Pitt coach thinks OL Nix will be OK for WVU
Pitt senior right guard Lucas Nix hasn't played since hurting his knee in the second play of the South Florida game Sept. 29, but coach Todd Graham almost sounds hopeful that Nix will return Friday at West Virginia.
"We anticipate that Lucas will play," Graham said. "I don't want to tell you he is definitely going to and then he doesn't, and you guys (reporters) think I'm not telling you the truth."
A ligament that provides support for his left kneecap was stretched, and Nix has been careful not to re-injure it during his rehabilitation.
"Obviously, he has the best chance to play this week; he has had the most time to get ready," said Graham, noting that Pitt didn't play last week. "I anticipate and expect him to be playing."
Pitt used its seventh different five-man combination on the offensive line against Louisville, with Cory King starting at right guard for Ryan Schlieper, who moved to left guard.
> > Center Ryan Turnley hasn't practiced for the past month while dealing with plantar fasciitis in both feet, but he is the only Pitt offensive lineman to start every game at one position. Senior Jordan Gibbs has started every game — nine at right tackle and one at left tackle. Turnley said the situation on the line keeps everyone alert.
"Everyone has to continue to step up and do their job because you don't have a set five," he said. "If you're not playing well, you're not going to play."
> > Pitt received a verbal commitment from cornerback Jahmahl Pardner of Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y. Pardner (6-foot-1, 179 pounds) is Pitt's 19th commitment from the Class of 2012. Pardner said he chose Pitt over offers from Georgia Tech and Temple.
"He reminds you to be a good person outside of football," Pardner said of Graham. "He doesn't treat you as just a football player."