Jerry DiPaola in the Trib had a story up earlier this week about a local kicker joining Pitt's program for 2018. Beaver's Will Connelly is expected to join the team next season. Connelly, who had been playing basketball and soccer in high school as well, says he's focusing on football this year.
Connelly's longest field goal at Beaver has been 39 yards but he's up to 65 yards in practice.
He will reportedly join the team as a 'preferred' walk-on. The difference between that and a regular walk-on can vary a little but, in general, it seems that they will automatically be added to the 105-player roster for the start of training camp. Typically, 'regular' walk-ons have to earn their way to reach even that point.
We don't discuss walk-ons too much but the kicking game is one area where Pitt will be seeing an adjustment this year with the departure of Chris Blewitt. Blewitt was invited to a Steelers minicamp back in May after going undrafted.
Currently, Pitt has two kickers on the roster in redshirt freshman Alex Kessman and junior Ian Troost. If Kessman works out for Pitt and stays healthy, they won't have to worry about another kicker for four years. But the Panthers need a capable backup there so the more options you have, the better.
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