Pitt football camp—Friday

The University of Pittsburgh held their eleventh official spring practice on Friday. PantherDigest.com senior writer Dale Grdnic was in attendance. Dale has a number of news and notes concerning the Pitt football team. Read on for details.

Pitt football camp—Friday

PITTSBURGH -- As the University of Pittsburgh enters its final week in football training camp, second-year coach Dave Wannstedt is hopeful that some players will separate themselves from tight competition at left tackle, defensive tackle, safety and cornerback.

* Their next chance is the second intrasquad scrimmage Saturday from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the UPMC Complex. The final scrimmage in camp is Wednesday afternoon.

"We'll have probably about a 60-play scrimmage, and we'll do some kicking within to give them as realistic a look as we can,'' Wannstedt said. "So, that's probably 80 plays total (including the kicking), and we'll try to get everybody in and give everybody a little bit of a look.

"And, hopefully, we'll come closer to making some personnel decisions that we're still working through. ... This will be the second scrimmage that we'll have, so it will be more of an evaluation one,'' Wannstedt said. "The last one will be more for timing and playing together.''

* Several players won't be involved in the scrimmage, including starting safety Mike Phillips (twisted ankle) and cornerback Darrelle Revis (left hamstring). Also, wideout Joe DelSardo will be out indefinitely. He was suspended for violating a team policy.

* Wannstedt would not comment publicly about the suspension, but in a released statement he said the suspension is for the balance of training camp and will run through the regular-season opener against Virginia Sept. 2 at Heinz Field. His status will be reevaluated after that.

* The Panthers have spent one period during each practice on specialty situations, and worked on their two-point conversions Friday afternoon.

"We've done coming off the goal line, going in, short-yardage, two minute and red zone, too,'' Wannstedt said. "In the scrimmage, we're going to work a little overtime situation.''

* QB Tyler Palko connected with WR Oderick Turner in the back of the end zone in the two-point conversion drill, but he was ruled out of bounds by the onsite official. DT coach Greg Gattuso also wanted a penalty called in the series, but no flags were thrown.

* Since the defense held, the offense had to do a series of up-downs -- but not extensive running, like the defense wanted, as punishment.

"Coach Gattuso ... we had 19 officials out here, and I didn't see any flag,'' Wannstedt said. "Did you see one? If there's not a flag on the ground, then there's no flag.''

* In other practice notes, TB Kevin Collier cruised into the end zone in a second-team goal-line drill. On the play, offensive guard Craig Bokor pulled out and caved in the defense on the right side.

* DT Vernon Botts got a measure of revenge a short time later by crashing through the line and knocking Collier down in the backfield for a loss.

* MLB Scott McKillop had TE Darrell Strong covered like a blanket and knocked a pass away at the last second to frustrate the receiver.

* QB Bill Stull, who got the pins out of his hand Thursday, was back under center Friday afternoon for practice and is expected to play in the scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

* "Sports Illustrated'' released its college football rankings this week and had Pitt in the middle of the pack in the Big East Conference and 60th out of 119 NCAA Division I-A teams. Ohio State was No. 1, and West Virginia was No. 6. Former Big East member Temple was ranked last.

* Revis received first-team All-America honors at a cornerback spot, while MLB H.B. Blades was on a "Players to Watch'' list for the Big East.

* Freshman WR Aaron Smith from Gateway will have surgery soon to repair a separated shoulder, and he will be out for the season.

"He had problems with it in high school and played through it,'' Wannstedt said. "Our doctors didn't want there to be further damage, so we'll take care of it now. ... The other question

is that he could start school in January (and safe a year of eligibility) or start in the fall.'' * Freshman WR T.J. Porter switched from No. 86 to No. 9, Smith's former number, Friday afternoon.


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