Coming into the 2015 season, one of the strengths often listed for Pitt is its talented offensive line. That strength took a bit of a hit on Monday when sophomore right tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith injured his knee during a conditioning work out as first reported by Chris Peak of Pantherlair
"We are incredibly disappointed for Jaryd," Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. "Our entire team will rally behind him as he works to overcome this challenge. Jaryd is a great young man and a tough competitor. Even though he is sidelined this year, he is going to remain an important member of our team this fall."
From what I understand, the injury was just kind of a fluke accident. He just landed on the knee the wrong way. Jones-Smith had played in all thirteen games last year as a freshman, and started three of them. He was the projected starter at right tackle coming into this season. Fortunately, Paul Chryst did recruit the line well, and there is a little bit of depth there. Redshirt freshman Alex Bookser (former 4* recruit with Ohio State and Alabama offers) was projected to start at right guard, but will likely slide over into the now vacant tackle position. Alex Officer, the returning starter at center, could slide to that guard spot letting redshirt senior Artie Rowell possibly back in the starting line up after he tore his ACL at the beginning of last season. Either way, there will certainly be some shuffling around.
Jones-Smith is a legit talent, and his loss will certainly change the dynamic of the line going into the season. Fortunately, the team has a few months of conditioning and fall camp to address it.