Submitted by Mark Kerestan (PittPT)
Well there is a lot of college football action going on right now but unfortunately Pitt isn’t a part of it due to their bowl ineligibility. The final recruiting push will be heating up in January, but let’s talk about the players currently on the roster for a moment.
Which players on the roster, who hasn’t been a major contributor to this point, do you expect to step up and become a significant factor for the Panthers in 2018? Let’s pick one player each on offense and defense.
I’ll kick things off. Maybe it’s a no brainer but I’ll pick rsFR Paris Ford on defense. I know he is probably the highest rated Panther recruit still on the roster, but after a delay in getting to participate in practices, he hasn’t made a big splash to this point. Here’s hoping that non-football issues don’t derail his full participation before the season starts, and he can make an impact like Jordan Whitehead’s freshman season.
On offense, I expect receiver JR Aaron Mathews to step up this year. Hopefully his development was blocked by having to play behind WRs J. Weah, Dontez Ford, and Q. Henderson and this year he emerges as a late bloomer similar to Jester Weah’s improvement over the past two years. I feel that Mathews has the physical tools and has shown glimpses of excellence, but then disappears for extended periods of time. With the above players gone it should be Mathews’ time to shine.
Here are his career stats to date.
So, that’s who I have. How about you? Who do you see stepping up big time for the Panthers in 2018?