Monday Notebook: Some New Faces

David Durham is a leading candidate to start at defensive end, while Matt Galambos is making a case to see the field this year as a true freshman. Manasseh Garner may be heavily counted on to provide a spark on offense.

For getting on the field, it's been a long time coming for David Durham.

Durham initially signed with Ohio State in the 2011 recruiting class. This after just one year of high school ball at Charlotte (NC) Christian. He moved to Charlotte for his senior year, after playing for Texas powerhouse Austin Westlake. While there, he finished with 64 tackles and five sacks, earning district honors.

Durham came to Pitt last year as a fullback. He said at the time that Urban Meyer took over at Ohio State, there was some uncertainty where he was going to play, which eventually led to him transferring out.

Therefore, the move for him to defensive end is not too shocking--one where he feels there is a more natural fit for him, than offensive was.

"It's kind of a misconception," Durham said. "I came into college as more of a defensive guy. I did come over here as an offensive guy, but I've always been a defensive guy."

Dating back to the spring, the defensive line has consistently been Durham and Bryan Murphy at defensive end, with Aaron Donald and Tyrone Ezell at defensive tackle. It might look like there is some job security in those spots. Durham says that's another fun aspect of playing at defensive end--the idea of bringing it every day to hold off any competition.

"We feel like we have a very talented front, and now it's about being smart," Durham said.

Interestingly, Durham will return to North Carolina when Pitt plays Duke on September 21. Starting off at Ohio State, he could have never imagined he'd have a chance to come back and play in North Carolina, with Pitt now in the ACC. Already, he says he's received a number of ticket requests.

"A bunch of my buddies from high school are on that team," Durham said.

Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price is also a former high school teammate from his days at Westlake.

At linebacker, freshman Matt Galambos is already trying to make a case for some playing time this year. Based on the team's current depth, that's not too far out of the realm.

With Todd Thomas out of the equation, Galambos moved up to take some second-team reps over the weekend. Whether it's at middle linebacker or outside, he's fine wherever the coaches put him. Galambos finished with 104 tackles and five sacks as a senior in high school.

"Wherever the coaches want to play me, it doesn't matter," Galambos said. "Whatever they want, I'm going to try to adapt to that."

On offense, tight end Manasseh Garner is eligible to play after sitting out last year, transferring in from Wisconsin.

Garner played in 20 games at Wisconsin, even starting off his career on defense. Now, he's back with the initial group of coaches who recruited him, specifically offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph.

Though he has the build of a tight end, don't be surprised if you see Garner lined up as a receiver--something that could create matchup problems for opponents.

"I feel like being the type of player I am, being some of the things I'm blessed to do, I will be able to match up with some corners, and put in a mismatch situation," Garner said. "Corners, linebackers, safeties."

If Garner is able to provide anything for the Pitt offense, he will create a distraction which should help open up others--receiver Devin Street, the running backs, whoever starts at receiver opposite of Street, and most importantly just giving Tom Savage or Chad Voytik another target.

"I think my role is versatile," Garner added. "I'm able to get out there and run, get some mismatch situations. It's kind of fitting in between that role of a tight end and receiver."

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