07/31/17 - (FS) - Jordan Whitehead, Jr, 5-10, 190 Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi on Friday dismissed defensive end Rori Blair and suspended offensive tackle Alex Bookser, linebacker Quintin Wirginis and safety Jordan Whitehead for rules violations, less than a week before the team begins fall practice. Narduzzi said Blair, a senior, was kicked off the team for "conduct detrimental to the program." Blair collected 3˝ sacks last season for the Panthers. Whitehead and Wirginis will sit out Pitt's first three games for a violation of team policy. Bookser will miss the Sept. 2 opener against Youngstown State after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence in May.
Wirginis picked up four sacks as a reserve while Whitehead collected 65 tackles on defense and added 98 yards rushing on offense while being named second-team All-ACC as a sophomore in 2016. Whitehead and Wirginis will miss the opener against Youngstown, a trip to rival Penn State on Sept. 9 and a visit by Oklahoma State on Sept. 16. They will be eligible to return for Pitt's ACC opener against Georgia Tech on Sept. 23. Narduzzi called the disciplinary actions "highly disappointing situations." - AP College Football
07/11/17 - (WR) - Quadree Henderson, Jr, 5-08, 170 2017 Preseason Maxwell Award Watchlist: AP Quadree Henderson, Pitt,...Henderson, a wide receiver and return specialist for the Panthers, earned his place on the 2017 Maxwell Award watch list as an all-purpose player. Last fall, he became the second Pitt player to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season, joining Pitt Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, who accomplished the feat in 1976. The dynamic Delaware native was a consensus All-American in 2016, making him the first Panther to receive that distinction as a return man. Henderson's standout sophomore season concluded with 2,083 all-purpose yards coming via a Pitt-record 914 kickoff return yards, 631 rushing yards, 286 receiving yards and 252 punt return yards. - Pitt Football
07/10/17 - (FS) - Jordan Whitehead, Jr, 5-10, 190 2017 Preseason Bednarik Award Watchlist: S Jordan Whitehead, Pitt,...Whitehead, a native of Aliquippa, Pa., and Central Valley graduate, earned a place on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award for the second consecutive year. A two-time All-ACC safety, Whitehead accumulated 174 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Whitehead has tallied a defensive touchdown in each of his seasons with the Panthers—a 22-yard fumble return against Navy in the 2015 Military Bowl and a 59-yard interception return that keyed Pitt's win at Virginia last year. Whitehead has also been utilized on offense, rushing for 220 yards on 21 carries for an average of 10.5 yards per attempt. - Pitt Football
04/25/17 - (QB) - Max Browne, rSr, 6-4, 230 Max Browne didn't uproot himself and travel halfway across the country to spend his one season in Pittsburgh as the backup quarterback. It's why the USC graduate transfer headed from sunny Los Angeles to wintry Pittsburgh in January, eager to get a jump start on his last best shot at reviving a career that never bloomed with the Trojans. Three months into his new gig, plenty of work remains to be done. Browne salvaged an admittedly "bleh" afternoon with a late scoring drive during Pitt's spring game on Saturday. His late 27-yard touchdown pass to Tre Tipton was hardly a thing of beauty - it sailed over the wrong shoulder and forced Tipton to make a diving, twisting grab in the end zone. Still, Tipton caught it. Hey, it's a start. "That's a big time drive, that's the explosion you like to see," Browne said.
Browne just would have liked to see a little bit more of it. He finished 13 of 28 for 144 yards and the one score during an afternoon in which he was simultaneously the old guy and the new guy. Spring drills began with Browne making what he called "rookie" mistakes, particularly when it came to going through the pre-snap sequence. Yet over the course of 15 practices he felt he built momentum heading into camp. "I got that (pre-snap) part down and was just playing good ball after that, which is huge and why I came in here," Browne said. In a way, Browne is on level footing with sophomore Ben DiNucci, redshirt freshman Thomas MacVittie and true freshman Kenny Pickett, all of whom are trying to learn first-year offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's system on the fly. - AP Sports
01/25/17 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 226 2017 SENIOR BOWL, TUESDAY: Several other pass-catchers on the North squad had flashy moments, though inconsistency from the quarterbacks made it difficult for any of them to achieve the same kind of consistency as Kupp. Pittsburgh's Nate Peterman was the most accurate of the bunch but he does not possess ideal velocity. C.J. Beathard has the quickest delivery but sprayed passes, forcing receivers to make tough adjustments and too often opted for check-downs. Colorado's Sefo Liufau is the most physically impressive quarterback on the North roster at 6-foot-3 and 3/8 and 240 pounds but he will occasionally air-mail passes high over the heads of his receivers and struggled when the pocket collapsed around, dumping off short (and too often inaccurate) passes to teammates in part because quarterbacks were being asked not to scramble during these drills -- which is one of Liafau's relative strengths. - Rob Rang & Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/06/17 - (QB) - Max Browne, rSr, 6-4, 230 Max Browne spent four years at Southern California constantly competing for the starting quarterback job, with mixed results at best. The big-armed 21-year-old will get one last shot 2,500 miles away. Sure, it's not quite the way Browne expected his college career to go. Yet standing inside the Pittsburgh complex on Friday wearing a blue polo shirt - a decided departure from USC's cardinal and gold - Browne was hardly complaining. He'll spend the next year working on his master's degree in customer insights and trying to win with coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. There are worse fates. A lot worse. "I know I can play at a high level," Browne said. "I know if I can do and do that here, I'll be just fine."
