Assuming they stay in the NFL Draft, Pitt will lose three players that still had a year of eligibility in offensive lineman Brian O’Neill, safety Jordan Whitehead, and receiver/return specialist Quadree Henderson.
While the departure of Henderson in particular raised some eyebrows among fans, head coach Pat Narduzzi said he wasn’t caught off guard.
“You know, nothing catches you off guard,” Narduzzi said. You're prepared. You see how they play. But we support all those guys. It's a dream for a lot of these guys. They see their dream right next door. They watch the success those guys have, and it doesn't surprise me.”
So who does he believe is the most prepared?
“Brian O'Neill did the most homework. That guy was detailed, and I think he's got a notebook this thick with notes he took. So you want to make sure they go through the process the right way and make a decision for the right reason.”
Time will tell if the decisions were the correct ones. But all three are talented and have the ability to play, in some capacity, in the NFL. Henderson is still the one I question the most just because it’s hard to make it mostly as a specialist, which is really what he is. But his return skills are certainly good enough for the pros so we’ll see if/when a team takes a chance on him in the Draft based primarily on that.