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Pitt All 105: Walk-On Thomas Aden Provides Depth on the Pitt D-Line

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Pitt defensive lineman Thomas Aden.

All-105 is a Pittsburgh Sports Now series profiling each of the 105 members of Pitt’s 2024 training camp roster. 

Thomas Aden, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

2023 season: Aden did not take any defensive snaps in the 2023 season

Stats: Aden did not record any statistics in the 2023 season

Camp outlook: Aden is a big body in a defensive line unit that does not have much depth, but with the arrival of a couple of high-profile freshmen and transfer, it doesn’t seem likely that he will advance any higher than an additional depth option

Projected role: Aden will work primarily with the third team defense during camp and provide a veteran presence on the scout team

Thomas Aden (6-foot-1, 280 pounds) was a preferred walk-on out of IMG Academy as a post-graduate, originally playing his high school ball at St. Edwards in Lakewood, Ohio. He compiled 20 tackles for loss and 11 sacks for IMG during his post-grad season.

He hasn’t seen the field during his time in Pittsburgh, but he’s earned praise from his teammates a handful of times — including former team captain David Green last March.

“I feel like I was a leader before, but now I’m really like a big leader,” Green said during camp last year. “I’m like Master Splinter now. I’m holding the young guys accountable and showing them the way and just making sure that when I leave, they’re able to take over that leadership when I’m gone.”

Those young guts included Isaiah Neal, Elliot Donald and Aden. I’m not saying that Aden is in line for a scholarship, the Panthers are a bit crunched numbers-wise, but he’s one of the top walk-ons on the roster.

Just don’t expect much of an impact in the 2024 season, even in the event of injuries on the defensive line.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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