Something that never quite happened with the Trojans. He spent two seasons backing up Cody Kessler then finally earned the shot he'd waited for when he rose to the top of the depth chart for the Trojans. His stay didn't last long. Facing a brutal stretch that included an opener against No. 1 Alabama and a visit to Stanford, Browne's grasp on the starting gig lasted all of three games before coach Clay Helton gave the ball to freshman Sam Darnold, last seen rallying the Trojans past Penn State in the Rose Bowl at the same time Browne was headed across the country to start the next chapter of his life. "It was a tough first three games," said Browne, who completed 58 of 93 passes for 507 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in 2016. "Played some great opponents. But that's the product of SC in general. You've always got someone behind you. Went out there, did what I felt I could. Things didn't work out. It is what it is. Happy to be here." - AP Sports
12/26/16 - (K) - Chris Blewitt, Sr, 5-09, 183 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (7 OR MORE VOTES/COACHES): PK Chris Blewitt, Sr., Pitt (8),...Blewitt (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) became Pitt’s all-time leader in kick scoring (357) and field goals (54) this season. He is Pitt’s second-leading overall scorer this season with 90 points (9-of-15 field goals and 63-of-66 PATs). His dramatic 48-yard field goal with six seconds left provided the winning points in Pitt’s 43-42 upset of No. 2 Clemson earlier this month. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (OG) - Alex Bookser, rJr, 6-5, 310 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (7 OR MORE VOTES/COACHES): G Alex Bookser, So.-R, Pitt (7),...Henderson also received Honorable Mention as a wide receiver. Pitt’s additional Honorable Mention selections included senior placekicker Chris Blewitt and senior nose tackle Tyrique Jarrett. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (WR) - Quadree Henderson, Jr, 5-08, 170 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (7 OR MORE VOTES/COACHES): WR Quadree Henderson, So., Pitt (7),...Henderson also received Honorable Mention as a wide receiver. Pitt’s additional Honorable Mention selections included senior placekicker Chris Blewitt and senior nose tackle Tyrique Jarrett. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (FS) - Jordan Whitehead, Jr, 5-10, 190 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES): S Jordan Whitehead, So., Pitt (22),...Whitehead (Aliquippa, Pa./Central Valley) has been one of Pitt’s most active defenders despite missing three games this season. He has compiled 65 tackles, a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown (at Virginia) and a nine-yard fumble return (against Penn State). - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (OT) - Brian ONeill, rJr, 6-5, 300 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES): T Brian O’Neill, So.-R, Pitt (15),...The lineman trio of Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon Area), Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) and Brian O’Neill (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) has helped Pitt’s offense produce at an historic rate this season. The Panthers have compiled the highest season point total in school history (508). With a bowl game to go, the Panthers are averaging 42.3 points per game, which would eclipse the all-time Pitt record of 40.7 set way back in 1904. Additionally, Pitt’s offensive front has paved the way to 447.5 yards per game, which would be the second highest average in school history. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (OLB) - Ejuan Price, rSr, 5-11, 241 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DE Ejuan Price, Sr.-R, Pitt (29),...Price (Rankin, Pa./Woodland Hills) is one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in college football. He ranks second nationally in tackles for loss (1.8 per game) and fifth in sacks (1.0 per game). Incredibly, half of his 42 tackles this season have been behind the line of scrimmage. Price has compiled 21 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 13 QB hurries, three forced fumbles and a blocked extra point. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (WR) - Quadree Henderson, Jr, 5-08, 170 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): Sp. Quadree Henderson, So., Pitt (32),...Henderson (Wilmington, Del./Alexis I. du Pont) has four returns for touchdowns this season, including a nation-leading three on kickoffs. He ranks second in the country in combined kick return yards (1,121), fifth in kickoff return average (31.1) and 11th in all-purpose yards per game (159.75). - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (RB) - *James Conner, rJr, 6-1, 233 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): RB James Conner, Jr.-R, Pitt (35),...Conner (Erie, Pa./McDowell) heroically overcame both a knee injury and Hodgkin lymphoma to return to the field this season. The bruising back has rushed for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns on 208 carries (5.1 avg.). His 20 total touchdowns rank second in the ACC (trailing only Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson’s 21) and sixth nationally. Conner also set ACC career marks for total touchdowns (56) and rushing TDs (52). - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (OG) - Dorian Johnson, Sr, 6-5, 300 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): G Dorian Johnson, Sr., Pitt (32),...The lineman trio of Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon Area), Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) and Brian O’Neill (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) has helped Pitt’s offense produce at an historic rate this season. The Panthers have compiled the highest season point total in school history (508). With a bowl game to go, the Panthers are averaging 42.3 points per game, which would eclipse the all-time Pitt record of 40.7 set way back in 1904. Additionally, Pitt’s offensive front has paved the way to 447.5 yards per game, which would be the second highest average in school history. - Pittsburgh Football
