Baldwin A Presence In Pitt's Offense
Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin
Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin
Senior Writer
Posted Oct 12, 2008


During Pitt's initial four games this season, fifth-year senior Derek Kinder clearly was quarterback Bill Stull's favorite receiver with 19 catches and one of his two touchdown passes.

That changed when Derek Kinder got banged up a bit early in the game at South Florida, so Bill Stull and the Pittsburgh coaching staff had to alter their passing plans a bit. Enter freshman sensation Jonathan Baldwin.

On the Panthers' third series against USF, Baldwin quickly became a favorite for Stull and pain to the Bulls' defense. He caught two passes in the drive, a seven-yarder on a quick slant and 52-yard bomb for a touchdown. Baldwin also drew several penalties from USF defenders.

"That was huge for our offense,'' Stull said. "It really jump-started things for us. He was a presence the entire game, and he'll be a key receiver for us in the future. He draws a lot of attention when he's in the game.''

Baldwin might not have realized at first, but he's well aware now.

"The TV was on in the locker room, and I saw the replay,'' Baldwin said. "And when I checked my cell phone, there were lots of texts and messages.''

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt certainly knows that Baldwin can have an impact.

"Because he's so big, they have a tendency to underestimate how fast he is,'' Wannstedt said. "He's so much further along today than he was even two weeks ago. He's so much more confident.

"As long as he keeps working, which he will, like he is now, then we've got to find a way to get him in there. When he's on the field, everybody knows it. He's not hiding from anybody.''

The Panthers were the ones hiding Baldwin in the beginning. He played sparingly and rarely had balls thrown his way in Pitt's opening few games. However, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound speedster is getting closer all the time.

And Baldwin's blocking and route-running has shown marked improvement.

"I learn more things with every practice and every game,'' Baldwin said. "I'm definitely getting more confident. In high school, you mainly just blocked the person across from you. When you get to college, you have different people.

"Sometimes you block a safety, and sometimes you block a corner. And a couple times, you even have to block a linebacker. You have to make sure you know those things. I had a slow start in that area, but it's better now.''

Things should be looking up for the Pitt offense with Baldwin in it as well.


Related Stories
Baldwin Makes An Impact
 -by PantherDigest.com  Oct 5, 2008
Conservative Cavanaugh?
 -by PantherDigest.com  Nov 9, 2008
Cross, Baldwin Expected To Play More
 -by PantherDigest.com  Sep 11, 2008

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from PantherDigest.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
WR Jon Baldwin (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Aliquippa SHS > Alumni
Football > Pittsburgh
[View My HotList]