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Pat Narduzzi awards final scholarship to Kellen McAlone

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NCAA Football: Villanova at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The recent dismissals of tight end Charles Reeves Jr. and offensive lineman Justin Morgan left two scholarships open for Pitt ahead of the 2018 season, and one was already awarded to Pitt’s Jim Medure in a Batman-themed reveal during a team meeting. The second was given away Saturday, and the recipient was wide receiver Kellen McAlone.

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi revealed the news the same day in a Twitter post and also wrote, “Hard work and determination will always take you places.”

Narduzzi gave McAlone the scholarship at the team’s South Side practice facility, and afterward, the redshirt senior celebrated with his teammates and thanked them and his coaches before calling his mom to share the news with his family.

McAlone joined the team as a walk-on in 2014, having excelled as a wide receiver at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas. During his senior season there, he had 66 receptions for 1,069 yards and 13 touchdowns. Although he’s seen limited action in three seasons with the Panthers, he’s contributed on special teams and played in 22 games.

The receiver has also been gunning for a scholarship since before the start of training camp, and he discussed that in an interview with Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review.

“[Narduzzi] has definitely mentioned I’m in the conversation for it,” McAlone said. “It’s just a matter of me being consistent and doing my job. I completely agree with him on that.”

Pitt now has 85 players on scholarship with the season set to kick off in less than a week.