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Hall of Famer Dorsett addresses Panthers

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Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011

Tony Dorsett wasn't kidding when he said he wants to reconnect with the Pitt football team.

The university's only Heisman Trophy winner visited the team's training complex on the South Side on Tuesday and addressed the team for 35 minutes. It was a rare appearance by Dorsett, who lives in Dallas and was invited to speak by coach Todd Graham.

Dorsett, 57, said he couldn't remember the most recent time he spoke to the Panthers, and by all accounts, he didn't waste the opportunity.

"Everyone was on the edge of their seats," wide receiver Cameron Saddler said.

"He told us about the sacrifices he made and how he planned for his goals," wide receiver Mike Shanahan said.

Dorsett summarized his message this way:

"Little things make great things happen," he said, "not just on the field, but in the classroom and in relationships."

Dorsett, who led Pitt to its most recent national title in 1976, also took questions from players and coaches.

"They asked me what motivated me and what kept me on track," he said. "I said it was that drive to be one of the best, if not the best, that intestinal fortitude to be the best. I also made sure I let them understand that I wanted to make my mother proud. Those things kept me on track and kept me focused.

"They are a good bunch of kids. I am hoping they are buying into the program and what coach Graham is trying to instill.

"I told them, 'If you get a little adversity, keep plugging away. Eventually, if you guys are pulling together and staying healthy, you have a chance to have success.' "

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