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 running back Dion Lewis.
When Lesean McCoy left for the NFL early, nearly all Pitt fans thought the team would see a dropoff in performance at running back. That didn't happen with Lewis.
Lewis actually topped McCoy in production as a freshman in 2009 and his 1,799-yard season led to him being named the Big East's Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. He was named as the National Freshman of the Year by two publications and was also a second team All-American. His production dropped as a sophomore as he carried the ball nearly 100 times less, but he still topped 1,000 yards on the season. In two short years, Lewis scored a whopping 31 touchdowns. His 47 carries in the now infamous Cincinnati game are a Pitt record.
Despite playing only two years at Pitt, he was three years removed from high school and eligible for the NFL Draft. Like McCoy, he left early and was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Eagles where, ironically, he teamed up with McCoy again. He has battled some injuries, but so far has played parts of three NFL seasons with the Eagles and Patriots. He also was with the Browns for a season, but missed the entire year due to injury.