Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald has garnered his share of attention from awards committees and voters the past few weeks. But as the end of the season approaches, a few of his teammates could be going home with some hardware, as well.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will announce its all-league first and second teams next week, and there are several Pitt players who could find themselves honored.
Wide receivers Devin Street and Tyler Boyd figure to be contenders for spots. Street has 51 catches for 854 yards, sixth-best in the conference.
Boyd ranks third with 903 receiving yards. His 68 catches are also one shy of Larry Fitzgerald's school record for a freshman.
On the ACC coaches conference call Wednesday, Chryst also pointed to redshirt junior right guard Matt Rotheram as a Panther who deserves All-ACC consideration. Rotheram has started all 11 games for Pitt this year and all 13 last year. He moved from right tackle to right guard in the offseason.
"Matt has been probably our most consistent offensive lineman, certainly worth consideration," Chryst said.
And then there's Donald. The senior is a lock to make the All-ACC team, and could very well be the league's defensive player of the year. He is up for virtually every major individual defensive award, too.
Donald leads all Division I-A players with 26 tackles for loss, 51/2 more than the second-place player.
"That's what I've liked about the accolades that he's gotten to this point. I think they're truly deserved and they're through production on the field," Chryst said.
Miami injury update
Miami coach Al Golden said receiver Phillip Dorsett was still questionable for Friday's game against Pitt with a knee injury.
Dorsett had 58 catches for 842 yards last year, but has missed the past five games with a knee injury.
"I still am holding out hope," Golden said. "Can I say right now definitively? I can't. I wish I could. He'll be practicing today. I think the biggest thing is that he feels comfortable and confident."
Golden said it will ultimately be Dorsett's decision whether he plays or not, and that he is medically cleared to play.
Just like Chryst earlier in the week, Golden didn't offer any excuses if his team has to play in cold weather Friday.
The current forecast calls for clear skies with temperatures in the low 30s. The playing surface at Heinz Field also has been re-sodded since the four WPIAL championships were played there Saturday.
"I think we all know it's going to be tough conditions," Golden said. "It's going to be tough conditions for both sides. We just cannot allow any excuses to come into the game."
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SWernerPG.