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  College Player Notes by School: Pittsburgh  
Previous 25 Pittsburgh Notes Next 25 Pittsburgh Notes

08/20/14 - (QB) - Chad Voytik, rSo, 6-1, 210
Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst isn't saying much about his starting quarterback competition. Maybe that's because Chryst's decisions on who gets the snaps in practice is doing all the talking for him. Sophomore Chad Voytik took the majority of the reps with the first team during a scrimmage over the weekend, and it's almost certain he'll be the one under center when the Panthers open the 2014 season on Aug. 30 against Delaware. While Chryst stressed Voytik is "still learning," the coach has been impressed with his command of the offense during camp. "I've never been around a quarterback who doesn't go through growing pains," Chryst said. "But he's a knowledgeable player. I think he's got a good knowledge base and he's working to keep it growing."

Voytik redshirted in 2012 and took his first reps in 2013, playing in three regular season games. A lot of that time was spent learning Chryst's system and preparing for the day he would take over. Chryst, who won a state title as a high school quarterback in Wisconsin, has taken over duties as quarterbacks coach. The list of his proteges include Derek Anderson at Oregon State and 2014 Super Bowl-winner Russell Wilson at Wisconsin. - AP Sports

08/06/14 - (WR) - Tyler Boyd, So, 6-2, 185
2014 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Tyler Boyd, Pitt Wide, Receiver, Sophomore...Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was the nation's most productive freshman receiver last year, compiling 85 catches for 1,174 yards (13.8 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He set Pitt freshman records for receptions and yards, eclipsing marks held by Larry Fitzgerald (who had 69 catches for 1,005 yards in 2002). Boyd also set the ACC record for freshman receptions, topping the mark held by Clemson's Sammy Watkins (82 catches in 2011). - Pitt football


08/06/14 - (WR) - Tyler Boyd, So, 6-2, 185
2014 PRESEASON BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Tyler Boyd, University of Pittsburgh, So.,...Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was the nation's most productive freshman receiver last year, compiling 85 catches for 1,174 yards (13.8 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He set Pitt freshman records for receptions and yards, eclipsing marks held by Larry Fitzgerald (who had 69 catches for 1,005 yards in 2002). Boyd also set the ACC record for freshman receptions, topping the mark held by Clemson's Sammy Watkins (82 catches in 2011).

Boyd closed his freshman season with a magnificent performance in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, compiling 242 all-purpose yards to help the Panthers defeat Bowling Green, 30-27. He had eight catches for a career-high 173 yards (21.6 avg.) and added a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown. Boyd's receiving yardage against Bowling Green set a Pitt bowl record, surpassing the mark of 163 set by Gordon Jones in the Dec. 30, 1977, Gator Bowl against Clemson. His punt return TD was Pitt's first since Darrelle Revis had a 73-yarder vs. West Virginia in 2006. - Pitt football

08/06/14 - (C) - Artie Rowell, rJr, 6-2, 305
2014 PRESEASON RIMINGTON TROPHY AWARD WATCH LIST: Artie Rowell, Pittsburgh, Junior... One of four returning starters on Pitt's offensive front, Rowell is considered the glue of the unit. He started all 13 games last season and earned postseason media praise for his performance in the Panthers' 30-27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl win over Bowling Green. In that game, Pitt churned out 487 yards despite playing with an injury-plagued offensive line. A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Rowell was a four-year starter on both sides of the ball at Central Dauphin High School. He was selected first team All-State Class AAAA by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers and Pennsylvania Football News first team All-Class AAAA as a senior. - Pitt football


08/06/14 - (RB) - James Conner, So, 6-2, 230
2014 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: James Conner, Pitt, Running Back, Sophomore...Conner (Erie, Pa./McDowell) led Pitt in rushing yards (799) and rushing touchdowns (eight), becoming the first freshman to lead the Panthers in those two categories since Dion Lewis in 2009. He averaged 5.5 yards on 146 carries in 12 games (missing the Oct. 19 Old Dominion game due to injury). Conner's most memorable performance came in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when he rushed for 229 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries (8.8 avg.).

