Breaking Down the Pitt Depth Chart Part One: The Backfield

Paul SieversAnalyst IAugust 27, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2: Quarterback Bill Stull #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers sets to pass against the University of South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium on October 2, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

After four days of talking about fake quotes, women's basketball practice and ticket sales, I figured I would take a shot at talking about football. I mean this isn't a sports blog and kickoff isn't nine days away or anything like that but whatever.

With the loss of our top two tailbacks and our starting fullback, there were a lot of spots on the two-deep up in the air. Add in the fact that incumbent starting QB Bill Stull did very little last season to gain the confidence of the Panther faithful and you had all of our backs operating under a microscope all through training camp.


1. Bill Stull
2. Tino Sunseri
3. Pat Bostick

Bostick is listed above Sunseri on the depth chart but should Stull not be under center it remains to be seen who would get the nod. Sunseri proved himself to be more than capable in camp and Bostick still has a redshirt to burn. If Stull is to leave a game its anyone's guess who will get the nod.

Whether or not Stull should be getting the nod in the first place. By all accounts, Sunseri and Bostick both outperformed Stull for a good chunk of camp. Dave Wannstedt's decision to go with Stull kind of seems like the decision to go with the devil he knows. The whole think reeks of Rex Groseman though I would certainly take the kind of success the Bears had with him under center in 2007.

If Stull doesn't perform early, it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff reacts. Nobody is quite sure how long of a leash Stull is on here.


1. Henry Hynoski
2. Kevin Collier
3. Joe Capp

The only reason I'm even including Joe Capp is because I know a Joe Capp and if Pitt's Joe Capp is anything like my Joe Capp then I pity that locker room.

Both Collier and Hynoski were highly touted recruits out of high school. Collier was projected as a tailback but an ACL injury altered the course of his development. He's one of the many "could have beans" from the hyped class of 2006.

Hynoski has a lot of fan-favorite potential. He's from a small, rural high school, he weighs 260 pounds and he likes to hit people in the mouth. Who can't get excited for a guy like that every time he gets to carry the rock?

Hyno will have big shoes to fill with the loss of Conridge Collins who was a fantastic college fullback. With new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, the fullbacks should have less of a role in the offense. This will help ease the development of both players who have a combined 38 carries between them.


1. Dion Lewis
2. Ray Graham
3. Chris Burns

This is where it gets interesting. Wannstedt would prefer to have one featured back instead of a running back by committee but his hand might be forced here as no one runner is head and shoulder above the rest.

Burns has spent the most time in the system, Graham has the most big play potential, Lewis is the most reliable. All three are small and shifty with speed in spades. None of the three has ever had a carry in the Blue and Gold, something that will change this year as all three look to get touches.

There are a lot of unknowns with this group but also a lot of potential. The two biggest question marks on the roster are QB and RB which are two awful places to have questions.

If Pitt can get anything out of those two spots, a good bowl is in the cards. If not, it will be a very long season.

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