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Pitt’s Calijah Kancey to Miss Bowl Game, No Word on Future Plans



Former Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

It appears that the injury that forced Calijah Kancey to miss Pitt’s season finale against Miami was season-ending.

Kancey announced via Twitter Friday morning that he will miss Pitt’s bowl game as he rehabs from injury, but he will be around the team to help prepare for the eventual opponent.

Kancey made no mention of his plans following this season, when he is expected to be a top defensive tackle prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Kancey left Pitt’s Nov. 19 win over Duke with an undisclosed injury in the third quarter and subsequently didn’t make the trip to Miami last weekend, missing the chance to play one last time as a Panther in his hometown.

“Thanks to the best trainers in the country at Pitt,” Kancey wrote on Twitter, “I know they will help me get back to 100% very soon.”

If this is the end for Kancey in a Pitt uniform, he put together a senior season — and a Pitt legacy — to remember. He became Pitt’s second player to earn ACC Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week.

“I am extremely thankful and humbled to receive this incredible honor from the ACC,” Kancey said in the Pitt press release. “I share this award with all of my teammates and coaches. They make me better every day, on and off the field. I’m so proud to wear the Blue and Gold with them.”

Kancey has been one of the best defenders in college football this season, without needing award recognition to confirm his status as an elite defensive game wrecker, but that hasn’t stopped national recognition from rolling in.

With 31 tackles (17 solo), 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks this season, Kancey finished second in the ACC in tackles for loss and third in sacks as an interior defensive lineman — despite missing a game and a half. According to Pro Football Focus, Kancey is the ninth highest-rated defender in college football this season.

In his Pitt career, through nearly three seasons, Kancey has recorded 91 tackles (52 solo), 34.5 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Kancey is also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophies, awarded to the best defensive player and best lineman in college football, respectively. And he was named to the All-ACC first-team earlier this week.

Pro Football Focus named Kancey to its All-American team, the first of what will likely be many All-American honors, and PFF also has him listed as the 45th-ranked prospect on its 2023 Big Board.

“At 6-foot, 280 pounds, Kancey may not tick the physical boxes from the defensive tackle position, but I still want this guy rushing the passer,” PFF’s Mike Renner wrote. “Even though he’s undersized, he’s still a high-end athlete for the position who can likely overcome those concerns.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

Get well CK … enjoy all the award hardware. H2P !

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 year ago

He’s off to the NFL. Defensive player of the year…what more can realistically be done at the college level.

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