Former Hempfield QB Justin Sliwoski leaving Pitt
Justin Sliwoski knew he wasn’t heading into an idealistic situation when he walked on at Pitt.
The strong-armed quarterback out of Hempfield figured he could possibly find a niche with the Panthers as a backup or third-stringer — and be ready in the wings as a just-in-case guy.
He’d pay his dues and see what transpired down the road.
But with the potential for personal growth in the program going against the odds, in his estimation, he opted to make a move.
Sliwoski is transferring to St. Francis (Pa.) in Loretto, leaving a FBS program for a mid-major with much greater potential for playing time.
Thank you Pittsburgh! Looking forward to the new opportunity! pic.twitter.com/8AS5mT2b5K
— Justin Sliwoski (@jsliwoski11) August 2, 2019
“It was a scholarship position that I couldn’t pass up, where I will have the opportunity to compete,” Sliwoski said. “As far as academics, they have a great, five-year PA (Physician Assistant) program. All in all, it was a great fit for both.”
Daily practice with the scout team at Pitt helped keep Sliwoski football focused.
“I got better each week,” he said.
He also traveled with the Panthers to the ACC Championship and the Sun Bowl.
Sliwoski (6-1, 190), Hempfield’s career leader in passing yards (4,004) and touchdown passes (40), redshirted last season.
“Obviously, there are never any guarantees,” he said. “But I feel I will have a better opportunity to compete for playing time (at SFU).”
A letterwinner in four sports at Hempfield — baseball, basketball and track the others — Sliwoski spent one season at Pitt with his brother, Ryan, who was a senior fullback last season and also walk-on.
Justin Sliwoski had offers from Dayton, Georgetown, Dartmouth and Columbia, and also considered Mercyhurst and Seton Hill, both Division II programs, when he was coming out of high school.
His parents, Stan and Beth, went to Pitt.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .