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.
Ending our countdown today is wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Like other Panthers' legends, Fitz really needs no introduction. He spent only two seasons with the team but is one of the greatest players in the program's history so it's fitting we end it with him. Fitzgerald burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2002 with 69 catches for 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns but it was his sophomore season that college football fans remember. During 2003, Fitzgerald nearly won the Heisman trophy with a massive 1,672-yard 22-touchdown effort. His 22 scores led the entire NCAA and his 92 receptions were fifth. He lost out on the Heisman but was named the Walter Camp Award winner as college football's Player of the Year, and won the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver, and was a consensus All-American.
Fitzgerald's success continued into the NFL. He was taken third overall in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and has been to nine Pro Bowls. To date, Fitzgerald has 13,366 receiving yards and 98 touchdown receptions.
Fitzgerald's No. 1 was just retired by the Panthers in 2013.