Big Lead Sports Bar



The Pitt Panthers ended the 2009 NFL draft with a flurry of players selected, starting with RB LeSean McCoy in the second round and ending with a trifecta of Panthers past and present chosen in the seventh.

With the 240th overall pick, the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals snagged "The Johnstown Jet", Pitt RB Larod Stephens-Howling. Stephens-Howling saw his workload greatly decreased once McCoy became the BMOC, with his carries falling from 178 to 78 to 77 from his sophomore to senior season. But Stephens-Howling persisted, contributing five touchdowns and 421 yards of offense in the Panthers' 2008 campaign, and here he is with a home on draft day. He could be a nice fit in the Cardinals' Pittsburgh-heavy system.

With the 251st pick, the Chicago Bears took 6'1", 210-pound Pitt WR Derek Kinder, who now gets to catch passes from Joyful Jay Cutler. Following a 2007 season lost to injury, Kinder rebounded with a 36-catch, 422-yard, three-touchdown season, down from his 57-847-6 numbers in 2006.

Finally, a Pitt transfer was taken by Jacksonville with the 250th overall pick: running back Rashad Jennings, who ran for 411 yards and 4.8 yards per carry with the 2005 Panthers. He was Pitt's starting running back in Dave Wannstedt's first game as coach, that memorable nationally-televised defeat to Charlie Weis and Notre Dame which we will no longer speak of.

Jennings transferred to Liberty University for family reasons in 2006, and subsequently ran for 1020, 1113, and 1507 yards in his three seasons there. And before you ask, yes, that's the same Liberty University that produced former Steeler TE Eric Green and Pirate-turned-Pirate Killer Sid Bream.

Jennings is a bruising back, at 6'1", 230 pounds. He's got a great burst for his frame and would seem to work well with the power rushing attack that Jack Del Rio's instituted in Jacksonville. If all goes well in the next few years, I'm sure we will constantly be reminded that Jennings transferred from Pitt, a la Joe Flacco. That's something to look forward to, right?

Send your news, tips, and links to

No comments: