PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football program continued its 2019 training camp on Wednesday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
Head coach Pat Narduzzi met with reporters prior to the session and announced that the Panthers would be adding a defensive player to the roster in the form of graduate transfer John Petrishen, who played at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School and was most recently at Penn State. After the workout, Pitt players also answered questions from the media.
Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript
“Day 18 today. We had a good one yesterday—solid practice, nothing crazy. They’re out in shells today, so no pants on. We’re trying to get them fresh.
We have one addition to our roster today. It’s been in the works for a couple days here, but we’ve got another graduate transfer in. John Petrishen has stepped in, an old Central Catholic player, which you guys probably know. We’re happy to have him here. He’s got two years left of eligibility. He’ll be a great addition to our football team. He’s a graduate transfer with two years to go, so he’s going to be kind of like a [Nathan] Peterman grad transfer from two years ago. Obviously, he’s graduated, so he’s eligible immediately, but he’s got a way to go knowledge-wise.”
On whether Petrishen is on scholarship:
“Right now, he’s starting off as a football player. How about that? You guys always want to talk about money and injuries… He’s a football player. I don’t want to categorize him as anything. He’s a football player. He’s a guy we offered out of high school, but we didn’t get him. In the end, we got him back and hopefully he can have a great career here in his last two years.”
On how Petrishen can impact the team:
“We’ll find out. I just sat down and talked with him. I haven’t seen him run around, so we’ll get him out here today and see what he does. He’ll just have a helmet on today. He has to go a couple days without gear and get cleared with physicals and all that to make sure he’s smooth.”
On Petrishen’s position:
“I don’t know, might be defensive tackle (laughing). Who knows? We’ll find out. We’ll see more of him. We haven’t seen him for four years now, so we’ll find out.”
On recruiting Petrishen:
“You know these kids. You don’t forget home visits. I asked him how his dad’s car business was going, and he was like, ‘I didn’t think you’d remember that,’ but you know these kids. Whether you’re playing against them or they’re playing for you, you remember home visits and those sorts of things.”
On whether Petrishen can help Pitt strategize against Penn State:
“No. We’ve got video tape for that.”
On who initiated the process to bring Petrishen to Pitt:
“He reached out to us. He wanted to come back home. He’s fired up.”
On rotating Damar Hamlin, Paris Ford and Jazzee Stocker at safety:
“We feel comfortable with all three of those guys getting in the game. There will be times when we’ll have to take them out and talk to them about what just happened to them. It’s nice to have a guy that can go in for you. Having three is a lot better than having two so you don’t have to take a guy out and then hurry up to get him back in. We feel comfortable with all three of those guys.”
On Amir Watts’ leadership:
“Amir has always been a leader; guys follow him. Whether he’s a captain or he’s in the leadership council, he’s always been a leader. Amir’s got a strong personality.”
On Paris Ford’s energy:
“We’ll see more of it on gameday. We’ll try to control it. Sometimes he’s doing crazy things back there too, but Paris is awesome. I love that kid. He’s got emotion. It’ll be fun to watch him on gamedays.”