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Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi noted that he needed to give Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner the ball "on third downs, whether it be a draw or a pass out of the backfield."

"He can't just be a guy that you put in a game when it's going to be a run," Narduzzi said. "As a defensive guy, I'll know when James is in the game it's a run and when he's not it's a pass. We have to get him the ball on third down -- whether it be a draw or a pass out of the backfield. He's got great hands. In the spring we did it, and it was like, 'Why was this guy not in on third downs?' So that was an emphasis in the spring and will continue to be an emphasis." The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Connor was highly productive for the Panthers in 2014, rushing for 1,765 yards, while scoring 26 touchdowns, earning ACC Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 28 - 2:42 PM

Even if Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd receives a suspension for his DUI charge, NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter still thinks he's a frontrunner for All-American honors.

"Even if he receives a suspension after being charged with DUI in June, look for Boyd to sprint past, jump over, and sidestep defensive backs throughout his junior season," Reuter wrote. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Boyd earned first team All-ACC honors as a receiver (78 receptions for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns) and second team All-ACC honors as a return specialist (27.6 yards per kickoff return, 10.1 yards per punt return) last year.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 26 - 7:09 PM

Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd has entered a program for nonviolent first-time offenders in hopes of having his DUI charge withdrawn, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Liz Navratil.

The Pittsburgh prospect entered an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, for first-time offenders, where Boyd could have his charges withdrawn and the case expunged when he completes the needed requirements. Boyd has one year to complete safe driving classes or treatment. At the moment, Boyd's driver's license is suspended for at least 90 days.
Jul 24 - 2:33 PM

Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters no decision has been made on further discipline involving junior WR Tyler Boyd.

Boyd was suspended from team activities for a month following his DUI in June. Narduzzi called Boyd's case a "family issue." Many rank Boyd as one of, if not the top, receiver in the country. We like how comfortable he is after the catch to pick up extra yards. Boyd and running back James Conner are the core pieces of Pittsburgh's offense.
Jul 21 - 9:30 AM

NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah beleives Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd is "polished and elusive with the ball in his hands," and compares to Keenan Allen coming out of college.

While Boyd's DUI arrest during the off season will cause some concern for scouts, he should keep his draft stock intact, keeping his nose clean and following up with another productive year. Boyd finished the 2014 season with 78 receptions for 1,261 yards (16.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Boyd earned first team All-ACC honors as a receiver and second team All-ACC honors as a return specialist.
Jul 10 - 2:02 PM

If you don't square up Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper, he's "going to run right through you."

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Connor rushed for 1,765 yards and scored 26 touchdowns last season. "He's a well-proportioned 250 pounds, and he shows patience in allowing blocking lanes to emerge, as well as a second gear to run away from defenders," Kiper wrote. "Expect the Panthers, with a run-first offensive coordinator in town, to load Conner up in 2015." Conner earned ACC Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors in 2014.
Jul 8 - 6:19 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper writes that Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd "has been completely unstoppable through his first two seasons."

In that short amount of time, the Panthers star has slapped down 163 catches and 2,435 receiving yards. "A great size-speed-hands combo, he simply needs to continue what he has started and stay focused after a recent DUI arrest," Kiper wrote. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler compares Boyd to Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor.
Jul 8 - 4:51 PM

Pittsburgh's projected starting RT, redshirt sophomore Jaryd Jones-Smith, will miss the season due to a right knee injury.

The injury was suffered during offseason activities. Jones-Smith started three games at left tackle last season and was expected to replace T.J. Clemmings on the right side. Like Clemmings, Jones-Smith offers immense size at 6'6/335 lbs. The Panthers have not had the offseason they were hoping for under new head coach Pat Narduzzi.
Jul 2 - 10:51 AM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter writes that Pittsburgh redshirt junior CB Lafayette Pitts "might be average in stature, but the NFL requires toughness and attitude at the cornerback position -- and Pitts has plenty of both."

"Mark him down as a third-round pick (or higher) if he continues to improve in his discipline and playmaking ability in coverage as he did from his sophomore to junior years," Reuter wrote. Pitts is entering his fourth year as the starter. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Pitts posted 39 tackles, six pass break-ups and two interceptions last season. He's currently viewed as a Day 2 prospect.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 29 - 9:45 PM

Pittsburgh DC Josh Conklin believes his CBs need to play with "a lot of swag."

