Quarterback Justin Sliwoski announced on Thursday night that he would be leaving Pitt and heading to St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. The former Hempfield Area High School standout cited better opportunities for playing time and a scholarship offer from the FCS program as his reasons for moving on.
Thank you Pittsburgh! Looking forward to the new opportunity! pic.twitter.com/8AS5mT2b5K— Justin Sliwoski (@jsliwoski11) August 2, 2019
"Over the last year, the experiences and friendships I have made were unbelievable," Sliwoski wrote in a message on Twitter. "I thank the University of Pittsburgh, Coach Narduzzi and Coach Whipple for everything over the last year. Change is never easy, but it’s important to always seek out the best opportunity. With that said, I am really excited for my new scholarship opportunity with St. Francis University. Thank you to everyone who helped."
Sliwoski initially joined the Panthers as a preferred walk-on in February 2018. At the time, his brother Ryan Sliwoski was also on the Pitt roster as a fullback. However, he is no longer listed on the team roster, either.
Prior to his arrival at Pitt, Sliwoski had been a solid signal-caller at Hempfield, as he threw for 1,954 and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 578 yards and scored nine touchdowns on foot as a junior. That earned him a spot on the Tribune-Review’s Terrific 25 in 2016, and he followed up that campaign by throwing for for 1,668 yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior season.
Depending on how Sliwoski acquits himself in training camp, the potential exists for a showdown between former Pitt quarterbacks, as St. Francis is set to face James Madison on Sept. 7. Former Panthers starter Ben DiNucci is likely to be under center for the Dukes, as he appeared in 13 games in 2018. And the Red Flash are looking to replace Bear Fenimore, their starting quarterback from last season who exhausted his eligibility.
As for Pitt, with Sliwoski no longer on the roster, the team now has Kenny Pickett, Jeff George Jr., Nick Patti, Davis Beville and Eli Kosanovich at quarterback. Pickett is expected to start, and a battle is brewing between George and Patti for the backup role.