Pitt took another blow at an already thin position Wednesday when redshirt sophomore Trenton Coles decided to leave the program, Panthers coach Paul Chryst announced Wednesday.
Coles, a Clairton graduate, was set to be a key player at a position that already lost projected starter Titus Howard to a season-long suspension earlier this month.
"Trenton's going to end up leaving the program," Chryst said after Pitt's second-to-last practice of training camp. "I've appreciated what he's done and [he] wants a fresh start. We're going to do everything we can to help him get to a good place."
Coles was projected as a starter going into training camp, but was hampered by an ankle injury over the past week. In that time, he appeared to be passed redshirt sophomore Reggie Mitchell and freshman Avonte Maddox at that spot.
"[He's a] work in progress," defensive backs coach Troy Douglas said of Coles last week. "Got a long way to go, work in progress. We'll see what's happening. He's trying hard, I can tell you that. It just doesn't always click, but he's trying. We've got two more weeks, we'll try and get him ready to go."
Coles played in 11 games on defense and special teams last year, racking up nine tackles and one fumble recovery. With his departure, redshirt junior Lafayette Pitts is the Panthers' only cornerback with game experience at the position.
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG