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Pitt All 105: It’s Time for Pitt TE Gavin Bartholomew to Shine

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Pitt tight end Gavin Bartholomew.

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

Gavin Bartholomew, senior tight end from Blue Mountain in Schuylkill Haven, Pa.

2023 season: Bartholomew recorded 18 receptions for 326 yards (18.1 yards per catch) with a touchdown last season

Stats: Bartholomew has recorded 67 receptions for 935 yards (14.0 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns in three seasons at Pitt

Camp outlook: Bartholomew is the guy. He’s the leader in the room, perhaps the most important target offensively and will be utilized in a new way in 2024

Projected role: Bartholomew is the No. 1 tight end on the roster, without question, and if the season goes well, he’ll be the No. 1 tight end in the ACC

Bartholomew (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) arrived at Pitt as an under-the-radar three-star recruit from the middle of Pennsylvania, a Buffalo flip. His journey has been impressive.

He emerged in his true freshman season as a complement to former Pitt tight end Lucas Krull, who is now with the Denver Broncos, and entered his sophomore season with sky-high expectations. For some reason, whether it was former offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. or whatever, he hasn’t been utilized to anywhere near his potential.

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 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. 

So, he’s back for one more season. And new offensive coordinator Kade Bell and tight ends coach Jacob Bronowski are more than happy 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 Cignetti 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 in March. “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.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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