His rushing yardage set a Pitt bowl record, eclipsing Tony Dorsett's 202 yards vs. Georgia in the Jan. 1, 1977, Sugar Bowl. Conner also contributed as a pass rushing specialist vs. Bowling Green, drawing a key holding call on the Falcons' final possession, and was named the bowl's MVP. - Pitt football

08/06/14 - (RB) - James Conner, So, 6-2, 230
2014 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: James Conner (So.), Pittsburgh...Conner (Erie, Pa./McDowell) led Pitt in rushing yards (799) and rushing touchdowns (eight), becoming the first freshman to lead the Panthers in those two categories since Dion Lewis in 2009. He averaged 5.5 yards on 146 carries in 12 games (missing the Oct. 19 Old Dominion game due to injury). - Pitt football


08/06/14 - (RB) - James Conner, So, 6-2, 230
2014 PRESEASON PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: James Conner, Pittsburgh...Conner (Erie, Pa./McDowell) led Pitt in rushing yards (799) and rushing touchdowns (eight), becoming the first freshman to lead the Panthers in those two categories since Dion Lewis in 2009. He averaged 5.5 yards on 146 carries in 12 games (missing the Oct. 19 Old Dominion game due to injury). - Pitt football


08/06/14 - (WR) - Tyler Boyd, So, 6-2, 185
2014 PRESEASON PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh...Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was the nation's most productive freshman receiver last year, compiling 85 catches for 1,174 yards (13.8 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He set Pitt freshman records for receptions and yards, eclipsing marks held by Larry Fitzgerald (who had 69 catches for 1,005 yards in 2002). Boyd also set the ACC record for freshman receptions, topping the mark held by Clemson's Sammy Watkins (82 catches in 2011). - Pitt football


08/01/14 - (CB) - Titus Howard, So, 6-1, 180
Pittsburgh sophomore defensive back Titus Howard has been suspended for the 2014 season by coach Paul Chryst. Chryst cited disciplinary reasons when handing out the suspension Friday. Howard played in 11 games as a freshman last year, finishing with 21 tackles and two pass breakups. Chryst said Howard, who is from Clairton, Pennsylvania, will remain with the program and can participate in practice. - AP Sports


07/24/14 - (OT) - T.J. Clemmings, rSr, 6-5, 307
Pittsburgh's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 1. OT T.J. Clemmings...A converted defensive end who didn't make the switch to OT until during Bowl prep week in 2012, but started all 13 games for Pitt in 2013 at right tackle, Clemmings demonstrates fluidity, quickness and athleticism that are ideal for a next-level tackle, though he looks more the part of a left tackle prospect than a right tackle considering his finesse style and leaner frame. He utilizes long arms and a rapid, fluid kick-slide to stall and mirror opponents on the edge, and considering his lack of experience on the O-line, is surprisingly consistent with his technique - particularly his footwork.

He shows good natural flexibility in his lower half to bend on contact, and as a run blocker can fire through to the second level where he has the ability to square up and target effectively in space. He needs to improve hand placement as a pass-blocker, and will drop his shoulder and head on contact at times, but the athleticism and ability to pick things up quickly are both apparent. Could be a guy who rises rapidly leading up to the draft, with a strong senior season. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com

07/24/14 - (RB) - Isaac Bennett, Sr, 5-11, 205
Other Pittsburgh prospects to watch in 2014: RB Isaac Bennett...Started 13 games for Pitt at tailback in 2013, posting 797 rushing yards on 71 carries (4.7 ypc), and also snagged 10 passes for 58 yards and a TD. Demonstrates quick feet, toughness and good hands out of the backfield, but exhibits only marginal burst and lacks top-end speed to pull away. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com


07/24/14 - (OLB) - Todd Thomas, rSr, 6-1, 228
Other Pittsburgh prospects to watch in 2014: OLB Todd Thomas...Athletic linebacker with 23 career starts at the "Will" spot, who tallied 72 tackles, six TFLs and two QB hurries as a junior. Has had some health issues in the past, and has been inconsistent in coverage, but has the natural talent to compete for an NFL roster spot. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com


