Quintin Wirginis committed to Pitt without much fanfare and the "big boys" of college football were not exactly beating down his door. Those big schools never really did come knocking, thanks in large part to a foot injury that derailed his senior season at Fox Chapel. Wirginis was never able to play a down his senior year, but recovered nicely from the injury.
Something began to happen, though, and that was during basketball season, where he started at forward last winter. With his foot healed, many were reporting just how athletic and good he looked on the hardwood. His name kept coming up in recruiting snippets about Pitt's class as someone who may have been overlooked and could surprise a lot of people when he shows up at Pitt in August. Well, it is August and if the Panthers were planning to redshirt him, no one told Wirginis.
There were some small injuries at the linebacker position and Bam Bradley is taking care of some family issues at the moment. That opened up a spot for Wirginis to slide in and get some run with the second team and on special teams. According to Sam Werner of the PG, he is making the most of it and Paul Chryst is taking notice:
- Chryst went out of his way to highlight the performance of freshman Quintin Wirginis today. With so much shuffling at linebacker, Wirginis was able to get some snaps with the second team at middle linebacker and, according to Chryst, acquitted himself nicely.
"Quintin Wirginis stepped up," Chryst said. "He kind of flashed.
"He followed the ball and made plays. This was a good chance to just line up and play, and I felt he did a pretty good job. I noticed him when he showed up. I think that's the biggest thing."
The linebacker also says things are getting easier for him. “Actually, starting this week, things are really starting to slow down. It’s still fast," he said after practice. "There are still a lot of things I need to learn. There are still a lot of things that I’m picking up on every practice, every drive, but I’d say they’re slowing down a bit.”
When someone that is a linebacker is young and "following the ball", that is usually a very good sign. I can think of a few other Pitt linebackers that used to follow the ball and one of them is a volunteer on the staff right now in Scott McKillop. He turned out pretty good for Pitt football. Let's hope the Panthers found another one in Wirginis.