12/26/16 - (OT) - Adam Bisnowaty, rSr, 6-6, 304 2016 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): T Adam Bisnowaty, Sr.-R, Pitt (28),...The lineman trio of Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon Area), Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) and Brian O’Neill (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) has helped Pitt’s offense produce at an historic rate this season. The Panthers have compiled the highest season point total in school history (508). With a bowl game to go, the Panthers are averaging 42.3 points per game, which would eclipse the all-time Pitt record of 40.7 set way back in 1904. Additionally, Pitt’s offensive front has paved the way to 447.5 yards per game, which would be the second highest average in school history. - Pittsburgh Football
12/16/16 - (QB) - Max Browne, rSr, 6-4, 230 Former five-star USC QB latest transfer looking to lead Pitt's explosive offense...Pittsburgh will have to hire its third offensive coordinator since Pat Narduzzi arrived after Matt Canada, like Jim Chaney before him, was hired away by an SEC school (Canada to LSU, Chaney to Georgia in 2015), but at least the Panthers have already identified a possible replacement for starting quarterback Nate Peterman with the commitment of Southern California graduate transfer Max Browne. Browne was a five-star prospect coming out of high school when he committed to the Trojans as part of their 2013 recruiting class. After two seasons as a backup, Browne got a chance to start three games in 2016 before Sam Darnold took over as QB1 in the Coliseum.
The quarterback depth behind Peterman, a graduate transfer himself coming from Tennessee in 2015, was a concern for the Panthers all season, but Peterman stayed healthy and productive. Pitt averaged a school-record 42.3 points this season with Peterman (26 passing touchdowns, six interceptions) under center. Getting another experienced quarterback will give Pitt good competition in spring practice and a live quarterback who can start immediately should he win the job entering the fall. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
12/10/16 - (RB) - *James Conner, rJr, 6-1, 233 Pitt RB Conner leaving for NFL...Pittsburgh running back James Conner took to social media to announce that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2017 NFL draft. Conner, who overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma, rushed for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns in his final season with the Panthers. He finishes his collegiate career with 3,701 yards on 660 carries with 52 touchdowns. Conner posted a picture depicting his back on Twitter with the following words: "Blessed to have been given the opportunity to play at this great university. I have given it everything I got and will do it one more time in New York City for my brothers at Pitt. When they talk about someone who made a positive impact on the program, I hope that they mention my name. Thank you to my family, my friends, and everyone who made his possible. I will be declaring for the 2017 NFL draft." Conner added the words "Forever Grateful" under the picture. Conner emerged as an intriguing NFL prospect as a sophomore with 1,765 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, receiving 2014 ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors. However, he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2015 season opener and was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma a few months later. Conner kept a positive attitude and learned on May 23 that the cancer was gone after his 12th chemotherapy treatment. - The Sports Xchange
11/28/16 - (WR) - Quadree Henderson, Jr, 5-08, 170 NOV 28 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Quadree Henderson, Pitt, So., KR, 5-8, 170, Wilmington, Del.,...As a return man and runner, Henderson played a vital role in Pitt’s shootout victory over Syracuse. Henderson compiled a career-high 257 all-purpose yard, 154 of which came on returns. He averaged an incredible 21.4 yards per touch – 18.7 yards on three punt returns (56 yards), 24.5 yards on four kickoffs (98 yards) and 20.6 yards on five rushes (103 yards). Henderson also had a 66-yard touchdown burst off a jet sweep to give Pitt a 49-21 lead in the third quarter. - ACC Football
11/26/16 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 226 Pittsburgh outlasts Syracuse in historic shootout...Quarterback Nathan Peterman threw four touchdown passes and rushed for another touchdown to lead Pittsburgh to a 76-61 win over Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. The contest marked the highest-scoring affair in Atlantic Coast Conference history with 137 points in a game. The fast-paced showdown surpassed the previous conference record of 118 points, which was set in a 68-50 win by Georgia Tech over North Carolina on Nov. 10, 2012. Running back James Conner had 160 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns as the Panthers notched their highest point total of the season. Pittsburgh (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its third consecutive game and posted back-to-back seasons with eight-plus wins for the first time since 2009-10. Conner eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. He caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown to increase his ACC record to 56 career touchdowns (52 rushing, four receiving). - The Sports Xchange
11/22/16 - (RB) - *James Conner, rJr, 6-1, 233 James Conner has big plans for this weekend, and it has nothing to do with saying goodbye. Thanksgiving marks the 1-year anniversary of the cancer diagnosis that threatened the Pittsburgh running back's career, one that kickstarted his remarkable comeback and turned Conner into an inspirational figure for others in the same fight. Conner - fully healthy and showing extended flashes of the raw brilliance that made him the ACC Player of the Year in 2014 - will celebrate the milestone with a massive family meal sometime after the Panthers wrap up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday at Heinz Field. "It's going to be a good holiday this year," Conner said Tuesday.