07/24/14 - (FS) - Ray Vinopal, rSr, 5-10, 200
Other Pittsburgh prospects to watch in 2014: FS Ray Vinopal...Former Michigan transfer who started all 13 games for the Panthers last year while earning All-ACC Honorable Mention status, and was the team's second leading tackler with 83 stops while tallying three TFLs and a sack. He was also the team's leader with three interceptions and added six pass breakups. Vinopal's instincts, awareness and overall fundamentals are solid, and he demonstrates good timing and anticipation to make plays on the ball, but his lack of size and speed could hurt his draft prospects. A continued demonstration of versatility and consistency could earn him a chance though. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com


05/27/14 - (C) - Artie Rowell, rJr, 6-2, 305
2014 RIMINGTON TROPHY SPRING WATCHLIST: Artie Rowell, Pittsburgh, Junior...Rowell (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) is one of 64 Division-I players on the Rimington Trophy Watch List. Rowell started every game at center last season and garnered All-Bowl Team recognition from NFL.com and CollegeFootballNews.com for his performance in Pitt's 30-27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl victory over Bowling Green by helping Pitt produce 487 yards of total offense (255 rushing and 232 passing). Rowell is one of seven players from the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named to the Rimington Watch List. - Pitt football


05/13/14 - (P) - Matt Yoklic, rSr, 6-3, 209
Falcons Add 20 College Free Agents: Yoklic, 6-4, 220 pounds, averaged a career-high 43.0 yards per punt to rank third in the ACC as a senior at Pittsburgh in 2013. He totaled 70 punts for 3,008 yards, had 19 total punts downed inside the 20, and 19 punts of 50-plus yards in his final season with the Panthers. Yoklic earned all-conference academic honors all four seasons after joining the team as a walk on. He is a Gibsonia, PA native and was an All-Quad North punter at Pine-Richland High where he averaged 39.5 yards per punt as a senior. - Atlanta Falcons


05/13/14 - (QB) - Tom Savage, rSr, 6-4, 228
2014 NFL DRAFT BEST VALUE PICK: HOUSTON TEXANS: Round 4/135 -- Tom Savage, QB, 6-4, 235, Pittsburgh...The well-traveled Savage was outstanding as a true freshman at Rutgers and exceptional as a senior at Pitt. He went 1,024 days without playing because he missed three seasons while transferring. Good size, big arm, solid mechanics. He will be coached hard and won't be rushed into the lineup. - The Sports Xchange


05/13/14 - (WR) - Devin Street, rSr, 6-3, 198
2014 NFL DRAFT BEST VALUE PICK: DALLAS COWBOYS: Round 5/146 -- Devin Street, WR, 6-3, 198, Pittsburgh...Street is a big, athletic receiver who can high point the ball. There are concerns about his speed, but he was very productive in college. He played in 49 games during his collegiate career, starting 40 and totaling 202 receptions for 2,901 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Cowboys had a third-round grade on the playmaking receiver from Pittsburgh and got him in the fifth round. He will give them insurance for outside receivers Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. He also can play inside. - The Sports Xchange


05/12/14 - (QB) - Tom Savage, rSr, 6-4, 228
A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 4/135 - Tom Savage, QB, 6-4, 235, Pittsburgh...The well-traveled Savage was outstanding as a true freshman at Rutgers and exceptional as a senior at Pitt. Went 1,024 days without playing because he missed three seasons while transferring. Good size, big arm, solid mechanics. Will be coached hard and won't be rushed into lineup. - The Sports Xchange


05/12/14 - (QB) - Tom Savage, rSr, 6-4, 228
Quarterback Ryan Mallett was the subject of rumors and reports of a potential trade on the afternoon prior to the first round of the NFL Draft. One report indicated that a deal was quite close to finalization to send the fourth-year backup to the Texans, where he'd be reunited with former Patriots offensive coordinator and now Houston head coach Bill O'Brien. Belichick was subsequently asked during his day-one draft press conference if he'd had any discussions about trading Mallett. "Why don't you talk to whoever wrote the story?" Belichick responded tersely, referencing the original report on CSNNE.com. "Since that person has all the answers, go talk to them." Numerous reports have since said that no trade discussions ever took place between the two team and Houston went on to draft quarterback Tom Savage on the third day of the draft. - The Sports Xchange


