And just as Pitt saw a player transfer out to get them closer to the NCAA's scholarship limit, they moved a bit further away with the news that they added a player.
Central Florida quarterbackannounced on Twitter that he is officially transferring to the Panthers:
Thank you to my coaches, teammates and Knight Nation for my time at UCF. I am transferring to Pittsburgh this summer to play football. #H2P— Bo Schneider (@bo_schneider) March 16, 2016
The Panthers lost 2014 starter and last year's backup Chad Voytik to a transfer and as a result, the team didn't have anyone on the bench behind with any game experience. That changed when they added wide receiver into the mix. As I mentioned on Wednesday, Stocker was moving to quarterback and he has some experience there, playing the position at North Carolina State and Tennessee-Martin before coming to Pitt. In the short term, he gives Pitt a quarterback behind Peterman with some previous game experience.
Schneider won't be eligible until 2017 and this is a long-term pickup since after sitting out this season, he will have three years of eligibility left. He was a three-star recruit out of high school and last year as a true freshman, got onto the field immediately, starting three games and playing in a few more as a backup. He had a pretty rough year (534 passing yards, 51% completion rate, two touchdowns, and seven interceptions), but to play as a true freshman is no easy feat. He played mostly in the first half last year and it's clear he needs more experience. Sitting out a year to mature a little is only going to benefit him.
The reason for the move? This article cites new head coach Scott Frost installing an up-tempo offense while he is a pro style quarterback. Ironically, he's also leaving a pretty crowded quarterback situation at Central Florida.
His addition will seemingly force Pat Narduzzi's hand elsewhere at quarterback. After this season when Nathan Peterman runs out of eligibility, Pitt's quarterback decision looked to be down to 2016 redshirt sophomore, 2016 redshirt freshman , and 2016 true freshman Tom MacVittie. Now with Schneider into the mix, that gives the Panthers four pretty young options.
By bringing in Schneider, it looks as if, at the very least, Narduzzi wants more competition there for the job in 2017 and isn't sold on the group he has. Or, perhaps he already knows that someone is moving on. Adding a quarterback with three years of eligibility left has to make those other three guys wonder where exactly they fit. There just doesn't appear to be room for all four (or maybe even three) if we're being honest here. The hope is that all of those guys are legit D-I quarterbacks and with all of them having a good bit of eligibility left, seeing everyone stick doesn't seem that realistic. That's especially true since Pitt is over the scholarship limit. You never know, but I would be surprised if we see everyone remain heading into this year.