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Sights and Sounds: Intensity in the Air as Pitt Training Camp Moves Indoors



PITTSBURGH — Pitt football is officially located on the South Side for the time being, with the team moving into a hotel near the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and as head coach Pat Narduzzi said, camp is in full swing.

Practice moved indoors Friday, after a day off on Thursday, with a few new banners adorning the inside of the indoor complex signifying Pitt’s 2021 ACC championship and the history of Pitt’s major trophy winners. If the intensity of Friday’s portion of practice available to the media is any indication, Pitt wants to add a few more banners.

Secondary coach Archie Collins ran his drills with an added level of fire, and the defensive backs responded in kind. P.J. O’Brien, after a nice showing on Wednesday during drills available to the media, was especially violent. The 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore is perhaps Erick Hallett’s top backup at field safety so far this summer.

The linebacker battle to replace the starters at both Money and Star linebacker has been Pitt’s biggest defensive storyline throughout the entire offseason, and it’s only continuing to take shape at camp. SirVocea Dennis is locked in at Mike, even though he can play all three spots in the scheme.

Bangally Kamara at Money and Solomon DeShields at Star emerged during the spring practices, and Aydin Henningham and Tylar Wiltz have both impressed so far this summer. Having options isn’t exactly the worst option to have, especially considering Pitt’s linebacking depth was a concern just a few months ago.

It isn’t the deepest unit on the squad, but when you have Shayne Simon transfer in and already look like a veteran in the system, it’s clear Pitt could be way worse off.

Samuel Okunlola, Sean FitzSimmons — and Ryland Gandy in the secondary — have impressed the coaching staff since enrolling early out of high school, but they’re all still very, very, very new to the system. The learning curve is steep, but with defensive line coach Charlie Partridge’s watchful, it’s likely sooner rather than later.

Pitt’s defensive linemen are big. They’ve always been a stacked unit, but this unit in particularly looks bigger, stronger and faster than even a few months ago during the spring sessions.

And for some offensive highlights, here’s some of the wide receivers catching balls from Eli Kosanovich. I’ll be very interested to watch how Che Nwabuko integrates into the system, along with early enrollee Addison Copeland.

Jared Wayne and Konata Mumpfield are legit, but I’m expecting a big season from Jaden Bradley. He’s been working with wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood to channel his passion into production on the field, and he certainly looks the part of a Power Five wide receiver at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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9 months ago

Love it!

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