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New Pitt Running Back Continuing to Earn Praise in the Offseason

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Pitt running back Desmond Reid.

Desmond Reid hasn’t played a snap of Power Four football, but by all accounts, he’s ready for it.

Reid — a 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back who transferred to Pitt from Western Carolina — has earned a lot of praise since arriving in January. From the coaching staff, from his teammates, from just about everyone.

When Pat Narduzzi spoke at the ACC spring meetings last week, he raved about Reid. Narduzzi, according to David Hale of ESPN, loves him. Reid didn’t play in the ACC last season, but Pro Football Focus rates him as the highest-rated returning running back in the conference.

Reid isn’t the biggest guy, obviously, but that’s never been something that’s held him back.

“I’ve been hearing that since I was young,” Reid said in February. “I like to work when nobody else is working. I don’t even like to let people see me working, so I’ll keep that in my head. That’s what pushes me to be a better player and person.”

Reid wanted to go Power Four out of high school, as all recruits do, but his height and weight held him back a bit. He had some offers, nothing major, so he put his trust in Kade Bell at Western Carolina.

Reid was originally a lowly-recruited three-star out of Miramar High School in 2022, and he selected Western Carolina over South Dakota, FAMU, FAU and Tusculum. In two seasons at WCU, he racked up 250 carries for 1,723 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns — adding 42 receptions for 495 yards and another score.

He’s coming off back-to-back 800-yard seasons at Western Carolina and was awarded the 2022 SoCon Freshman of the Year honors.

As a sophomore in 2023, playing in just eight games, Reid was one of the best running backs in all of the FCS. He was elusive, forcing 40 missed tackles on just 131 carries, but he also racked up 536 yards after contact (4.39 YAC/attempt). He was an explosive home run hitter, too, racking up 30 runs of 10+ yards and 18 runs of 15+ yards.

Reid hasn’t been able to show off too much since he arrived at Pitt, but he was very solid over the spring. His speed is no joke, one of the fastest players on the roster, and his blend of speed and pass-catching has him right behind Rodney Hammond Jr. on the depth chart.

I would expect Reid to receive his fair share of touches, carries and catches, in the 2024 season. He’s the kind of player who should thrive in the new Pitt offensive scheme, as he’s already done before.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Eli
Eli
28 days ago

That guy looks tiny. Let’s hope they don’t try to overuse him the way they did Vincent Davis a few years ago.

katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
28 days ago
Reply to  Eli

He is short, but his build doesn’t look tiny at all. Vincent Davis was under- used later on, which resulted in his transfer. I always viewed that as a mistake by Pitt. He earned his playing time and should have been in the regular rotation. Just another failure of Cignetti.

Giovanni
Giovanni
28 days ago

Fully agree. Vincent Davis could be electric when in open field. The coaches should have utilized him often for short passes out of the backfield.

T Vax
T Vax
27 days ago
Reply to  Giovanni

until he stumbled and fell without anyone touching him, often

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