It looks like we are seeing some more of the every-year roster changes that happen for various reasons – most often 5th year players being moved out of the program and others who have seen the handwriting on the wall regarding playing time. This is done most often to clear up scholarships. To jog your memories a D1 school is allowed only 85 scholarships on the roster at any one time.
Listed below are the players who will be redshirt Seniors in 2017. Remember that at this point in their careers each of these kids will have had a full four years in attendance as student/athletes at Pitt and should have an under graduate degree by this time… or very soon.
In the past there was an unwritten policy Pitt adhered to… if a player accepted a scholarship and kept his nose clean and met all his academic, team and athletic department requirements Pitt would give them a full four years in return.
But I believe that informal policy went by the wayside after Dave Wannstedt was head coach. Anyway, here is that listing. Players in red and crossed off are already off the roster and have decided to leave; players in black are not on scholarship at this time or at any point.
|96||Allen Edwards||6-4/245||DL||rsJR||Miami, Fla./Dean (MA)|
|94||Jeremiah Taleni||6-2/290||DL||rsJR||Kaneohe, Hawaii/Kailua|
|85||Jester Weah||6-3/210||WR||rsJR||Madison, Wis./Madison Memorial|
|84||Zach Poker||6-4/240||TE||rs JR||Oconomowoc, Wis./|
|80||Zach Challingsworth||6-2/195||WR||rs JR||McDonald, Pa./South Fayette|
|72||Carson Baker||6-5/320||OL||rsJR||Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn|
|63||Alex Officer||6-4/335||OL||rsJR||Rochester, N.Y./Eastridge|
|60||Aaron Reese||6-5/310||OL||rsJR||Chambersburg Pa.|
|55||Jaryd Jones-Smith||6-7/325||OL||rsJR||Camden, N.J./West Catholic (Pa.)|
|45||Devon Edwards||6-4/255||DL||rsJR||Columbus, Ohio/Eastmoor Academy|
|40||Colton Lively||6-0/240||FB||rsJR||Lake Dallas, Texas/Lake Dallas|
|35||Rob Boatright||510/185||DB||rsJR||Clairton, Pa./Clairton|
|29||Rachid Ibrahim||6-1/195||RB||rsJR||Rockville, Md./Avalon|
|27||Nico Lodovico||6-1/230||LB||rsJR||Murrysville, Pa./Kent State|
|24||James Conner||6-2/235||RB||rsJR||Erie, Pa./McDowell|
|18||Ryan Winslow||6-5/210||P||rsJR||Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College HS|
Some of these players we know have decided to move on or have been told that their scholarships won’t be extended for a 5th year. Those players are:
rsJR RB James Conner – has decided to forgo his 4th year of NCAA eligibility as he’s declared for the NFL draft and probably has an agent by now. I’m not going to show his accomplishments – that is way too long a list, but here is a bit of info and his stats:
rsJR WR Zach Challingsworth –“2015: Played in 10 games, starting four contests…starting assignments came against Youngstown State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Louisville…totaled 12 receptions for 171 yards (14.2 avg.) and a touchdown on the year…posted career highs with three catches for 57 yards and a 13-yard touchdown in Pitt’s 31-13 win at Duke…his touchdown catch against the Blue Devils opened the game’s scoring and he also had a 33-yard reception that set up a Pitt TD in the third quarter.”
At one point we all thought he’d be in the lineup on a much more regular basis. That was before Jester Weah started catching the football in real games and Matt Canada went to the smaller and faster WRs more often than OCs Joe Rudolph and Jim Chaney did. Our recent WR recruits have all been speedsters and I think Challingsworth probably felt he was recruited over. Here are his stats:
rsJR RB Rachid Ibrahim -“2015: Did not play in any games and redshirted after sustaining a torn Achilles during training camp.
2014: Played in all 13 games as a reserve running back…averaged 8.0 yards per carry, netting 263 yards on 33 carries…added 11 receptions for 73 yards (6.6 avg.) and two kickoff returns for 30 yards (15.0 avg.) on the year…posted career highs with 91 yards on 14 carries (6.5 avg.) in the season opener vs. Delaware…had 66 yards on just three carries (22.0 avg.) against Georgia Tech…had a career-long 50-yard run in the Georgia Tech contest…had 23 yards on three carries (7.7 avg.) against Syracuse.”
I really felt that Ibrahim would be a big contributor as his time at Pitt progressed but injuries and other recruits took a toll on that. His 6.6 yards per carry average was excellent though and that was on a full 60 carries. He just never fit into this staff’s plans.
I’ll always remember the great time I had with his brother at the 2014 spring game though. Here are his stats:
rsFR OL Alex Paulina – this isn’t 100% confirmed yet but the talk is that he’s leaving the Pitt program also. Paulina was in Narduzzi’s first recruiting class and was a 3* recruit by Rival.com. Rivals also gave him a “point score” of 5.7 which is .1 point away from being a 4* recruit.
If this is true that he’s leaving then it s a rather big loss on the OL, especially as he was a local kid, ranked #13th in the state and was Narduzzi’s first recruit. I really hope he stays.
Again – this bit about Paulina isn’t confirmed but has been discussed in some quarters. I may have missed a player or two but I think that list above is correct – if not please let me know and I’ll update as always.
EDIT: It has been mentioned that both Aaron Reese and OL Carson Baker have left the team also – I’ll keep trying to confirm that.