Pitt 2019 Fall Football Camp – Day 17


Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

Running Back Todd Sibley Jr.

Defensive Lineman Habakkuk Baldonado

Tight End Grant Carrigan


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

Opening Statement:

“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.”

73 thoughts on “Pitt 2019 Fall Football Camp – Day 17

  1. paris is definitely a wild card. seems like he is hit or miss and the misses may be catastrophic. There is a reason he hasn’t played much at safety, he is s l o w l y getting it. I hope he gets it prior to game 1. P.S. it is funny ,. Duzz along with many of us still say “tape”, instead of just video. Big B probably still says ‘film’ 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. MM thanks for the work on the blog. Love the preseason excitement.

    Love Pitt’s Italian Stallion Mr. Baldonado. Come on, there has be an Italian flag flying at Heinz for this kid. Haba’s Italian Army? Current Pitt students wouldn’t even get the reference. I made my teenager watch the new SC Feature on Rocky Blier and his return to Vietnam. He had no idea who Rocky was. Watch it if you haven’t, well done.
    Regardless of how he plays, the kid has a great attitude and is super appreciative of the opportunity he is getting. Nice to hear that from any player.

    I think Ford will have some growing pains but if he gets confident with a few early season big plays he will take off. That can be a fantastic Safety duo.

    The PSU grad transfer is a nothing burger for now. The poor kid has had some serious injuries. Trying to hang on to his career. Hopefully he gets healthy.

    Pitt has two really fast, shifty guys out of the back field with Carter and V. Davis. That will be exciting this year. I loved watching Conner run over people, but a quick back is fun to watch as well.

    Sounds like Whipple brings a NFL game planning mentality to Pitt. He will be changing the plan a great deal from week to week. He said he would throw a lot at the players and it sounds like he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Receiver, Jared Wayne, has been impressive lately at camp and may play in some games this season, same with the LB, Dennis. Both were mentioned by Narduzzi. Wayne is the guy from Canada who played last season in Florida and put up big numbers. The POV recruiting experts gave Wayne no credit for his production, citing poor competition.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Branson Taylor, an OT from up near Cleveland, is announcing his school tomorrow night.

    His final two are WVU and Pitt. Pretty good offer list including Mich. St., Tenn, and Missouri.

    He’s a 5.6 three-star. He’s around 6’6” and 285#.

    We need some Olinemen in this class.


    1. Taylor has been a prime recruiting target of Coach Duzz. If he commits to Pitt, huge win! If he gives the nod to the inbreds then more shade gets thrown Narduzzi’s way (& it would be warranted) regarding his lack of recruiting prowess & the inability of this staff to close the deal on the big targets.


  5. Maybe we’re coming around on the RB recruits. 😊

    Verbal commit Henry Parrish gained 324 yards on 17 carries in his senior opener in Miami.

    Most importantly though, the kid is shifty! We need to keep this kid.

    Go watch one of his TD runs on PIttsburgh Sports Now. Or maybe someone can post it here…


    HP is a 5.5 three-star. Sure he is. I hope they keep him at that rating.

    We need to keep this kid.

    Go Pitt.


  6. LOL Bill. You’re right but missed my point about Hall. I was only saying that Hall is more of a homerun hitter and will take losses in the backfield.

    John, maybe PITT is coming around with running backs?? 🙂

    Oh and Parrish now has an offer from Miami, Hope he sticks with PITT!


    1. I want us to be:

      “Shifty Running Back U”!

      Think Shady, Dion and Ray. All nightmares to try to tackle…

      Go Pitt.


      1. It may seem like I’m forgetting JoeL but I’m not at all. No doubt it’s a collaboration effort and it works to everyone’s benefit! Shout out to Wolf, Scooter and all the others. Actually I did buy two more seats to the UVA game but not sure if we will make it down to the game or not. The tailgate is my main goal. For everyone else out there, you got to BE THERE!!


  7. I liked this quote from Coach Narduzzi referring to PSU transfer John Petrishen:

    “He’s got a ways to go knowledge-wise,” Narduzzi added.

    Well, duh! I mean he graduated from Penn State – kind of goes without saying…😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I think of Pitt as just as much o lineman U



  9. Tex…. you just pointed out this” It’s been a long time!”
    I am hoping Duzz and Co. can land 3 solid O lineman… wait and see… one kid announces tonight… seems like we are usually the bridesmaid on the announce ceremonies.. rarely the bride!


  10. David.@ADavidHaleJoint

    In ACC play only, best of last decade:

    All-purpose yds:
    Duke Johnson, 3543
    Tyler Boyd, 3539
    Sammy Watkins, 3397


      1. on 2nd thought, Houston is not an ACC opponent, He dropped a pass at VT in 2015 which began the anti-Boyd movement here … had he caught that, he would have been the decade leader and a few people would have found something else to complain about I’m sure


  11. Rashad Weaver@R_Weaver17

    @CoachTomlin told me and @AmirWatts345 today “stay on your game, cause people don’t care about your problems or they’re glad you have them”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. ^^ Narduzzi gets it, no one cares. Think about it…… why is there a hit show where people are featured screwing up? You know the one. Bloopers and blunders or whatever its called? What? We didn’t laugh at joe (poopy pants) running off the field on national tv with poo running down his legs? People love to laugh at someone else’s expense.


  13. Alexandre, Morgan or Baldonado either or all need to big this year to replace the loss of Weaver. The “Italian Stallion” just might turn out to be another Jones or Weaver(or better) in the making.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Any way you cut it, losing Weaver was a huge loss. There is no silver lining to that dark cloud. Even if the next man up emerges as as an adequate replacement, none of them will perform up to the level of play that Weaver was going to have in his breakout season. I’m viewed routinely as the eternal optimist but Weaver’s loss is nothing but bad news for our defense.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. From Chris Peak at pantherlair it would appear that Jim Medure came off scholarship this year for Pitt to get down to the 85(they were at 86 to begin camp) scholarship limit. That should also answers the question of whether or not the recent PSU transfer got a scholarship to join the Pitt team. At the very least if he got some compensation from Pitt its likely not via an athletic scholarship.


  15. My info is that Medure plans to attend med school, I assume at Pitt. I’ll try to get some info tomorrow since I’m attending the Neshannock HS game … but not sure I’ll be able to


  16. Thanks jrn that is interesting about Medure. I’ll also say and this is not directed anyone in particular but…….. what’s the big deal about this psu transfer being a walk-on or scholarship? Don’t PITT fans have more important topics to worry about or are we just looking for something else to find and complain about Narduzzi? Hey, maybe it’s just me and I have been called crazy many times in my life so it probably is me but again. What’s the big deal?


    1. ike — I say some questions need to be asked, and some of those questions need to be dodged.

      And we certainly have more important things to worry about — like what to take to the tailgate… Like do I dare wear that Pitt shirt I like with the old Pitt colors…
      Like, will Scooter be his fiery old self this season?

      Just to name a few… 😊

      Go Pitt.


      1. I’ll give my opinion on of your one questions John… Wear your favorite PITT shirt as long as it doesn’t have a Dynocat on it!! Couple years ago my wonderful wife brought home a PITT shirt that looked great on her. …….. Until I saw the Dynocat. I told her in a very nice way……. Take it back!!


        1. Good one, ike.

          I have a Pitt t-shirt with a prominent Dynocat on it. I now wear it for a work-shirt only… 😊

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Ike – It’s not a big deal (whether the psu transfer is a walk-on or scholarship)… to us. But, it was to Narduzzi. Narduzzi probably hoped that the reporter’s focus/questions would be on why the kids would leave PSU (rather than on ‘did you give him a scholarship).

      My guess comes from reading Coach Nard’s facial expressions. He appeared to be really proud that the this kid transferred to Pitt from psu Coach Nard smirks a couple of times when delivering this news, and never utters the words psu. Narduzzi knows that there is some discontent in Creepy Valley. The discontent likely comes from 3-star type kids being recruited over. While this a good problem for psu, Nard knows that this transfer, now free to talk about it, may spread the word with other athletes at places like Central Catholic. So, Narduzzi may think that this provides a recruiting advantage. But, the reporters don’t ask about possible discontent in Creepy Valley. Rather, they ask if Pitt gave him a scholarship which Pitt didn’t because Pitt doesn’t have one to give. And it’s likely that the reporter knew the answer to his own question… This frustrated/irked Narduzzi (who should have taken the high road) because Narduzzi would prefer that the question and pressure be put on psu…

      That was my GUESS from watching the interview.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. since 2014


    ACC records in playoff era:
    Clemson, 36-4
    FSU, 25-15
    Miami, 24-16
    Pitt, 24-16
    VT, 22-18
    Lou, 21-19
    NC State, 20-20
    GT, 20-20
    UNC, 19-21
    Duke, 16-24
    UVA, 14-26
    BC, 14-26
    Cute, 13-27
    Wake, 12-28

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The ACC Network launches in 27 minutes. If u don’t have it, t will be simulcast with ESPN for 10 minutes


  19. Just listened to an interview with Coach Whipple. It was kind of refreshingly sobering.

    He said you just don’t know what’s going to happen — but something always does…

    As Pitt fans, don’t we know that to be true…🤔

    He said something like that he had to scratch-out a couple of plays that the guys just didn’t seem comfortable running against the UVA defense…

    Let’s hope he can find some plays and play-makers and it doesn’t take him too long to do it.

