More On Wisconsin Transfer Manasseh Garner

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema played a role in getting Garner to come to Pitt (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Earlier, Bryan mentioned that Pitt picked up a transfer from Wisconsin - Manasseh Garner. The former Pittsburgh native is headed back home and here's a bit more info.

Wisconsin's head coach Bret Bielema was the one who made it happen and he spoke about the move after it happened.

It sounds like Garner wanted to play right away and was looking around the FCS when Bielema stepped in:

"Manasseh was maybe leaning toward some FCS schools," Bielema said after practice on Thursday. "We had a list; I think I released him to 15 schools. I sat down with him. I actually talked to coach Chryst, explained (to Garner), the best option in my opinion would be to go to a BCS school and sit out a year, get himself healthy and have two years to play. So, that's exactly what he's doing."

Bielema also said family had a lot to do with it:

"He's got a baby back home; he's got some life issues," Bielema said. "Maybe to be closer to home will be a good thing for him."

Personally, I don't have kids. But I can't even begin to imagine being that far away from them if I did. If nothing else, the move will be in his best interests for that alone.

On the field, Garner's been used very little, but there could be opportunity for him at Pitt.

Scout previously rated him the 29th best linebacker coming out of high school and he sparingly played on offense, defense, and special teams, recording ten tackles in his first year in 2010. Last year, he had two catches for 45 yards.

Pitt could actually be a good landing spot for him. Three of the Panthers' primary receivers for this season, Cam Saddler, Mike Shanahan, and Josh Brinson, will all be gone by the time he's eligible in 2013. Junior Devin Street's even been projected as a high-round draft pick next year, and there's a possibility he could even leave early with a big season.

None of that is to suggest that Garner will have the inside track to a starting spot in 2013. We don't yet know who will step up with all of the older receivers moving on. But his path to playing time may be a bit more open than it was with the Badgers.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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