Stull in command of Pitt Panthers' "O"
...And 17 returning starters on the team....
Stull in command of Panthers’ O
By ERIC KNOPSNYDER
PITTSBURGH — Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt expects the quarterback situation to be much less muddled this season than a year ago, even if the starter is the same.
The Panthers, who open camp today, expect junior Bill Stull to start the opener against Bowling Green on Aug. 30.
“It will be Billy’s job to lose,” Wannstedt said Monday during the team’s media day. “Billy Stull came out of spring as our most complete quarterback.”
Stull started the opener against Eastern Michigan last season but suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. He received a medical redshirt and watched from the sideline as redshirt freshman Kevan Smith and true freshman Pat Bostick took turns leading the offense with limited success.
Stull said that he used his downtime wisely.
“Last year, while everyone else was practicing, I was in the weight room with the other injured guys. I’ve gotten bigger, faster and stronger,” said Stull, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. “I’m able to move a little bit faster. All around, I’m stronger and healthier.”
Stull isn’t concerned about any kind of quarterback competition from Bostick, Smith and junior-college transfer Greg Cross.
“I’m just worried about playing the best football that I can play,” Stull said. “Hopefully, everybody else does the same and we’ll see what happens.”
No ‘D’ for Dorin: Maybe Dorin Dickerson has finally found a home.
A top prospect when he came out of West Allegheny in 2006, Dickerson hasn’t made much of an impact at Pitt, mainly because he hasn’t played one position consistently.
Dickerson lined up at quarterback, running back and wide receiver as a freshman, and then switched to linebacker for his sophomore season.
Wannstedt expects the tight end position to be perfect for the 6-2, 230-pounder, even if he’s behind Nate Byham and John Pelusi on the depth chart.
“He’s a good enough blocker,” Wannstedt said. “Now, he doesn’t have to run against defensive backs. He’s a good match against linebackers. I think, from a physical standpoint, it’s very good for him.”
Summer classes: Wannstedt said that each member of the freshman class, including Bishop McCort’s Mike Cruz, Greater Johnstown’s Antwuan Reed and Richland’s Marco Pecora, has been attending summer school.
The difference between this year’s highly ranked freshman class and previous ones that Wannstedt has had at Pitt is that he doesn’t expect to rely so heavily on the young players immediately.
“I’m not counting on any of them to be necessary to win games,” he said.
That would be a change from last year, when Bostick started eight games and McCoy carried the offense for long stretches at a time.
Notes: Two players have left the team. FB Shane Brooks and WR Maurice Williams each will transfer to another school, though there is no word yet on where either is headed. … Wannstedt said that he thinks West Virginia is still clearly the team to beat in the Big East.