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Pitt TE Gavin Bartholomew Earns Major Praise from the Senior Bowl



Pitt tight end Gavin Bartholomew.

It’s not as if Gavin Bartholomew is an unknown in the college football landscape. He’d likely be a bit more well-known had he been properly utilized over the last two seasons, but a big senior season could send his stock into the stratosphere.

The Senior Bowl is already well aware of just the kind of player that Bartholomew is on the field.

Jim Nagy, the executive director of the Senior Bowl, showered Bartholomew in praise Wednesday night on social media, writing on X:

“Remember the name of Pitt football TE Gavin Bartholomew. Just look at how athletic Gavin Bartholomew is getting down seam and playing the ball in this clip. Stats like all the time and his 18 catches last year is grossly misleading. Senior Bowl expects a big year. Due has Top-100 talent for the 2025 NFL Draft.”

The Senior Bowl is an annual NFL Draft event for collegiate seniors in which the top upperclassmen in the country compete in a week of drills and practices, capped by the actual Senior Bowl, in front of NFL personnel.

Bartholomew has spent three seasons at Pitt, and while it’s been an up-and-down time, he’s back for one more run.

Bartholomew met with Pat Narduzzi and the coaching staff following the end of the season and tried to express that he wanted to be able to help the team out. He wasn’t trying to be selfish, but he felt he could help the Panthers out more — get more involved and move around more. And how was that request met?

“They said they would, so yeah,” Bartholomew said in March at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. 

Bartholomew — a 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior tight end from Schuylkill Haven, Pa. — is back for one more season. And new offensive coordinator Kade Bell and tight ends coach Jacob Bronowski to have him. In an offense that maybe lacks a true “star” skill player, Bartholomew offers a lot of potential.

It’s not as if Bartholomew is a secret, but it’s almost as if there was a secret way to utilize him that former offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. never figured out.

Bronowski has watched all of Bartholomew’s film since arriving. He sees the talent — the ball skills, the athleticism and the game-breaking ability. He’s challenged Bartholomew to be the same dude day in and day out. There’s an opportunity for him.

“Now for (Bartholomew) the challenge is, can you be that consistent pillar in everything that you’re doing, right?” Bronowski said. “And let that be contagious to those around you. Because we got a lot of youth, you look at that wide receiver room, there’s a lot of youth in there. So, he’s got a lot of hats to wear, but I think that ultimately is going to benefit him because now he’s going to be able to really take that next jump and get back to where he was and even more.”

It’s interesting when it comes to how Bartholomew has been utilized in the passing game. He was used more so in the slot than ever before last season (35% of passing snaps), but it didn’t result in additional opportunities. That is expected to change this season.

Bartholomew recorded 18 receptions for 326 yards (18.1 yards per catch) with a touchdown in 2023 on the way to All-ACC honorable mention honors. He had the highest reception percentage (66.7%), and he made 3-of-4 contested catches with just a single drop.

In three seasons at Pitt, Bartholomew has recorded 67 receptions for 935 yards (14.0 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns — thriving despite a serious disconnect between Bartholomew and the assortment of quarterbacks throwing the ball his way.

Bartholomew is expected to take a major step forward in his senior season, with the expectation that he will be the first Panthers tight end to be selected in the NFL Draft since Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson were selected in the sixth and seventh round, respectively, of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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30 days ago

We are fortunate that he didn’t get frustrated and leave. I wouldn’t have blamed him at all.

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