Pitt notebook: McKillop returns to program as volunteer
Playing football came easier for Scott McKillop than walking away from it.
McKillop, one of the best linebackers in Pitt football history, is returning to the program as a volunteer on coach Paul Chryst's staff after knee injuries led to the end of his professional career.
“The hardest decision a former player has to make is when to hang your cleats up and see what you want to do next,” McKillop said.
After he was released this year by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, he decided to pursue a career in coaching. He said his familiarity with the Pitt program led him there.
“It's definitely something I am looking forward to doing,” said McKillop, a graduate of Kiski Area. “I have to get my feet wet and prove I can do it and work my way up.”
McKillop was an All-America linebacker and Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
Due to NCAA restrictions, he won't be permitted to instruct players on the field, but he will help in other areas.
“He can be a life coach,” Chryst said. “Here's a guy who walked it and did a good job doing it.”
The San Francisco 49ers drafted McKillop in the fifth round in 2009. He spent three years with the 49ers, suffering a knee injury during training camp in 2010. He also was with the Buffalo Bills in 2012.
Chryst said senior running back Isaac Bennett is recovering so well from shoulder surgery that trainers must ensure against his premature return to practice.
“Isaac has been pretty good,” Chryst said. “I think (head athletic trainer) Rob (Blanc) was getting nervous because he's ahead (of the rehabilitation schedule). You don't want a guy to do too much too soon.”
Bennett, who rushed for 1,175 yards in his first three seasons, sprained his left shoulder during spring drills and had surgery in April.
“He shouldn't be (ready for the start of training camp), but I think he will be,” Chryst said. “So that means don't do anything stupid with him. He shouldn't really be doing much in camp. We'll see.”
Sophomore running back James Conner, who hurt his knee in the spring, and sophomore offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, who missed spring drills with a back injury, are “doing everything,” Chryst said. Both should be ready to practice normally in August.
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.
- Virginia kicker says parents preached commitment
- Pitt’s Blewitt playing through pain
- Latest loss has Panthers looking for answers
- Pitt notebook: Cornerback issues emblematic of Panthers’ woes
- Pitt embarrassed by Akron at home, 21-10
- Dedicated preparation not lost on Pitt quarterback Voytik