Pitt had 27 seniors who had decisions to make when it came to returning in 2023. That included the seniors with no eligibility remaining, but it left about 20 players.
It seems that most of the Pitt players who had a 50/50 chance of returning have decided to move on, whether that meant Jared Wayne, Haba Baldonado or Erick Hallett to the NFL or John Morgan to the transfer portal.
- Jake Kradel
- Blake Zubovic
- Marquis Williams
- Kedon Slovis
- Israel Abanikanda
- Vincent Davis
- Jared Wayne
- Habakkuk Baldonado
- John Morgan
- SirVocea Dennis
- Erick Hallett
But the deadline on whether or not players with decisions to make regarding COVID-added eligibility is near. If a player is not in the transfer portal on Jan. 18, they will not have another opportunity to do so for 45 days.
There are still eight players left who need to make decisions when it comes to using their COVID eligibility, entering the NFL Draft or transferring.
Nick Patti — quarterback
Nick Patti isn’t coming back to Pitt, but he may not be done with football just quite yet.
Pat Narduzzi confirmed in the Sun Bowl leadup that Patti would not return to Pitt, but Patti publicly stated that it might be the end of his career before his heroics in El Paso. That was before the heroics in El Paso. We’ll see what he decides to do now.
C’Bo Flemister — running back
Rodney Hammond Jr. and Derick Davis are set as two-thirds of Pitt’s running back trio in 2023, and now that Vincent Davis has decided to move on, it leaves Flemister as the only option.
Flemister, who arrived as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, quickly impressed both coaches and teammates upon arriving last spring. Narduzzi has advocated for him to return.
I expect him to do so.
Devin Danielson, David Green, Tyler Bentley — defensive line
There’s a glut of defensive linemen who have decisions to make when it comes to returning next season, so we’ll combine them.
Devin Danielson and David Green rotated starts alongside Calijah Kancey in 2022 and getting either or both back next season would be big when it comes to both veteran leadership and production.
Tyler Bentley is another veteran presence who has featured in Pitt’s defensive line rotation. It wouldn’t be surprising to see all three return in 2023.
Chris Maloney — defensive end
With all the injuries to Pitt defensive ends in 2022, Chris Maloney saw more of the field than perhaps many would’ve expected.
He’s a veteran guy, who earned a scholarship before walking on, and he’d be another solid veteran to have in the room. We’ll see what he plans to do, but he’d be a nice keep.
Shayne Simon — linebacker
Another Notre Dame transfer here in Shayne Simon, and Pitt needs him back.
The versatile linebacker, capable of playing Mike and Money in Pitt’s scheme, was a key piece in Pitt’s defense last season. He’s excellent in coverage, and he’s a veteran voice in the room.
If Pitt can keep Simon around for another season, especially in wake of SirVocea Dennis heading to the NFL, it would be huge. He can slot into the starting Mike or Money spot in 2023.
Brandon George — linebacker
Brandon George will be back next season, and since he did not play more than four games last season, he will still have two seasons of eligibility remaining going forward.
A.J. Woods — cornerback
Marquis Williams already announced that he will be back. If A.J. Woods does, Pitt will run with the same foursome — Williams, Woods, M.J. Devonshire and Rashad Battle — that it did in 2022.
Woods didn’t have the easiest 2022 season, but he is a veteran presence. We’ll see what he decides to do.