At Pat Narduzzi’s press conference to announce the bulk of his new 2018 recruiting class, he took the time to address Pitt’s quarterback situation.
As I wrote yesterday, he discussed the transfers that left the program. But he also took the time to add that Kenny Pickett is, for now, the team’s starting quarterback heading into 2018, while discussing his latest in addition to the position, JUCO transfer Ricky Town.
“Kenny is our starting quarterback right now,” Narduzzi said. “Ricky is coming in to challenge for us and make him better, and it's going to make everybody in this room a better person, a better coach, a better team. He's a competitor, and we're excited to get him here.”
None of that is too surprising. Most people expected Pickett to have first shot at the job after leading Pitt to a win over No. 2 Miami at the end of this season. Similarly, Town is coming here with a chance to compete for the job.
The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is how much can he compete? In the recent poll we took, about 40% of you thought that he would not seriously challenge for the job. About 15% believe he would while the rest said ‘maybe’ or were undecided.
My position then (and still now) is that Town believes he’ll get a serious look to win the job. He wouldn’t have come here if he didn’t think there was a shot at playing and he certainly could have gone elsewhere with a better shot at seeing the field. The Town addition is interesting, though, given that he left Arkansas after not playing. Suppose the same thing happens here this year?
It’s still somewhat surprising that with playing time being such a factor, he would choose a destination where it seems hardly a guarantee. He could easily find himself with only one year of eligibility left in 2019. Looking ahead, I really believe that if Town doesn’t play this year that it’s going to be a one-year deal for him at Pitt. If he isn’t able to supplant Pickett in 2018, there’s probably no chance he does in 2019, either.