Pitt defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman has earned a lot of recognition from national outlets and analysts this offseason thanks to a breakout campaign in 2019, and the parade of positive press continued on Friday, as he was ranked as the No. 4 college football player in the ACC and the top ACC defensive lineman by Chip Patterson of CBS Sports.
“As a sophomore, Twyman became the first interior defensive lineman to lead Pitt in sacks since Aaron Donald and ranked in the top 20 nationally with 0.81 sacks per game,” Patterson said. “It may sound too ambitious to set the expectations for Twyman at ‘following in the footsteps of a transformational defensive line talent,’ but his status as an All-America-caliber player heading into the year is undeniable.”
“Making matters even more difficult for opposing offensive lines is that Twyman, while the star with the highest ceiling, is not the lone wrecking ball on the Panthers defensive line,” he added. “So teams cannot afford to load up their protection to stop one player because of the high level of play from the entire group.”
As Patterson noted, the entire Pitt defensive line was a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks and offensive lines in 2019, and Twyman was the unquestioned star of the impressive group. As a key member of a Pitt defense that led the nation with 3.92 sacks per game last season, the 6’2”, 290-pound lineman came up with a team-high 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for losses. And for his efforts in 2019, he earned second-team All-America honors as well as a first-team All-ACC nod.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the CBS Sports ranking is that Twyman was placed ahead of Florida State’s Marvin Wilson, who was ranked No. 5, and Miami’s Gregory Rousseau, who was ranked No. 6, making him the top defensive lineman in the conference, at least according to Patterson.
In addition to Twyman, Pitt safety Paris Ford and Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey were both recognized by CBS Sports as well, as they received honorable mention. The trio of Pitt standouts were named preseason All-Americans by Phil Steele on Thursday with Pitt defensive end Patrick Jones II.