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 offensive lineman Bill Fralic.
Fralic needs little introduction as one of the Panthers' finest players of all time. In the eighth grade alone, he was 6'3" and weighed 235 pounds. Out of Penn Hills as a Parade , he selected Pitt and ended up as a three-time collegiate All-American (twice consensus). In his senior season, 1984, he was also the UPI Lineman of the Year. His greatness was solidified before his career even ended as his #79 jersey was retired at halftime of his final home game. Later, he would be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
In a pretty cool story, Pitt's sports information department developed the term 'Pancake', which is now a popular statistic for offensive linemen when they knock down a defensive lineman. The term was created for Fralic to help them keep track of how many times he accomplished that.
He went on to an excellent NFL career after being taken second overall in the 1985by the Atlanta Falcons. Fralic played eight years in the pros and was a four-time Pro Bowler. He later served as a commentator for both the Panthers and Falcons.