About a year and a half ago, Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Titus Howard entered spring practice as a heavy favorite to earn the starting role. We don’t know what changed, but Howard will not be a member of the program next season.
Earlier this week, newly hired head coach Pat Narduzzi announced Howard’s dismissal, but failed to cite any reason outside of the standard unspecified violation of team rules. During Howard’s true freshman season, the two star recruit shined, playing in eleven of the team’s thirteen games while being a major contributor to the Panthers secondary. Nonetheless, Howard found trouble following his rookie campaign and was suspended for the duration of the 2014 season following a violation of unspecified team rules.
Still, Howard’s impressive freshman season had coach Narduzzi set to give him a second chance before off-the-field problems once again prevented him from making his return.
Anderson came off the bench three times last season completing 25 of 53 passes for 263 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. The Panthers have sophomore Chad Voytik returning for the 2015 season, and Anderson recognized that he would likely not earn the starting role. On the other hand, Cook played in 26 games during his Pittsburgh career and will be a major lose for a Panthers front hoping to improve from the 2014 season.
Pittsburgh will begin the 2015 season with a drastically new look aiming to rebuild from a disappointing 6-7 season. Much of that success rests on coach Narduzzi, but the loss of Howard paired with Trey Anderson and Devin Cook’s decision to leave certainly doesn’t help his case.
*Other Comments from Pitt Presser:Narduzzi also confirmed that offensive lineman Connor Hayes and defensive end Luke Maclean have decided to transfer out of the football program. Maclean played in four games as a true freshman last season while Hayes took a redshirt his first and only season with the Panthers. It was also announced that quarterback Trey Anderson and defensive lineman and Devin Cook will not use their final seasons of eligibility. Anderson will graduate this spring, and Cook has already received his degree.
*Section Photo credit to Scout; Featured Photo (above) credit to Ron Pradetto, Associated Press