Yesterday, I reviewed five questions from the beginning of the Pitt football training camp. With camp coming to a close this week, here were the top ten developments as I saw them over the past few weeks.
I generally hate doing lists for fear of something that will be left out. Also, there are other things that could have been mentioned here such as nagging injuries (mostly since we don't know the extent of them), recruiting target Damar Hamlin showing up at camp, etc. A couple of positions are still up for grabs, but that is pretty commonplace stuff. For now, I passed over those but let me know if you think I missed something else.
10. Pat Narduzzi bunks with players/Pitt unveils new facilities - I wanted to pretty much limit this to players, but had to mention the new digs and that the head coach went old school, crashing with his team in dorms for camp.
9. Hez Trahan leaves the team - Trahan wasn't expected to play much this season and was working with the third-team at the time of his departure during camp. His move hurts the depth on the line a little, but isn't a loss that Pitt can't handle.
8. James Folston moves to defensive end - With the switch from linebacker to defensive end, Folston should immediately have a chance at more playing time this season. He isn't projected to start, but likely will get onto the field.
7. Darrin Hall pushes for playing time - Despite a crowded backfield led by All-American candidate James Conner, true freshman Darrin Hall has jumped into the rotation and is expected to play this season. Even with the loss of Rachid Ibrahim, coaches said that Hall would play this year.
6. Quadree Henderson makes waves - Both Quadree Henderson and fellow true freshman Tre Tipton have forced their way into a crowded receiving corps, but Henderson is the one we've heard more about during camp. He also has gotten some work on special teams as a returner, per the Post-Gazette's Sam Werner, and will have a role as early as the season opener against Youngstown State.
5. Artie Rowell back at center - With Rowell returning from his season-long injury, the question was if he would go back to center where he previously played or switch to guard. The coaches reinstalled him at center, moving last year's center, Alex Officer, to guard instead.
4. Panthers land two commits - Pitt added two significant verbals during camp from 2016 defensive tackle Rashad Wheeler and 2017 cornerback Exree Loe. Wheeler reportedly picked Pitt over several schools, including Penn State, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Loe didn't have Wheeler's offer sheet, but is younger and already projected as one of the top players in the state for his class.
3. Rachid Ibrahim injury - The Panthers lost backup running back Rachid Ibrahim for the season with an ACL injury. As previously mentioned, however, the team has plenty of depth at that position and should be fine.
2. Alex Bookser, Brian O'Neill step into prominent roles on offensive line - Bookser is slated to start at tackle after redshirting last season while O'Neill surprised everyone by converting from tight end and leaving camp as arguably the top backup on the offensive line.
1. Jordan Whitehead contending for starting spot ... at safety - The Whitehead to safety talk that broke before camp and during camp, head coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed that was his home for now. Not only is the true freshman in line to play a lot this season, he is still a candidate to be a starter and earlier this week, he received some work with the first team. By all indications, he has a lot to learn but is as athletic as advertised and could become a starter as a true freshman.