The opening practice of Pitt’s 2010 football training camp is in the books, as the first of two workouts today concluded at 10:45 a.m.
The upperclassmen worked out in the morning in the split-squad format. Most of the freshmen – redshirt and true – will hold their practice from 3-5 p.m. Sunday’s workouts will be the same format, before all of the players practice together on Monday. Pitt will have 29 practices before kicking off the season Sept. 2 at Utah.
*** Keith Lumpkin, a 6-foot-8, 285-pound tackle from St. Peters (N.J.) Prep, attended Pitt’s morning practice. Lumpkin is regarded as one of the top 30 tackles in the Class of 2011. He also is considering Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida and Wisconsin. He is the classmate of four-star running back Savon Huggins, who has Pitt among his final 10 schools.
*** There weren’t really any surprises in the two-deep depth chart (see first and second teams below). Redshirt junior Tristan Roberts continues to get the nod over returning starter Greg Williams at weak-side linebacker. The 6-1, 235-pound Roberts took all the snaps with the first team during Saturday’s practice. Williams worked with the second-team defense.
*** Sophomore linebacker Dan Mason had the best defensive play of the morning practice, soaring high in the air to deflect a Tino Sunseri pass at the line of scrimmage. Mason also broke up a pass attempt to Mike Shanahan and got a clean run at Sunseri for a would-be sack off the edge.
*** Jon Baldwin caught a 40-yard pass from Sunseri down the right sideline, beating cornerback Antwuan Reed and safety Jarred Holley in double-coverage. Sunseri was on-target all morning, showing his arm strength and good athleticism on a couple of roll-outs.
*** Tight end Mike Cruz, who will try to fill some of the void left by departed Dorin Dickerson and Nate Byham, showed surprising burst on a couple of nice receptions.
*** Linebacker Manny Williams recorded the only turnover of the day, intercepting a poorly thrown Pat Bostick pass over the middle.
*** Bostick, off target for most of the day, completed a deep pass to a wide-open Cam Saddler.
*** Defensive line coach Greg Gattuso is a terrific motivator and he already has the best line of early training camp. After one of his defensive linemen made a gaffe during 11 on 11 drills, Gattuso gave some verbal encouragement. When the player looked to the ground and seemed to get down on himself, Gattuso bellowed, “Get your head up when you’re being yelled at.” Classic.
LT Jason Pinkston, LG Chris Jacobsen, C Alex Karabin, RG Greg Gaskins, RT Lucas Nix, TE Mike Cruz, WR Jon Baldwin, WR Mike Shanahan, QB Tino Sunseri, RB Dion Lewis, FB Henry Hynoski.
DE Jabaal Sheard, DT Myles Caragein, DT Chas Alecxih, DE Greg Romeus, OLB Max Gruder, MLB Dan Mason, OLB Tristan Roberts, CB Antwuan Reed, FS Jarred Holley, SS Dom DeCicco, CB Ricky Gary
LT Jordan Gibbs, LG Juantez Hollins, C Jack Lippert, RG Ryan Turnley, RT Cory King, TE Brock DeCicco, QB Pat Bostick, WR Cam Saddler, WR Devin Street/Greg Cross, RB Ray Graham
DE Brandon Lindsey, DT Tyler Tkach, DT Tyrone Ezell, DE Nate Nix, OLB Manny Williams, MLB Shane Gordon, OLB Greg Williams, CB Saheed Imoru, CB Buddy Jackson FS Andrew Taglianetti, SS Jason Hendricks