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Pitt notebook: Much-traveled Savage thought about quitting sport

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Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 8:18 p.m.

A year ago, Pitt quarterback Tom Savage was so unsure about where his football career was headed that he briefly thought about quitting.

“Believe it or not, last year during camp, I was a walk-on, just coming back (after transferring for the second time),” he said. “I was pretty down then, thought about hanging it up a little bit and just moving on with my life.”

But Savage, ineligible to play in games after transferring, fought through his feelings, received support from his parents, went to practice every day and now he finds himself getting ready to play defending ACC champion Florida State on Monday night on ESPN.

“I'm lucky to be out here playing,” he said. “Not too many kids get to transfer twice and start their career off again against Florida State. People would die to have that opportunity.”

• Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said the Seminoles were among several teams that tried to recruit Savage in 2009 when he was a senior at Cardinal O'Hara High School. “I was close to setting up a visit (to Florida State), but I kind of pulled the trigger pretty fast for Rutgers,” Savage said.

• Running back Isaac Bennett is recovering from his knee injury, but there is still no definite word on his status for Monday. “He's coming along,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said. “We'll kind of see where he's at. He's doing a little bit more each day, which is encouraging. ... We will see where that goes as the week progresses.”

• Rudolph said freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd earned a starting job after only three weeks of training camp by proving to coaches that he is reliable. “He didn't miss anything, fought his tail off, probably hit the wall at some point and battled through that,” he said. Rudolph said the playbook will not be trimmed to accommodate Boyd's inexperience. “He is taking on the full responsibility of the position.”

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