If you spend any time on Twitter, you no doubt have seen people posting certain Pitt players wearing uniform numbers that correspond with the number of days left until the football season kicks off. Jim did it last year and this year, Pat Narduzzi has been doing it.
I know we have a lot of younger readers here and also some folks that may not have spent their entire lives following Pitt sports. For that reason, I thought it would be cool to not only do the countdown here, but also give a brief writeup on the player to potentially help fans connect a little more with some of the all-time greats.
Quick disclaimer - this isn't necessarily about picking the best player for each number. Not only is that disputable in many instances, but it's not really the point of the exercise. So don't be offended if your favorite player doesn't make the list here. I'll probably mirror Narduzzi's list for the most part but may go off the board in a few instances.
These will also be brief, folks. It's the offseason and we all use this time to wind down a bit. These won't be theses or anything, but we'll cobble together a few facts for each guy.
Finally, feel free to add on to a player's accomplishments in the comments section. Some I'll leave out due to space/time and some I may not even know about. But this will be a good learning exercise for all of us.
Continuing our countdown today is wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin.
Baldwin was one of the Panthers' best receivers in recent memory. At the time of his recruitment, he was one of the top wideouts in the nation and his commitment to then coach Dave Wannstedt was a big one.
His impact was immediate as he earned playing time right away and even started a few games as a true freshman. By his second season, he became a 1,000-yard receiver and chose to enter theafter a solid, but unspectacular year as a junior statistically (55 catches for 822 yards). Despite not reaching 1,000 yards as a junior, he still was considered a high-impact player that was a deep threat and, just as importantly, had a prototypical NFL body for a star receiver.
While still at Pitt, Baldwin reportedly took some shots at quarterback Tino Sunseri and even his use on offense. His talent, though, was too difficult to overlook and he still wound up being a first-round NFL Draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately for his new team, he never lived up to the hype. He was involved in a training camp scuffle in his first year as a rookie (full disclosure here - it may not have been his fault) and there was also speculation from a Chiefs site that he was possibly banned from Twitter.
All told, he had a pretty disappointing pro career based upon where he was taken in the NFL Draft. He had only 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns after two seasons in Kansas City, then played a year with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 where he had a minimal impact with only three catches.