Pittsburgh Panthers Football: 12 Players Who Are Key to 2011 Season

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Pittsburgh Panthers Football: 12 Players Who Are Key to 2011 Season
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Dave Wannstedt era came to an end at the University of Pittsburgh this winter.

Under head coach Wannstedt, the Panthers were a team perpetually on the verge of BCS bowl contention. Unfortunately, Wannstedt was never able to deliver a BCS bowl berth during his six years in Pittsburgh.

During his tenure, Wannstedt revitalized the program's recruiting. In the past, top recruits from talent-rich western Pennsylvania would not have considered Pitt a top choice.

Not anymore. The Panthers have been raking in talent from the Steel City and its surrounding high schools. These players give new head coach Todd Graham a chance to succeed immediately.

With Texas Christian University set to join the Big East in 2012, this may be Pitt's best chance at securing a BCS berth for a while. Dave Wannstedt assembled a talented group of players, but he could never capitalize on their potential.

It will be up to new coach Todd Graham to get the most out of these 12 players. If he does, a Big East title will be well within reach for the Panthers.

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