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Pitt Football Spring Practices: Top Five Developments from the Sessions

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pitt had a relatively quiet spring when it came to the football team's practice sessions. There was still some noteworthy news that broke over the past few weeks, though. With the practices wrapped up, here were the top five stories as I see them:

5. Paul Chryst on Dancing with the Stars: Wait, wrong list ...

5. Ed Conway Award Winners: The annual awards honor the most improved players on the team and the results were announced this week. Tackle T.J. Clemmings won the award on offense for a second straight year. Defensive lineman David Durham won it on defense while Todd Thomas took it on special teams.

4. No Game: Not really a development since we knew before the practices began that there wouldn't be a Blue-Gold spring game, but ... man (yeah, I'm still sore about it, folks).

3. Quarterbacks Split Time: Even with a new quarterback in Chad Voytik taking over this season, head coach Paul Chryst still gave backup Trey Anderson a good deal of reps. At first glance, it seems odd. As I wrote at the time, however, Pitt has to be prepared and give Anderson some work in case Voytik goes down with an injury or struggles badly.

2. Running Back Injuries: Pitt was working with a thin backfield after returnees Isaac Bennett and James Conner both went down for the spring with injuries. That forced Rachid Ibrahim onto the field a bit more and those two guys lost out on some valuable time in working with the rest of the offense. The good news is that they both should be back by the time the season starts, even though Bennett had to have surgery.

1. Departures: Pitt lost three key players as Bryan Murphy and Mark Giubilato left the program when practices began and then Jahmahl Pardner followed suit this week. Both Murphy (defensive line) and Giubilato (fullback) were starters at their positions and Pardner was expected to see quite a bit of time at cornerback. I still maintain that Murphy's loss could be significant as Pitt is now forced to replace 3/4 of their defensive line from last year. The addition of formerly-suspended lineman Khaynin Mosley-Smith helps, but still a blow as the team tries to somehow replace Aaron Donald.