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Pitt football notebook: Pair of juniors plan to return next season

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Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 6:12 p.m.

• Pitt juniors Devin Street and Aaron Donald are among the top players in the Big East at their respective positions, but both said Monday they are not thinking about leaving school early for the NFL Draft. “Yeah, definitely,” said Street when asked if he plans to return for his senior season in 2013. “I think I'll be back next year. But I'm just focused on Rutgers (Saturday's opponent) and finishing these two games off for these seniors and get them to a bowl game.” Donald, who anchors the defensive line at tackle, said he is similarly focused, and he has not thought about the future. Street is having his best season at wide receiver, with 59 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns. His catches- and yards-per-game averages (5.9 and 80.6) are second in the conference. Donald is fourth in the Big East with 11 12 tackles for a loss.

• Street also said he been selling the program to visiting recruits, and they are listening, he said. “I am excited to see what coach Paul Chryst is going to do with the program.”

• Chryst said he is not worried about playing at Heinz Field on Saturday, hours after the last of four WPIAL championship games Friday. “What do you want us to do about it?” he said. “Let's go play. No, there are a lot more concerns that I've got than that.”

• Freshman running back Rushel Shell has seven carries for 25 yards in the past two games after averaging 14 for 70 in the previous three. Chryst said there is no reason for that other than circumstance. “We hope to get them both a good share of carries,” he said of Shell and Ray Graham.

• Chryst said he has not ruled out any injured players from playing Saturday, including tight end Hubie Graham, who didn't practice last week and has battled shoulder and ankle pain most of the season.

— Jerry DiPaola

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