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Sights and Sounds: Second Week of Spring Practice In Full Swing



PITTSBURGH — Is it starting to feel like football is right around the corner yet?

It may only be in preparation for the 2023 Blue-Gold Spring Game, but with Thursday’s practice No. 5 wrapping up, we’re a third of the way through the spring season already. Time flies, huh?

The quarterback competition between Phil Jurkovec and Christian Veilleux and Nate Yarnell is in full swing, with all three back in action, and the team is taking shape around them.

Pat Narduzzi spoke about the influx of youth Tuesday, a movement taking place across the lineup, and we saw a bit of that again Thursday.

So, it goes Jurkovec and Veilleux throwing as a pair and then Yarnell and Ty Dieffenbach rotating in. It’s been a trend all spring, and it’s probably not going to change.

It’s gonna come down to Jurkovec and Veilleux. As much as I like Yarnell. It’s tough to take too much away from watching them throw against the air, inside at that, but both guys looked okay. They’re not being asked to make any crazy throws or show off their ability to move, at least during what we’re allowed to watch, but they’re building rapport and growing with their receivers.

That’s what the spring is about, after all. Konata Mumpfield has looked good. I said that last year at this time, too, but he does. He’s such a fluid route runner. He makes everything look so easy.

Bub Means and Daejon Reynolds will both have roles in the offense, but I’m excited to see more from guys like Che Nwabuko, Lamar Seymore, and the younger guys. Myles Alston will have an opportunity to show he’s ready for a role in the offense.

Derrick Davis looks good, too. He’s a big back at 6-foot, 210 pounds, and he moves well. I think he can do some damage in a pairing with Rodney Hammond Jr. as they’ve got very complementary running styles.

M.J. Devonshire and Konata Mumpfield will continue to handle punt return duties, but we’ve got an idea of who will be in the mix going forward.

Nwabuko, who already holds some of the fastest indoor track times in program history, is in the mix. He’s had a full season in the system, and as Pitt looks for areas to utilize his blazing speed, it only makes sense to see what he can do with some space and the ball in his hands.

Lamar Seymore and Israel Polk also fielded punts during practice Thursday. Pat Narduzzi praised the pair Tuesday, and I’ve long been a fan of Seymore. I like the idea of getting him chances across the lineup.

And speaking of punting, it was way more consistent Thursday. It’s with great pleasure that I announce there were no punts shanked off the video board. Caleb Junko and Jeff Yurk traded reps, with Sam Vander Haar watching — without his helmet on.

Pitt added a new walk-on kicker, too. Straight out of Chicago, Illinois, welcome Franco Fernandez. Instantly a contender for top name on the team.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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