best season at Pitt came in 2019 when he caught 63 balls for 736 yards and three touchdowns, however, he also caught 25 balls for 557 yards and a touchdown in 2018 and 27 balls for 461 yards and three touchdowns in 2021.

A reliable target during his four years in Pittsburgh, he was able to make a sustained impact on intermediate and deep throws in Pitt’s offense. He played at the Collegiate Bowl in January, and his performance at Pitt’s Pro Day in March was solid.

With Deebo Samuel’s future in San Francisco uncertain, Mack will enter the fold with Brandon Aiyuk, Juan Jennings, Danny Gray and Ray-Ray McCloud, among others.

Keyshon Camp — Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Keyshon Camp wasn’t able to earn an undrafted free agent deal, but he’ll be headed to Florida for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie camp invite/tryout this summer.

Camp, a Lakeland, Florida native, battled injuries early in his Pitt career after arriving as a three-star defensive tackle in 2016, but he finally broke through with a strong sixth-year in 2021.

With 19 tackles (nine solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble and recovery while starting alongside Calijah Kancey, Camp flashed a disruptive run-stuffing game that could play well in the NFL.

Camp finishes his Pitt career with 59 tackles (35 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles and a recovery through five seasons of play in Pittsburgh.

While the Buccaneers have a strong defensive line depth, boasting star tackle Vita Vea at nose tackle, Camp will have the opportunity to work with one of the top run defenses in the NFL and attempt to leave his mark.

Johnny Petrishen — Tennessee Titans

While Johnny Petrishen wasn’t able to ride a strong super-senior season and Pro Day to a spot in the 2022 NFL Draft, he’s officially earned a chance at making an NFL roster.

The Tennessee Titans have given Petrishen an undrafted free agent chance, an opportunity that’s come on the heels of years of hard work and a perfect storm of events in the last year.

It was a long road for Petrishen. The Lower Burrell native and Pittsburgh Central Catholic star originally committed to Penn State. It was a turbulent time with a season-ending injury in 2016 and mainly special teams duty during his time in Happy Valley.

Petrishen transferred back home to Pittsburgh, enrolling at Pitt and after two seasons as a light reserve linebacker, finally making a switch from safety, he broke out in 2021 as a Star linebacker with 74 tackles (29 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown against Georgia Tech) and a pass defense.

NFL Insider Jordan Schultz was surprised at just how fast of an athlete Petrishen (6-foot-1, 230 pounds) was at his size, running a 4.53 40-yard dash and putting in a 38.5-inch vertical at Pitt’s Pro Day.

With the Titans having Davind Long Jr., Zack Cunningham, Chance Campbell and Monty Rice, among others, at inside linebacker, Petrishen will need to flash his potential at playing on the line and in coverage to make waves with the Titans.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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