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Sights & Sounds: Pitt Football Kicks off 2024 Spring Season




PITTSBURGH — It felt more like training camp than spring ball as Pitt hit Beano Cook Field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Monday morning.

A warm, sunny day in early March in Pittsburgh? How could you not take it outside? Spring ball officially kicked off on the South Side, the first of 14 practices leading up to the Blue-Gold Spring Game on April 13. And there were a lot of new faces.

Kade Bell was prominent amongst the Pitt offense, and it was the first look at Jeremy Darveau, Lindsey Lamar and JJ Laster. Tim Daoust didn’t look out of place running the defensive linemen through drills either. It’s a new era in Pittsburgh, and it’s officially underway.

It’s the first day of Pitt practice, so it’s difficult to accurately grade the work in just jerseys, but it was sloppy. Offensively, at least. “Get the ball and get back in line!” Narduzzi shouted after what felt like the fifth or sixth drop in a row. It seemed like everybody was dropping passes. The quarterbacks weren’t lighting the world on fire either, overthrowing targets and skipping balls across the turf.

The throws started to hit as the drill unfolded, with Kenny Johnson making a few over-the-shoulder throws, but it’s clear there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to timing and rapport, which is why we’re out here. It’s important to have the spring to work out those kinks.

I’ll be following the quarterbacks and wide receivers closely over the coming weeks. There wasn’t much to go off of Monday, not with just one drill together available to the media, it will be interesting to see how the pecking order evolves and which quarterbacks stand out.

Daoust is a hands-on coach, in the same vein as someone like Charlie Partridge, but he made use of assistant coach Malcolm Robinson, too. There wasn’t much to watch when it came to the defensive players either. It’s Day 1, no pads — not even shells — so hard to glean too much information. The guys are big, they look strong and we’ll see how the spring unfolds.

Ty Yuhas, a signee in the class of 2024, was in attendance for practice. He got up close with the defensive linemen, checking out how Daoust ran his future teammates through drills. A handful of prospective recruits were out on the field for the first practice, and I’d imagine it will start to get very busy in that regard after spring break.

Day 1 is in the books, and while it wasn’t exactly informative, it is the beginning of the spring. PSN will keep you updated with the happenings throughout the spring.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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