Pitt's Stull comfortable with NFL style

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A year ago Bill Stull wasn't even sure he would be the starting quarterback as a senior at Pitt.

Tuesday, riding the momentum of an excellent season, he was running and throwing in front of NFL scouts at Pitt's South Side football complex because he is a bona fide prospect.

That is quite a meteoric rise, but it is a testament to the hard work that Stull put in and his commitment to become an excellent college quarterback.

Now, his next step is to try to become an NFL quarterback. To that end, he has been diligently working out and refining his passing ability while showing scouts that he has the arm strength and capability to make every pass.

"I'm really just looking forward to getting an opportunity and taking the next step," Stull said Tuesday after Pitt's annual Pro-Day. "I am really happy with the way last season went for us as a team and for me personally. The way things went is really the reason I'm able to stand here and talk about the NFL."

Stull completed 65.1 percent of his passes last season and had 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in leading Pitt to a 10-3 record, including a victory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

"It just shows that the competitiveness of myself and also coaches and teammates," he said. "It was everyone -- we all made each other better and that was one of the things that made us so successful this year. We had 11 playing as one.

"Today was great for me. I really threw the ball well and it was great to be able to make every single throw they were asking me to make. It just felt natural, like another day of throwing."

Stull, who was one of 15 former Panthers who worked out Tuesday for scouts representing 27 of the 32 NFL teams, is considered a late-round draft pick or a desired free agent.

He said a big advantage that he has had over a number of other quarterbacks in going through these workouts -- and one Pitt players have over the competition -- is that he has played in a pro-style system for his entire college career.

"[With regard to the receiver's routes,] I've been in the number system for four years under Matt Cavanaugh, then mixed it in with the West Coast offense last year under coach [Frank] Cignetti," said Stull, who measured 6 feet 2, 213 pounds Tuesday and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds.

Stull is a lot like most of the players from this senior Pitt group -- a good football player who is going to get a shot somewhere.

Another is linebacker Adam Gunn, who played most of last season with an injured ankle but is finally healthy, and said that has made a huge difference in his ability to run and do some of the cutting that the drills required.

"I am running much better," said Gunn, who ran the 40-yard dash in about 4.8 seconds and broad-jumped 10-3. "I just needed some time off to heal and get a break from getting pounded on by those 300-pound linemen."

Two players from the group who will likely be drafted are tight ends Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson, both of whom attended the workout even though they were at the combine.

Byham, considered one of the top blocking tight ends, went through all of the drills, while Dickerson, who is going to be an H-back or flex tight end, didn't do any of the measurement or timing drills but did catch some passes and run some routes.

Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1720.


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