Pitt WR Taysir Mack Immediately Eligible

Panthers get new weapon for QB Pickett

Josh Rowntree
August 17, 2018 - 11:37 am
Pitt WR Taylor Mack at the Spring Game in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett has received considerable hype this offseason as he enters his first full year as a starter. But there have been questions about the team around him, specifically the wide receiver position, where the Panthers, on paper, lack playmakers. 

That changed Thursday.

“At 3:10 p.m. yesterday, I got one of the best text messages you can get in the year, saying Taysir [Mack] is immediately eligible to play for the University of Pittsburgh,” head coach Pat Narduzzi announced Friday. 

Mack, a transfer from Indiana, will be able to join the Panthers receiving corps right away and will have three years of eligibility left.

“It’s a great thing,” Narduzzi added. “Last night I told our football team and they erupted a little bit. A little enthusiasm in the team room. So we had a little action going on.”

After taking a redshirt in 2016, Mack caught 23 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns for the Hoosiers last season. 

“Tom Allen, the head football coach at Indiana, really helped out with the situation,” Narduzzi said. “When you talk about caring for kids, my hat goes off to that guy for doing the right thing and helping out.”

Narduzzi would not go into specifics on the details surrounding the confirmation of Mack’s eligibility.  

“The important thing is that he’s able to play right now. We’re excited. It gives us one more weapon to help us get it done.”

Collegiate transfers can be a bit of a saga. There tends to be a lack of rhyme and reason and it takes multiple, moving parts to get it done, especially when a player is trying to participate right away.

“All you need is a little bit of hope,” Mack said. “That’s what I just carried over into my work ethic. I have a bunch of friends around me, a bunch of coaches around that support me, day in and day out. 

“Regardless of whether I could play or not, they were with me as a person and they cared for me individually. So it took me a long way.”

Mack kept up with others in similar situations this offseason and would often text or email Narduzzi when other players were deemed eligible. 

“He was noticing, he was noticing. I think he found out before I did. He was emailing me. He was all over that.”

Mack was able to participate in Pitt’s Spring game in April, leading the team with 62 receiving yards on three receptions. 

 “Bigger, faster, stronger,” Mack said of his approach this Summer. “I just wanted to be more mentally sharp for the game. I was only told to be ready so you don’t have to get ready when the opportunity comes.”

The 6-foot-2 Mack could very well be Pitt’s top receiver this season. Though he is going to have to earn his way there. 

“Time will tell,” Narduzzi added. “We’re not going to anoint anybody or any starting jobs. He’s got a lot of work to do. It’s another weapon. 

“It makes us a little bit different. If we go back to what he was in Spring ball and just look at what he was there, he was really our go-to guy.”

Hear all of what Narduzzi and Mack had to say below.