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Aug. 18, 2011

A host of talented newcomers seem poised to contribute for Pitt this fall

By Pat Bostick

Pitt's 2011 freshman class looks ready to contribute immediately. K.K Mosley-Smith is as strong and explosive as any defensive lineman the Panthers have on their roster and will be a vital part of a lethal defensive line rotation. LaQuentin Smith is Pitt's biggest, most physically imposing linebacker, standing 6-2 and weighing every bit of 225 pounds. At first glance he even resembles one Clint Session (let's hope he plays like him, too). Defensive back Lafayette Pitts has the physique of a fifth-year senior, not a true freshman. He has shown why he was so highly touted coming out nearby Woodland Hills, making plays at corner and on special teams during the first week of camp.

There is no shortage of game-ready playmakers on offense. JUCO transfer Josh Brinson - who wears a great number by the way - looks poised to work himself into the Panthers' receiving rotation. Brinson is tall, rangy and has good top-end speed. Justin Jackson also fits the mold of a Mike Shanahan or a Devin Street. Both he and Brinson have prototypical size. In contrast, there are two freshmen who fit the small, quick and dynamic playmaking mold made famous by Coach Graham's multiple no-huddle offense. Darius Patton and Ronald Jones have made electrifying plays thus far, reeling in acrobatic catches and producing big plays on the ground.

In addition to the veteran presence of Wisconsin transfer Zach Brown, the Panthers' backfield has been fortified by a talented trio of incoming freshmen. Isaac Bennett, Malcolm Crockett and Corey Davis have all shown signs of promise during the first days of training camp. Bennett and Davis each broke off long touchdown runs in practice on Wednesday.

The 2011 freshman class has even produced a bit of a surprise star during fall camp. Walk-on quarterback Trey Anderson is having a stellar camp, showing a unique mastery of this offense for only being a true freshman. Anderson has shown good arm strength, great mobility and fearlessness in the pocket in only his first week of practice with the Panthers.

When you put all the pieces together, this class of newcomers is as strong and game-ready as can be. Whether it be contributing on special teams, providing depth behind a veteran on offense or defense, or even stepping into a prominent role, this group promises to deliver.

Freshman Class Makes Instant Impact