05/12/14 - (DT) - Aaron Donald, Sr, 6-1, 285
A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 1/13 - Aaron Donald, DT, 6-1, 285, Pittsburgh...Donald is a fierce penetrator and had 28.5 tackles for loss last season. He doesn't have great size, but his quickness allows him to make plays. The Rams will likely use him to start out on passing downs. Some have compared him to standout Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins. - The Sports Xchange


05/12/14 - (DT) - Aaron Donald, Sr, 6-1, 285
Snead said the Rams were so glad to get Donald that they never considered trading down. "We're jacked with the pick," he said. "He's very productive and way ahead at this point in hand use. He's an impressive young man." Although Donald is 6-foot-1, 285 pounds, Snead said he won't be asked to get bigger. "His game isn't size," Snead said. "He's short, but that helps him get leverage. Getting bigger wouldn't help him. His game is not size. His game is to penetrate." And that he did, totaling 66 tackles for loss in four seasons at Pittsburgh, including 28.5 in 2013. For his part, Donald said he's "excited" to be with the Rams. "They have the best defensive line in the NFL and I'm pumped up to be a part of it," he said. "I can't wait to get with the coaches and get to work." - The Sports Xchange


05/11/14 - (WR) - Devin Street, rSr, 6-3, 198
A closer look at the Cowboys' picks: Round 5/146 -- Devin Street, WR, 6-3, 198, Pittsburgh...A big athletic receiver who can high point the ball. There are concerns about his speed but he was very productive in college. He played in 49 games during his collegiate career, starting 40 and totaling 202 receptions for 2,901 yards and 16 touchdowns. - The Sports Xchange


05/08/14 - (DT) - Aaron Donald, Sr, 6-1, 285
2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 10/1. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 285, 4.62, 1...Short but not small at 6-foot, 3/4 inches, 285 pounds, Donald was the most dominant defensive college football player in 2013 after totaling 59 tackles, including 28.5 for a loss, 11 sacks, 16 QB hurries, four forced fumbles and a blocked extra point. He received the whole list of famous name awards to commemorate his season. Despite an array of schemes designed to slow him down, Donald was an unblockable force. He followed that season with great Senior Bowl workout and then stole the show at the combine where he blasted through 40 yards in 4.68, had a 32-inch vertical and benched 225 pounds 35 times. Frankly: Donald is a can't-miss, hyperactive disrupter who dazes opponents at the snap with a dazzling John Randle-type skill set. Unlike Randle, who went undrafted then made Hall of Fame, Donald will begin his career as a first round pick, says here. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com


05/08/14 - (QB) - Tom Savage, rSr, 6-4, 228
2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 45/5. Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh, 6-4, 228, 4.97, 2...Traveling Tom transferred twice (from Rutgers, Arizona) and sat out two seasons (2011, 2012) in search of optimum situation, then struggled last season on a team that didn't give him a lot of protection. Savage has excellent size and an NFL-caliber arm. It is important to know what date of game is on films because as the 2013 season progressed so did his ability to understand how to accept the check-down instead of the sack. Note this: When Savage was a freshman at Rutgers in 2010, NFLDraftScout.com rated Savage as the No. 5 quarterback in the 2014 draft, right where he is now. Frankly: Big guy with a big arm who shows a grasp of the pro-style game and if he gets the time and tutoring necessary he might surprise those who lost track of him after two years out of the game. In weathering a rough start last season he showed maturity that was missing earlier career. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com


05/07/14 - (SS) - Jason Hendricks, rSr, 5-11, 182
2014 NFL Draft: 126 FBS programs, 126 possible UDFAs: PITTSBURGH: SS Jason Hendricks (5-11, 182, 4.83)...After poor numbers at his pro day (4.83 40-yard dash, seven reps), Hendricks will likely go undrafted, but he led Pitt in tackles the past two seasons and boasts eight career interceptions. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com


Previous 25 Pittsburgh Notes Next 25 Pittsburgh Notes

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