Notebook: Pitt Spring Practice 3/22

Notes from Pitt's fourth spring practice Tuesday morning.

After Saturday's venture to Heinz Field, Pitt returned to the South Side as it resumed spring drills following two days off. 

The majority of the media's viewing period, aside from stretching, was dedicated to special teams. 

Notably, Chris Blewitt hit on a few field goal with the farthest coming from 42 yards out. Blewitt also showed some agility as the Panthers practiced a fake field goal play with the holder, punter Ryan Winslow, taking the snap and running an option to the left side where he pitched to Blewitt on his wing. 

Dennis Briggs, who saw the field frequently last season as the nickelback, got his hands on Alec Schuster's kick attempt. The blocked field goal earned Briggs a few pats on the back (and helmet) from an especially ecstatic Rob Harley, the linebackers coach. 

-- A player in a blue jersey numbered 28 was spotted working with the linebackers Tuesday. And no, it wasn't Anthony McKee who is out for the duration of spring drills. 

Rather, the addition to the group was wide receiver Elijah Zeise. Pitt's issues with linebacker depth are well-known with McKee and Bam Bradley out of spring practice, creating the need to transition Oluwaseun Idowu and Jalen Williams from defensive back to outside linebacker just to give the team enough players to properly practice with at the position on defense. 

Zeise was recruited as an athlete out of North Allegheny where he played both safety and wide receiver, but posted huge numbers as a wideout. His decision to choose Pitt was partially based on the fact he'd be able to play receiver here. He will be a redshirt sophomore this fall.

Zeise caught five passes for 54 yards in 2015 and played in all 13 games between duties on special teams and at reserve wide receiver as a redshirt freshman. His athleticism is well-documented and, even as a receiver, has the frame at 6-foot-2 to add onto his current weight of 215 pounds. 

-- Rachid Ibrahim worked with with the running backs today, and is still sporting a yellow non-contact shirt, while Jaryd Jones-Smith wore a yellow pinnie over his jersey while he was around the offensive linemen. Jones-Smith is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained during a conditioning workout last summer, which kept him out of action for the entire 2015 season, while Ibrahim missed last season with an Achilles injury he suffered near the end of fall training camp. 

Wide receiver Dontez Ford was also out of practice again. 


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