Running back remains `unsettled' for Panthers
Pitt coach Paul Chryst is seldom satisfied with most aspects of his team, and the running back depth chart is no different.
Chryst said Thursday on an ACC coaches conference call that the position is “unsettled.” He made no reference to sophomore running back Rushel Shell, the presumed starter at the start of spring drills before he quit the team with the intent to transfer.
Shell's departure leaves the position to junior Isaac Bennett and redshirt sophomore Malcolm Crockett.
“(They) did some good things (in the spring),” Chryst said. “We have a chance if they can keep working and growing.”
He noted James Conner of Erie McDowell will join the team this summer, but he still hasn't graduated from high school.
“I like some of the things we are doing, but we certainly aren't where we want to be right now,” he said.
Asked about the move to the ACC, he said the focus at the moment is on his players, not upcoming opponents.
“We certainly respect and appreciate the opponents, but so much of what we're doing right now is focusing on how can we be better as individuals, which will make us better as a team.”
Meanwhile, Chryst is hoping to see his senior class start to exhibit leadership, something some of them appear eager to do.
“You are as good as your seniors are,” Chryst said. “We've had discussions. Talking to guys, I think they are ready to take ownership (of the team).
“I like the way the guys are starting to think about wanting to have those roles.”
Pitt will take a small senior class into its first season in the ACC. Only seven of 22 projected starters are in their final year of eligibility.
Chryst emphasized a point he made repeatedly during spring drills that the upcoming precamp workouts, which will roughly coincide with the start of classes May 13, will be important to team development.
“You are a little nervous not being around these players (according to NCAA regulations), but it does give the team a great opportunity,” he said.
Boston College coach Steve Addazio said the cancellation of the spring game in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing will have no effect on the team.
“Would 20 more snaps with the first team make that much of a difference?” he said. “No.”
He also said that senior defensive tackle and Laurel Highlands graduate Kaleb Ramsey, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility due to an injury-plagued career, is poised to have a good season.
“He's the kind of guy I was used to seeing in the SEC,” said Addazio, a former assistant at Florida. “He is very physical, very powerful, very athletic and was very disruptive in the spring.”
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, a Seneca Valley graduate, has been cleared to practice this summer after tearing an ACL in his knee last year, coach Randy Edsall said.
Brown was not permitted to have contact in the spring, but Edsall said his progress was evident in seven-on-seven drills.
“I was very pleased,” Edsall said. “You can see the confidence he was gaining each time he was out there.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt notebook: No surprises as Panthers settle on starting O-line
- Pitt, Penn State face competition for ticket sales
- Pitt trying to keep star playmaker Boyd fresh for the season opener
- Pitt assistant strength coach’s battle with cancer inspires players
- Waiting to be named starter, Pitt QB Voytik keeps working hard
- Pitt notebook: Render proving to be Donald-esque on defense
- Pitt notebook: Chryst ready to ‘tighten things down’ for season