Shane Gordon is back for his senior year at linebacker, looking to build off a career-high 48 tackles. Gordon played in 10 games, starting eight.
Gordon said he first hurt his neck in the opener against Youngstown State, though he battled through the injury for the remainder of the season. He played in a limited role in the triple-overtime loss at Notre Dame, where he came off the bench to record a tackle for loss on Notre Dame's Theo Reddick--a big play that held the Irish to a field goal, early in the game.
"I kind of snuck in," Gordon said, saying he was initially supposed to be held from that game recovering from the ankle sprain. "It was just one play, so I figured I could just make a play, and I did."
Gordon had neck surgery on February 1, and was held from the spring. He's been in full contact through one week of training camp, and says the neck has been okay so far. Despite having his most productive year as a Panther, Gordon hopes to put the injuries behind him and build off his development as a junior.
Lafayette Pitts won the starting corner job a year ago, and went on to start all 13 games as a redshirt freshman. He finished with 35 tackles, and came away with his first career interception in a win over Rutgers.
He felt that he may have been flying under the radar for most opponents, being that he was a redshirt freshman. With less than three weeks before Pitt's opener with Florida State, he feels the pressure of having to pick up his game this year, knowing that opponents are going to be more aware of him.
"I'm still a young guy as a redshirt sophomore, so they can still go after me," Pitts said. "I have to prove myself even more."