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PFF Names M.J. Devonshire As Pitt’s Best Player Ahead of 2023 Season

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M.J. Devonshire will spend most of the week down in Charlotte, North Carolina for the ACC Football Kickoff, as one of Pitt’s three player representatives, before he returns for camp at the beginning of August.

He will be a key cog in the defense in 2023, forming a lockdown duo with Marquis Williams at cornerback and helping to lead a secondary that will feature all-new starting safeties, but PFF expects his impact to go just beyond his role on the defense.

PFF’s Max Chadwick believes that Devonshire is the best player on Pitt’s roster.

 

Chadwick wrote:

“Devonshire’s three interceptions trailed only Aydan White among ACC cornerbacks in 2022. He only allowed 16.7% of his targets in man-coverage to be caught, tied for fifth among Power Five corners. Devonshire was named third-team preseason All-ACC by PFF.”

Interestingly, when PFF announced its preseason All-ACC squads earlier this month, Devonshire — alongside Blake Zubovic — was named to the third team. Matt Goncalves and Ben Sauls both received second team honors.

Devonshire might be the fastest player on Pitt’s roster, scoring three touchdowns last season defensively and on special teams, and it makes sense that he’s receiving national attention.

The 2022 season was a breakout campaign for Devonshire as he slid into the starting role alongside Williams — who may be the most underrated player on Pitt’s roster. And his biggest goal over the offseason was to get stronger and more physical ahead of this season.

Devonshire possesses an elite physical trait. Speed. He’s very, very fast, and that’s always a calling card for NFL defenses. He was productive as a cornerback and a punt returner last season, and he should put together a strong 2023 campaign.

He recorded 34 tackles (23 solo), three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and broke up eight passes. According to PFF, when opposing quarterbacks targeted Devonshire (or he was assigned as the nearest defender), he allowed 33 receptions on 62 targets (just 53% completion) for 407 yards.

Pitt is entering a season where there isn’t a clear-cut example of who the best player on the roster is. There isn’t a Calijah Kancey or Kenny Pickett, but there are a number of players who could be considered the best by the end of the season.

Phil Jurkovec, Rodney Hammond, Gavin Bartholomew, Dayon Hayes, David Green, Bangally Kamara, Jake Kradel, Goncalves, Williams and even Ben Sauls — among others — are all very important players this season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Giovanni
Giovanni
10 months ago

Great for Devonshire, and for Pitt fans, that he had the courage to transfer from Kentucky to Pitt.

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