Illini transfer locks down H-back spot for Pitt

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011

Pitt H-back Hubie Graham, a transfer from Illinois who sat out last season, is leading the pack at a position that coach Todd Graham calls "the most complicated in our offense."

The H-Back — or three-back as Todd Graham labels it — is a tight end who can run and catch without sacrificing his blocking.

"He has (to line up) in the backfield, (be) an inline (blocking) tight end," Todd Graham said. "He has to split out and has to be involved in the play-action game and protections."

Hubie Graham, who played with Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin at West Scranton High School, has shown an ability to get open in the middle of the defense. Backing up Graham is Sto-Rox graduate Drew Carswell, who catches everything with one hand because his injured left hand is wrapped in protective tape.

» The scrimmage no one outside the team was allowed to watch Sunday turned out to be a show for the defense.

"Defense, naturally, is a little bit farther ahead," Todd Graham said. "I thought they dominated the scrimmage."

The team's second scrimmage is Saturday.

» Punter Matt Yoklic of Pine-Richland had some 50-yard boomers, Todd Graham said.

» Ryan Turnley seems to have nailed down the center job, even after four bad snaps Sunday. While admitting the competition between Turnley and Chris Jacobson is ongoing, Todd Graham said Turnley "is basically the starting center, and Jacobson is the starting left guard."

» Wide receiver Cameron Saddler and cornerback K'Waun Williams didn't practice Monday after Todd Graham said they had a "little bell-rung deal" over the weekend. Wide receiver Devin Street had the same thing happen to him early in practice yesterday and didn't return.

» Tino Sunseri is one of 31 players on the preseason watch list for the Manning Award, given to the nation's top quarterback.

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