It’s been a turbulent time for Pitt quarterbacks in recent days, weeks and months. Kenny Pickett is officially Pitt’s highest-drafted quarterback in program history, Pitt’s quarterback of the future has officially committed and a few of Pitt’s backups have hit the transfer portal.
Pitt is in a good position when it comes to quarterbacks right now, although a very, very healthy depth chart has definitely thinned out since the end of the 2021 season. Pat Narduzzi still hasn’t named a starting quarterback for the 2022 season, but Pitt legitimately has two starting-caliber quarterbacks competing.
With Jordan Addison entering the transfer portal, he’s taken some of the shine off of Pitt’s quarterback competition, but it’s still the top storyline heading into the 2022 season.
Quarterbacking is a fickle business, and Pitt’s depth could change dramatically in a very quick fashion, but here’s how Pitt’s depth currently stands.
Kedon Slovis (Sr.), Nick Patti (R-Sr.), Nate Yarnell (R-Fr.)
With Davis Beville and Joey Yellen entering the transfer portal this spring, Pitt is left with three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Both will look for increased playing time elsewhere, something that wasn’t going to happen at Pitt.
Kedon Slovis and Nick Patti are battling for the starting spot, the USC transfer and longtime Pitt backup competing to fill Pickett’s shoes. Both impressed during spring ball, Narduzzi refusing to give an inch when it came to one or the other taking the lead, but it’s likely that Slovis is the Week 1 starter.
With Slovis and Patti in place, Pitt is set. And Nate Yarnell, a three-star recruit out of Lake Travis, Texas in the class of 2021, will have the chance to rack up scout team reps and grow in Pitt’s system.
Kedon Slovis*, Nick Patti*, Nate Yarnell, Kenny Minchey (Fr.)
2023 is where Pitt’s quarterback depth gets interesting.
If Slovis takes 2022 by storm, regaining his prior NFL Draft hype from his time at USC, he could certainly try his luck in the 2023 NFL Draft. But he also has the chance to use his Covid season to return for another season.
Patti will also be in an interesting decision as he could use his Covid eligibility to return for a sixth season — either at Pitt or elsewhere depending upon the outcome of the quarterback battle.
Their decisions will determine Pitt’s quarterback room in 2023, but Yarnell will also be coming into his own as a third-year player in the system. If the 6-foot-6 signal-caller makes strides over the next year, he could be an option if called upon.
Or, it could be a surprise early impact from 2023 four-star commit Kenny Minchey (Hendersonville, Georgia). Minchey would be thrust into action as a true freshman, but his high school head coach believes he’ll challenge for the opportunity.
Narduzzi has been vocal about only taking one quarterback in the class of 2023, but circumstances would also dictate that Pitt looks into the transfer portal to acquire some experienced depth for this position.
Nate Yarnell, Kenny Minchey
Pitt could certainly add a quarterback to the class of 2024, either through the transfer portal or out of high school, but Pitt’s two younger quarterbacks could be in line to take the reins.
Yarnell will be a redshirt junior by 2024, having spent a handful of seasons in the program, while highly-touted Minchey will be entering his second season in the program. A quarterback of Minchey’s caliber certainly could be expected to make a leap between his first and second college seasons.
It’s tough to speculate about quarterback when looking as far ahead as 2024, but Pitt could do much worse than Yarnell and Minchey.