It appeared Pitt would have three players representing the team at the 2021 Senior Bowl on Saturday, but Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey received a late invitation and accepted on Friday afternoon, increasing the total to four. Morrissey joins defensive stars Damar Hamlin, Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver at the all-star event in Mobile, Alabama, all of whom accepted invitations in December.
Previously, Morrissey was set to participate in the Hula Bowl alongside Pitt cornerback Jason Pinnock. However, the move up to the Senior Bowl will provide Morrissey with some added exposure to NFL scouts ahead of the draft. And with the NFL combine canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Bowl will be the premier pre-draft event for 2021. So the opportunity could boost Morrissey's stock.
Morrissey earned a reputation as Pitt’s most reliable offensive lineman during his time with the team, which began when he walked on in 2016. By 2017, he had secured a starting job, and he would go on to start in 57 games and earn All-ACC honors on three occasions.
The 6’3”, 305-pound center earned his first All-ACC nod in 2018, after playing a key role in paving the way for a Pitt rushing attack that ranked 18th in the nation and averaged 227.9 yards per game. His second and third came in 2019 and 2020, when he anchored a Pitt line tasked with keeping Kenny Pickett upright in a new-look pass-heavy Panthers offense. And he concluded his Pitt career by earning the Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top former walk-on.
Morrissey excelled in pass protection and run-blocking at Pitt, and he was part of the team’s record-setting 52-22 win at Virginia Tech in 2018 in which the Panthers ran for 492 yards and amassed 654 total yards. In addition, he did not give up any sacks in 2019 and was graded as Pitt’s top run-blocker by Pro Football Focus. And in 2020, he was once again a star on an otherwise shaky Pitt offensive line.
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.