Included are comments and projections for the returning players and incoming
recruits. Please keep in mind this is just an early view. When you consider position changes, incoming recruits, redshirts, etc… there may be several changes
yet to come.
Justin Belarski, 6-3 290 junior*
Rob Frederick, 6-3 295 junior*
Chris Vangas, 6-2 300 true freshman
Dan Lacarte, 6-4 295 senior*
Penny Semaia, 6-5 330 senior*
Jon Schall, 6-4 295 senior
John Simonitis, 6-3 290 freshman*
Rob Petitti, 6-6 330 junior*
Nick Pietracatello, 6-3 290 senior*
Matt Morgan, 6-7 295 senior*
Dale Williams, 6-5 285 sophomore*
Kris Wilson, 6-3 240 senior*
Erik Gill, 6-5 255 sophomore*
Lousaka Polite, 6-0 240 senior*
Tim Murphy, 5-10 230 sophomore*
Rod Rutherford, 6-3 220 senior
Tyler Palko, 6-2 210 sophomore
Brandon Miree, 6-0 235 senior*
Jawan Walker, 5-10 190 sophomore
Raymond Kirkley, 5-10 215 junior
Larry Fitzgerald, 6-3 210 sophomore
Yogi Roth, 5-10 195 senior
Princell Brockenbrough, 6-3 200 junior
Joe Stephens, 6-0 190 sophomore
On the offensive line, we return three starters and several players that have performed in a backup role the past few seasons. Center is the one position that doesn’t have a backup with at least some experience. Transfer Rob Frederick has a chance to earn the backup position. He will face a battle from outstanding incoming recruit Chris Vangas. It would be great if we could redshirt the entire five-man freshman offensive line unit, but only time will tell. Pietracatello, Semia, and Williams all have at least some experience in a backup role.
The Panthers return their two-deep at QB, TE, RB, FL, and FB. That is pretty impressive with the experience it provides at almost all of the skill positions. Pitt also returns their two-deep at three of the five O-line positions.
Many eyes will be on what happens at split end, and then where everyone winds up after that is determined. Lamar Slade and Roosevelt Bynes made up the two-deep at split end last year and they have both moved on. Princell Brockenbrough was very impressive in practices last year and should step into the starting role. He could be backed up by sophomores Joe Stephens and Billy Gaines, but one of the incoming freshmen could win a backup role also.
Stephens and Gaines, plus returning senior Yogi Roth, will also battle for the backup position behind superstar Larry Fitzgerald. Incoming freshmen Terrell Allen, Kennard Cox, Greg Lee, and Donald Brooks will be given every chance to win the backup positions behind Fitzgerald and Brockenbrough. All will have the opportunity to earn plenty of playing time as our 3rd wide receiver in the three wide receiver sets.
Another interesting battle will be between Jawan Walker and Raymond Kirkley for the backup spot at running back. Also, can incoming O-Line recruit Zach Slates win a spot in the two-deep at right guard?
Overall, the offense is a very experienced group and has fewer questions to be answered than any Pitt offense in a long time.