Pitt Panthers: Top 5 players NOT named Conner, Boyd, Voytik

3 of 7

Jan 2, 2015; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Deontay Greenberry (3) is tackled after a reception by Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Avonte Maddox (14) during the second half of the 2015 Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Houston won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

I have been exuberant about Maddox before, and I still am. I love the way this guy plays his position.

Despite being overshadowed by fellow secondary-mate Reggie Mitchell last season, he provided a reason for optimism by his performance throughout the spring in 2015.

More from City of Champions

Before we get to the spring and where we stand today, let’s look back at his performance in 2014.

He appeared in every game and started in six of those games. Maddox gathered 32 tackles and had three pass break-up’s.  In sparing work, he was quite productive.

But how can starting six games and playing in each be sparing work?


Even though he saw some playng time throughout the season, he didn’t get an opportunity to show what he could really do until the latter part of the season when an injury to another player gave him his opportunity.

What sets him apart from others is his instincts. Watching him perform throughout the spring allowed me to get a glimpse of the play-maker he can become. Maddox’s capacity to pinch at the line, read the quarterback’s eyes, and play from behind in some instances is second-to-none on this roster.

In 2015, we should expect him to blossom considerably under the director of Defensive Coordinator, Josh Conklin and Head Coach, Pat Narduzzi. Focusing more on knowing the task and reacting faster is a system that Avonte should thrive in.

Next: Strength In His Leadership!