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Tight end Matt Flanagan transfers from Rutgers - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Tight end Matt Flanagan transfers from Rutgers

Pitt+football+landed+a+new+transfer+for+the+2017+season.+John+Hamilton+%7C+Contributing+Editor
Pitt football landed a new transfer for the 2017 season. John Hamilton | Contributing Editor

Pitt football landed a new transfer for the 2017 season. John Hamilton | Contributing Editor

Pitt football landed a new transfer for the 2017 season. John Hamilton | Contributing Editor

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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It’s been nearly two months since Pitt locked up ESPN’s No. 31 football recruiting class in the country on National Signing Day, but the Panthers haven’t stopped adding to next year’s roster.

Rutgers tight end Matt Flanagan announced his decision Monday to enroll at Pitt in the fall as a graduate transfer. Flanagan — who has started 17 games and played in 33 for the Scarlet Knights over the past three seasons — will provide much-needed depth and experience at a position where the Panthers have five players on next year’s roster with a combined zero catches for their career.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, trainers and support staff for a great four years. After graduating in May, I will continue my education at the University of Pittsburgh and play my final year of eligibility,” Flanagan wrote on Twitter.

NJ Advance Media first reported in November that Flanagan planned to transfer after graduating for “purely academic” reasons. At Pitt, Flanagan plans to pursue a master’s degree in a research-based science discipline after graduating with a degree in biological sciences.

Flanagan, at 6-foot-6, 258-pounds from Chester, New Jersey, totaled 18 receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns in his three-year stint with the Scarlet Knights. He had only six catches for 29 yards last year but has a chance for a much bigger role at Pitt with the departure of the Panthers’ top two tight ends from last year Scott Orndoff and Jaymar Parrish.

Redshirt sophomore Chris Clark — the No. 1 tight end recruit in the nation in the class of 2015 — is the frontrunner to replace Orndoff as Pitt’s starting tight end, but he only has one game of college experience to his credit and has yet to catch a pass. Clark sat out last season due to NCAA guidelines following his transfer from UCLA.

Senior Devon Edwards, who converted from tight end to defensive end and back to tight end for this season, also has yet to prove himself capable of a role as a prominent pass-catcher. And the Panthers’ other three tight ends on the 2017 roster are true freshmen who haven’t arrived on campus: Charles Reeves Jr., Grant Carrigan and Tyler Sear.

Reeves has the most potential to contribute right away alongside Clark, but Flanagan will provide Pitt’s coaching staff with a reliable option, having already started 17 games of major college football.

Flanagan joins former USC quarterback Max Browne as the second graduate transfer to commit to join the Panthers in 2017. Along with junior college transfer defensive tackle Kam Carter and 23 incoming high school recruits, Pitt now has 26 members in its 2017 class.

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Tight end Matt Flanagan transfers from Rutgers