Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is in the midst of a personal-best season that has seen his name brought up in the Heisman discussion and rise up draft boards. And his efforts saw him named a first-team midseason All-American this week by outlets such as CBS Sports, the Athletic and Sporting News.
Pickett was one of two ACC players to earn first-team midseason All-America honors from all three outlets, with the other being NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu. But Boston College offensive lineman Zion Johnson, Florida State defensive lineman Jermaine Johnson and Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba were all honored by CBS Sports, which had the most ACC-heavy lineup. Sciba also earned a place alongside Pickett and Ekwonu on the Athletic’s list.
So far this season, Pickett has been fantastic, as he has thrown for 1,934 yards and 21 touchdowns in five games while giving up just one interception. He also leads all FBS quarterbacks in completion percentage and pass efficiency on throws 20 yards or more downfield, according to Pro Football Focus, and has completed 69.8 percent of his passes.
Pickett’s performance through six games not only puts him on pace to shatter his previous personal best of 3,098 passing yards in a season, but also to top Alex Van Pelt’s record of 11,267 career passing yards at Pitt. And with 21 scores already under his belt, as well as three more on the ground, Pickett looks poised to post the best season by a Pitt quarterback since 2016, when Nathan Peterman had 30 total touchdowns in an 8-5 season.
If Pickett can maintain his pace and lead Pitt to victory in a difficult matchup with Clemson on Saturday, he will likely solidify his status as a Heisman candidate and a potential early-round draft pick. However, with Clemson fielding the No. 2 defense in the nation and giving up just 12.5 points per game, Pitt’s No. 2 offense, which has accrued 48.3 points per game, will have its work cut out for it on Saturday.