The first true depth chart of the season for the Pitt football team is out and, well, there aren’t too many surprises.
If you haven’t yet seen it, here it is in the team’s game notes.
A few quick takeaways here:
The offensive line starters are not a surprise. But even though the unit is mostly comprised of new starters, the players on it have at least all been around the college game for a little while. Three of the five players are upperclassmen and the other two, Carter Warren and Gabe Houy, are redshirt sophomores that are entering their with the program. Warren is the real question here. He enters as the starting left tackle and has yet to play a game.
The backup quarterback job is still unsettled. Redshirt senior Jeff George, Jr. remains in a battle with redshirt freshman Nick Patti for that job. While we don’t know which player would enter the game first if need be, this bodes well for Patti to be able to compete this early in his career with a former Big Ten starter.
Running back is still unsettled with A.J. Davis and Todd Sibley listed as co-starters. Considering how head coach Pat Narduzzi has even flip-flopped two very talented backs in Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison numerous times, that’s unsurprising. He typically will ride the hot hand and these guys may be listed as co-starters all year long if both remain healthy and neither Mychale Salahuddin nor Vincent Davis can crack the top two. Heck, the real surprise would have been if either Davis or Sibley had won the job outright going into this game.
Finally, redshirt sophomore Deslin Alexandre officially wins the job at defensive end left vacant with Rashad Weaver’s injury. That was mostly expected.
One notable surprise is that redshirt senior Will Gragg has taken over the starting job at tight end. Redshirt sophomore Grant Carrigan had been listed as the starter there in the preseason depth chart over Gragg but is now showing up as a backup. How much is affected there is unknown since Pitt hasn’t utilized tight ends as receivers much recently. But it is notable since Gragg will be a first-time starter. Carrigan is also actually down to third on the depth chart, having been passed up by another redshirt senior, Nakia Griffin-Stewart.
Finally, there are more questions on this depth chart than there were with the preseason one. The preseason depth chart last month had only two ‘OR’ designations (to show a player in close competition with another) but this one has a total of eight. Five of those eight are for starting positions at running back, cornerback, Mike linebacker, Star linebacker, and defensive tackle.
In other words, lots of questions still out there. Well, either that, or this is about keeping guys motivated and/or trying to smokescreen a bit.