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Calijah Kancey named ACC Defensive Player of the Year

The Pitt defensive tackle received the conference’s highest defensive honor

Syndication: Beaver County Times Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The number eight has been a very impactful number for the Pittsburgh Panthers for the past few seasons, and this season was no different, except for the player wearing it. Instead of the number eight being behind center doing a fake slide or deep pass, the player wearing it is on the complete opposite side of the ball, but Calijah Kancey has kept the respect for that number alive for Pitt fans by putting an oustanding season under his belt. A season so dominant that he was awarded ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

During the 2022 season, Kancey has been a tremendous tackler having a total of 31 tackles on the season, 18 of which were solo. However, this does not mean that he was not a player that quarterbacks should not be worried about. Throughout this season, Kancey broke through the line and brought the quarterback down seven times. Looking back on the season his most impactful game was against Georgia Tech with five total tackles, three solo, and two assists, and a sack to boot.

The biggest question now is whether or not Kancey will be in Panther blue and gold come the fall or if he will be in an NFL team’s uniform.