How would Pat Narduzzi describe Phil Jurkovec? Big, athletic, tough, leader.
A 6-foot-5 (maybe 6-foot-6), 215-pounder from Pine-Richland High School in Gibsonia by way of Notre Dame and Boston College. He’s big and athletic, yes, but the toughness and innate leadership stand out to Narduzzi.
“Something we desperately needed in that room, and I think Christian (Veilleux) is the same way,” Narduzzi said Wednesday. “But he brings the leadership that maybe we lacked a year ago.
“And again, he’s tough. He’s had some great years up there at Boston College. We’re happy to be able to finally bring him home because we recruited him hard for years, and he’s gonna have the best year of his life here in Pittsburgh this season.”
Jurkovec entered the transfer on Dec. 2. Kedon Slovis entered the transfer portal on Dec. 5 just after 10 a.m., and Jurkovec committed to Pitt just after 1 p.m. Pitt had its eye on Jurkovec even before Slovis entered the transfer portal. Narduzzi just wanted to be ready.
“You’ve gotta have a plan,” Narduzzi said. “We had a strategy, and we had our talks in the office about what our quarterback situation was like and what might happen, and as soon as we knew which direction was going to happen, it didn’t take us long because he was in the portal, and we could pull the trigger on Phil.”
It took all of three hours for Jurkovec to return home to Pittsburgh, reunite with one-time offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr, once Pitt had a need.
“So, yeah, we had a plan, and you never know,” Narduzzi said. “A lot of things happen. Kedon’s a great kid, I love him, and he had to make a decision for himself, we had to make a decision for us, and we made our decision. We were prepared if something happened, and we pulled the trigger.”
Pitt officially signed Jurkovec, along with Christian Veilleux and Ty Dieffenbach, Wednesday. Slovis hasn’t decided upon a new destination yet. Jurkovec hasn’t been named the starter for the 2023 season, but it will be his job to lose. Veilleux, a high-potential transfer from Penn State, will challenge him.
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.
“So, we’re excited with what all three of those quarterbacks are gonna do in that quarterback room this year,” Narduzzi said.