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#65 Days Until Pitt Football: Joe Schmidt

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

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 Joe Schmidt.

Out of nearby Brentwood, Schmidt was one of the Panthers' top players of all time. A defensive standout at linebacker, he was named as a First Team All-American in 1952. After his Pitt career, he was selected in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions, where he played an impressive 13 years winning two NFL championships and making ten Pro Bowl.

Schmidt's #65 was retired by Pitt and his #56 was retired by the Lions. He was named to both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and he was the first Panther inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After his playing days, he would go on to coach the Lions for six seasons.

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