PITTSBURGH — Pitt defeated Duke on Saturday, 28-26, on Senior Day at Acrisure Stadium.
The game marks the final time that many Panthers will take to their home turf in their collegiate careers. 30 seniors either chose to walk or not to walk for their final game at Acrisure Stadium, but many are still mulling the decision.
The NCAA chose to award players who were on programs an extra year for the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This allowed players the choice of sitting out that year without it counting toward their athletic eligibility.
What this rule ended up doing is that now, many players used it as an extra year to play. This makes it more difficult for fans, coaches and teammates to determine what players are staying or are going.
Regardless of the Pitt players that chose to walk or not, most have not decided their futures yet.
Pitt redshirt senior defensive lineman David Green forced a fumble against Duke in the fourth quarter that gave them the go-ahead touchdown, as redshirt junior defensive back Brandon Hill scooped it and ran into the end zone. He did not walk, but didn’t confirm what he plans to do next year.
“It’s still up in the air,” Green said in a press conference in the win. “We still got a couple games left. The time will come for that.”
Panthers redshirt senior defensive back Erick Hallett II did walk on Saturday, but did not say he’d definitely leave Pitt next season. He finished with five tackles, four solo, and made two pass breakups in the win over the Blue Devils.
“I’m still trying to finish the season,” Hallett said. I think I’ll finish the season out and make a final decision and decide what I’ll do.”
Senior Jared Wayne also has an extra year like Hallett and Green. As the main target for fellow senior, quarterback Kedon Slovis, Wayne leads Pitt with 807 receiving yards and is second with 47 receptions. He made a big touchdown catch in the end zone at the end of the first half to put Pitt up 20-14.
“No, that’s still up in the air right now,” Wayne said on his future. “I’m just focused on this team win and that’s all I can say about that.”
Pitt plays their final regular season game on the road against Miami next Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.