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Pitt Football

Evaluating Pitt’s Wide Receivers Room After Picking Up Daejon Reynolds

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I like Lamar Seymore, and so does 247Sports director of scouting Andrew Ivins.

“I think (Seymore’s) got all-conference type of caliber,” Ivins told Pittsburgh Sports Now in July. “I think he’s someone that could’ve played in the SEC; I think he’s probably someone that’s gonna have a big senior season (at Miami Central).”

Seymore, as he helped lead Miami Central High in Florida to an unbeaten state championship season, hauled in 35 receptions for 601 yards (17.2 yards per reception) and a team-high nine touchdowns. It was a big senior season.

Ivins said that with a Seymore-Tiquan Underwood partnership, he didn’t think it would take long for Seymore to make it onto the field as a multi-season contributor.

And that may actually end up being the case.

Seymore is one of two Pitt 2023 wide receiver signees already enrolled at Pitt. It’s nice that he will have the entire offseason to integrate into the system before his freshman season. And Pat Narduzzi has already said he’s excited to see how it pans out for him.

But it would unfair to rely on a true freshman wide receiver unless he has a Jordan Addison-like freshman campaign (which shouldn’t be expected). Kenny Johnson, Zion Fowler and Israel Polk will also be around this fall, but it’s unlikely that more than one or two will see the field.

Instead, let’s look at who exactly will be impacting the wide receiving corps in 2023.

Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (15) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The Starters

Konata Mumpfield and Bub Means arrived last offseason, Mumpfield from Akron in the winter and Means from Louisana Tech in the spring, and wound up as starters.

It’s safe to say neither really lived up to their expectations, but with a full season in the books and another offseason set to kick off soon, the only way to go now is up.

Mumpfield is a player who has the ability to be a No. 1 wide receiver. He served as a high-target, low-yardage possession receiver last season, racking up 58 receptions for 551 yards and a touchdown, but he has another gear to be unlocked.

He isn’t a burner, but he’s an elite route runner who should thrive in the intermediate passing game, working with a quarterback who’s able to make use of his quickness and ability to get open.

It was a tough campaign for Means, who struggled with drops and finding a fit in the offense, but he’s the big, fast deep threat that’s good for at least one deep shot a game.

The combo of Mumpfield and Means combined for 162 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions against UCLA in the Sun Bowl, each hitting the 70-yard mark, and it was the best the pair looked together all season long.

It, coincidentally, came without Kedon Slovis at quarterback. Establishing a rapport with Phil Jurkovec will be crucial throughout the offseason.

And, when it comes to “proven” contributors returning, that’s it.

Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Che Nwabuko (21) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The Wild Cards

Daejon Reynolds joins a group of wide receivers who aren’t exactly veterans but have been in the system for at least a season now.

Reynolds, a former four-star transfer wide receiver from Florida, doesn’t have much experience himself. But even in a limited role last season, he hauled in 22 receptions for 244 yards (22.2 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.

I haven’t watched Reynolds play beyond what highlights are available online, but he appears to be a well-built (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) wideout with the ability to run crisp routes and haul in contest catches. He’s not the fastest wideout, but he doesn’t need to be either.

As of now, Reynolds would be a starting wide receiver.

He’s joined by a redshirt sophomore in Myles Alston and redshirt freshmen in Addison Copeland and Che Nwabuko.

Alston played in a couple of games down the stretch, but he didn’t haul in his lone target. Copeland and Nwabuko didn’t play in a game last season.

Copeland arrived as an early enrollee last season, but he dealt with some injuries throughout the season. He’s a big body (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) who earned some praise last spring. Nwabuko is already one of the fastest athletes at Pitt — his 60-meter dash at the Nittany Lion Challenge was the fifth-fastest in Pitt’s indoor track history — and this year will be his first true offseason.

Copeland has size, and Nwabuko (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) has a lot of speed. Their growth this offseason will be fun to monitor.

The Rooks

Pitt is bringing in a big class of freshman wide receivers this year, and there’s a nice mix of talent across the board.

Seymore and Polk are already on campus, and Johnson and Fowler will arrive for camp in the summer. Seymore and Johnson are two wideouts with the size, skill set and ability to immediately make an impression.

I’ve already expressed my point when it comes to Seymore, and the only reason Johnson is a step behind is that he will not have the head start that Seymore will.

Polk and Fowler are also two wide receivers who will benefit from a season within the program, too.

Johnson lit up his high school competition out in York, Pennsylvania, and he’s got the size (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) and speed to handle opposing cornerbacks. Fowler is an explosive athlete who also stars on the basketball court.

Polk was the leading pass-catcher on MaxPrep’s No. 1 high school football team in the country, and he’s a big, rangy wideout (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) who would do well to grow within the system.

There’s a lot of talent when evaluating the foursome, some legitimate start-from-the-beginning ability even, but it’s tough to place such expectation on young shoulders. We’ll see where all four stand after summer camp.

Possible Lineup

X — Daejon Reynolds – Addison Copeland — Lamar Seymore

Slot — Konata Mumpfield – Che Nwabuko

Z — Bub Means – Myles Alston OR Gavin Thompson

So, yeah, that’s what we’re looking at at this point in time. It’s not bad. There’s a lot of potential, especially if someone like Mumpfield takes that next step into a top receiver role (which I don’t think is unlikely).

It’s kind of a crowded room at this point, but it’s a room without a true No. 1 at this point in time. And Pitt doesn’t necessarily need a No. 1 to have a successful season, but a veteran receiver should be a priority once the transfer portal opens back up in the spring.

Mumpfield, Means and Reynolds form a solid nucleus, and there’s a lot to like when it comes to the youngsters, but it would be ideal to land a true difference-maker.

Although that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Mtgj
Mtgj
5 days ago

That group would look so much better with jarred Wayne for next season. I’m really worried about any of these guys ability to get separation. Hopefully a great running game can be enough to make up for below average receivers.

Katsura cassells
Katsura cassells
5 days ago
Reply to  Mtgj

Currently, this is one of the best receiver classes in many years. These guys are not below average on any level . Maybe if you see their offer sheets and watch their film you will feel better. When Jared Wayne came to Pitt, many pitt fans were saying the same about him. Pitt fans are unnecessarily pessimistic. Currently, Pitt has some of the best recruiters in the conference. Major high school program’s coaches have their respect. Our q.b room is much improved. If we were planning to just run the ball, our staff wouldn’t have made all the moves they… Read more »

Denny
Denny
5 days ago

A balanced attack is the way to go! Utilize tight ends and fullbacks!

Puma412
Puma412
5 days ago

Are they still looking to add another WR after Reynolds?

Dixon
Dixon
5 days ago
Reply to  Puma412

They better be looking! Offense is one injury away from starting a totally inexperienced player at a key position.

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