I'm writing this article as a warning to tell the Pitt football fanbase to not freak out in the coming months. What on earth am I talking about? Well, spring football practice is going to begin on Tuesday, March 15th - bear with me here.
The recent recruiting class still will not be on campus, but that doesn't mean they won't have some sort of impact on how things shake out this spring. That's because once they reach the Oakland campus, Pitt will have approximately 92 scholarship players on the roster. Per NCAA regulations, that's a problem since the team must be at 85. When they have to be at 85 scholarships is not known exactly, but it is probably sometime over the summer before camp opens for the season.
In other words, some players will probably have to go. Even with the recent transfers of Chris James, Pat Amara, etc., the Panthers still need to do some trimming.
While spring football will give us some answers in the way of starters, it may also give us an idea of who will leave. Some players want to start and will notice they probably won't, while others just won't think they will even see the field. Some of the players will elicit the response of, "who?" while other players will bring out the reactions that came with the Amara departure. The second one is the one we want to avoid, as we don't need fans having heart attacks this far before the season begins. There will probably be a player or two that you just don't want to see go. While everyone loved the big recruiting class, Pitt now has a numbers problem.
Obviously, with the way numbers are on the roster, Pitt would like to avoid departures at the positions of quarterback, tight end, linebacker, and defensive tackle. They are thin there as things stand right now, and any players leaving from those areas of the team would hurt.
There will be some losses over the next few months, but with the current roster situation, they are completely necessary.