Bostick Goes Home

Pitt's quarterback derby quickly became a two-horse race, as highly-touted freshman Pat Bostick from Manheim Township, Pa. High School left school before the first training camp practice got underway Tuesday morning.

University of Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt released a statement concerning Bostick after the morning session.

"With our full support and understanding, Pat Bostick left campus last night and returned home to Lancaster to deal with a personal issue,'' Wannstedt said. "Everyone connected with our program has the highest regard for Pat, not only as a talented football player, but also as a fine young man.

"No timetable has been set for his return (to camp). We are leaving that judgment to Pat and intend to do everything that we can to be supportive of him and his family.''

Wannstedt won't address the media until the after the afternoon practice at 5 p.m., but it is unlikely that he'll elaborate much more. Nothing further was known at this time.

Another blue-chip recruit trying to win a starting job at Pitt, running back LeSean McCoy, is among Bostick's closest friends. He said he did not know the reason that Bostick left camp.

"Pat's one of my best friends,'' McCoy said. "He's a talented guy and very smart, so he must be going through something very serious. So, I'm here to support him, just his other teammates, so whatever he's going through. I can imagine that it must be serious. He was fine. I don't know what it us, whatever it is, I just support him. But I just don't know what happened.''

That leaves junior Bill Stull and redshirt freshman Kevan Smith as the contenders for Pitt's starting quarterback job. Stull was asked about the situation, and he wouldn't comment on how it would affect his shot at the No. 1 quarterback position and the competition at camp.

Until Bostick returns, Stull and Smith will get the majority of repetitions at quarterback. Freshman Andrew Jacobs, a walk-on from Clearfield, Pa., is getting a few snaps at quarterback as well.

"I've been waiting a while for this, and I'm very excited,'' Stull said. "There's going to be pressure, no matter in what game or practice or anything. That just goes with being a quarterback. And I really enjoy that about the position.

"I played two years behind Tyler and worked with Coach Cavanaugh two years now, so I'm as well-prepared as I can be. Coach Cav was in the NFL for years, and Tyler's in the NFL right now. So, I learned from some very good people.''

Smith displayed a strong arm and athleticism for someone who's a solid 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds during the spring. Now, he just needs to do it on a regular basis during training camp.

"I just want to get as many reps as I can get, and I truly believe that the starting job is open. The coaches are going to be critical with how they evaluate us, and we have to work hard to show how much we've improved. And whatever happens in the end, hopefully, the best works out.

"(But) the competition has been real good, and we're pushing ourselves to the best of our abilities. If there wasn't a competition, we wouldn't have to worry about anybody being on our back. So, it's definitely pushing us hard, and it's going to make us an overall better quarterback.''

Stull noted that the Panthers are more excited about this season than the past couple because they believe they have something to prove.

"I'm excited about the opportunity, and think the entire team's ready to go,'' Stull said. "There's a different look on this team, and this is a new team. I'm sure nobody wants to practice twice a day, but we probably need the work.

"And it probably gives the coaches a better look at the personnel, so it should be helpful in the end. But right now and in the early going, we probably won't really like it very much at all. But that's OK if it makes us better.''

Another freshman left the team, walk-on defensive back Jeff Stewart from Bethel Park, Pa., after giving up a scholarship offer to James Madison to attend Pitt. He left without attending a practice as well.

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