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 yet another offensive lineman standout, Jeff Otah.
Otah is our fourth consecutive offensive lineman and one that was certainly deserving of some recognition. JUCO players often don't work out, but Otah was certainly one that did.
Joining the Panthers in 2006 with two years of eligibility, Otah became an immediate starter at left tackle starting all 12 games there. In 2007, he was the Panthers' recipient of the Ed Conway Award on offense in spring practice as the most improved player, and that was a sign of things to come. That season, he was named All Big East First Team and with stock that was incredibly high, became a first-round NFL Draft pick with the Carolina Panthers in 2008.
Otah's pro career wasn't a complete bust, but was brief. After winning the starting right tackle job immediately as a rookie, he was plagued with knee issues that ended his career after only 29 games (all starts).