Kenny Pickett announces return for fifth year

Senior+quarterback+Kenny+Pickett+announced+on+Twitter+Tuesday+night+that+he+will+return+for+a+fifth+season.

Thomas Yang | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett announced on Twitter Tuesday night that he will return for a fifth season.

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor

In a surprising development, senior quarterback Kenny Pickett announced on Twitter Tuesday night that he will return for a fifth season.

Although Pickett has played four seasons for the Panthers, the NCAA approved a waiver in August that allows all Division I fall athletes an extra year of eligibility. Pickett is the first of Pitt’s seniors to announce their intention to use that extra season. 

The decision to return comes as many Panthers announced their departures. Weeks have passed since redshirt junior safety Paris Ford opted out of the season, but more college careers have officially finished since Pitt announced it wouldn’t participate in any bowl game this season. Redshirt senior offensive lineman Bryce Hargrove, redshirt senior defensive back Damar Hamlin and redshirt senior defensive ends Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones II have declared for the 2021 NFL Draft in the last five days.

Pickett, who ranks fifth all time in passing yards in Pitt history, has the potential for a professional career, but generally appears much lower on NFL mock drafts than his teammates — such as Ford, Weaver and Jones II. Pickett joined ten other players in Senior Day festivities before Pitt’s game against Virginia Tech, leading many to assume he would not return for another season.

Pitt fans might have missed Pickett’s word choice after the win, as he added a very important “maybe” when discussing the surreal feeling of senior day at Heinz Field.

“It was maybe our last game here,” Pickett said. “I’m just really happy that my family and friends were able to come and be in the stadium with us.”

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