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Poll: Which Pitt Defensive Lineman Will Have the Most Impact in 2023?



Pitt football defensive lineman Dayon Hayes

The Pitt defensive line has been one of, if not the best unit on the team for the past few seasons.

Much of this is thanks to the work and expertise of defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. Patridge has been able to develop undervalued high school talent into some of the best defensive linemen in the country, helping Calijah Kancey earn a First Round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after he came into Pitt as a three-star. For his efforts, he received the FootballScoop’s 2022 Defensive Line Coach of the Year. 

Kancey’s departure, along with two other starters in Deslin Alexandre and Habakkuk Baldonado means that there are snaps available for new players to take advantage of.

Redshirt senior defensive linemen David Green, Tyler Bentley and Devin Danielson are all likely going to start next season and played consistently last season.

The more intriguing decisions include the players behind them and if they will step up and contribute throughout the season.

Redshirt seniors Bam Brima and Deandre Jules have much to prove as they try and assert themselves as members of the front four. Senior Dayon Hayes will also try and live up to his four-star rating in 2020 and contribute as part of the starting line next season.

Duquesne transfer Todd Hill has experience on the defensive line and linebacker, making him a versatile player in the front seven.

Redshirt sophomores Nakhi Johnson and Elliot Donald came to Pitt as four-stars in 2021 and have the chance now to prove it in 2023 when given the chance.

Two players who redshirted their first season at Pitt in Sean FitzSimmons and Samuel Okunlola have received praise and plaudits from their coaches and teammates. If what they say is true, the duo might surprise some and earn more snaps than originally thought.

The question remains though, of the players on the Pitt defensive line, who will have the most impact in the 2023 season?

Which Pitt Defensive Lineman Will Have the Most Impact Next Season?

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Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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10 months ago

If Hayes can stay healthy and puts in 100% effort in every game, teams will have to start double-teaming him — opening up opportunities for Nakhi, etc. The guy can be a beast when he wants to be.

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