Pitt freshman Kenny Pickett is excited to get a head start on learning what it takes to be a college quarterback.
By Brian Batko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
New Jersey quarterback Kenny Pickett isn’t the only new guy in the room, but he is the young guy.
Pitt’s only quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class — not including USC graduate transfer Max Browne — is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Oakhurst, N.J. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and tossed more than 30 touchdowns in his career at Ocean Township High School, where he was also productive as a runner. Considered a three-star dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com, Pickett is one of four freshmen who opted to enroll early for the spring semester.
“It’s been something I’ve had to adjust to day in and day out,” he said early last month, shortly after arriving on campus. “It’s really going to help me a lot when it comes down to summer, when summer practice starts. … It’s really just getting a head start and being the leader for my class when they come in the summer. I can help guys out and point them in the right direction, so that was a huge driving factor to it.”
For now, Pickett is allowing the more experienced players at his position lead the way. First there’s pseudo-classmate Browne, who brings a wealth of college football knowledge but has played as many games at Pitt as Pickett has. The two returning signal-callers are Pine-Richland graduate and Pinstripe Bowl fill-in Ben DiNucci, as well as 2016 recruit Thomas MacVittie.
DiNucci will be a redshirt sophomore and MacVittie a redshirt freshman, but they’re practically grizzled vets to Pickett.
“It’s really cool to be around Max; he’s been through it all,” Pickett said. “I’ve been around Thomas and DiNucci, they’re great dudes, too, so I’m really excited to get to work with them.”
The recruiting process wasn’t a straightforward one for Pickett. He initially committed to Temple in April 2016, re-opened his recruitment in May, then picked Pitt in June. But even then, he had some trepidation when Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada left for LSU in early December.
In the end, he didn’t need to look elsewhere after talking to Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi shortly after Canada’s departure.
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