Pitt linebacker John Petrishen announced on Wednesday evening that he would forgo any remaining college eligibility at his disposal and enter the 2022 NFL draft. And as a student-athlete who just completed his seventh year of college, he also poked fun at the unusual circumstances of his announcement.
“Coming home and playing for my hometown team has been a dream come true,” Petrishen said via Twitter. “It has been an honor to play for the team that I grew up rooting for, and I will forever be a proud Pitt man. … From Lower Burrell, to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, to Penn State, and to Pitt, I appreciate everyone who has been in my corner. With much consideration, I have decided to forgo my two-time-medical-redshirt, COVID-year-redshirt, super-super-senior year of eligibility and declare for the 2022 NFL draft.”
Petrishen came to Pitt as a graduate transfer from Penn State in 2019, having begun his career in 2015. However, as Petrishen alluded to, he redshirted at Penn State in 2015 and 2016 and was eligible for another extra year, as all NCAA Division I athletes were, after the interruption to college athletics caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
In two active seasons at Penn State, Petrishen played in 16 games and accrued eight tackles, including one tackle for a loss. He saw the field more frequently after transferring to Pitt, playing in 31 games, during which he amassed 79 tackles, seven tackles for losses, two sacks, four pass breakups and three interceptions. And 65 of those tackles as well as all of Petrishen’s sacks, interceptions and pass breakups came during the 2021 season.
Despite a breakout season in 2021, Petrishen has flown under the radar of draft analysts up to this point and has yet to generate any significant draft buzz. With that said, he will likely need to turn heads at Pitt’s pro day or the NFL combine in the coming weeks to improve his draft stock before the event in April.