Two things happened yesterday that will affect Pitt’s football season. First, consensus (or near consensus as far as I can tell) all-American Defensive Tackle Jaylen Twyman opted out for the season. Given Twyman’s history and family situation he can hardly be blamed, and I for one am proud of Pitt fans’ (and Pitt’s) response to this one. Handled with class. Here is Twyman’s statement:
I started playing football when I was six years old. I immediately fell in love with it. Football has changed my life. It has led me to places that I could only dream of [after] growing up in Lincoln Heights.
Football has brought me to Pitt and I love it so much. I love putting on that blue and gold helmet and just grinding with my brothers.
This past year has been crazy for so many people. It makes you realize you have responsibilities beyond yourself. That’s why I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season and declare for the 2021 NFL draft, and to return home to be with my family. This isn’t about COVID-19. This is about my family’s needs, now and in the future.
I want to thank Coach Narduzzi for his support in my decision. He has always believed in me. I want to thank him for giving me the chance to pursue my dreams at Pitt – and beyond Pitt.
I want to thank coach Partridge who made me a better person and player every day.
I want to thank Panther Nation for their love. I will miss running out of the Heinz Field tunnel and hearing “Thunderstruck”.
I promised my mother and Coach Narduzzi that I will finish my degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt will always be part of me.
Forever a Pitt Man!