Height/Weight - 6'2" 210 Senior Wide Receiver
2013 Stats - 60 catches for 1,035 receiving yards. 9 receiving touchdowns. 13 carries for 159 yards. 2 rushing touchdowns.
Pitt player that needs to "step up"- Lafayette Pitts
It would be easy to call out the new corners for this one. Delaware boasts a legitimate passing attack with a senior quarterback throwing to a senior wide receiver. The Blue Hens also have a sure handed tight end and some good backs that can move the ball, so as a whole the Pitt defense will get a test right off the bat with Delaware, but it is Michael Johnson that should give the Panthers some fits on Saturday. The senior wideout boasts some solid numbers and is a serious talent. The Pitt secondary needs to be ready, especially third-year starting corner, Lafayette Pitts.
Michael Johnson is a good looking wide receiver for any level of football, and is listed as a player to watch for the Walter Payton award, which is given to the best player in the FCS. He has the size and speed to probably generate some NFL interest in the Spring, and could be drafted. Like you hear so often from FCS teams, Johnson was a guy that fell through the cracks of FBS to a place like Delaware. He was getting looks from some SEC teams in high school before an injury, and that led to him landing at Delaware. So make no mistake about it, Johnson is an FBS receiver on a FCS team. He is used a lot like Tyler Boyd, in that he will touch the ball on reverses and designed runs. Johnson is just a playmaker and the Blue Hens will do all they can to get the ball in his hands as much as possible on Saturday.
Pitt has a very well documented lack of depth at the corner position. K'waun Williams graduated in the Spring after a solid career, and that left the door open for a new starter opposite of Lafayette Pitts, and that's when all the problems started. It began with Jamahl Parder leaving the football program and transferring to Towson. Presumed starter, Titus Howard, was then suspended for the season a few weeks ago, and just last week the man expected to take Howard's spot, Trenton Coles, has opted for a transfer himself.
Pitt will enter the 2014 season with five cornerbacks on the roster, and just one of those five has ever seen the field at the position. Lafayette Pitts is the player that needs to "step up" this week. Delaware will have no problem identifying new starter Reggie Mitchell and freshman Avonte Maddox, so that's where Pitts needs to come up with a big game. It will take some time for the new guys to be solid players, but Pitts cannot replicate his 2013 performance. Pitts looked like an NFL prospect after his freshman year, but followed it up with a shaky season last year. Pitt needs Lafayette Pitts in his 2012 version this season, and especially in week one going up against such a talented guy in Michael Johnson.