Conklin is entering his first season with Pitt after coaching with FIU and helping turn that defense into a top 35 unit by some measurements. Whereas many collegiate defenses utilize off corners, Conklin takes a different approach. "We’re going to play on the line of scrimmage 95 percent of the time with the corners, so you better be able to bring it and bring it every single day," he told ESPN's David Hale. The position should be emphasized under Conklin's coaching.
Source: ESPN
Jun 29 - 12:08 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein ranks Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner as the No. 5 running back in the nation.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Connor rushed for 1,765 yards and scored 26 touchdowns last season. "[Connor] doesn't look like he's moving very quickly and isn't particularly elusive, but he is more than happy to play the role of battering ram," Zierlein wrote. "When defenses wear down -- and they almost always do -- Conner takes full advantage chewing up chunks of yards at a time. Conner created 71 missed and broken tackles last year and was as good as any runner in the nation at finishing near the endzone with a total of 26 rushing touchdowns. When the NFL comes calling, Conner might need to trim down and increase his quickness." Conner earned ACC Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors in 2014, and if he takes another step forward, he may be in New York for the Heisman presentation next winter.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 25 - 5:06 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein ranks Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd as his No.1 wideout to watch in College Football.

"The junior wideout has been heavily targeted since he stepped foot on campus with 250 targets over his first two seasons at Pitt. Boyd plays with outstanding body control and has an ability to gyrate and contort in the air in order to make circus catches look easy. Boyd is highly competitive and highly confident. Starting quarterback Chad Voytik returns, which is noteworthy since Boyd and Voytik hit their stride over the second half of last season," Zierlein wrote. The Pittsburgh prospect was a versatile play maker for the Panthers in 2014, recording 78 receptions for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns, while being the team's leading return man on special teams. With another solid season in 2015, Boyd looks headed straight for the first round of the NFL Draft.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 24 - 3:03 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Pittsburgh redshirt junior CB Lafayette Pitts "has a chance to secure a draft pick with a consistent senior year."

"He also isn't shy about talking at the line of scrimmage, doing his best to get in the head of wide receivers. Pitts, who has shed 17 pounds this off-season, is reportedly in great shape for his final season at Pitt and under the tutelage of Narduzzi, he has a chance to secure a draft pick with a consistent senior year," Brugler wrote. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Pitts posted 39 tackles, six pass break-ups and two interceptions last season. The three-year starter has 38 starts in his career as a Panther and brings a high level of confidence to the cornerback position for Pittsburgh. TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline gives Pitts a second/third round draft grade.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 18 - 3:40 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that "NFL scouts are skeptical about" Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner's "transition and role at the next level."

"Conner, who is beloved within the Pitt program for his work ethic and leadership, doesn't have the speed or twitchy moves to consistently make defenders miss and create his own yardage with elusiveness, but he runs decisive and makes it a chore on tacklers to get him on the ground. Conner is the favorite to again win ACC Player of the Year honors this season, although NFL scouts are skeptical about his transition and role at the next level," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound bruiser has been super productive for the Nittany Lions, in 2014 he rushed for 1,765 yards, with a whopping 26 touchdowns (ACC Record) earning ACC Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 18 - 2:35 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that "there are similarities on film between" Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd and Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor.

"He does need to continue to get stronger for the NFL as he lacks the body power to consistently fight through tackle attempts and is disappointing as a blocker. Boyd's off-field decision-making also needs vetted after a DUI arrest earlier this month, which will likely lead to some type of suspension to begin the 2015 season. Philadelphia Eagles first round pick Nelson Agholor has a little more twitch and Boyd is more detailed, but there are similarities on film between the two wide receivers," Brugler wrote. The Pittburgh prospect was quite productive in 2014, hauling in 78 receptions for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns. Boyd also excelled on special teams as a return man, posting a 27.6 yard kickoff return average, while averaging 10.1 yard punt return average. While Boyd's arrest will cause some concern, he still has a chance to preserve his draft stock if he keeps himself out of trouble and has another productive year.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 18 - 2:09 PM


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