Larry Fitzgerald is back in town to be inducted into the Pitt Hall of Fame tonight, but before he’s honored at Acrisure Stadium during the Pitt-UNC game, he will serve an important role right before kickoff.
Fitzgerald will serve as Pitt’s honorary captain against No. 17 North Carolina, Pat Narduzzi told WPXI’s Jenna Harner Thursday.
“Larry means the world,” Narduzzi told Harner. “He’s actually gonna be our honorary captain, so I guess I’m announcing that to the world right now here with you guys. But we read off what he’s done, and you talk about the, I think it was over 1,400 catches and 17,000 yards, 121 TDs in the NFL. It’s just like, ‘Wow.’
“He’s an amazing football player, an amazing person and we’re excited to have him back.”
Fitzgerald only spent two seasons at Pitt, but he made an impact that cannot — and will not — be forgotten any time soon. And that impact has continued to this day.
In those two seasons at Pitt from 2002-03, he recorded 161 receptions for 2,677 yards and 34 touchdowns. His sophomore campaign (92 receptions for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns) earned him Heisman runner-up honors.
Fitzgerald was perhaps the best player in college football in the 2003 season as he won the Biletnikoff Award, the Walter Camp Award, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and was named a unanimous All-American. And there’s a legitimate argument to be made that he should’ve won the Heisman Trophy, too.
His dominance carried over to the NFL after being selected with the third pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Despite a career in which he played with a revolving door of quarterbacks; Fitzgerald will go down as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.
In 17 seasons, all with the Cardinals, he recorded 1,432 receptions (second all-time) for 17,492 yards (second all-time) and 121 touchdowns (sixth all-time). And he added 57 receptions for 942 yards and 10 touchdowns in the postseason — including one of the greatest individual postseasons in 2008.
Fitzgerald, along with fellow Pitt legends Matt Cavanuagh, Ruben Brown and Chris Doleman, will be inducted into the Pitt Hall of Fame tonight, and his next stop will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a couple of years.