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Pitt Defensive Line Target Back on Market After Decommitment

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Pitt target Deamontae Diggs.

Deamontae Diggs was committed to Cal for all of six days before he decided to step back Tuesday night and evaluate his options

Diggs — a 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive lineman who played three seasons at Youngstown State — initially committed to Cal over offers from Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Marshall, Pitt and West Virginia.

Now that he’s back in the transfer portal, considering Pitt is looking to add on the defensive line, the Panthers will once again be in the mix.

Diggs committed to Youngstown State as a two-star recruit out of McKeesport, choosing to play college football over college basketball, and he turned into a solid producer after a redshirt season in 2021.

Diggs played in all 13 games for the Penguins last season, recording 217 snaps as a rotational pass rusher, and he graded out as one of YSU’s best defenders — especially in getting after the quarterback.

He recorded 11 tackles (six solo), four tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He racked up 12 total pressures, six hurries and a quarterback hit in the process.

He finished his career at Youngstown State with 26 tackles (10 solo), eight tackles for loss, five sacks, a forced fumble and three pass breakups.

Diggs played primarily on the inside during his time at Youngstown State, but he has the versatility to play across the defensive line if needed.

Nate Matlack wound up being a significant winter pickup. He’s a Day 1 starter with experience and potential. Seeing him put together the season many expected Dayon Hayes to have wouldn’t be surprising. There are a lot of questions outside of Matlack though.

Bam Brima is an experienced rotation player but isn’t a difference-maker. Sincere Edwards looks like a future star off the edge, but he hasn’t played a snap of college football yet. Jimmy Scott and David Ojiegbe are both firmly in the mix.

It’s just hard to bet on potential.

It isn’t easy to replace 90% of snaps from any unit. But at the same time, change was needed on the interior of the defensive line. The unit didn’t make splash plays and didn’t stop the run. It was missing twitch and quickness.

By all accounts, the new defensive tackles aren’t. Nahki Johnson and Sean FitzSimmons are leading the way, and Nick James, Isaiah Neal and Elliot Donald will rotate. Pitt likes to rotate on the interior, even if someone like Calijah Kancey is on the roster, and that isn’t going to change when there isn’t someone like him around. It’s about finding the right combination now.

Even young players like Francis Brewu and Jahsear Whittington could be in the mix entering the season, despite their newness.

Diggs would be a welcomed addition in the defensive line room, considering the challenge of finding defensive linemen at this point of the offseason, but he wouldn’t come in as a starter.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
20 days ago

“Bam Brima isn’t a difference maker?” I guess not after starting Hayes and Temple, giving them most of the playing time and not getting much from either one. All this rotating defensive front seven players is counterproductive. That’s part of the reason some talented defensive lineman transfered. It’s not easy, or smart, to run a 50 yard dash, then get blocked a second later. Late substitutions are a ridiculous practice that must stop. Yes, have reliable depth when someone is gassed, but for God’s sake, allow the the most talented players to remain on the field.

Last edited 20 days ago by katuracassells@gmail.com

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