Pitt defensive end Rashad Weaver has accepted an invitation to play in the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, according to the event’s organizers. The 6’5”, 270-pound edge rusher is considered a potential first-round selection in the upcoming NFL draft, and a good showing in the event could see his stock rise further.
BOOM! #H2P! Its OFFICIAL! Welcome @Pitt_FB DL Rashad Weaver (@R_Weaver17) to the 2021 @Reeses Senior Bowl! #BestofTheBest #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE @JimNagy_SB @PaniniAmerica #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/41qKAvkSOg— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) December 11, 2020
The news of Weaver’s involvement in the Senior Bowl broke on Friday morning. The previous night, Weaver declined to take part in his team’s final matchup of the regular season amid reports that he had signed with an agent and shifted his focus to preparations for the NFL draft. But as it turned out, his absence was not costly, as Pitt beat Georgia Tech 34-20.
Weaver is not expected back if Pitt plays in a bowl game this season, as signing with an agent would render him ineligible. With that said, the Panthers may also be done for the year, as there are limited spaces in bowl games to fill due to cancelations of bowl games in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless of what happens in the coming weeks, the defensive end has put on a phenomenal showing during his time at Pitt, and he has exemplified the way recruits can make the most of their time with the team.
Weaver joined Pitt in 2016 as a two-star prospect who had been shunned by Michigan. The Cooper City native was part of the first wave of Florida recruits in the Sunshine Pipeline to Pitt, and he rewarded Pitt’s faith in him by leading the team with 14 tackles for losses and 6.5 sacks in 2018. In 2020, he came back from a torn ACL to accrue 7.5 sacks and once again led the team in tackles for losses, with 14.5, despite missing two games. He also ranks third nationally in tackles for losses.
The Senior Bowl is set to take place at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, on Jan. 30. The game will kick off at 2:30 ET and air on the NFL Network.