If Jared Wayne decides to leave Pitt this offseason, that’s when Tiquan Underwood’s wide receiving corps will be in some trouble.
With Jaden Bradley entering the transfer portal earlier this season and Jaylon Barden entering the transfer portal tonight, Pitt’s depth entering next season is currently very thin.
That’s gonna change, and while Bradley and Barden were once expected to be key pieces in the future, their future lies elsewhere now. Bradley’s blend of size and moxie and Barden’s pure speed paired well together in an inside-outside duo, but it didn’t quite work out for either.
Barden’s transfer portal entrance isn’t a surprise. It’s more surprising he waited until the end of the season to do so. It’s disappointing that it didn’t work out in Pittsburgh, but that’s college football.
It remains to be seen what Wayne will decide to do though. Wayne’s looming decision regarding his ability to return to Pitt next season or test his luck in the NFL Draft is the biggest storyline.
Wayne accounted for 28% of Pitt’s receptions, 40% of Pitt’s total receiving yards and 42% of Pitt’s total receiving touchdowns this season. So, he’s been pretty important for Pitt quarterbacks — all three used this year.
If Wayne decides to test the NFL Draft water, leaving along with Barden and Bradley, it doesn’t bode well for Pitt.
Without Bradley and Barden, and considering Wayne has a big decision to make regarding the use of extra eligibility, Pitt has just three wide receivers who are set to return next season that actually caught passes this season.
Konata Mumpfield and Bub Means are both previous transfer portal additions, brought in to start this season, and it’s likely that both will return as starters next season — despite up-and-down seasons in 2022. And Gavin Thomson, who was put on scholarship before the season, caught just one pass this season.
Myles Alston was targeted once this season, and he was unable to haul in the attempt.
Pitt has two true freshmen wide receivers on the roster in the form of Addison Copeland III and Che Nwabuko, but neither played in a game this season. And it remains to be seen what the impact of incoming 2023 three-star wide receiver commits Lamar Seymore and Kenny Johnson will have next season.
It’s highly likely that Pitt will add another wide receiver to its class of 2023, and it’s a certainty that Pitt will add a couple of wide receivers from the transfer portal once again. Pitt’s wide receiving corps will look very different next season, and it will take time to change it, but this is where it currently stands.
Depth Chart, scholarship wide receivers, as of now
WR — Jared Wayne (uncertain) – Myles Alston – Addison Copeland
WR — Konata Mumpfield – Che Nwabuko
WR — Bub Means – Gavin Thomson