Posted: 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013
Day 3 is in the books, and the Pitt football team is certainly not short on headlines. Yes, the Todd Thomas drama continues, and there appears to be no resolution on the matter just yet. There are actually other happenings on the Pitt football front, and we will discuss those issue now.
It appears nothing is too serious on the quarterback battle as of right now, because it is receiving very little publicity from the papers. Still, other position battles are shaping up all over the board, and they will remain interesting throughout camp. Sam Werner of the Post Gazette is reporting Artie Rowell is getting more of a look at center, but Roberts is still getting quite a bit of the reps. Both players are inexperienced, and while Roberts is flat out a bigger guy, Rowell's size may be more conducive to playing the center position.
The battle for reps at defensive end is also mentioned by Werner. Bryan Murphy and David Durham look to be the starters as of now, but Durham has had some nagging injuries allowing guys like Shakir Soto, LaQuentin Smith, and Jack Lippert to see time. The linebacker battle is going to be a fun race to keep an eye on. For the guys actually practicing, Gordon seems settled at the middle linebacker spot, but Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Cparara, Bam Bradley, and Nicholas Grigsby are all battling for the extra reps at the outside spots. I would imagine the competition grows fierce, especially with the uncertainty of Todd Thomas.
Buried in the Thomas drama, one freshman appears to be really putting together a very good camp. Not saying Tyler Boyd and Dorian Johnson are not impressing, but James Conner sounds like he is doing quite a bit, he is even showing off his hands in the receiving game as well. With Bennett seeming to be the only (semi) sure thing, Conner could sneak into a lead backup role. Chryst seems to impressed with the young back as well saying "We're excited James is here. We have to see what things fit his skill set. There's a lot that goes into learning an offense. We've certainly been pleased at this point with what he's done and how he's handled it, and he needs to keep going. He's certainly earned the reps he's getting and he's getting quite a few." (You can see all of the quotes from today's practice here)