Perhaps the worst thing of a transfer is just having to sit out the year.
You're still practicing, but no matter what, there's no chance of playing. That was the case for Manasseh Garner and David Durham who transferred in to Pitt. Durham transferred in a year ago, while Garner transferred in right before the start of school.
Despite having to sit out a year, there is spring football. This spring is more exciting for the both of them, knowing they can practice this spring with the intent of playing.
"I think he’s a pretty good football player," Chryst said. "I think it’s our job to find a spot for him, and he’s got to be able to perform at that spot consistently.”
Garner played a similar position at Wisconsin--something he feels benefits him now. Not just that, but under the same coaches. Chryst was his offensive coordinator, and Joe Rudolph was his offensive coordinator.
“I feel like the coaches knew how I could help the team and what I could bring to the team," Garner said. "They are putting me in a position and that’s H-back. It’s my way of helping the team.”
Defense isn't something entirely new to He initially signed with Ohio State as a defensive line prospect in 2010. At Charlotte Christian (NC), he racked up 86 tackles and 9.5 sacks, leading his team into the state semi-finals.
Durham moved to fullback after redshirting in 2010. He transferred to Pitt last year, even appealing for a chance to play this season. Instead, since he redshirted in 2010, played sparingly in five games as a redshirt freshman at Ohio State in 2011, before sitting out 2012 due to the transfer rule, Durham is hungry to play.
"“Once I got on defense again I realized that that was more of my home," Durham said. "I like to play with a lot of emotion. I am a little more naturally comfortable there, but I think you’ll see me on offense a little bit this year. I am going to try to work both ways, definitely in shorter-yard situations. But beyond that I just have to earn my role.”
And he might be just what Pitt needs. With the graduation of Shayne Hale, the move of T.J. Clemmings to the offensive line, there is a wide-open spot at defensive end. So far, it's been Durham the first-team defensive end.
So far so good for Durham, but he knows he's got a long way to go to hold on to a starting job. Regardless, after having to sit out the last three football seasons, it might be well worth the wait.
"It’s not going to be easy, it's not going to be given to me," Durham said. "There is a long time between now and the start of the season. I am just going to try and take it one play at a time, one practice at a time, one game at a time.”