Pitt nabbed their third graduate transfer tight end in three seasons today. Two of the three have come from Rutgers. Matt Flanagan was the first Rutgers grad transfer TE back in 2017, and Nakia Griffin-Stewart, who announced his commitment today, is the second.
First of all, congratulations to Mr. Griffin-Stewart. He’s instantly upgraded his playing situation and moved from a perennial division bottom-feeder (Rutgers) into a division championship contender (Pitt). That in-and-of-itself speaks to the intelligence of the man, and his ability to diagnose a situation. Secondly, Griffin-Stewart has moved from a situation where his receiving skills were likely under utilized, to a situation where he receiving skills will likely be highlighted. While it’s tough to comment on exactly how good of a receiver Griffin-Stewart actually is, these two highlight-reel catches should be tantalizing enough for certain elements of the Pitt fanbase to anoint the new guy as the next Dorin Dickerson. I don’t know if I want to go that far, but what I see is certainly promising, and Griffin-Stewart is most likely a receiving upgrade over Carson Van Lynn (no offense to Mr. Van Lynn).
Griffin-Stewart did not do much with Rutgers last year (which probably helped him make the decision to transfer), but he did have a reasonably solid sophomore campaign.
by comparison, Pitt’s leading receiving last year was Will Gragg, so based on previous team production, we’ve just doubled our output.
No matter what he does on the field, you can’t argue with the fact the Griffin-Stewart adds much-needed depth to the Tight End room, which currently comprises Gragg (transfer who ostensibly has trouble run-blocking), Jim Medure (walk on), Carson Van Lynn (converted tackle), Grant Carrigan (run blocking TE, w zero career catches), Kaymar Mimes (converted DE / redshirt frosh) and freshman Jason Collier (again, a run-blocker).
If history is any guide, new OC Mark Whipple will make good use of the weapons he has, so Giffin-Stewart’s upside should be limited only by his natural talent, intelligence and work ethic. I’m assuming he has two of the three, but the jury is out on his talent level, at least until we can see him on the field.
Hail to Pitt