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 are Russ Grimm and Chris Doleman. I never expected to have any days with two players, but had to make that exception here? After all, how do you choose between two Pro Football Hall of Famers?
Grimm joined the Panthers initially as a linebacker before making the switch to the offensive line. He came to Pitt weighing only about 200 pounds and added about 70 pounds of weight before he left as a star at center, earning honorable mention All-American status. As Dan Marino famously quipped years later, there were days when his jersey never got dirty thanks to the protection from Grimm and the line. After being drafted in the third round, he would go on to a pro career that included four All-Pro nominations and four Super Bowl wins before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010
Doleman played linebacker and defensive end at Pitt, starring there and finishing his college career with 25 sacks, among the school's all-time leaders. A few years ago, I actually had the chance to briefly interview him for the site when he was was on a promotional tour of sorts for a TV show and the thing that stood out to him about Pitt was all of the winning his teams did (33-3 record in his first three years). He was quickly sought after by NFL scouts and went with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings. 100+ sacks and eight Pro Bowls later, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012 alongside fellow Pitt great Curtis Martin.