Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Andrew Devlin transfer

This actually broke on the World Wide WebberNet yesterday, but I didn't feel like making it a footnote to baseball. (Side note: This is very poor bloggery on my part. If I'd bothered waiting til today to write that baseball note I could have actually worked with accurate information.)

Anyway, yeah, TE-turned-DE Andrew Devlin is transferring to Pitt. On a surprise-transfer scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is "6-foot-7 250 pound Ryan Mallett doesn't want to run an offense designed for Pat White" and 10 is "Tim Tebow decides to follow his stripper girlfriend to Knoxville," this is about a 1.5. Here you have a guy who was recruited to be the heir apparent to a tight-end dynasty that is basically no more, asked to switch to a position where he'd likely be a depth player for three years. He gave it a whirl during spring practice, and you can't ask any more than that.

Impact on the team is - no disrespect at all here to Devlin - minimal. Nominally, the two-deep at DE is Collins and Conrath for starters, Zane Parr and either Kevin Crawford or Will Hill as backups. The downside is that's a very inexperienced bunch. Only Conrath has any starts at DE. The upside is experience is overrated at DE. Conrath proved that last year. DE is one position where being a holy terror athletically can make up for a lot. And Collins carries himself like a professional and will be just fine. There's room in the fall for one of the other incoming freshmen to make a name for himself, as well.

The other effect on the team is the scholarships. If you've been reading these pages, and you've been buying what I'm selling, you knew already there'd be some attrition. Maybe some transfers, maybe some academic washouts - in any case, by my count, there were 89 scholarships promised out for the fall. So four of those were not going to be on the team come September 6. Devlin's transfer brings it down to 88. Jeff White's linked article above suggests the next to drop may be Kevin Crawford, which would start to make DE depth a little more worrisome.

Anyway, the depth chart is updated to reflect, and it also includes a few new walk-ons.

There's also baseball - the "accurate information" above is the starting pitchers for the next two games, and it manages to make me look silly by naming Matt Packer the starter against Clemson on Thursday. Huh. The article also rather generously states Packer has "struggled at times"; by "struggled" they mean "sucked pretty bad" and by "at times" they mean "whenever we least could afford it." I have seriously wondered whether Packer has been nursing some kind of injury to his elbow or shoulder that he's been keeping secret from the coaches, that's how bad he's been. That he got a start against VT and will do so again this week puts that idea to rest. Let's hope the real explanation is that he's just got a starter's mentality and isn't bullpen material. Danny Hultzen will go against UNC, then it's anyone's guess about Duke on Saturday.

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