Pitt Prospects Camp Opens Strong

The University of Pittsburgh's first Prospects Camp opened Friday with nearly 250 football players in attendance and about 30 coaches from Pitt and the surrounding area to work with the athletes.

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt, entering the third season at his alma mater, told the large group that those in attendance would learn about the Panthers' rich football history, get a chance to improve their skills and display their talent level to all the coaches and other players.

"I was here when Pitt won its last national title,'' Wannstedt said to the group, as he flashed the 1976 National Championship ring that he proudly wears. "We have a lot to offer you here, and there are a lot of coaches to help you out. So, we feel that this is a great opportunity.

"But don't forget that you're not competing against the guy next to you or the guy in front of you. You are here to push yourself and to get better. If you're worried about the other guy, you could drop that pass or miss that assignment or just not hear what you're being told.''

Among the nearly 200 pre-registered players were wideout Jonathan Baldwin from Aliquippa, Pa. HS, wideout Quamaine Bryant from Pittsburgh's Brashear HS, lineman R.J. Dill from Mechanicsburg, Pa.'s Trinity HS, lineman Harold Coates from Youngstown, Ohio's Ursuline HS, defensive back Mike Jones from Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt HS, lineman Ryan Turnley from Hopewell, Pa. HS, and lineman Tyler Wilson from Southern Columbia, Pa. HS.

Another 200-plus athletes will report for Prospects Camp Day 2 Saturday, including Vaughn Carraway from Muhlenberg HS in Laureldale, Pa., Marcus Sales from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y., and Averin Collier from Churchville-Chili SHS in Churchville, N.Y., as well as about 70 players that will fly in from Florida. Tight end Hubie Graham from West Scranton, Pa. HS was also in attendance Friday, hanging out with Pitt tight end Nate Byham, but he couldn't work out due to right hand surgery.

The coaches in attendance included Mark Carney from Richmond, Bret Colbert from St. Vincent, Paul Tortorella from IUP, Frank Forcucci from Fordham, Lyle Hemphill from Hofstra, Mark Costello from Lebanon Valley, Bob Shoop from William and Mary, Joel Dilinski from Seton Hill, Pa., Ryan Edsdale from Duquesne, Dave Durish from Clarion, Mike Neuberger from Dayton, Josh Haymore from James Madison, Dan Fodrocy from Grand Valley State, Todd Gibson from Grove City, Scott Farison from Robert Morris, Rick Shepas from Waynesburg, Mark Matlak from Allegheny and Jerry Olsavsky from Youngstown State, along with Pitt coaches Matt Cavanaugh, Aubrey Hill, Chris Ball, Jeff Hafley, Paul Dunn, David Walker, Brian Angelichio, Paul Rhoads, Charlie Patridge and Greg Gattuso.

The opening event included speed instruction from Pitt strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris and individual workouts. Then, there was one morning practice session, lunch and one final practice on the outdoor fields.

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