Pitt Football: Battle begins for QB job in spring practice


For the first time in a very long time there will be a competition to be the Pitt Panthers starting quarterback in 2013.

Pitt fans can rejoice in the fact that Tino Sunseri will no longer be under center for the Panthers, but there hasn’t been a true quarterback competition since the 2008 season when Bill Stull beat out Pat Bostick for the job.

As the Panthers entered spring practice, all eyes will be on the quarterback spot as four guys will attempt to impress head coach Paul Chryst and be the guy to lead the Panthers in 2013.

By the time the Panthers annual Blue-Gold game takes place April 12 at Bethel Park High School, Chryst probably won’t be any closer to naming a starter, but we will have a better idea about the competition that we will see during the summer.

“First and foremost they have to get comfortable with the offense,” Chryst told ESPN’s Heather Dinich. “Then once that happens, there is a quarterback competition because we haven’t named a starter. They’ll get a lot of work, I know that much.”

Many feel the leading candidate is Rutgers transfer Tom Savage, who threw for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games as a starter for the Scarlet Knights as a freshman in 2009-10.

The 6’5″ Savage was ranked No. 8 among quarterback recruits in 2009 and is built for Chryst’s pro-style offense. He has the strongest arm of the four quarterbacks and is the most experienced, even though he has only 10 games under his belt. He transferred to Arizona in 2011 after losing his job with the Scarlet Knights, but never played in any games for the Wildcats.

Savage’s top competition likely will come from redshirt freshman Chad Voytik

Voytik was last season’s heralded recruit, but didn’t play in a game as Chryst was able to successfully redshirt him to get four full years out of him. The 6’1″ Voytik will likely be the fans choice as Voytik is ready physically. The four-star recruit has had a year to learn Chryst’s system, so he should be up to the challenge.

You also can’t out the 6’2″ true freshman Tra’Von Chapman.

Similar to Voytik, Chapman can both run and throw and the Pitt staff likes the intangibles he brings along including having a strong command of the huddle.

Finally there is the 6’0″ junior Trey Anderson.

Anderson has been in a Panthers uniform for three years and his athletic ability can’t be overlooked.

What isn’t known at the moment is exactly who will be under center when the Panthers host Florida State on Labor Day.

However what is known is that these four quarterbacks will have a battle on their hands for the next sixth months. Who becomes the starter is anyone’s guess, but all four guys will have plenty of opportunities between now and then to make their case.

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Tags: Chad Voytik Featured Pittsburgh Panthers Football Popular Tom Savage Travon Chapman Trey Anderson

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