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Kenny Pickett accepts invite to 2022 Senior Bowl

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is still weighing whether or not to play in the Peach Bowl, but he has not played his last college football game. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, that game will be the 2022 Senior Bowl, as Pickett accepted an invitation to college football’s top all-star game on Thursday.

Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout and the current executive director of the Senior Bowl, saw greatness in Pickett long before it was obvious to the masses. Notably, he said Pickett will “play on Sundays” and called him “one of the most mechanically sound guys we’ve seen over past few drafts” in July 2020. Nagy and the Senior Bowl staff also invited Pickett to play in the 2021 Senior Bowl, but he turned down the offer to play another season at Pitt.

That decision proved to be beneficial for both Pickett and Pitt as a whole, as he brought his game to a new level and led the Panthers to their first double-digit win total in a regular season since 1981 as well as their first ACC championship. Pickett also played a key role in Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison earning the Biletnikoff Award, as the chemistry between the two proved vital to Pitt’s success and earned them both individual accolades.

For Pickett, those accolades included the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a spot on the All-ACC first team, a spot on the Walter Camp All-America first team and the title of ACC Player of the Year for 2021. The Pitt quarterback also finished third in Heisman voting after throwing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns this year, and given that, he should be a headliner at the upcoming Senior Bowl.

For the first time since 1950, the all-star game will not be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. However, it will remain in Mobile, Alabama, as the new venue is Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama across town. The game will be played on Feb. 5, and kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET.