PITTSBURGH—Pitt football continued its 2018 training camp with a Wednesday morning practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
Head coach Pat Narduzzi met with reporters prior to the session, announcing the news of that day that junior tight endJim Medure has earned a scholarship. Medure answered questions from the media after practice, along with defensive coordinator Randy Bates, wide receiver Tre Tipton, offensive lineman Mike Herndon and defensive back Dane Jackson.
Videos from each media session are available above, while a transcript of Coach Narduzzi’s media availability can be found below.
Head Coach Pat Narduzzi
“Good practice yesterday, happy again with the energy. When get into 17 practices of the grind, you get to the point where you can either stay the same or you get better. That’s what we try to do—push through these practices to get better because if you’re staying the same, you’re going to lose. But we did have a great team meeting this morning. We made an announcement at team meeting—some guys were asking if we have scholarships or not.
We put Jimmy Medure on scholarship this morning. It was a pretty energetic meeting; kids were fired up, excited. I’m sure you’ll see some video later on come out about that, but the kids were excited for him. Jimmy’s worked his tail off, whether it was at linebacker, whether it was defensive line. After spring ball, we moved him to tight end. He’s made an impact. The kid took the summer, spent all of his time learning the tight end position. He’s really made an impact out there. He was a guy even coming out of spring ball, we said, ‘that guy can earn a scholarship at defensive end.’ When we moved him, I thought maybe we set him back from earning one. But we had targeted him a while ago. We’ve talked about him in staff meetings for a long time about his impact not only on the field, but the impact that guy makes in the meeting room with his teammates. He walked into the defensive line room and doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he makes an immediate impact on everybody in that room. He did the same thing in the tight end room, which is impactful. So he’s an all-around—off the field, on the field. He wants to be a pediatrician. It’s a great day.”
On any other Pitt players in line for scholarship opportunities:
“We have to look at our numbers and all that. You’re already on to the next one.”
On the impact towards the team of giving out a scholarship to Medure:
“Team morale-wise, I think we were good going into it. You walk out of that meeting even better. I talked about the grind that practices becomes, but when our guys see a guy that’s worked so hard and watch all the sweat that guys put into it on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, when you see the video and the impact it made on the team, that shows you everything you need to see. So I think the rest of team knows. They could start awarding guys scholarships that deserve it. There’s some guys that are maybe more athletic and more this, more that, but it’s about the whole package. And Jimmy’s [Medure] got the whole package.”
On the progression of the tight end position:
“We’re all pretty good. I like where it is. Obviously at this point, a little bit banged up. But I like where we are.”
On if Dane Jackson is entrenched as a starter at cornerback:
“He is, but there’s a lot of depth out there. Dane is continuing to compete, a little banged up maybe because he’s one of those older guys. Dane’s done a nice job. He’s out there every day working his tail off. There’s a lot of competition out there. But Dane’s going to play a lot for us.”
On Elijah Zeise stepping towards the starting Money position:
“Zeise has, mainly because Saleem’s [Brightwell] been a little bit banged up. There’s still a battle there. We’re going to find out on game day; we’re going to find out who plays better. That’s going to be a battle. Those two guys are both starters. We know Saleem started all year inside, maybe out of position. They both bring something to the table.”
On Jimmy Medure playing tight end:
“You ever see him play basketball? Pull up some of his basketball highlights. Two years ago at my house, we got a basketball court out back, I was like, ‘what the heck?’ This dude’s jumping up, dunking and everybody wants Jimmy on their team. And I’m like ‘really?’ I wouldn’t of picked him, but they’ve seen him. He’s a great athlete. The guy can do anything. There’s reactive players and active players, and he’s a guy that actively can get where he wants to. He knows. He jumps in huddles and when we say, ‘hey, we’re running a seven route,’ he knows what to do. He’s a big athlete, he really is. I don’t know what he’s weighing right now, but he’s an athletic guy. I don’t know if he’s dropped the ball here at camp.”
On Tre Tipton’s recovery:
“Tipton’s been great. Knock on wood. He’s been really good. He stayed healthy, and we’ll keep it that way. Just got to keep managing him. There’s nothing critical we’ve been doing just to keep him there, but it only takes one day to get him banged up.”
On if they’re holding Tre Tipton back at all:
“Not really, no. He’s not been held back. He’s working hard. We don’t manage him any differently. Every day we have GPS’s out there, trying to manage how our guys physically are doing. Who’s worked too much? Do we need to slow back on some other guys? Just so we don’t over work them. I think the GPS’s are a big-time tool.. Austin Addington-Strapp works with Coach [Dave] Andrews and Freddie [Walker], and they really get a good analysis of where we are there.”
On scheduling a game against Duquesne or Robert Morris in the future:
“What do you think? Would you like to see that? I think it would be cool. That’s a good football team. We could go out of state and go play somebody, but I think anytime you can keep it in state… We’ve talked about the other in-state rivalry. I think it would be great for the city of Pittsburgh to go play at Duquesne or Robert Morris. I don’t care who it is. We play Youngstown State, but why not play Duquesne? I have no problem with that. I’ve got a lot of respect for who they are. I know the type of recruiting they do, and we see them on the road. They’ve got a great football team.”