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Jake Kradel Named to Rimington Trophy Preseason Watchlist



Jake Kradel likes it more when he’s the one marshaling the offensive line from the center pivot, and it turns out that he’s not too bad there either.

Kradel, who will serve as Pitt’s full-time center in 2023 after years of playing guard, was named to the Rimington Trophy preseason watchlist Friday, which is the honor given to college football’s most outstanding center.

Kradel’s veteran leadership and production will be crucial in returning Pitt’s offensive line to the strength that it was in the 2021 season.

He started all 13 games for Pitt in 2022, beginning the season at right guard before sliding into the injured Owen Drexel’s spot at center in the Western Michigan game. And he didn’t look back.

In his Pitt career, he’s played in 43 games — making 38 snaps at right guard and center. The 2023 season, which will be his sixth and final at Pitt, will give him the chance to near 60 games in a Pitt uniform.

Kradel recorded 874 offensive snaps in 2022 (600 at center, 265 at right guard and seven as an inline tight end), and he’s a big returner on the offensive line.

Of course, he’s set a goal to win another ACC championship in 2023, which is the only “individual” goal that he’s set for himself, but he’s also looking forward to helping bring his fellow interior linemen — especially the underclassmen — along with him.

“I feel like it’s just kinda lead by example, show them the way, show them how to do it, show them how to watch film, and if they have any questions, they usually come to me and Z,” Kradel said Wednesday. “Ask us, ‘Hey, what’s something — how would you do this technique?’ Just whatever they need.”

The 2023 recipient of the Rimington Trophy will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8, which will be broadcast on ESPN.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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