Shady Side Academy grad Briggs hopes to play key role for Pitt football
Dennis Briggs spent the summer preparing for his freshman season playing football for the University of Pittsburgh.
On Monday, the Panthers began practice and the 2014 Shady Side Academy graduate was optimistic.
“I don't know if I'll be redshirted or not,” he said. “That decision probably won't be made until camp is done. I'll try my best. We have a lot of good running backs.”
Briggs, who played at 190 pounds in the SSA backfield last fall, is up to 195 and feels that his conditioning will be a plus at the college level.
“I've been working out a lot, and I don't think conditioning will be a problem,” Briggs said. “The biggest adjustment for me has been the difference in playbooks. At Shady Side Academy, our playbook wasn't too big. The Pitt playbook fills a whole binder.
“The coaches have the freshmen working out together and that helps. It's not overwhelming in the sense that we're not going up against the veterans. Physically and on a talent level, there's not that much of a difference between us and the older players, I believe. I think we match up well. But they know the system so well and know where they're supposed to be on every play. They are so far ahead of us in the mental aspects of the game.”
Briggs hasn't let himself be overwhelmed by learning the new system, he said.
“I've taught myself to be patient, be comfortable and be the best I can be,” said Briggs, who ran for 500 yards and five touchdowns as a senior in helping SSA to an 8-2 record last fall. “If the coaches decide to redshirt me, I will work that much harder to be a player that will help the team next year. I will work to be ready whenever my time comes. There were a couple of freshmen who were impact players last year, so it can be done.”
One of the highlights for Briggs will be reuniting with former SSA teammate Reggie Mitchell, who quarterbacked the Indians when Briggs was a freshman and sophomore.
“It's going to be good playing on the same team as Reggie again,” Briggs said. “I've known him since I was 8, and we grew up around the corner from each other. I'm glad he decided to transfer to Pitt (from Wisconsin).”
Pitt opens the season against Delaware at noon Aug. 30 at Heinz Field.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or email@example.com.
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.