Springing around the ACC: Pittsburgh

Springing around the ACC: Pittsburgh


Springing around the ACC: Pittsburgh


Clemson began spring practice Wednesday, but the Tigers aren’t the only ones in the ACC taking the field over the next couple of months.

With early preparations for the 2022 season on the horizon for teams throughout the conference, The Clemson Insider is going around the league to take a look at where other teams stand going into the spring. Last up is Pittsburgh.

Head coach: Pat Narduzzi (seventh year)

2021 record: 11-3, 7-1 ACC

Key personnel losses: QB Kenny Pickett, LB Phil Campbell, LB Cam Bright, LB John Petrishen

Key returners/additions: QB Kedon Slovis, RB Israel Abanikanda, WR Jordan Addison, WR Konata Mumphfield, DL Habakkuk Baldonado, DL Calijah Kancey, LB SirVocea Dennis, LB Shayne Simon, DB Erick Hallett

Spring gleaning: Pitt is coming off a historic season that saw the Panthers win their first-ever ACC title. Leading that championship run was quarterback Kenny Pickett, who directed the ACC’s most explosive offensive en route to league Player of the Year honors. Now Pickett is preparing to potentially be a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and the Panthers’ offense is under the direction of a new coordinator, Frank Cignetti Jr. That makes for a clear No. 1 objective for Pitt this spring.

Slovis, a transfer from Southern Cal, might be the favorite to take over as Pickett’s successor, but all of the quarterbacks on the Panthers’ roster will have a clean slate with Cignetti, who’s familiar with the ACC having spent the last two seasons as Boston College’s offensive coordinator. Addison (1,593 receiving yards, 17 TDs) is an All-American wideout, and Mumpfield was Akron’s leading receiver this past season. Defensively, the Panthers have plenty of seasoning up front, but a linebacking corps that lost multiple starters needs retooling. Simon, a Notre Dame transfer, is a prime candidate to help with that. 

Spring game: April 9 at Heinz Field

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