One of the few returning bright spots on Pitt’s defense is senior defensive end Joe Clermond, a second-team All-Big East selection last season after leading the conference with 1.38 tackles for loss a game.
Clermond is starting to receive national recognition, as the Football Writers Association of America named him to the Bronko Nagurski watch list. The award is presented annually to college football’s top defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Clermond led the Panthers with 5.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss last season, finishing with 48 tackles in 12 games. Not bad for a guy Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt nearly banished from the program before Clermond rededicated himself to conditioning and won a starting spot.
If Pitt isn’t already using Clermond as an example of why we shouldn’t give up on players who aren’t productive in their first two or three seasons, now is the perfect time for the Panthers to start.