The 6-foot-2, 240-pound McKillop is coming off an outstanding junior season in which he was named to four All-America squads. He additionally was a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection by league coaches and CollegeFootballNews.com's Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
An unknown when last season began, McKillop (Export, Pa./Kiski Area) went on to pace the nation in tackles, averaging 12.58 per game, and rank second in solos (8.17 avg.). He finished with 151 total tackles, perhaps none bigger than his effort to stop West Virginia's Steve Slaton on a 4th-and-3 situation late in the fourth quarter of Pitt's 13-9 upset of the Mountaineers.
McKillop emerged as the centerpiece of one of Pitt's finest defensive units in recent memory. The Panthers finished fifth nationally in total defense, yielding just 297.67 yards per game.
In addition to the Lott Trophy, McKillop was recently named a preseason candidate for the Rotary Lombardi Award, annually presented to the country's outstanding lineman or defensive player who lines up within five yards of the football. He also figures to be a viable candidate for such prestigious honors as the Butkus Award, presented to the nation's top linebacker, and the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy, both given to the nation's outstanding defensive player.
McKillop is one of 17 returning starters for the Panthers, who are being touted as a team to watch both in the Big East and nationally this year. Pitt opens the 2008 season on Aug. 30 against Bowling Green at Heinz Field. For ticket information, log on to PittsburghPanthers.com or call (800) 643-PITT.