ESPN.com continued its unit rankings of the ACC and on Friday, looked at the secondaries. Pitt checked in at No. 6 in the conference.
The unit lost four-year starter signed an undrafted rookie free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins) and also lost backup Pat Amara to a transfer, but returns just about everyone else from last year's up and down unit. The key to that group right now is obviously safety , who had a huge season and was both the ACC's Defensive Rookie of the Year and the conference's overall Rookie of the Year.(who
The team also returns guys like, , and Avonte Maddox. Perhaps more importantly, they add top recruit Damar Hamlin to the mix, who is projected to play at cornerback. With Pitts' departure especially, Hamlin will have a chance to start immediately.
The unit has been a punching bag of sorts for Pitt fans over the years, but long term, there's good reason to like this group going forward. In the 2016 class, they added several others, including three-star guys (though, who knows if they'll all wind up in the secondary) Therran Coleman, Henry Miller, and Bricen Garner. Next year, they plan to add four-star recruit Paris Ford and three-star Exree Loe to the mix as both have verbally committed to the team. Two years from now, Pitt still returns Whitehead and Hamlin to go along with Maddox and others.
As we've known for a while, the future is looking bright for the secondary.