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Pitt notebook: Pitt WR Street to return to Panthers for senior season

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 5:08 p.m.

Wide receiver Devin Street considered a jump to the NFL but decided it was best to return to Pitt for his redshirt senior season. He announced Thursday on his Twitter account that he will return to school.

“My heart is at Pitt and with my teammates,” he wrote. “I want to grow as a person and player. Therefore I'll be staying my senior year.”

Street, who led the Big East with 73 receptions and was third in receiving yards (975) last season, filed paperwork with the NFL to evaluate his draft prospects.

Even while doing that, he said he planned to return for the 2013 season. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Street has been at Pitt since 2009 after helping Bethlehem Liberty to a PIAA Class AAAA championship with a victory over Bethel Park during his senior season.

With 151 career receptions and 2,047 yards, he needs 28 catches and 1,015 yards to finish as Pitt's all-time leader in both categories.

Early start

Pitt welcomed four members of its 2013 recruiting class this week when quarterback Tra'von Chapman, tight end Scott Orndoff, defensive end Shakir Soto and defensive tackle Tyrique Jarrett enrolled for the winter semester.

All four will count against the 2012 recruiting class and potentially allow coach Paul Chryst to get as many as 25 additional high school seniors to sign letters of intent next month.

Orndoff, who graduated early from Seton-La Salle with a 3.84 grade-point average, thought enrolling early and getting the opportunity to participate in spring drills was a good idea, and he encouraged Soto to do the same.

“I am missing out (on half of his senior year),” Orndoff said, “but being here is just a dream come true.”

Orndoff was able to graduate early after taking an online class in the summer and a heavier classload last semester.

“It's not easy,” he said. “I would go to school, go to practice, come home, eat and go to bed. That was my day, every day. I was in bed by 9 (o'clock) and woke up at 6.”Joked Chapman: “We kind of make fun of Scott for that.”

Biding his time

Chapman, who is getting treatment for a groin injury suffered at Roosevelt (Ohio) High School last season, said it's too early to start competing for the starting quarterback job with Tom Savage and Chad Voytik, both of whom were with the team in 2012.

“The first three or four months, I'm getting my feet wet and trying to get along with the guys,” he said. “If I came in here with the mentality that I'm going to take their spot, it's kind of shady.”

He did engage Voytik in pick-up basketball, with Chapman's team winning two of three games. “But he's a pretty good basketball player,” Chapman said.

Transfer from Syracuse

Dontez Ford, a 2012 graduate of Sto-Rox, also enrolled at Pitt and joined the team after leaving Syracuse.

Ford, who will move from safety to wide receiver, said he feels a greater comfort level being close to home.

“This is my hometown,” he said. “I have my family and my whole support system for me. I can focus on school and football and not have to worry about seeing my family or anything like that.”

Ford lost a year of eligibility, must sit out one season and can't be on scholarship in 2013, according to ACC transfer rules.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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