SirVocea Dennis accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl last week, so it was assumed he was headed to the NFL, but he’s officially confirmed it.
He announced on Twitter that he will forego playing in the Sun Bowl and begin to prepare for the NFL Draft.
“I want to sincerely thank you for all the wonderful opportunities, experiences and memories over the past four years. You have made Pittsburgh feel like home and I will miss playing for you in such an electric atmosphere.”
Forever, Hail to Pitt! pic.twitter.com/G1stbt4K0e
— Voss (@Sirvocea) December 19, 2022
Dennis has been a key cog in Pitt’s defense for three seasons, starting at Mike linebacker over the last three seasons, but even that understates the impact he’s had at Pitt.
The 2022 team captain led Pitt with 94 tackles (42 solo) this season, along with 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, an interception three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. According to Pro Football Focus, Dennis is the fourth highest-graded linebacker in college football this season.
Dennis recorded 29 pressures this season, an even more impressive feat as an inside linebacker, which is fifth-best among all linebackers in the country. And he’s missed just four tackles this season, with a low 6.0% missed tackle rate, on the way to 40 run stops. Even his play in coverage has grown this season.
In his career at Pitt, Dennis has racked up 232 tackles (117 solo), 36 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, two interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), three pass breakups and two forced fumbles and a recovery.
Dennis’ loss will be one of the toughest to fill going forward, considering his impact as both a leader and a football player, but he’s been preparing the rest of the linebacking unit for a while.
“I’ve been saying that all year and even around bowl season last year,” Dennis said in November. “Because I know the potential these guys have, and I know what these guys can do. It’s just, sometimes people don’t see it in themselves, so you just try to give that little birdie a push so he can fly.”