Pitt Football: Freshman Lafyette Pitts Opening Eyes


When a new coach comes into town it not only means a change in leadership on the sidelines but a chance for everyone on the roster to make a good first impression.

As is the case with new Pitt head coach Paul Chryst, almost every starting job on the field can be won. Especially at cornerback, where there’s a ton of competition going on in spring practice to eventually begin camp at the top of the depth charts.

While retuning junior K’Waun Williams should be a lock to start on one side, the competition for the other jobs has been fierce so far.

Sophomore Lloyd Carrington and junior Cullen Christian has seen some time this spring running with the first-team, but so has Lafayette Pitts, and Pitts has opened up some eyes for sure so far.

He’s a redshirt freshman from Pittsburgh, PA., who attended Woodland Hills High School, but in his first real action in a Panthers uniform, he’s making a strong case to become a starter.

Pitts is a physical corner who has no problems lining up and playing man coverage throughout an entire game. That’s a good thing because he’s going to have to do it all season if he wins the starting job.

The Panthers will be switching back to a traditional 4-3 defense this season under Chryst. What that means is that the Panthers will be putting a ton of pressure on their corners. Pitt will be lining up in man coverage on almost every play, which means whichever two corners get the starting jobs will have a ton of pressure on them to perform.

That’s something that is right up Pitts’ alley as he welcomes the challenge of shutting down opposing wide receivers, telling the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Paul Zeise:

"“I love to line up and play against guys, and really, who doesn’t want that challenge. It is what football is about,” Pitts said. “We’re playing a lot of man coverage and a lot of field to cover, and from what I see, we don’t play much zone. So we need to make sure we are in a lot better condition because there is a lot of field to cover.”"

Pitts is going to be in a big battle to win the job opposite Williams but while you don’t win the job in spring practice, what he does in March can go a long way to getting Pitts a real long look when camp officially begins in the summer.

He’s certainly opened up some eyes this spring, getting a good deal of the reps across from Williams with the first team. While Pitts is grateful for the opportunity, he’s humble enough to realize that he’s got a long way to go still, also telling Zeise:

"“It is exciting for us because we are all starting out with a new system and new coaches, so it really comes down to whoever picks it up fast enough and plays consistently,” Pitts said. “That’s all you can ask for is a shot like that, and all of us want to play and we know nothing is determined in spring. But I have a long way to go and so does the rest of the guys, so we all have to help each other along the way.”"

Competition is a good thing and down the road, a good healthy battle will make the Panthers deeper and more talented along the way. While Pitts must maintain his high level of play, he not only has to hold off the challenges from Christian and Carrington but also that of Joe Lopez and Paul Fischer, who have also gotten looks this spring.

The competition this summer will certainly be one to follow. The door has been opened for Pitts. Let’s wait and see if he walks through it.

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