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Eight Pitt football players named to Phil Steele Preseason All-ACC teams

NCAA Football: Duke at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Many players from last year’s nine-win team may be playing on Sundays, but the Pittsburgh Panthers still have plenty of talent roster ready to contribute big this season. College football insider Phil Steele has named eight Pitt players to his preseason All-ACC team.

While last season may have been dominated by a strong defense, it is the offense this season that has gotten the most recognition with 5 players coming from the offensive side of the ball.

First-team selections are represented by the special teams with kicker Ben Sauls who was one of the heroes from Pitt’s Sun Bowl victory over UCLA getting the honors along with returner M.J. Devonshire.

Devonshire would also take a spot apart on the second team as a cornerback coming off a strong year. Devonshire intercepted three passes and took two of those back for a touchdown, including maybe the most memorable play of the year with a pick-six late in the four quarter in the Backyard Brawl. Offensive Tackle Matt Goncalves was the other second-team selection after being a consistent presence for the Panthers after a rash of injuries last season.

The third team has plenty of representation from the Pittsburgh Panthers. Running back Rodney Hammond who has taken over the lead back role again with Abanikanda in the NFL gets the nod. He joins a couple of pass catchers as receiver Konata Mumpfield one touch and tight end Gavin Bartholomew also made the third-team offense. Linebacker After registering 49 tackles with three tackles for loss, one interception, and seven passes defended in 2022 makes third team defender.

Center Jake Kradel is the lone representative for the Pitt Panthers on the fourth team.