it going to be like when you receive your Pitt degree?
It will be better than any touchdown I've ever scoredbecause this has been a long five years
with a lot of hard work getting this degree. When I was in ninth grade I never
expected to be on a Division I scholarship. I'll be able to tell my kids
someday I played at Pitt and I have a degree from there.
What is your most memorable game at Pitt?
The Meineke Car Care Bowl we won in Charlotte. It was so fun the
entire game. It was one that truly felt like a team-effort win.
It's been awhile since Pitt has returned a punt for a touchdown.
Is that something you want to accomplish before you're done playing at Pitt?
It's not something I'm thinking about all the time but it's
definitely in the back of my mind. I want to get it done before I leave.
Do you remember any returns where you thought you could have gone
for a touchdown?
Oh yeah. There was one at Syracuse two years ago and one in that
Meineke Car Care Bowl. And there was one on the opening kickoff against NC
State that I really should have scored. I still go back and watch that one to
this day, which is kind of ridiculous.
You've obviously got an athletic family. Your
nephew DeJuan Blair is an NBA player while your other nephew Greg Blair plays
college football at Cincinnati. What's that like?
It's really cool because I get to cheer for everybody. It was especially
cool playing Greg earlier this season. He came out talking some trash, trying
to get into my head right from the start. I was thinking 'I'm family dude,' but
I figured out the game he was trying to play so about the third quarter we were
kind of on the same page. It was fun.
You played running back at Gateway. Do you miss having the ball in
your hands that often?
I do, but at the same time I'm a little guy and that would be a
pounding. These guys are huge. In high school it was easy. The middle linebacker
would be about 205 pounds.But now
every week I'm going against huge guys. My body couldn't take that beating so I
think I'm definitely in the right position.
What's it like to play at a school with some all-time great
receivers like Larry Fitzgerald?
It's so cool. Their pictures are all over the walls here. Larry
may be the best receiver in the game right now and to be able to say he went to
Pitt is kind of like bragging rights. It's really weird to think these guys
were in my shoes here at one point.
And your current receivers coach Bobby Engram was the first-ever
Biletnikoff Award winner. Did that bring him instant respect to the players?
Definitely. It's funny because we didn't know it at first. He
didn't really tell us. We knew who Coach Engram was of course, but he didn't
really let us know what was up with the real Bobby Engram. When we found out he
was the first-ever winner of that award we couldn't believe it. We couldn't
believe he didn't tell us.
There's a lot of preparation leading up to kickoff on Saturday evening against Youngstown State. Pat Bostick reports for Pitt Live Wire, reminding us of the importance of the Panthers key veterans on special teams.