    Should be helpful that he’s been thru this “first-game-as-the-new-OC” situation before…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Just throwing a question out there one week before the real season begins, what is the biggest concern, going into this important ACC opener, with this year’s Pitt Panthers?
    Mine, can Kenny Pickett pull off the game plan put together by Coach Whipple? By that I mean, connecting with our receivers in an expanded passing game without the poorly timed misfires that were thrown downfield that he was plagued by last season.


    1. Mine is will the O-line give KP the time to look like he did vs Wake?

      Also how less effective will the D be without Weaver?


    2. The OL getting their crap together early.
      Production from Weaver’s spot, he was a big loss.
      Paris Ford – bust or star.


      1. My big question is, will be be able to run the football effectively? If opposing Ds can prevent us from running and make us 1 dimensional then I believe Kenny will have problems.


  21. Wolfe (not a typo, he spells his name with an e) has been a primary force behind the tailgates the past few years…we merged tailgates after realizing that we were being placed in different parking lots after years of tailgating next to each other.
    The cat is there every game with me 5 hours prior to kickoff to hold parking spots.
    JoeL and Scooter’s contributions have been well documented and much appreciated. They contribute immensely.
    Looking forward to seeing the POVerts at the Friday golf event and the BIG GAME.
    Details coming early next week for UVA game…but the lot opens at 2:30.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Pretty simple… Given the DROP OFF at Runningback, will there be enough of a Running Game to complement whatever advances Whipple and Pickett or Patti are able to accomplish with the Passing Game?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The RBs are just as talented. Hall was not the greatest talent in the world. Thus him barely hanging on in the NFL.

      This years backs will be more well rounded and faster. There will be a yardage drop off simply because Pitt will actually be able to throw, LOL.


  23. My questions: can our D generate turn-overs. Can the O start out looking like they have a couple of games under their belt and avoid turnovers. Does the HC have them ready to start when he unlocks the gate.

    Hope our punter holder can hod onto the ball..can never forget his perfomance against the Nits last year.


  24. Of course, there could be more than one. But, even if it is not right away, eventually there will be a PRIMARY “go to.” There always is.

    And with Whipple’s Offense, that will likely be the case with the ALL-IMPORTANT Slot Receiver position.


    1. I’ll go with Aaron Matthews as the eventual primary slot receiver. I agree that it will be a critical position.


  25. Great to have The Ghost of Dr. Tom in the house.

    My biggest concern, in a long list of concerns, is that we once again don’t rise up to the occasion and win the big, hyped game.

    Seems like anytime there’s a game that’s a big event, we tend to fall on our faces. This would be a great time for the Panther to ROAR instead of whimper!

    Rise to the occasion!

    Go Pitt.


    1. On that note, I’m getting ready to head down to the Kickass Luncheon, er, I mean the Kickoff Luncheon…

      Curtis Martin is the keynote speaker. Cool.

      Hail to Pitt!

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Biggest concern (Dr T’s question above) – Can we come out of the gate fast enough to win at least two of the first four games? I have no doubt that we will get better as the year goes on (barring major injuries). But, we can’t start slow this season given this schedule…

    Other CFB (way to early) predictions:

    I think that Ohio State will take a sizable step back in wins. I see them losing 3 or 4 games.

    I think that Miami will win the coastal, but the coastal will be up for grabs until the final week or two. Miami plays Florida tomorrow night, and that’s a tough opener with a freshman QB. Miami will give Clemson a run for the ACC championship. Pitt will be in the mix for the coastal, as will VA, VaTech.

    Texas will make the CFB playoffs this year.


  27. My biggest concern going into this upcoming season is? ….. I don’t have a big concern. PITT is now a well rounded football team with good depth. 🙂


  28. Sidenote it will be interesting to see what McVitie does at Kansas this year…He’s probably not surrounded by a cast of strong characters…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Who is the running back that can catch the ball out of the backfield and is also capable at blocking blitzes? Whoever that is will see a lot of playing time.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Macvittie loved PITT and really didn’t want to leave. According to a family friend I met before a game at a hotel. In his first year at PITT he bunked with Pugh and they became good friends. It’s not my place for me to connect the dots here. Jus saying………


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