Long wait is over for Pitt center
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As part of the tradition at Pitt, senior offensive linemen are carried off the field by younger linemen on the last day of training camp.
Center Alex Karabin's ride was more satisfying than most.
Karabin, a first-year starter, was hoisted moments after learning he had earned an athletic scholarship following four years as a walk-on.
"I guess I was expecting it, but I'm still a little bit surprised," Karabin said. "It's nice to see it actually come through. It means a lot."
Karabin, who won the starting job at center during spring drills and training camp, learned the good news after Saturday's practice. Somewhere in Ruffs Dale, Westmoreland County, Richard and Anna Karabin, who have paid Alex's way since he arrived at Pitt in 2006, are smiling.
Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said it was gratifying to award a free ride to Karabin, one of the team's most popular players.
"Everybody loves Alex," Wannstedt said. "They like to see good things happen to good people. There was a lot of excitement."
The decision came one day after Pitt announced that Khaynin Mosley-Smith, a freshman defensive tackle from Woodland Hills, would be academically ineligible, freeing up a scholarship.
Wannstedt said he expects redshirt junior Andrew Janocko, a holder and fifth-string quarterback, to receive a scholarship for the second year in a row.
"We will know exactly where we stand (with scholarships) this week," Wannstedt said. "I would expect Andrew would be renewed."
Romeus sits again
Senior defensive end Greg Romeus (back spasms) missed his fifth consecutive practice Sunday, and his 12th in the past 14 days. Sophomore running back Ray Graham (knee) also sat out. Romeus has been lifting and conditioning. Wannstedt said he is not concerned with his reigning co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
"It's just a matter of getting practice time, and we'll get that done," Wannstedt said. "He's in good spirits. We'll be fine."
The Pitt players moved out of the dorms on Saturday, signifying the de facto end to training camp. But there are still some more practices. Pitt will work out on Sunday afternoon on the South Side and on Monday afternoon at Heinz Field prior to the annual Panthers Fan Fest. The players are off Tuesday and then begin preparing for the Sept. 2 opener at Utah.
Wannstedt said Saturday's practice was a step forward.
"For this point in camp, I was pleased with where we are at," he said. "(But) we still have a lot of work to do. Are we better today than we were yesterday• Yes. But are we ready to play this football game (at Utah)• No, we're not."
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