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Pitt Reveals 2024 Ed Conway Award Winners

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PITTSBURGH — There’s no guarantee that the Ed Conway Award winners will make an immediate at Pitt (as was the case last season), but it’s an acknowledgment of a successful spring nonetheless.

The Ed Conway Award is given to the two most improved players during the spring practices, and this year’s recipients have been announced as offensive guard BJ Williams and, unsurprisingly, safety Cruce Brookins.

Williams and Brookins arrived as three-star recruits in the class of 2023 and made an immediate impact as true freshmen last season.

Williams was forced into the starting lineup earlier than anyone expected, and while he went through ups and downs (those expected from a true freshman offensive lineman), he carved out a role for himself. He recorded 372 offensive snaps last season over the course of nine games — making six starts.

The experience gained last season should only help his transition into a full-time starter at guard this season, likely on the right side of the offensive line.

“BJ is no longer a rookie on our offensive line and he carried himself like a veteran this spring,” Narduzzi said in the Pitt release. “He is asserting himself as a leader, both by his play on the field and in our meeting room. We are really excited about the jump he took this spring and look forward to his continued progress come training camp.”

Brookins only took 11 defensive snaps last season, a handful against Florida State and Syracuse, but he’s been the clear breakout star of the spring. He hits hard, he’s impressing his veteran teams and coaches and it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field this season.

“We knew Cruce was a football player when we signed him out of Steel Valley,” Narduzzi said. “He loves everything about the game, including the preparation part of it. Cruce made a great impression on both his teammates and coaches this spring. We know he will be an asset for us this season.”

Brookins is the future of the safety room at Pitt, but he has the potential to make an impact as early as this season. Brookins has legitimate superstar potential.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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