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Tight end Chris Clark ‘has stepped away’ from Pitt

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NCAA Football: Rice at Pittsburgh Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi revealed after the eighth day of spring practice that tight end Chris Clark is not currently taking part in team activities, as he has parted ways with the program for the time being for personal reasons.

”Chris has stepped away right now for personal reasons,” Narduzzi said after Tuesday’s practice. “In talking with his mom and dad, just personally, there’s some things he’s trying to deal with. He’s away from the program, and our best wishes are for Chris and his family to make it through these tough times.”

When asked when or if Clark might rejoin the Panthers, Narduzzi added, “That’s something we haven’t really discussed. Right now, his well-being is the most important thing.”

In 2017, Clark was Pitt’s second-most productive tight end behind Matt Flanagan. He caught 16 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, with his lone score coming in Pitt’s 42-10 rout of Rice.

The Ridgewood, New Jersey, native is still on Pitt’s official roster, but the news leaves the team with just Tyler Sear, Charles Reeves Jr. and Grant Carrigan active at tight end, all of whom are underclassmen. Of those three, only Sear has logged any playing time at Pitt.

”Those are three very talented guys,” Narduzzi said. “Tyler Sear, Charles Reeves Jr. and Grant Carrigan are three very talented guys that are all going to play for us next year, period.”

“It’s not like we’re saying these two are really good and this one’s not quite ready. All three of them do things. Carrigan is probably the best blocker at this point and can still run at 290, just like Charles can run at 290. But they’re all doing different things that make you go, ‘Wow!’ So we’ll have an assortment of guys to put in the game.”

Narduzzi was also asked if Pitt would pursue any graduate transfers at tight end, but it doesn’t sound like that’s currently under consideration.

“We feel good with the three guys we have,” he said.