Notebook: Pitt Spring Practice 3/28

News and notes from Pitt's sixth spring practice.

The Pitt Panthers resumed their spring drills Monday in the South Side after the three-day Easter weekend. Pitt practiced without pads Monday, their third and final practice of the spring in shorts, as the Panthers eased into a week that includes four total practices to make up for the workout missed Saturday. 

-- Monday's practice had a pair of notable absences. 

James Conner was not at practice for the first time this spring as he continues treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. His absence wasn't a surprise as Conner had his ninth chemotherapy treatment scheduled for Monday. 

An unexpected absence Monday was that of transfer tight end Chris Clark. Pat Narduzzi said after practice Clark had "something to do" but expects him back on Thursday.

-- Aside from the absences, there were plenty of visitors to Monday's practice with at least two pages worth of names signed in at the South Side's indoor facility. Not all of the visitors were necessarily recruits, but mainly coaches and staff members from nearby high schools. As important as it is to have recruits watching practice, it also does the program good to cast a wide net and maintain relationships with the programs in the area from an optics perspective. Although, one may never know where the next star recruit may come from. 

One notable head coach in attendance was former Steeler Jason Gildon, now the coach at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in Cranberry Township.

-- Most of the players spend a portion of practice's early period doing various drills to stretch and warm up for practice. However, the special teams unit works out on the side. Jordan Whitehead and Avonte Maddox return punts from Ryan Winslow, and Chris Blewitt kicks field goals alongside the rest of the players involved in that facet. 

Monday, Blewitt appeared to nail at least one field goal try from 60 yards out. 

-- On the injury front, Allen Edwards was on the field with his teammates for the first time this spring. Edwards still wore a yellow non-contact jersey, but he participated in drills with the defensive line during the period open to the media. Plus, with Monday's practice being in shorts, there wasn't likely to be much contact to begin with. 

Dontez Ford did not have a yellow jersey on Monday but he was still on the sidelines. Alongside Ford was Jaymar Parrish, who Narduzzi said will miss the rest of this spring. Narduzzi didn't reveal the nature of Parrish's injury, but his ankle is heavily-wrapped.

Panther Digest Top Stories