Is the third time the charm? It is in the case of Phil Jurkovec and Pitt.
Jurkovec chose Notre Dame out of high school, fulfilling a dream of playing for the Fighting Irish. That was the first miss. When he eventually left Notre Dame, he was in the transfer portal less than a week before committing to Boston College. Second miss.
When the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Pine-Richland alum entered the transfer portal earlier this week, he had to wait on Kedon Slovis to make a decision. Slovis entered the transfer portal earlier today, and it opened the door for Jurkovec to commit to Pitt. The third time was the charm.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported that Jurkovec has committed to transfer to Pitt, reuniting with one-time offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. and return home to Pittsburgh.
It’s been a whirlwind college career for Jurkovec, who was a consensus four-star quarterback out of Pine-Richland, ranked as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country, and he has just one more college season to impress the NFL.
Jurkovec spent two seasons at Notre Dame originally, backing up Ian Book and attempting just 18 pass attempts — completing 12 for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
He entered the transfer portal on a Wednesday in January 2020, visited Boston College a couple of days later and committed to BC that Sunday.
In three seasons at Boston College, Jurkovec completed 404-of-679 passing attempts (59.5%) for 5,183 yards with 35 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. And he added 429 yards and nine touchdowns on 195 attempts.
His debut season at Boston College, with Frank Cignetti Jr. as his offensive coordinator, Jurkovec completed 61% of his pass attempts for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions — adding 150 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
“Coach Cignetti has been great. What he brings to us is NFL scheme, really an NFL style, which I think makes us a little bit different than every other team in the ACC,” Jurkovec said last July. “With that comes a learning process, so that’s taken some time for us. But now that we’re in year two, he’s really guiding us, and we’re feeling a lot more comfortable with it.”
The 2021 season didn’t go according to plan for BC, as he missed games to injury, but he still threw for 914 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 322 yards and five touchdowns in six games.
The 2022 season wasn’t good for Jurkovec or Boston College though, unable to create opportunities for himself on a poor team, completing 59% of his pass attempts for 1,711 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games.
Jurkovec isn’t the pure passer that even Slovis is, but he’s a gritty, strong-armed quarterback with the ability to extend plays using his legs — if given the chance. His history of injuries over the last two seasons isn’t encouraging, but he will play for a stronger offensive line at Pitt.
As a Western Pennsylvania native, it’s the sort of (potential) fairy tale ending if he’s able to take Pitt back to another ACC title game and build himself back up as an NFL Draft prospect.
Jurkovec has one season of eligibility remaining, he will have one season in Pittsburgh.