Pinkston Starting At LT Now

Those who follow the Pitt football team with anticipation for the next update, you aren't the only ones concerned about the Panthers offensive line.

Apparently, Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff are looking at all their options just one week into training camp practices. So, for Saturday afternoon's practice, the first one in full pads, redshirt sophomore Jason Pinkston was moved from right to left tackle and freshman Lucas Nix went from left guard to right tackle.

Pinkston and redshirt freshman Jordan Gibbs are competing for the left tackle spot now, but Pinkston is the starter and Gibbs the backup. Nix and junior Joe Thomas are in the mix at right tackle.

"We made some position changes today, because ... we're trying to work through some scenarios to continually evaluate who are our best five and best seven,'' Wannstedt said. "Coming out of the spring, I wanted to give Jordan Gibbs a few days, but I wasn't happy that was moving along fast enough.

"Joe Thomas has been OK, but I think that the best competition we can give those two guys is put Pinkston at the left. He's a former starter. And Lucas can work with Joe at right tackle, so that should be good there.''

Chris Jacobson is a solid backup behind junior John Malecki at right guard. Wayne Jones and Alex Karabin are fighting for the backup center spot.

On the injury front, wideout Derek Kinder returned to practice and went through the entire workout without incident. Gus Mustakas is being brought back slowly and has not gone through a full practice the past couple days. Cornerback Aaron Berry has a slight hamstring strain and was limited Saturday as well.

Outside linebacker Brandon Lindsey did not finish practice with an unspecified problem, while wideout T.J. Porter did not practice. Defensive end Doug Fulmer went through some running and conditioning drills, but did not practice.

The top offensive play in camp was turned in by Jonathan Baldwin Saturday. He ran a sideline route and was covered by Ricky Gary with help from Elijah Fields. Quarterback Pat Bostick fired a hard, high pass to the outside so neither defender could get to it, most wideouts probably wouldn't have, either.

The thing is, Baldwin isn't most wideouts. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound track champion also has a 40-inch vertical leap, so he skied like he was going for a long rebound, made a spectacular one-handed grab and stayed in-bounds.

The two biggest hits were linebacker Nate Nix on redshirt freshman fullback Henry Hynoski, who was separated from the football on a short pass, and by Fields on tight end Dorin Dickerson. After taking a swing pass, Dickerson tried to turn upfield, but Fields wouldn't let him. Dickerson didn't particularly care for that, and Fields questioned if he should have let him get the first down.

Wannstedt also praised several defensive players.

"Myles Caragein and Craig Bokor, both have been very, very pleasing,'' Wannstedt said. "You expect Mick Williams, Duhart and those guys, but of the young guys I would say Jabaal Sheard, he's playing like a starter for two years.

"And Caragein and Bokor, I'm real pleased with them. They've really raised the level of play of their game. And Jarred Holley continues to make plays at the corner. So, those guys have been playing real well for us.''

Pitt practices twice Sunday, once Monday and twice Tuesday with the initial intrasquad scrimmage in the afternoon.

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