Pickett’s Charge to Pitt

Panthers sophomore QB promises better season

Jeff Hathhorn
August 03, 2018 - 1:31 pm

93.7 the Fan

SOUTH SIDE (93.7 the Fan) – You would expect confidence to be there for a returning starting quarterback, especially when your only start is an upset of number 2 Miami.  However Pitt sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett spoke with the confidence of an All-American after the first day of Pitt camp.

“Last year was embarrassing, I was embarrassed,” Pickett said.  “I love to win.  We win at Pittsburgh.  5-7 won't happen again, I guarantee that."

The recently-turned 20-year-old didn’t come across arrogant, rather resolve and determined.  And not just about the season, but his grasp on the offense, saying they had it down during player-run summer drills.

“The older I get the more reigns I have,” Pickett said.  “I feel like I have a really good hold on the offense and the team.  When I talk, guys listen.”

That includes 6’6”, 315 pound senior tackle Alex Bookser, who said with a smile that Pickett is the only guy allowed to tell him to shut up.

“He plays like a senior, he’s super smart, tremendous competitor,” Bookser said.  “He’s not afraid of anybody.   Not afraid to tell me to shut up.  He’s a different kind of guy, and it’s awesome to have him lead the huddle.”

“He’s been vocal all summer,” said head coach Pat Narduzzi.  “He’s a leader.  I’m getting text messages from him just being vocal with me like ‘hey, coach, we need to do this, coach I saw this’.  We need as many leaders as we can get.  We had a lack of them last year.”

Expectations for a quarterback who’s thrown 66 career passes are high and many of those come from his head coach.

“We trust in that guy and I think he can explode through the roof,” Narduzzi said.  “We can talk big things here in the next couple of years as well.”

Part of Pickett’s vocal leadership is instilling his confidence in them.  Pickett explained as he described off-season drills, mentioning to players who were no-shows for voluntary work.

“You don't show up to work today, that's why you go 5-7,” Pickett said.  “I will say that to the guys.  Someone is having a bad day, winning teams don't have bad days.  We want double digit wins.  We want to be in a January bowl game.  We want all of it and we're coming for it."