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Pitt notebook: Street impressed with QB Savage

Pitt's Devin Street speaks during ACC Media Day on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Greensboro, N.C.,

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Sunday, July 21, 2013, 11:00 a.m.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pitt wide receiver Devin Street knows there is competition between senior Tom Savage and redshirt freshman Chad Voytik for the starting quarterback job.

He's aware that coach Paul Chryst did not name a winner in the derby at the end of spring drills.

But he said working with Savage in the offseason gives him hope for the Pitt passing game this season.

“Everybody is going to be surprised by him,” Street said Sunday at the ACC media gathering. “Tom has been working his tail off this summer. I can't say enough about Tom. I genuinely mean that. Tom has been great to work with in the offseason.

Savage, who hasn't played since 2010 when he was a backup at Rutgers, has displayed the strongest arm seen at Pitt since Joe Flacco was a member of the team in 2004.

“At the same time,” Street said, “he knows when to put some heat on it and take some off and throw a nice catchable ball. He puts it out there. I don't think he is going to underthrow me at all.”

New look

Street promises “different formations and different schemes” will be mixed into the Pitt offense in the second season under Chryst.

“You are gong to see some things you didn't see last year,” he said. “The second year in the offense is not going to be simplistic.”

Still a friend

Street said he spoke with former Pitt running back Rushel Shell before he left the team this spring.

“He's one of my friends, a guy I care about,” Street said.

Shell tweeted recently he plans to visit West Virginia this week in his quest to find a new school.

“I wish him the best of luck with everything. I think he's a great guy. He just has to get his head on straight.”

Street didn't comment on Shell's reported problems with Pitt coaches, but he said he stands behind Chryst.

“We have to trust in the coach,” he said. “He's the leader. What he says goes. We are not going to second-guess him.”

Party at the Chryst house

Defensive lineman Aaron Donald said Chryst took great strides toward building togetherness among his players by serving as host to two cookouts this summer at his home.

“We are bonding a lot more,” Donald said. “That is going to transfer to the field.”Donald said Chryst also served as cook at the outings. His speciality: hamburgers.

“I love them,” Donald said. “I like to decorate them with cheese.”

Ohio CB commits to Pitt

Pitt received its 15th commitment from the Class of 2014 when cornerback Phillipie Motley of Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson High School pledged to enroll next year.

Motley, 5-foot-10, 171 pounds, is rated a three-star prospect by Eight of Pitt's committed seniors are three- or four-stars. Motley has offers from 10 schools, including Marshall and eight of the 13 Mid-American members.

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

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