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LB SirVocea Dennis Impresses Scouts with Stellar Performance at Pitt Pro Day



PITTSBURGH — Linebacker SirVocea Dennis smiled as he spoke to members of the media Wednesday afternoon during Pitt’s Pro Day at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the Southside.

Dennis had plenty to smile out after having a fantastic day and impressing many scouts during the day. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds, hit an incredible 41.5 inches on the vertical jump and 10-foot-5 on the broad jump.

Dennis starred for Pitt the last three seasons at middle or mike linebacker and led the team in tackles during that time with 57 in 2020, 87 in 2021 and 94 in 2022. He finished his four-year career as a Panther with 233 tackles, 36.0 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as the mike linebacker.

He chose to skip the Sun Bowl and his final year of eligibility from COVID-19 to enter into the 2023 NFL Draft. Dennis then looked to impress scouts at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. in February, but suffered a foot injury, which held him out from playing.

That foot injury also held him from participating in most drills at the NFL Combine from Feb. 28 to Mar. 6 in Indianapolis. He only did the bench press at 225 pounds, putting up 19 reps.

With this most recent performance at Pitt’s Pro Day, Dennis is proud of his performances, especially after suffering that foot injury. He isn’t worried about negative preconceptions of him that some NFL Scouts might have, believes that the “film speaks for itself” and his play will show who he really is as a linebacker.

“Definitely that I’m athletic,” Dennis said on what he showed at Pitt’s Pro Day. “There’s a lot of talk out there that I won’t be athletic. There are a lot of things under the smoke cover, but I think I showed a lot and I’m very proud of what I did out here today.”

Dennis steadily improved his play over his final three seasons with the Panthers. He made the Third-Team All-ACC in 2020, Second-Team All-ACC in 2021 and then First-Team All-ACC in 2022.

Most people did not have Dennis to have the kind of production and growth he has had over these past few seasons when he arrived at Pitt in 2019. He came in with a two-star rating, the lowest of the 20 commits in Pitt’s Class of 2019. Dennis gave credit to the coaching staff for their work with players over the years to ignore those rankings and develop great athletes.

“It’s a lot of guys that weren’t highly recruited or four-stars/five-stars that did very well here and are doing well in the league as well,” Dennis said. “Pitt does a great job of developing their players, not only to be great football players, but to be great men as well.” 

Dennis awards much of that credit to linebackers coach Ryan Manalac. Manalac joined the Panthers for Dennis’ final two seasons with the team and helped him to become one of the best linebackers in the ACC.

Manalac tells Dennis how everything is and doesn’t lie to him to make him feel better. Dennis said Manalac also worked with him on his strengths and weaknesses and that Manalac’s analysis of the game made him a far better player than he was prior.

“He prepared me very well for this,” Dennis said. “What I mean by that is not just the “X’s” and “O’s” and things like that, it’s the whole process. He made sure I grew up. He made sure I was the man I wanted to be. Leading up into this process, he also shed light on things and helped me on the way.”

Dennis is excited to continue moving through everything heading into the upcoming NFL Draft from April 27-29. He loved participating at Pitt’s Pro Day with his “brothers” and that he is just waiting for his and their dreams to become fulfilled. He also hopes that NFL teams take into who he is as a person and that he is ready to give it all for whoever takes him.

“Not just a great football player, but a good person off the field,” Dennis said about himself. “Nice young man that takes things very seriously. Accountable and I just love the game.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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