I’ll dig into the Pitt recruiting class next week but for now let’s talk about the QB transfers as they are arguably as important as anything. In this edition of the Farrell Files Pitt, I compare Christian Veilleux and Phil Jurkovec and the plan ahead.
First off Jurkovec is the guy for next season barring a surprise. He’s experienced, he’s an excellent leader and high character kid and he’s familiar with the offense of Frank Cignetti Jr. This is an offense that Pitt fans aren’t thrilled with, but Jurkovec knows it well and is very good in it when he’s healthy. It’s run first but the run opens up the pass and Jurkovec was in tempo under Cignetti Jr. and I can’t stress how important that is for a QB like Jurkovec.
His arm is solid, and he can make all the throws and he used to be more mobile and hurt you with his legs, but he always struggled with accuracy. He struggled in high school and at Notre Dame but at BC it came together because of tempo and rhythm. Once Jurkovec gets a few completions under his helmet he’s a very good quarterback. Jurkovec might not be the mobile QB he was before all his injuries, but he is still a solid pocket passer when the gameplan suits him. Veilleux has more physical skills and we’ll get to that shortly, but when it comes to comfort in an offense suited for him, Jurkovec is the guy. He’s a great stopgap option here.
As for Veilleux, I went over his physical skills in an article earlier this week so refer to that for a deep scouting report. He’s big, raw and is still developing so he needs a year behind a leader like Jurkovec. This will allow him to learn the offense, hone his skills and work on some things he needs to improve (throwing under duress, trying not to do too much) and add strength to a still lanky frame.
These two QBs were targeted for a reason and there is a plan in place. A lesson was learned by plugging Kedon Slovis into place too soon and this will allow for a better transition. The Pitt offense won’t be what you saw under Mark Whipple and Kenny Pickett in 2021, that’s not going to happen. But it will be better.