Whether it's his last as a college player, Conner isn't saying. Any decision on whether to return for a redshirt senior season next fall won't come until after Pitt's bowl game. Conner stressed he wants to "make the smartest choice." He also doesn't want to be a distraction to the 19 teammates who will run through tunnel at home for the final time, most of whom arrived at Pitt alongside Conner in 2013. "I'm just going to sit back and enjoy their special moment," Conner said. - AP Sports
11/21/16 - (OLB) - Ejuan Price, rSr, 5-11, 241 NOV 21 ACC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN BACK OF THE WEEK: Ejuan Price, Pitt, Sr.-r, DE, 6-0, 255, Rankin, Pa.,...Price collected two sacks and three total tackles for loss in Saturday’s 56-14 win over Duke. He added two quarterback hurries and was highly instrumental in helping limit the Blue Devils to just 25 yards rushing on 22 carries (1.1 yards per attempt). The All-America candidate ranks fifth in the country in both sacks per game (1.00) and tackles for loss per game (1.7). More than half of Price’s 36 tackles this season have been behind the line of scrimmage, as he has 19 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on the year. - ACC Football
11/21/16 - (WR) - Quadree Henderson, Jr, 5-08, 170 NOV 21 ACC SPECIALIST BACK OF THE WEEK: Quadree Henderson, Pitt, So., KR, 5-8, 170, Wilmington, Del.,...Henderson had yet another return for a touchdown in Saturday’s 56-14 win over Duke, running back a punt 65 yards. Henderson now has four returns for touchdowns this season, including a nation-leading three on kickoffs. Saturday marked the first time Henderson had returned a punt for a touchdown, and it was the first such return by a Panther since 2013. Henderson totaled 162 all-purpose yards in the game and added a 52-yard touchdown run off a jet sweep. Henderson ranks second in the country in combined kick return yards (967) and fifth in kickoff return average (32.2). He is also averaging 17.6 yards per punt return. - ACC Football
11/19/16 - (RB) - *James Conner, rJr, 6-1, 233 James Conner scored twice to set a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference career touchdown records as Pittsburgh drilled Duke 56-14 on Saturday. Conner bulled over from 1 yard in the first quarter and again in the third to give him 50 rushing touchdowns for his career, breaking the previous mark set by N.C. State's Ted Brown between 1975 and 1978. Conner now has 53 touchdowns in all, eclipsing the old ACC mark of 52 set by Wali Lundy of Virginia from 2002-05. A year removed from a cancer diagnosis that forced him into months of debilitating treatment, Conner finished with 101 yards rushing as the Panthers avoided a letdown following an emotional upset of Clemson last week. Quadree Henderson returned a punt 65 yards for a score and added a 52-yard sprint for Pitt (7-4, 4-3) while Nate Peterman threw three touchdowns. - AP Sports
11/14/16 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 226 NOV 14 ACC OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Nathan Peterman, Pitt, Sr.-r, QB, 6-2, 225, Jacksonville, Fla.,...Peterman threw for a career-high 308 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in engineering the 43-42 upset of No. 2 Clemson. Peterman’s five touchdown passes matched the total yielded by the Tigers’ defense for the whole season prior to Saturday. Peterman threw for 242 yards and four TDs in the first half alone. His scoring strikes to running back James Conner (46 yards) and tight end Scott Orndoff (55 yards) were the longest against Clemson this season. - ACC Football