Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman is pretty important to the success of this year - we've been through all that. Seems like others are taking notice as well.
Recently, CBS Sports reviewed the 16 most irreplaceable college football players for this upcoming season. And ... guess who was on the list?
Peterman isn't the trendiest name here, but hear us out. Pitt's offense obviously goes through its ground game, but Peterman has the capability of stretching the ball downfield in the passing attack. No other quarterback not named Chad Voytik threw a pass for Pitt in 2015, and Voytik has transferred to Arkansas State. Pitt has already shown it can run the ball without James Conner -- Qadree Ollison rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns -- but the Panthers could be in real trouble if Peterman ever leaves the field. This is especially true if you're of the belief Pitt could be a sleeper ACC Coastal contender.
It goes beyond saying but Pitt needs Peterman to stay healthy. The Panthers are in a similar situation to what they were in two seasons ago after Tom Savage had graduated, leaving Chad Voytik as the starter.
Then, the Panthers' only backup with experience was Trey Anderson. It's a similar deal this season as Pitt lost Chad Voytik to a transfer and has only one guy with some game experience behind Peterman in Manny Stocker. But while Stocker has played in games, he's also a converted wide receiver and hasn't played the position in an FBS game since 2012.
While there are better players than Peterman, I'm not sure there are more important ones in terms of guys the team needs to stay healthy.