Rival’s Chris Peak has a piece on Pitt’s FB history:
Carson Long likes to study history, and when the former Pitt kicker digs into the history of his alma mater, the early 20th century stands out.
In those years, Pitt was a dominant force on the football field, and that dominance was led by Dr. John B. “Jock” Sutherland. The Panthers’ head coach from 1924-38, Sutherland directed the team to a record of 111-20-12 and five recognized national championships.
It’s a period of time that gives Long pride, but in the course of his research, he sought out Sutherland’s grave in Homewood Cemetery, and what he found inspired anything but pride.
“I went out to his gravesite and found it deplorable,” Long said at Pitt’s South Side facility on Tuesday. “So I called my friends and they said, ‘We’ll fix this.’”
This morning’s P-G on Hurley:
The man who was Pitt’s top option in its search for a new men’s basketball coach is going elsewhere.
Dan Hurley, the current coach at Rhode Island who was reportedly offered big money by the Panthers to come here, has decided to instead take the vacant position at Connecticut, the school announced Thursday morning.
Between Pitt’s offer of more than $3 million per year and Connecticut’s status in the American Athletic Conference, it appeared that the Panthers might have a shot to lure the 45-year-old New Jersey native who was atop their list. But in the end, he’s taking a six-year deal from the Huskies, per ESPN, and Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke must look elsewhere.
In the “You have to be shared*thing me” department Brian Batko writes this about Max Browne’s chances in the NFL:
It’s very possible, maybe even highly likely, that a Southern California quarterback will be the first named called next month in the NFL draft.
Max Browne admits that four years ago, he expected that would be him, not 20-year-old pro darling Sam Darnold, his former teammate.
“Yeah, 100 percent,” Browne said with a smile. “When I went to SC, I’ve always been an academically inclined guy, so the mindset was to start for three years and get out, get a shot at the NFL, which is exactly what he’s doing. He’s a great kid, and I couldn’t be happier for him. But yeah, that was definitely the mindset five years ago. It’s funny how things change.”
Can’t get enough Aston news…from the P-G again:
According to Aston, he feels completely healthy after his apparent lower-body injuries. But running backs coach Andre Powell refuted that — or maybe he just knows Aston has more in the tank than he’s shown so far this March.
“I’ll be glad when we get him back 100 percent. … When we get him fully back, I think our offense will pick up a notch,” Powell said. “Practice is a lot different when George is around. It sounds different, it moves quicker, it’s normally more productive when he’s around.”
From the Tribune-Review here are some readings:
Whitehead and Pro-Timing day…with a dig at Combine training.
A hamstring injury kept Jordan Whitehead from doing any events other than the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine three weeks ago.
He was much more active Wednesday at the annual Pitt pro day, and he hopes NFL talent evaluators took notice.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi certainly did. Asked which of the 11 former Panthers players benefited the most from the workout, Narduzzi singled out Whitehead, the safety from Central Valley who declared for the NFL draft with a year of eligibility remaining.
“He went away to train, and I don’t know what happened there,” Narduzzi said. “I think if he had trained with (Pitt strength coach) Dave Andrews, he probably wouldn’t have gotten hurt. But he had a hammy and went to the combine and didn’t get a chance to do much there.
“He had a 4.5 in the 40, which is important for him to test. That was the guy. … Guys that didn’t go to the combine, those are guys who have stuff to prove.”
Coachspeak is alive and well on the Southside...
Working during spring practice with a position group of proven veterans and intriguing youngsters, Pitt running backs coach Andre Powell likes his options in devising the depth chart.
“I have a good handle on what we’ve got,” Powell said Tuesday from Pitt’s South Side facility after the fifth practice of the Panthers’ spring. “We have got two veteran running backs who can play winning football and can do a lot of things. We’ve got some young guys who we have got to develop, and we’ve got a talented guy coming in.
“So it will all sort out. We will get a good plan this summer in how we get guys ready and what roles we put guys in, and we will go forward and execute the plan in training camp.”
As to the LBs:
MAKING ‘DUZZ’ SAY ‘WHOA’
Asked a more specific question about Pitt’s linebackers group, coach Pat Narduzzi gave an unsolicited and highly positive assessment of the group in general.
“If you had to say, ‘Give me a position where I would say ‘whoa’, our linebacker corps is pretty good,” Narduzzi said.
Narduzzi said he was impressed with the linebackers during Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage at Heinz Field. He noted veteran returning starters Elijah Zeise and Saleem Brightwell can play each other’s spots and also singled out a couple of redshirt freshmen.
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