Rosters of players attending the ACC media days were released on Thursday and Pitt bucked the trend a little bit. The Panthers will send senior Ray Vinopal and sophomore wide receiver Tyler Boyd to the event. ACC media days will be held on July 20 and 21 in Greensboro.
While other options on defense could have been presented (i.e. Todd Thomas or Anthony Gonzalez), as a senior, the selection of Vinopal isn't all that surprising. It might have been nice for Thomas or Gonzo to get their shot to attend since both endured some position changes and really spent time moving around over their time at Pitt. But it's also hard to be upset with Vinopal's selection since he grew significantly as a player last year and went from being the butt of jokes to a key player in the secondary.
Boyd's selection, though, certainly raises some eyebrows. Upperclassmen are almost always exclusively chosen to participate in the event and Boyd getting to do it as a sophomore is pretty interesting. In fact, Boyd and Florida State's Jameis Winston are the only two underclassmen that will appear from the entire conference.
Even though it's a little surprising, Boyd's presence also makes some sense. For starters, he's arguably the best player on the team. For another, this isn't a team that's going to be led by seniors and while others could certainly have been chosen on offense such as T.J. Clemmings, Matt Rotheram, or Isaac Bennett, this is really a team consisting of a lot of underclassmen that will contribute.
Also, it's clearly a reward for a guy that has come in exceeded all expectations. As only a sophomore, Boyd is one of the best receivers in the conference and had a big freshman year. While I like to see upperclassmen get rewarded, it's really difficult to find fault with his selection.
Keep this in mind, too - He also has to be pleased to go and, hey, keeping this guy happy isn't all that bad of an idea. Chryst has taken a lot of criticism for not treating stars like Rushel Shell all that happy and while that's hardly his job, it makes sense to reward them when he can. Chryst certainly deserves credit here for a fairly bold move and you can bet that younger guys are paying attention to these sorts of things.
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