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2015 Pitt football post-spring depth chart observations

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kudos to Sam Werner of the PG for getting a hold of this, but here is a look at Pitt's post-spring depth chart. Note that this, of course, isn't official for the season and while it's given to magazines for preview purposes, I'm not even sure it's an entirely accurate reflection of an official 'official' depth chart.

All of that taken into consideration, here are some things I found interesting.

  • The second string wide receivers are listed as Zach Challingsworth and Jester Weah. That seems to clash with the notion that Elijah Zeise (who Pat Narduzzi noted looked good this spring) seemed to be battling Dontez Ford for the starting spot opposite Tyler Boyd. Again, this isn't necessarily how the season will start, but it's kind of weird that Zeise doesn't show up among the first four names.
  • Tyler Boyd is listed as the top kickoff and punt returner. This one, like cornerback (I'll get to that in a minute), could be up in the air. Boyd, as I've noted numerous times, is valuable back there but using him on special teams is a risky proposition - especially with the team having so many questions at wide receiver. Pitt has many other options, too, including Avonte Maddox (shown as the second returner), Jordan Whitehead, and now, Rafael Araujo-Lopes, who I noted had done some return work.
  • Despite Artie Rowell coming back, he's not a lock to start at center. He and Alex Officer are both listed as first-team options and while Pat Narduzzi said he could play some at guard, he's no lock there, either, with Adam Bookser moving from tackle to guard and Dorian Johnson with seemingly a lock at the other guard spot. Pitt could do some shuffling as they did last year in moving Adam Bisnowaty around a little, but the important thing here is that Pitt has a lot of depth. And as Werner points out, highly-touted recruit Michael Grimm isn't even on the two deep at this point.
  • At quarterback, Adam Bertke is listed as the backup. But that might be short-lived since transfer Nathan Peterman isn't yet here. Peterman isn't likely to unseat Chad Voytik but could push him if Voytik struggles at all.
  • The starting linebackers (Nic Grigsby, Matt Galambos, and Bam Bradley) aren't too much of a surprise based on everything we've heard to this point, but I found it noteworthy that running back transfer Jameel Poteat is showing up as the backup to Grigsby. It was clear he wasn't going to get work in the backfield with Pitt's glut of running backs, so the move to linebacker wasn't really out of the blue. But to see him up that far is interesting. Pitt, of course, had some losses there with starters Todd Thomas and Anthony Gonzalez moving on.
  • Starting safety from last year, Terrish Webb, has been bounced to the second team behind Reggie Mitchell. That was demonstrated in the spring, but per the depth chart, it's 'official.'
  • Sticking with the secondary, there's still a chance for a big shakeup here with Jordan Whitehead coming in the fall. He's not on here, but it's difficult to envision him not at least taking up a backup spot, if not starting immediately. Beating out backups Dennis Briggs and/or Ryan Lewis seems like a lock and taking down Lafayette Pitts or Avonte Maddox doesn't seem far-fetched, either.
  • Only two running backs are shown, James Conner and Chris James, but you can bet a few others will be in the mix. Rachid Ibrahim is a nice change of pace back and probably the biggest weapon catching balls out of the backfield. And as a senior, he'll play. There was talk of him getting more than just third-down carries, but with Conner and James, I just don't see much room to do that. Qadree Ollison seems like a safe bet to get onto the field in some capacity with the loss of Isaac Bennett and while he's probably headed for a redshirt, you never know if Darrin Hall finds his way into some playing time with an injury or if another guy really struggles.
  • Finally, don't forget about Michigan State transfer Mark Scarpinato. Unlike transfer Dewayne Hendrix, Scarpinato is eligible to play this year and you'd expect him to figure in to the defensive line with a ton of question marks.

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