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Pitt linebacker Cam Bright enters NCAA transfer portal

The linebacker served as a team captain in 2021 and logged 182 tackles in 51 games during his time at Pitt

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 North Carolina at Pitt Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt linebacker and team captain Cam Bright entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday morning in an unexpected turn of events. Bright played a prominent role as a leader of Pitt’s defensive unit and will likely have no shortage of interest from other programs.

“Thank you, Pitt, for years of memories and relationships that will last a lifetime,” Bright wrote in a Twitter message. “This thought of a fresh start has been on my mind for weeks now, and after much prayer, I have decided to use my last year of eligibility to find a new home and conquer new heights.”

Bright joined Pitt in 2017 after an outstanding season at Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Alabama. As a senior at Park Crossing in 2016, Bright racked up 131 tackles, 23 tackles for losses and 16.5 sacks, with his sack total tying for the highest in the state. But despite that impressive showing, Bright drew just four offers and chose Pitt over Bowling Green, Georgia State and Miami (Ohio).

During his four active seasons at Pitt, Bright worked his way up the depth chart and proved that he belonged at the Power Five level. Beginning as a reserve linebacker and special teams contributor in 2018 after a redshirt year, Bright became a regular starter in 2020 and a team captain in 2021. He ends his Pitt career having logged 182 tackles, 20.5 tackles for losses, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four pass breakups and one interception over 51 games.

Bright’s departure will leave Pitt with limited experience at linebacker in 2022, as the team will be missing six of the 10 linebackers who recorded defensive snaps this season. In addition to Bright, Pitt has lost Wendell Davis and Leslie Smith to the transfer portal, and Phil Campbell, John Petrishen and Chase Pine have all exhausted their eligibility.

With that said, the program still has SirVocea Dennis as a leader within the linebacking corps, and with plenty of young talent waiting for playing time at the position, such as former four-star recruit Naquan Brown, Bangally Kamara and Preston Lavant, Pitt should be well positioned to rebound from the losses.