Pitt QB Kenny Pickett

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Pickett's Charge

Pitt's sophomore quarterback is the unquestioned starter

Jeff Hathhorn
March 12, 2018 - 5:36 pm

He made one start last year and is the unquestioned starter this season.  Pitt sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett says having the year under his belt has been huge for him and he’s playing with a lot more confidence.

“It’s been the same as usual for me, I haven’t changed,” Pickett said as Spring drills started.  “After every season, I pride myself in getting in the weight room the day after that game, the first day back.  It’s been a habit since I’ve been a freshman in high school.  I kept the same tradition.  It’s business as usual.”

Of course his last game altered the college football national championship, as the then freshman led Pitt to a 24-14 upset win over number two Miami.  Pickett threw for 193 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 60 yards and two scores.

“Football comes easy, he loves it,” said Pitt Offensive Coordinator Shaun Watson.  “He loves to study it.  He wants to be a really good player and that’s where it really begins.  He’s willing to work at it.  A lot of guys aren’t.  A lot of guys say they are but they don’t.  In those respects he reminds me of Teddy (Bridgewater).  He relentlessly chases it.  He loves it, it’s in his DNA.  That’s why it’s been fun being around him.” 

Watson said he began the offseason teaching Pickett about defense so he can be a better decision maker.  Then Watson taught situational football and the nuts and bolts of what they do.  That doesn’t mean Pickett can stop working.

“Kenny is our guy, but he’s going to get pushed,” said head coach Pat Narduzzi.  “There is competition.  Kenny is clearly the number 1 guy, but I tell you what, Ricky Town did some great things today.  He has a nice arm.  I think you guys will be impressed when you get to watch him throw the ball around.”

Town, a 6’3” junior from Ventura College, transferred in and is currently the back-up.  Pickett said he and Town have gotten along well and often share information and viewpoints.

“If that room doesn’t have competition in it throughout, we are in trouble,” Watson said.  “We wanted someone to come in and compete at a high level and make Kenny better.”

Pickett said he’s still working on being a more vocal leader, saying he’s a guy who leads more by example.  But it appears that example is being noticed by the players and coaches.

“We’ve come a long way from where I thought we were a year ago mentally,”  Narduzzi said, “especially at the quarterback position.”