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Cincinnati Star DT Likely to Miss Pitt Contest Due to Blood Clots



Pitt football quarterback Phil Jurkovec tackled by Cincinnati defensive tackle Dontay Corleone

Cincinnati could be without one of its top players when the Pitt Panthers travel to Nippert Stadium for a non-conference clash in September.

Cincinnati announced Friday that Dontay Corleone, one of the top defensive tackles in all of college football, is out indefinitely while he’s being treated for blood clots in his lungs. It’s a heartbreaking break for one of the top players on the Bearcats’ roster.

Corleone — a 6-foot-1, 320-pound defensive tackle from Cincinnati, Ohio — has emerged as one of the best 0-technique defensive tackles in college football over the last two seasons.

Corleone racked up three tackles (one solo), a tackle for loss and a sack in a 27-21 win over the Panthers, dominating the Pitt offensive line throughout the contest. Pat Narduzzi pointed to Corleone as a difference-maker before the game and wasn’t wrong in the end.

“I saw one great play where he put pressure on the quarterback,” Narduzzi said following the loss to Cincinnati last season. “Maybe it was — he was in the backfield way too much. He’s a good player. He’s an All-American, and we didn’t do a good job enough. Again, it starts with that guy up front, the nose tackle, and that’s what they do.”

He racked up 39 tackles (22 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup at nose tackle last season — earning second-team All-Big 12 honors. And in his collegiate career, he’s accumulated 84 tackles (41 solo), 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles, two recoveries and a pass breakup.

According to the Cincinnati press release, Corleone will miss an undetermined period of time while he recovers. He reported chest discomfort and shortness of breath to the Cincinnati athletic trainers earlier this month and spent a night at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center before being discharged on June 14. He’s been recovering at home since.

“I am incredibly grateful to my family and for Aaron Himmler, Dr. Jon Divine, our whole medical staff and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for guiding me through this over the last few weeks,” Corleone said in the release. “Right now, I’m focused on my recovery. My hope is I will be able to return to football soon, but in the meantime, I will do everything I can to rehab and help the football program as a leader and mentor to our younger players.

“I’m looking forward to being around the guys soon. The sky is the limit for the Bearcats this season. I love my teammates, our coaches, this university, this city, and – of course – this fanbase, which has been incredibly supportive of me over the last three years.”

Pitt is scheduled to kick off against Cincinnati on Sept. 7 at noon. The non-conference tilt will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN — capping off a home-and-away series.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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